Mariners hold on to defeat Wellington

Patricio Perez had his best game for Central Coast as the Mariners kept alive their hopes of a top two finish in the Hyundai A-League with a 1-0 win against Wellington at Gosford on Sunday.

Patricio Perez had his best game for Central Coast as the Mariners kept alive their hopes of a top two finish in the Hyundai A-League with a 1-0 win against Wellington at Gosford on Sunday.

Michael McGlinchey scored his first goal of the season in the 41st minute, but it was Perez who was the difference between the teams at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

Perez, who played for Argentina at under-20 level, was outstanding, especially in the first half.

He went on several telling runs, including one to create McGlinchey‘s winning goal before the break. Perez picked up possession in midfield, delivered a perfectly timed ball to Joshua Rose. Rose then cut the ball back to McGlinchey who fired home.

It was only McGlinchey‘s second goal for the Mariners and continued a great run of form for the Kiwi international.

Wellington started the match on top, creating several chances, including a great opportunity to Dylan Macallister inside the first minute.

But the Mariners warmed to the task and started to dictate play midway through the first half with Perez a major factor.

The Mariners could have gone two goals up just after half-time but Patrick Zwaanswijk‘s header hit the crossbar. The home team had another chance to kill off the game a minute later with Rose firing wide. He should have at least hit the target.

Central Coast had most of the possession in the second half but could not manage a second goal. As the second half went on Wellington came more into the match.

Macallister had a powerful freekick well saved in the 75th minute. That was the visitors best chances as the third placed Mariners managed to hold on for a crucial victory to keep them within striking distance of second placed Adelaide.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold was delighted with the win.

"I thought the first six minutes were poor but afer that there was only one team on the field in the first half,'' Arnold said.

"I'm very happy with the performance. The improvement in this side is enormous.'' Wellington coach Ricki Herbert was proud of the fight his side showed in the second half."

Despite the loss the Phoenix can still make the top six.

"We've got our destiny in our own hands,'' he said.

Central Coast 1 (Michael McGlinchey 41‘) Wellington 0 Crowd: 6844