Mariners victorious at 'Wanderland'

A CLASSY brace from Daniel McBreen on his return from suspension secured Central Coast Mariners three vital Hyundai A-League points against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.

A CLASSY brace from Daniel McBreen on his return from suspension secured Central Coast Mariners three vital Hyundai A-League points against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.

McBreen netted in the 41st minute and again deep into added time nearing the end of the contest to ensure Graham Arnold-s men consolidated their place atop the A-League standings with a 2-0 triumph.

16,387 vociferous fans packed Parramatta Stadium for the early evening kick-off and the two teams didn-t disappoint, putting on a superb show of attacking and enterprising football despite the hot conditions.

The first 45 provided enthralling action for the strong crowd to savour, with the first shot of the game coming from the boot of Jason Trifiro. Trifiro would later be sent off for picking up two yellow cards.

McBreen and Pedj Bojic both missed the target with difficult chances soon after before Japanese creative Shinji Ono nearly crafted an opportunity for Joey Gibbs with an incisive pass from the right side. Ono-s delightful delivery just missed the onrushing Gibbs in the Mariners- penalty box.

Wearing the captain-s armband for the second match in a row, Michael McGlinchey was looking dangerous for the yellow and navy and the New Zealand international midfielder nearly handed his team the lead in the 37th minute. After breaking down the right McGlinchey cracked a shot from the edge of the area centimetres past Ante Covic-s right post.

Just four minutes later the competition-s top goal-getter, McBreen, fired home his 11th goal of the campaign. Combining intelligently with Adam Kwasnik, McBreen weaved his way through the Wanderers- defence before sending a clinical finish beyond Covic.

Tony Popovic-s team returned from the sheds clearly motivated to prove themselves against the A-League-s top-placed team, and to their credit the home side managed to make a number of forays into the Mariners- final third.

But, the men from ‘Wanderland- were reduced to ten men in the 55th minute when referee Chris Beath sent Trifiro for an early bath following a dangerous foul on Nick Montgomery, making their task of overturning the one-goal deficit a more difficult proposition.

Arnold introduced Bernie Ibini into the match for Kwasnik with 30 minutes remaining and instantly Ibini nearly helped Central Coast double their advantage. Ibini-s endeavour helped fashion a chance for McBreen, however the former Falkirk striker-s shot was deflected away for a corner.

The game was beginning to stretch considerably with Wanderers hunting an equaliser and Arnold-s team seeking to punish the red and blacks for sending too many men forward.

But despite creating a series of half chances to restore parity to the clash, Popovic-s men couldn-t manage to force Coast custodian Mathew Ryan into a save of any remarkable note, with their finishing in front of the red and black bloc letting them down.

Deep into injury time, McBreen made the most of a deflection that fell kindly into his path, sending a curling left foot shot beyond a Covic for his 12th goal of the campaign.

The victory over Wanderers consolidated Central Coast-s place atop the Hyundai A-League table, generating a four-point buffer over second-placed Adelaide United.

Central Coast Mariners play their next match away to Melbourne Victory on Saturday 12 January at Aurora Stadium, Launceston. The team returns to Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday 19 January against Newcastle Jets.

Western Sydney Wanderers 0 Central Coast Mariners 2 (McBreen 41-, 90+5-) Parramatta Stadium, Parramatta

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Ante Covic (Gk), 2. Shannon Cole (15. Reece Caira 80-), 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley (c), 6. Jerome Polenz, 10. Aaron Mooy, 13. Joseph Gibbs (7. Labinot Haliti 67-), 14. Kwabena Appiah-Kubi (11. Tarek Elrich 67-), 18. Iacopo La Rocca, 19. Mark Bridge, 21. Shinji Ono, 23. Jason Trifiro Substitutes not used: 20. Jerrad Tyson (Gk) Yellow cards: Polenz, Trifiro x2, La Rocca Red cards: Trifiro

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Zachary Anderson, 11. Oliver Bozanic (13. Brent Griffiths 90-), 14. Michael McGlinchey (c), 16. Trent Sainsbury, 18. Nick Montgomery (7. John Hutchinson 75-), 21. Mile Sterjovski, 23. Adam Kwasnik (9. Bernie Ibini 62-) Substitutes not used: 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk) Yellow cards: Sainsbury, Bojic, Montgomery Red cards: Nil

Attendance: 16,387 Referee: Chris Beath