Sky Blues go top

Sydney FC has moved to the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder after Terry McFlynn's first-half goal saw off Central Coast 1-0 in an entertaining NSW derby at the SFS on Monday afternoon.


Sydney FC has moved to the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder after Terry McFlynn's first-half goal saw off Central Coast 1-0 in an entertaining NSW derby at the SFS on Monday afternoon.

The Sky Blues also had keeper Clint Bolton to thank with two brilliant saves in each half to help see off a plucky Mariners side.

Befitting this fixture's reputation for goals and action, the game lived up to the hype with a free-flowing encounter in front of 13,887 fans.

Central Coast was denied the lead after 15 minutes by a world-class save from Bolton. Striker Dylan Macallister's header from six yards out looked goal-bound before the shotstopper somehow saved the ball right on the post.

Sydney made the Mariners pay and opened the scoring five minutes later with a superbly worked goal. Captain Steve Corica kept possession under pressure before finding Stuart Musialik with a low ball.

The midfielder's perfectly flighted cross was met by McFlynn whose bullet-header flashed past Danny Vukovic in the Mariners' goal.

Sydney should have extended its lead with two good chances later in the half. A three on two break saw Corica, Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque combine but the move broke down.

And minutes later, left back Sung-Hwan Byun linked up with an attack started by Corica and Brosque but the South Korean blasted the ball high and wide.

Bolton again saved Sydney with five minutes to go in the first half. Mariners defender Michael Boogaard's dipping shot was tipped over the bar by the former Qantas Socceroos keeper.

But with Pim Verbeek watching on, Bolton almost blotted his copybook just minutes after the break after treading on the ball and blasting it into a Mariners player on the edge of the box. The ball spilled loose but somehow Sydney survived the scare.

The chances continued as both sides pressed forward. Bridge's brilliant chest and volley on the edge of the box was parried wide by Vukovic.

And moments earlier, Corica and Karol Kisel combined with the Slovak's low cross just eluding Bridge's outstretched leg as the home side pressed for a second.

But it was the Mariners who almost equalised on 67 minutes with a magical volley from the edge of the box from Mike McGlinchey, which was tipped over superbly by Bolton.

Brad Porter came on after 72 minutes for the tricky Nick Travis as the Mariners pressed hard in the final minutes.

The visitors finished strongly creating numerous chances as a huge rainstorm approached but they couldn't find a way past Bolton's goal.

Sydney FC 1 (McFlynn 20) Central Coast 0 @ the SFS, October 5, 2009. Crowd: 13,887