Sydney still unbeaten

Sydney FC has maintained its 100 percent start to the season with an entertaining 2-1 victory over Central Coast at Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday.

Sydney FC has maintained its 100 percent start to the season with an entertaining 2-1 victory over Central Coast at Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday.

A superb first-half header from Central Coast striker Brady Smith gave the bottom-of-the-table visitors the lead nine minutes before the break.

This was cancelled out by Brendan Gan's effort in the second half as Sydney came back into the contest. And it was substitute Kerim Bulut's cool finish with just a minute of normal time left that won it for the young sky blues.

Sydney was best served by attacking midfielder Robbie Mileski, striker Chris Payne and Chris Triantis in the middle of the park.

For the Central Coast, senior players Andre Gumprecht and Greg Owens and new Italian import Andrea Merenda were impressive while Nathan Sherlock was a rock at the heart of its defence.

The home side fashioned the first chances of the game to full back Marc Warren and Mileski who both had efforts that failed to trouble Andrew Redmayne.

But Mileski should've scored on 22 minutes when he found space in the box and snapped a low shot that beat the keeper but was cleared off the line by defender Steve Tibbittts.

Sydney was to rue this miss as in their first clear-cut effort, the Mariners took the lead on 37 minutes.

Gumprecht worked the ball for Scott Wright who burst into the box on the left, beat a defender and his bullet cross was powered home by the head of Smith.

And a minute later, it could have been 2-0 as Darko Vidovic's chested control, turn and shot was blasted inches over Vedran Janjetovic's goal.

Sydney started the stronger in the second term and deservedly drew level after seven minutes.

A set piece wasn't cleared by the Mariners' defence and Chris Payne's persistence in winning the ball saw his toe poke reach Gan who smashed the ball home from just inside the six-yard box.

Kofi Danning should've made it 2-1 to Sydney with a golden opportunity just minutes later but his shot from inside the box flew over the bar.

Chris Payne was becoming increasingly influential and it was his brilliant curling shot on 65 minutes that was well saved by Redmayne.

The former Manly United teen had another run and shot 10 minutes later as the home side finished the stronger, laying siege to the Mariners' goal.

Right on full-time it was Danning's tricky work down the right which presented Bulum with his chance to score and he slotted home the winnner with aplomb - his second goal in as many weeks for the undefeated Sydney.

Match Details

Sydney FC 2 (Brendan Gan 52-, Kerim Bulut 89-) Central Coast Mariners 1 (Brady Smith 37-)

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Saturday 1 November 2008 Referee: Gary Vandeburgt

Sydney FC line-up: 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Rhyan GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN (8.Anthony MUSUMECI 60-), 4.Chris TRIANTIS, 6.Chris PAYNE, 7.Robbie MILESKI (5.Jared LUM 60-), 9.Sean ROONEY (15.Kerim BULUT 60-), 10.Zach CAIRNCROSS, 11.Kofi DANNING, 12.Ibrahim HAYDAR, 14.Brendan GAN

Yellow cards: Zach Caincross 73- Red Cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners line-up: 1.Matthew NASH (gk)(OA), 2.Steven TIBBETTS, 5.Nathan SHERLOCK, 6.Andre GUMPRECHT (OA), 7.Matthew LEWIS, 13.Laurence BRAUDE, 9.Brady SMITH, 11.Darko VIDOVIC (8.Ty OWENS 60-), 12.Scott WRIGHT, 21.Andrea MERENDA (OA)( 4.Sean MITCHELL 60-) , 15.Greg OWENS (OA)( 10.Glen TRIFIRO 60-)

Yellow cards: Sean Mitchell 63- Red Cards: Nil