Melbourne Victory have jumped back to the top of the A-League table with a 3-0 win over Central Coast Mariners. In a match that started off with a fast tempo then turned into a tight and tense contest, the Victory took their chances in the second half, scoring three times in seven minutes to make the visitors pay.
The Mariners had their fair share of chances but could not finish like Danny Allsopp, Carlos Hernandez and Archie Thompson did for the home side.
Allsopp almost opened the scoring in the 4th minute when he intercepted mid-pitch and took the ball to the box but his left foot shot shaved the outside of the far post.
Lawrie McKinna's sides best chance of the first half came in the 38th minute when Matt Simon won possession in midfield and laid it off for Nick Mrdja who in turn had runners on the inside in Simon and Dylan Macallister but decided to go himself and could only manage to hit the side netting much to the dismay of Mariners players.
Seven minutes after the game re-started, Victory's Ney Fabiano made a strong , positive run from midfield to the top of the area but Mariners skipper Alex Wilkinson timed his challenge well to block the shot.
The best chance for the Mariners came in the 55th minute when Brad Porter played it out for John Hutchinson who cut it back for Matt Simon for an easy goal but he managed to stab it over the bar, summing up the night for last season's runners-up.
Finally after many chances, the scoring opened up in the 68th minute as Carlos Hernandez found Archie Thompson who took Mariners defender Pedj Bojic on with pace and shot from a tight angle across goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and Allsopp was at the back post to knock it in.
It wasn't long before the score was doubled through a Hernandez free-kick.
The Costa Rican took a powerful shot that went through the wall and then through Vukovic's legs to give Victory a 2-0 lead.
In the 76th minute the match was officially over when Allsopp sent a header into the path of Thompson who controlled well and then used the outside of his right boot to hit the back of the net.
Late in the piece, the Mariners Dean Heffernan ended the trip down south on a sour note when he was sent off for a shoulder block on Victory skipper Kevin Muscat in the area but a penalty was not awarded as the ball had not yet been played from the corner.
It was a great result for the home side and goal scoring hero said the pressure was now on Adelaide United to reclaim top spot.
"We had to work for everything tonight, we came good in the end," Allsopp told Fox Sports.
"The Mariners made it tough for us but credit to the boys, we were relentless and we got the three points.
"We had to win our last two home games and we have done half of that but it's up to Adelaide now (to regain top spot)."