Glory crush Central Coast Stadium curse in landmark New Year's Eve victory
Venturing to Gosford on New Year's Eve always seemed a straightforward chance for Perth Glory to round out 2018 as the Hyundai A-League leaders.
So it proved, too, as doubles from Andy Keogh and Fabio Ferreira completed a 4-1 rout of Central Coast Mariners.
The visitors were assured and in control from start to finish as they confidently responded to their Round 9 loss to Sydney FC.
The well-earned win took them three points clear of both the Sky Blues and Melbourne Victory, yet there was a hidden thread in this fixture that suggests it carried more significance than to temporarily rearrange ladder positions.
It is a marker of Perth's abundant progress under Tony Popovic that they were able to so comfortably sweep aside an opponent that has posed them plenty of problems in recent times.
Present were none of the psychological scars of a team that had previously won just twice in 20 visits to Central Coast Stadium, where they lost 1-0 in December 2017.
Glory – who needed a stoppage-time strike to see off the Mariners at nib Stadium earlier this season – were without a goal in any of their three most recent trips to Gosford.
That changed within three minutes thanks to Keogh, the striker scoring for the first time at a venue has been similarly unkind to him.
He later turned it into a brace and ex-Mariners man Ferreira made the most of a rare starting opportunity to confirm the club's maiden New Year's Eve victory at the fifth attempt.
With two hoodoos removed and 13 of a possible 15 points achieved on the road, the league leaders are entering 2019 in exceptional health.