Phoenix down Mariners

Mark Bosnich was forced to watch his final game for Central Coast from the bench as the Mariners were upset 1-0 by Wellngton in their Hyundai A-League contest at Gosford.

Mark Bosnich was forced to watch his final game for Central Coast from the bench as the Mariners were upset 1-0 by Wellngton in their Hyundai A-League contest at Gosford.

Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna opted to pick Danny Vukovic in goals ahead of Bosnich as Wellington continued its great run of form with a hard-fought win at Bluetongue Stadium.

Vukovic was back from suspension but could do little as Karl Dodd opened his A-League goalscoring account with a glancing header from a corner in the 53rd minute.

Seconds before Dodd found the back of the net Vukovic denied Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz with a brilliant diving save.

But the goalkeeper could not deny Dodd after the Mariners were beaten at the near post from the corner.

The victory has the New Zealand team in striking distance of the top four after a tough start to the year.

Defeat was extremely disappointing for the Mariners. The home team had the bulk of possession but rarely threatened New Zealand's goal.

In-form midfielder Mile Jedinak came the closest for the Mariners when his long range drive smashed into the crossbar in the 64th minute.

Both teams struggled to deal with the heat in a sloppy first half. Adrian Caceres was dangerous for the Mariners, while defender Pedj Bojic also pushed forward and went close to scoring with a low shot just before half-time.

Phoenix also had moments in the first half without really threatening Vukovic.

There was more bad news for the Mariners when veteran defender Andrew Clark was helped off midway through the second half with a dislocated shoulder.

He will be a doubtful starter for Friday night's blockbuster against Newcastle at Gosford.

Central Coast Mariners 0 Wellington Phoenix 1 (Karl Dodd 53') @ Bluetongue Stadium Crowd: 9011 Referee: Ben Williams