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Sydney jump to top of table with narrow win over Central Coast

Sydney FC have taken top spot on the A-League table with a 1-0 win over the Central Coast Mariners. Sydney FC: 1 (Terry McFlynn '21) Central Coast Mariners: 0

Venue:Sydney Football Stadium Crowd: 13,887

Sydney and Central Coast started the match knowing a win would put them on top of the table and were glad to find that the weather in Sydney had cleared up after a morning of rain.

Sydney started by pressing forward early and spending a lot of time in their half in the opening ten minutes but were unable to threaten Mariners keeper Danny Vukovic.

The Mariners first shot on target came in the 11th minute when defender Nigel Boogaard's header was held safely by goalkeeper Clint Bolton after an Alex Wilkinson cross.

Three minutes later, the Mariners were at it again when John Hutchinson sent a deep cross into the far post where Dylan Macallister scrambled to get a header on target but Bolton was up to the task, making a reflex goal line save.

The Sky Blues went ahead in the 21st minute when skipper Steve Corica smartly held up play on the right flank before laying off for Stuart Musialik who sent a dangerous ball into the area.

Midfielder Terry McFlynn, who returned to the line-up today, crept off the back of the defenders and met Musialik's inch-perfect cross with a brilliantly taken header that gave Vukovic no chance which opened up the scoring in a largely attacking opening session.

On the half-hour mark, Sydney almost made it 2-0 when Mark Bridge won the ball in midfield and played in Alex Brosque who chipped deftly into the path of Corica but his falling volley went wide of the mark.

Four minutes later, Vukovic was called on to make a save at full stretch after Brosque received the ball on the edge of the area and sent his shot towards the left-hand side of goals.

Sydney were well on top for most of the first half but the Mariners did have some slight chances as the term came to an end.

The Sky Blues begun the second term brightly and again could have doubled their lead when they broke in the 56th minute.

Corica played it out wide to Karol Kisel who drove his cross into the path of Brosque but his outstretched left leg could not make sufficient contact.

Almost immediately, Sydney were on the attack again when Bridge found space and hit a sweet volley but Vukovic was equal to the task and parried it away.

The Mariners were inches away from an equaliser with twenty minutes remaining when the Sky Blues defence cleared only as far as Michael McGlinchey who flew in for a well-struck volley from 30 yards that produced a magnificent save from Clint Bolton.

The contest petered out towards the end as the Sky Blues were happy to sit back and defend as the Mariners tried to cut their way through a swathe of defenders.

However, they were unable to grab a leveler as Viteszlav Lavicka's men took the three points and the top spot on the A-League table.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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