Win boosts Mariners to second

The Central Coast Mariners have moved into second place on the Hyundai A-League ladder with a comprehensive 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets in a typically tough F3 derby clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Central Coast Mariners have moved into second place on the Hyundai A-League ladder with a comprehensive 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets in a typically tough F3 derby clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

A 14th minute poacher's goal from Matt Simon gave the Mariners an early lead in front of a season-best Newcastle crowd of 13,467 before substitute John Hutchinson sealed the win with a clinical strike three minutes before full-time.

The win moves the Mariners to 43 points on the table, equal with Adelaide United but ahead on goal difference, with the Central Coast side having the advantage of a game in hand over the South Australians.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold said he was satisfied with the derby win.

"Overall for our third game in a week, with Wellington, Brisbane and then Newcastle here I was very proud of the boy's performance," Arnold said after the match.

"It was a bit sloppy at times but overall I have to be happy with a 2-0 win here in Newcastle."

The Jets hold onto sixth place despite the loss but will have to regroup with a seriously undermanned squad when they travel to Queensland to take on the Gold Coast next Saturday night.

The Jets went into the clash with a host of senior players on the injury list and they were dealt an early blow when skipper Kasey Wehrman hobbled off the ground with an ankle injury after a clash with Patricio Perez in just the 6th minute of the match.

Youth League player James Virgili came on as Wehrman's replacement in an attacking midfielder's role with Ruben Zadkovich moving back just in front of the back four.

With the Jets in a sense of disarray the Mariners took advantage, controlling play in the midfield and going on the attack at will and less than 10 minutes later they netted the opening goal.

An Oliver Bozanic Jets long ball looked like being easily dealt with by Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley but he didn't get enough on his back pass to keeper Ben Kennedy and Simon pounced on the loss ball to slot it into the corner of the net from 15 yards.

Newcastle eventually settled into a rhythm and created their first real chance on goal midway through the first half on the counter. A Ryan Griffiths cross the left flank saw Labinot Haliti get in front of Patrick Zwaanswijk in front of goal but the Jets striker could only direct his shot at Mariners goalkeeper Matthew Ryan.

Newcastle was finding plenty of space down the right wing through Virgili and Zadkovich but the Mariners defence looked comfortable maintaining their 1-0 lead at the break.

The Jets came out for the second half desperate to draw level and were on the attack within minutes when Zadkovich forced a sharp save from Ryan after some nice lead-up work from Tarek Elrich and Marko Jesic.

Just moments later the Mariners should have put the game to bed when Adam Kwasnik was put through on goal by a lovely pass from Michael McClinchey but the Mariners striker fired wide of the target.

The Jets brought on veteran striker Sasho Petrovski to try to force a goal and despite some enterprising work down the wings the home side was unable to break down the well-organised Central Coast defence.

Simon should have grabbed his second in the 77th minute when he was one-on-one with Kennedy but the Jets glovesman got down low to effect a strong reflex save.

The visitors eventually put the game beyond doubt when McClinchey squared to Hutchinson on the edge of the box and the Mariners favourite slotted a lovely right-footed shot inside the far post to hand his side a deserved victory.

Jets coach Branko Culina said the combination of the loss of Wehrman and Matt Simon's early goal was too big a hurdle for his side to overcome.

"It was significant (to lose) our most inspirational player and one of our best players and the fact that we lost him early," Culina said.

"And it doesn't help when you make a huge mistake with the first goal that early."

Newcastle Jets 0 Central Coast Mariners 2 Simon 14', Hutchinson 87' Crowd 13, 467 at EnergyAustralia Stadium