Weekend Wrap - Round 9

Adelaide United returned to the top of the table for the first time in almost a year

Adelaide United returned to the top of the table for the first time in almost a year, after showing terrific stamina and resilience to come from behind and beat Perth Glory; while Sydney FC recorded its first win over Melbourne in the Victorian capital; highlighted by John Aloisi netting his first goal for the club. Central Coast won the F3 derby over Newcastle, while Queensland continued its impressive away form with a win over Wellington at a cold Westpac Stadium.

Results - Round 9 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 1 beat Newcastle Jets 0 Melbourne Victory 0 lost SYDNEY FC 2 Wellington Phoenix 0 lost QUEENSLAND ROAR 1 ADELAIDE UNITED 2 beat Perth Glory 1

Game Wraps

The Central Coast Mariners stayed in touch with the leaders after Dylan Macallister-s lone first half goal proved enough in the F3 derby against Newcastle Jets at Bluetongue Stadium. Macallister-s third goal of the season put the stamp on an impressive first half by the Mariners, as they put the previous weekend-s insipid display against Wellington behind them. Macallister did brilliantly for his goal, getting a cross from Matt Simon, before beating three Jets defenders in the box and striking his shot past Ante Covic. Newcastle showed more fight in the second half, although the makeshift Mariners defence missing a number of regulars held firm. Jobe Wheelhouse should have done better with a chance near the end, but didn-t trouble Danny Vukovic.

Sydney FC broke one of its hoodoo-s with a well deserved 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at the Telstra Dome. Goals from Mark Bridge and John Aloisi sealed the valuable 3 points, which saw Sydney leapfrog Melbourne on the table. Sydney went into the match with probably its most inexperienced backline, with Beau Busch and Anthony Golec handed debuts in the absence of Tony Popovic and Iain Fyfe, but in truth Melbourne rarely troubled the Sydney goal. After an impressive opening by the visitors they duly took the lead in the 20th minute, when Bridge was on hand to poke home from close range after Melbourne had failed to clear from a corner. Melbourne briefly threatened with Grant Brebner wasting a good chance sending his header high. It was substitutes Bobby Petta and Aloisi that combined to seal the points in the 62nd minute, Petta pouncing on an error by Rod Vargas; crossing to Aloisi, who flicked the ball over a diving Michael Theoklitos and going in off the underside of the bar, much to the disappointment of the 31,000+ crowd on hand.

Queensland Roar again proved their away form is much better than their home form, with a narrow 1-0 win over a disappointing Wellington Phoenix at a cold Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Josh McCloughan scored the only goal of the game just five minutes before half time, heading home from a corner, his header squeezing home inside the far post. This followed a rasping drive from Charlie Miller that Mark Paston forced away for the corner kick. In the second half, Phoenix took the game more to Queensland, with the home side having several chances to equalise late in the match; the best falling to Leo Bertos, whose run beat the offside trap, but he put his shot over the bar with only Liam Reddy to beat. The win kept Roar within touching distance of the top four.

The final match of the weekend, saw Asian Champions League finalist Adelaide United host Perth Glory, just 36 hours after landing back in Adelaide after their ACL semi final in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Given the travel that the players have had to undertake, it was not surprising that coach Aurelio Vidmar rested up to six starting players, but in somewhat of a surprise, it was Adelaide that finished the stronger of the two teams and grabbed a 2-1 win at Hindmarsh Stadium in front of over 10,000 fans. Perth, after its win over Sydney the weekend before, was expected to come out hard early but it was Adelaide that looked the more settled early and had the better of the chances, with Kristian Sarkies denied by Tando Velaphi and seeing another go wide from close range. Perth lifted the intensity after the break with Jaime Coyne hitting the woodwork and then they took the lead in the 55th minute, when Nikita Rukavytsya raced onto a cross from the left that took him in behind the defence and he squeezed his shot past young Mark Birighitti at the near post. Adelaide upped the tempo and it was substitute Robert Younis that provided the spark when his cross found Alameo, who had the easiest of tap-ins from 3 yards. Minutes later, Adelaide received a penalty, when Coyne fouled Travis Dodd on the edge of the box and Dodd picked himself up and converted his spot kick.

Weekend Goals Tally: 7

Card Count: 16 yellows - 0 reds

Attendance/Average: 58,403 / 16,600

Goal of the Week It often takes something special to decide a derby game and Dylan Macallister managed that on Friday night. While it wasn-t the classic thumping strike from outside the box, Macallister showed great skill and composure in a tight situation with his back to goal, to turn 3 defenders inside out and then get a good shot past Ante Covic.

Player of the Week Sydney FC went into the match against Melbourne with a pretty woeful record and a vastly inexperienced line-up. Only Robbie Middleby was a mainstay of the defensive unit, with Beau Busch and Anthony Golec making debuts and midfielder Mitchell Prentice given the task of organiser. The former Perth Glory player, did a superb job to marshall his two inexperienced players throughout the match, so much so that Melbourne-s chances were few and far between.

One to Watch Anthony Golec is just 17, but showed composure beyond his years in help stifling the hugely talented attacking Victory forward line. While he will most likely drop back to the Youth League with Tony Popovic-s and Iain Fyfe-s return, Golec has shown that he is ready whenever the need arises.

Leading Goalscorers 6 - Danny Allsopp (MV), Shane Smeltz (WP) 5 - Charlie Miller (QR), Cristiano (AU), Matt Simon (CCM) 4 - Eugene Dadi (PG), Mile Jedinak (CCM) 3 - Alex Brosque (SFC), Steve Corica (SFC), Joel Griffiths (NJ), Dylan Macallister (CCM), Sasho Petrovski (CCM), Nikita Rukavytsya (PG), Archie Thompson (MV)