Mariners too slick for Sky Blues

Central Coast Mariners have returned to winning ways after a well-earned 1-0 win over NSW rivals Sydney FC in their Hyundai A-League round 15 clash at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.

Central Coast Mariners have returned to winning ways after a well-earned 1-0 win over NSW rivals Sydney FC in their Hyundai A-League round 15 clash at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening.

The yellow and navy have climbed to third place on the Hyundai A-League ladder following a second-half goal to former Socceroo Mile Sterjovski.

The visitors started the match the brighter of the two sides and had a few chances to open their account early on.

Two minutes in New Zealand international Storm Roux had a good opportunity following a Mariners corner, but he fired his shot high and wide of the target.

The Mariners came close to finding the net shortly after as Sterjovski found Daniel McBreen inside the area. The Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Golden Boot winner struck a powerful header on goal, but was denied by Sydney young gun Corey Gameiro who cleared the ball to safety.

Central Coast had a wonderful chance to break the deadlock as attacking ace Nick Fitzgerald produced a pinpoint pass to left back Joshua Rose, who made a marauding run down the left but failed to trouble Sydney gloveman Vedran Janjetovic.

Mariners marksman Matt Simon tried his luck in the 26th minute after combining with Sterjovski, however the former East Gosford Rams player pushed his header wide of Janjetovic-s post.

Ten minutes later Fitzgerald was handed a good opportunity to find the net for the second time this campaign as he had a one-on-one chance with Janjetovic, but the former Brisbane Roar attacker failed to trouble the Sydney shot stopper as he blasted his effort over the bar.

The Sky Blues came close to opening the scoring just before the interval as Ali Abbas tried his luck from outside the box. Former Sydney FC ‘keeper Liam Reddy did well making a sliding save to deny the Iraqi midfielder.

Sterjovski opened the scoring for Phil Moss- men in the 58th minute with his shot from outside the box deflecting past Janjetovic and into the net for his second goal of the season.

In a bid to salvage something from the encounter, Sydney boss Frank Farina introduced Joel Chianese and Milos Dimitrijevic for Marc Warren and Nick Carle with less than 25 minutes left to play.

But Central Coast continued to control the tempo and had an opportunity to double their advantage as the clock wound down as McBreen struck his left foot shot on target from outside the area. Janjetovic, however, did well to deny the former Shanghai SIPG man.

Ultimately, the goal from Sterjovski proved enough for the Mariners to record their sixth win of the campaign and extend their unbeaten run in 2014.

Sydney FC 0 Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (Sterjovski 58-) Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Central Coast Mariners FC: 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (C), 11. Nick FITZGERALD (9. Mitchell DUKE 74-), 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matt SIMON, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI (20. Bernie IBINI 69-) Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 4. Marcel SEIP, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS Yellow cards: Simon Red cards: Nil

Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (Gk), 3. Marc WARREN (16. Joel CHIANESE 65-), 4. Ranko DESPOTOVIC, 5. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 8. Pedj BOJIC, 9. Corey GAMEIRO, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO (C), 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Nick CARLE (21. Milos DMITRIJEVIC 66-), 22. Ali ABBAS Substitutes not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 28. Matthew THOMPSON Yellow cards: Petkovic, McFlynn, Despotovic Red cards: Nil

Referee: Peter O-LEARY/Stephen LUCAS