The Mariners were served by a 41st minute Michael McGlinchey finish which allowed them to go four points clear of fourth-placed Gold Coast United.
It was Graham Arnold’s men’s fourth win in five games as Wellington were unable to back up their solid 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory and remained seventh, just a point behind sixth-placed Melbourne Heart.
Central Coast Mariners: 1 (Michael McGlinchey 41’)
Wellington Phoenix: 0
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Yellow cards: CCM - nil
WP - Manny Muscat 44’, Andrew Durante 82’
The home side deserved the opening goal when Patricio Perez played Josh Rose in on the left side before the advanced defender cut it back for midfielder Michael McGlinchey who fired home four minutes from the break.
After a tardy start, which allowed the Phoenix in for a few half chances, the Mariners got on top and were unlucky not to be 2-0 ahead when centre-half Patrick Zwaanswijk’s header just after the break hit the crossbar.
For all their domination, the home side could not add a second and came in danger of conceding an equaliser when Dylan Macallister sent a free-kick goalward but Mathew Ryan came up with a top notch save in the 75th minute.
That save was enough to give the Mariners a much-needed win which put them back to third on the table, which was their third win in four games, as the Phoenix could not back up their 2-0 home win over Melbourne Victory and remained seventh.
Mathew Ryan (gk), Patrick Zwaanswijk, Alex Wilkinson, Pedj Bojic, Josh Rose, Michael McGlinchey, Oliver Bozanic, Rostyn Griffiths, Patricio Perez, Matt Simon, Daniel McBreen
Subs - Paul Henderson (gk), Michael Baird (63’), Mustafa Amini (82’), John Hutchinson
Danny Vukovic (gk), Tony Lochhead, Andrew Durante, Ben Sigmund, Manny Muscat, Nick Ward (Bertos 56’), Troy Hearfield (Greenacre 62’), Vince Lia, Tim Brown, Marco Rojas (Daniel 53’), Dylan Macallister
Subs - Reece Crowther (gk), Daniel (53’), Leo Bertos (56’), Chris Greenacre (62’)