Sydney returns to winners' list

Runaway National Youth League leader Sydney hit back in style with an impressive 3-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday night.

Runaway National Youth League leader Sydney hit back in style with an impressive 3-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday night.

Sydney was beaten for the first time this season against Newcastle last week but returned to winning form against a Mariners side unbeaten in its past three games.

The Mariners fought hard but never really threatened a rampant Sydney in the second half.

Scores were locked at 1-1 at the break with Zach Cairncross opening the scoring for Sydney in only the fifth minute.

Cairncross capitalised on some sloppy Mariners defence to volley past goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne from close range.

The Mariners responded well and scored a deserved equaliser through Greg Owens' second goal in as many games in the 29th minute but it was all Sydney in the second half.

Young Socceroo Sam Munro bundled the ball over the line from close range in the 48th minute for his first goal of the campaign after the Mariners again failed to clear the ball.

Sydney had several other chances to stretch its lead but some poor finishing and good goalkeeping from half-time replacement Matthew Nash kept the home side in the hunt.

Any chance Central Coast had of equalising all but ended in the 65th minute when captain Brady Smith picked up a second yellow card and was sent off for the second time this season.

Smith was captain with regular skipper Nathan Sherlock out for several weeks with a knee injury.

Kofi Danning, who had a good game in attack for the Sydneysiders, sealed a solid victory with a well-taken third goal with time almost up.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Greg Owens 29-) Sydney FC 3 (Zach Cairncross 5-, Sam Munro 48-, Kofi Danning 87-)

Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Saturday 13 December 2008

Referee: Kurt Ams Assistant Referees: Gareth Askham, Scott Edeling Fourth Official: Matthew Gillett

Central Coast Mariners line-up: 30.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk) (1.Matthew NASH (gk) (OA) 45-), 2.Steven TIBBETTS (3.Nick KAPSIS 60-), 6.David D-APUZZO (17.Matthew LEWIS 60-), 7.Andrew CLARK (OA), 9.Brady SMITH, 10.Glen TRIFIRO, 11.Darko VIDOVIC (8.Ty OWENS 60-), 12.Scott WRIGHT, 13.Laurence BRAUDE, 14.Greg OWENS (OA), 16.Paul O-GRADY (OA)

Substitutes not used: Nil

Yellow cards: Brady Smith 42-/66-, Greg Owens 68-, Ty Owens 72- Red Cards: Brady Smith 66-

Sydney FC line-up: 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Rhyan GRANT, 4.Chris TRIANTIS, 5.Luke AUSTIN (6.Kearyn BACCUS 57-), 7.Robbie MILESKI, 8.Marc WARREN, 9.Kerim BULUT (15.Corey GAMEIRO 61-), 10.Zach CAIRNCROSS, 11.Kofi DANNING, 12.Ibrahim HAYDAR, 13.Sam MUNRO

Substitutes not used: Nil

Yellow cards: Kerim Bulut 26-, Marc Warren 38- Red Cards: Nil