Mariners sink Victory

The Central Coast Mariners have recorded a hard-fought 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Blue Tongue Stadium on Friday night, in a dour encounter.

The Central Coast Mariners have recorded a hard-fought 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Blue Tongue Stadium on Friday night, in a dour encounter.

The Victory had their fair share of possession, but lacked potency in front of goal and ultimately failed to cause a great threat on the Mariners goal.

Central Coast played defensively on their home turf and countered well against Melbourne, scoring twice against the run of play to register their second win of the season.

Goals either side of half time courtesy of headers from Royston Griffiths and Daniel McBreen were enough for the Mariners to secure all three points.

Victory started promisingly with Carlos Hernandez and Tom Pondeljak looking lively early in the middle for Victory.

Mate Dugandzic also looked dangerous with his explosive pace but the Victory attack lacked polish with the final ball often going astray.

Fifteen minutes in, Pondeljak and Hernandez combined after the speedy Dugandzic carried the ball 60 metres and laid it off, but the final pass again escaped Melbourne who failed to get a shot on goal.

After 20 minutes, Hernandez dinked a delightful ball over the Mariners' defence for Robbie Kruse to run onto but the striker used his hand to control the ball before slamming his shot against the bar.

A minute later and against the tide of the match, Central Coast took the lead through a Griffiths' header.

Michael McGlinchey floated in a free kick from 40 metres out and Griffiths rose highest to nod the ball past Michael Petkovic in the Victory goal from close range.

The Melbourne shot stopper looked less than confident in the air with the Mariners sensing they could get more joy from set pieces.

Within five minutes of the restart, the Mariners doubled their lead through McBreen.

Matt Simon fired in a cross from the right and the former Glory striker dived in ahead of Kevin Muscat turning his past Petkovic at the near post.

Muscat had a good chance just after the hour mark when he rifled a half volley just over the bar from the edge of the area after Central Coast failed to clear a corner.

Moments later, Victory debutant Ricardinho squandered a golden opportunity watching his powerful header fly over the bar.

Hernandez whipped in a cross, gifting it to the Brazilian but the import failed to pull one back for the visitors.

Melbourne continued to press in search of goals but lacked creativity and cutting edge up front as McGlinchey almost added a third for the Mariners.

The speedster collected a loose ball on the edge of the area before firing wide of the upright late on.

Central Coast: 2 Rostyn Griffiths 21- Daniel McBreen 50- Melbourne: 0 Crowd: 6829