The Mariners completely outclassed the Phoenix who slumped to their second consecutive defeat at home after going undefeated there for 24 games.
Mariners left-back Joshua Rose marked a stellar performance with two goals before substitute Adam Kwasnik added a third late in the piece to wrap up full points.
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Crowd: approx. 6,000
Referee: Peter Green
Yellow cards: WP - Tim Brown 65’
CCM - Patrick Zwaanswijk 18’, Oliver Bozanic 48’, Matt Simon 70’
The visitors were dominating proceedings early on and looked menacing, particularly in the air. There was plenty of supply from the flanks with Central Coast’s forwards looking threatening and all their positive work culminated in a 17th minute goal from left-back Joshua Rose.
GOAL Young Mariners midfielder Mustafa Amini played a searching ball to Rose who received before cutting in from the left, beating off competition from Phoenix defender Jade North and rocketing past Mark Paston with his right foot from just outside the area for his first of the season.
The Mariners continued on their merry way by supplying a heap of pressure on the home side with plenty of possession but they were unable to add to their opener.
Wellington pushed hard late in the half and probably should have equalized when Paul Ifill sent a pinpoint cross into the path of skipper Andrew Durante but the centre-half’s header from the backpost was just off target, marking the last play of any consequence of the first term.
The second half provided much of the same for Central Coast who were looking increasingly likely to grab a second although it was the Phoenix who came closest when a header beat Mathew Ryan but was denied by the upright midway through the term.
Central Coast had the chance to wrap up the match when Adam Kwasnik was played through in the 75th minute but Paston did enough to get a hand on his shot, keeping the Phoenix in with a chance of grabbing a late leveler.
GOAL However, the Mariners managed a second with ten minutes remaining when Rose made a run down the left before cutting back onto his right, much like the first goal but this time his shot was low and took a slight deflection before beating Paston.
GOAL A third came for Graham Arnold’s men when Rose, who was in scintillating form, played in Daniel McBreen in the area and the big striker screwed a left foot pass into the path of Adam Kwasnik who had stormed to the byline and was on hand to knock home unchallenged to secure the three points for the visitors.
Mark Paston (gk), Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante, Jade North (Hearfield 78’), Leo Bertos, Simon Elliott, Tim Brown (Daniel 73’), Vince Lia, Paul Ifill, Chris Greenacre (Macallister 81’)
Subs - Danny Vukovic (gk), Daniel (73’), Troy Hearfield (78’), Dylan Macallister (81’)
Mathew Ryan (gk), Joshua Rose, Patrick Zwaanswijk (Doig 89’), Alex Wilkinson, Pedj Bojic, Oliver Bozanic (Lewis 83'), Rostyn Griffiths, Michael McGlinchey, Mustafa Amini (Kwasnik 65’), Matt Simon, Daniel McBreen
Subs - Paul Henderson (gk), Adam Kwasnik (65’), Matthew Lewis (83'), Chris Doig (89’)