A GOAL by journeyman Daniel McBreen was enough to give the Mariners victory in Wellington yesterday and put them on top of the A-League table.
Both sides missed chances in the first half, but it was McBreen's deft strike over oncoming Phoenix keeper Mark Paston in the 68th minute that gave Central Coast the 1-0 victory, its fourth in the past five visits to the New Zealand capital.
"We love coming to Wellington," Mariners coach Graham Arnold said afterwards.
He praised match winner McBreen, who is playing with his 10th club in the past 12 years and has scored five goals for the season, not only for his hot run of scoring form, but his work rate for the team.
"Macca is having a great run of form scoring goals, but also a great run of form in the way he's playing," Arnold said.
"He's bringing others into play and doing a lot of work that goes unnoticed. I am very, very happy with the way he's performing at the moment."
Matt Ryan has also been in outstanding form for Central Coast, keeping a clean sheet for the fourth time in six matches this season.
In yesterday's other match, Adelaide and Perth fought out a pulsating 1-1 draw in Adelaide, a Billy Memhet goal in the 43rd minute sending Perth into the sheds 1-0 up at half-time, and Dario Vidosic equalising just three minutes after the restart.