Mariners outdo Phoenix

Central Coast Mariners strike duo Matt Simon and Bernie Ibini scored a goal apiece to give their team a 2-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Friday night.

Central Coast Mariners strike duo Matt Simon and Bernie Ibini scored a goal apiece to give their team a 2-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Friday night.

Ibini sparked the game into life with the opening goal three minutes after the break.

The Australia youth international got on the end of Simon's enticing left-wing cross three minutes after half-time.

Chris Greenacre looked to have rescued a point for the Phoenix with a calm finish from Dani Sanchez's precise through ball after 68 minutes.

But 10 minutes out from full time, Simon placed a low shot past Tony Warner from a right-wing assist from former Phoenix player Troy Hearfield.

The Mariners claimed their second successive Hyundai A-League victory having inflicted defeat on Perth Glory last time out.

Home coach Ricki Herbert had made two changes after his team's 2-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory last week, introducing Brent Griffiths and Manny Muscat to his defence.

Ibini and Simon led an unchanged team and combined well throughout the match.

They had the first two meaningful chances of a scrappy opening period and paired up again in the 33rd minute to set up Daniel McBreen.

Ibini eventually went close from a rebound after Simon's low pass from the left.

Moments later, Greenacre headed wide from Daniel's cross for the hosts' most clear cut opportunity of the half.

The Mariners deserved a lead on balance of play and went close to breaking the deadlock twice in first-half injury time.

Wellington-born Michael McGlinchey set up Royston Griffiths but the midfielder volleyed over.

Oliver Bozanic then sent in an inviting centre from the left, but no other attacker could make contact.

Central Coast did get a deserved goal within three minutes of the restart, again through Simon linking with Ibini.

Simon charged down the left once more and produced a tantalising cross.

His Nigerian-born strike partner tucked away the centre with a finish Tony Warner couldn't turn around his far post.

The Phoenix responded, and looked to have got back in the game when their player-coach Greenacre latched on to Sanchez's pass and slotted past Matt Ryan.

The veteran's second strike of the season gave his team impetus for a grandstand finish, but Simon had the last laugh.

The target man received a centre from ex-Wellington utility Hearfield to slot home.

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Greenacre 68) Central Coast Mariners 2 (Ibini 48, Simon 80)