Mariners cruise over Adelaide

Central Coast Mariners enjoyed a winning trip south with a 2-1 win over third-placed Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.

Central Coast Mariners enjoyed a winning trip south with a 2-1 win over third-placed Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.

The Mariners outclassed the Reds from start to finish and the score wasn't a true reflection with United grabbing a late consolation after Central Coast netted twice in the first half.

The Mariners completely outplayed United in the first half and were always first to the ball and a metre ahead while the Reds resembled nothing of the side that thrashed North Queensland Fury 8-1 last week.

Mariners boss Graham Arnold expressed his delight with his side's first half, calling it was one of the best 45 minutes of the season.

"The first 45 minutes I have to say was champagne football," he said.

"It was one-touch football, the movement was great from the players, the short passing in midfield. I thought we destroyed them in the first half."

United coach Rini Coolen admitted the loss has dented the Reds hopes of finishing second.

"It's a big loss because at the moments things aren't in our own hands to finish second in the league. But, there are still a couple of games to go and we will fight till the last game," he said.

Matt Simon was first to try his luck, firing an early warning from distance before Argentine Patricio Perez upstaged his countryman Marcos Flores by breaking the deadlock in the 10th minute.

Perez collected the ball in the middle of his attacking half and skipped past his marker, Francisco Usucar before coolly sliding his shot past Eugene Galekovic from the top of the box.

Central Coast continued to assert their authority and bossed the Reds all over the park before doubling their lead on the half hour.

Perez was involved again when he worked his way into space to collect the ball from Josh Rose just outside the area, before laying it back to his team-mate.

Rose dashed in from the left and curled the return pass into the bottom corner leaving Galekovic no chance.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first with the visitors on top and affording the Reds little time and space.

On the hour Simon was unmarked at the back post, on the end of a dangerously curling free kick but his shot was straight into the body of Galekovic.

In the 71st minute Michael McGlinchey squandered a guilt-edged to make it three when he failed to capitalise from 6m.

After a goal mouth scramble, the ball sat up perfectly for McGlinchey but he scuffed his shot and Galekovic was able to get a hand to it and bat it away.

United pressed late in the game and managed to pull one back through Travis Dodd who turned in a corner from close range.

The corner drifted to the back post and was forced back into the danger zone where Dodd smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

As the Reds went in search of an equaliser, Simon nearly capped off the win with a goal but he was again denied by Galekovic.

Adelaide United 1(Dodd 90) Central Coast 2 (Perez 10, Rose 30) 12,109 at Hindmarsh Stadium