Mariners finish Jets season

Attacking midfielder Patricio Perez finally found the back of the net after missing several chances to give the Central Coast Mariners a 1-0 A-League win over Newcastle at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Sunday night.

Attacking midfielder Patricio Perez finally found the back of the net after missing several chances to give the Central Coast Mariners a 1-0 A-League win over Newcastle at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Sunday night.

Perez was in the right spot to tap home from close range after a great run and cross from defender Josh Rose in the 90th minute.

In the first half Perez had a host of great chances to open the scoring but failed to hit the target.

Despite the nail-biting victory Central Coast is set for a tough week on the training paddock.

The Mariners will take on Brisbane in the first leg of the major semi-final at Gosford on Saturday night, but will have to have much more of a cutting edge in front of goal to challenge the premiership favourites.

With the Jets having no hope of making the finals after Wellington's victory over North Queensland earlier in the day, there was little to play for in front of 9975 fans.

It was the Mariners who had most of the running the first half with Perez in the thick of the action.

Perez watched as his well-taken freekick went just wide in the 20th minute and two minutes later he had a shot saved after good lead-up play from Daniel McBreen and Bernie Ibini-Isei.

The home team had all the chances in the first half with captain Alex Wilkinson heading wide in the 23rd minute before Perez had two more chances just before half-time. He failed to hit the target both times.

Newcastle warmed to the task and put the Mariners defence under pressure after the break. Tarek Elrich sent a long range shot just over the bar six minutes into the half before an Ali Abbas shot caused Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan some trouble five minutes later.

The Jets best chance came in the 64th minute when Marko Jesic had his goalbound shot brilliantly blocked by Patrick Zwaanswijk. Within a minute of that block Jesic then had a stinging 25m shot saved by Ryan.

The Mariners pushed right in the final minutes with captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley in the right spot to deny Adam Kwasnik an easy close range header with three minutes remaining before Perez scored his sixth goal of the season.

"I thought overall we played well, created six or seven good chances which is a good sign," Mariners coach Graham Arnold said.

"The movement was a bit slow in the first half but that improved in the second half. I think we deserved to win the game."

The Mariners did have a scare before half-time when Wilkinson went down with a knee injury but Arnold confirmed his leader will be fine to tackle the Roar next week.

"We came through the game fine," he said.

Central Coast 1 (Patricio Perez 90-)

Newcastle 0

Crowd: 9975