Mariners back on track

The Central Coast Mariners have rubbed salt into Brisbane's wounds, defeating the Roar 3-0 at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Central Coast Mariners have rubbed salt into Brisbane's wounds, defeating the Roar 3-0 at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Although the final scoreline somewhat flattered Lawrie McKinna's side, the Mariners produced the goods in the opening stages, taking advantage of several Brisbane defensive errors as Nicky Travis and John Hutchinson opened up a two-goal lead by the 18th minute.

The Roar were certainly not without their chances as they peppered the Mariners' goal with 20 shots. But a 70th-minute strike from Pedj Bojic sealed the contest for Central Coast as it climbed to fourth on the Hyundai A-League table with its first win since defeating Gold Coast United by the same score back in Round 7.

In a sad way, it was a somewhat fitting end to a tumultuous week in Brisbane that saw the club lose coach Frank Farina and replace him on Friday with former Young Qantas Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou. But the loss, the Roar's third in a row, sees the club drop to seventh on the table.

Assistant Rado Vidosic took the reins for this match and admitted to some long nights throughout the week. But Roar skipper Craig Moore said it was no excuse for falling asleep at the back in such a way during the early stages.

"There has been a lot that's happened but it's just not an excuse," Moore said.

"I mean you go out there and try and do your best but again we're giving away such sloppy goals and you can't expect to win football matches if you give away cheap goals like that."

"We're 2-0 down then all of a sudden we decided we want to play. There's no pressure on you then, so for me that's a little bit disappointing," he said.

Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna said his team had focussed on a fast start to add that little bit more pressure to the Roar.

"All over the world, if an old manager goes and a new one comes in, usually the team wins, because there's a rebound or something, playing for the old coach, playing for the new coach, playing for contracts," said McKinna.

"We knew we had to go out and be on our game, and not be a bit flat like we have been in the past couple of weeks, and the boys responded to that from the first minute."

Indeed, the Roar started slowly as Travis exposed some slack defending in the third minute as he latched onto a Bob Malcom mistake and fired home.

Six minutes later, Mariners stopper Danny Vukovic produced one of the saves of the season to deny Sergio van Dijk, leaping high to tip the Dutchman's bullet header onto the crossbar.

Central Coast made them pay for the miss nine minutes later as Hutchinson doubled the advantage. You could hardly tell the Maltese international had only stepped off the plane from Europe the previous night as he ran rings around the Roar defence, cutting inside the unfortunate Malcom and burying the second past Griffin McMaster.

Two minutes later Malcom was off the park as he broke his nose in a heavy clash, while the Roar could be without Danny Tiatto's services next week after he spent most of the second period with his calf wrapped in ice.

Brisbane had another good chance four minutes before the break to pull a goal back and make this a contest, but when Matt McKay dragged his effort wide it was apparent it was going to be one of those nights.

And, indeed it was as Bojic latched onto an errant clearance from defence by Luke Devere before slamming in a beautifully flighted strike into the right-hand corner of the net.

Brisbane Roar 0 Central Coast Mariners 3 (Travis 4, Hutchinson 18, Bojic 70) Crowd: 7434 at Suncorp Stadium