Mariners get first win

A trio of goals of the highest order have helped the Central Coast Mariners post their first win of the Hyundai A-League season, 4-2 against the Queensland Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

A trio of goals of the highest order have helped the Central Coast Mariners post their first win of the Hyundai A-League season, 4-2 against the Queensland Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

While much of the pre-match interest focused on comeback keeper Mark Bosnich, it was his teammates Matt Simon, Mile Jedinak and Dylan Macallister who ended up stealing the show.

Simon gave the Mariners a 1-0 advantage in the first half with a fine finish from an acute angle, while Jedinak put the visitors two goals up in the third minute of the second half with a rocket free kick.

Macllister, meanwhile, enjoyed a dream debut for the Mariners, scoring his side's third and fourth goals - the latter with an expertly taken right-foot curler into the top corner.

Bosnich, playing his first game for seven years, largely had a quiet evening at the other end of the field. But did play a big part in the second-half drama - beaten by Charlie Miller's deft free kick and then bringing down Massimo Murdocca to concede a penalty.

The spot kick was duly converted by Sergio van Dijk in the 73rd minute and reduced the deficit to 4-2, ensuring Lawrie McKinna-s men enjoyed a nervous final 17 minutes.

The Roar pressed hard in hope of getting something out of the game. However, the Central Coast defence held firm for a well-deserved three points.

"We came to do a job - we felt as though we had been unlucky the last couple of weeks," Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna said.

"We thought we knew how they would play and I thought we shut them down pretty well. It goes on how many saves Mark Bosnich had to make and I think in the first half he only touched the ball once. They had a bit of ball but they didn't really create a lot.

"Overall coming to Queensland and winning 4-2, not many teams do that, especially after the way they played last week against Adelaide. It's a very hard trip."

"I thought we were pretty much on top in the first stanza until we conceded the goal," Queensland coach Frank Farina said.

"We killed ourselves - two terrible mistakes that were very unlike Liam (Reddy). We were behind the eightball from the first goal and for it to happen again within the 90 minutes was a killer.

"We gave away two very bad goals, had to chase the game and found it very difficult."

Just as was the case when the two sides met in the pre-season, the Roar went unrewarded for spending large portions of the first 45 minutes in Central Coast-s half of the pitch.

The visitors looked content to soak up early pressure and generate opportunities on the counter-attack - a strategy that paid dividends when Simon scored brilliantly in the 31st minute.

Pedj Bojic robbed Charlie Miller wide on the left and his probing ball from just shy of half-way drew Roar keeper Liam Reddy out to the edge of his box.

Simon still had plenty to do, but he did it superbly, taking the ball round Reddy and Luke DeVere with his first touch and then rolling it home from an acute angle.

The Mariners were creating the better of the chances and Simon had Reddy on the move again in the 44th minute with a dangerous hooked right-foot ball across the box.

Bosnich had his first touch inside the opening 30 seconds but wasn't called into serious action until the 46th minute, when he came to claim a dangerous looking Miller free kick.

That said, the former Manchester United, Chelsea and Aston Villa stopper would have had some work to do had the Roar enjoyed a little better fortune on its forays forward.

Miller found Michael Zullo with a delightful cutback in the 23rd minute, but the dimunitive winger could not make decisive contact with his shot.

Van Dijk also had a good first-half chance, but his potentially goal-bound right-foot strike hit Central Coast bodies and bounced around the area like a pinball.

The Mariners suffered a major blow in the 12th minute when Ahmad Elrich left the field with what was suspected to be a season-ending knee injury.

Queensland Roar 2 (Miller 69, van Dijk 73) Central Coast Mariners 4 (Simon 31, Jedinak 48, Macallister 64, 71) Crowd: 12,185 at Suncorp Stadium.