Foootball: Phoenix fall to Mariners

Last week's hat-trick hero Daniel McBreen continued his goal-scoring spree as Central Coast Mariners downed Wellington Phoenix 1-0 in their sixth-round A-League match at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

The Mariners, who demolished Sydney 7-2 the previous weekend, weren't allowed the same space or time on the ball by the Phoenix.

But they still managed to notch up their fourth win of the season and jump to the top of the ladder.

McBreen's 67th minute strike came after a scoreless first half, and was set up by Tomas Rogic's superb run and pinpoint cross into the middle.

Both teams had struggled for accuracy in the attacking third in a fast-paced first half which featured plenty of end-to-end play.

The Mariners' defence has been miserly in their first five matches of the season, conceding four goals and keeping a clean sheet on three occasions.

Although midfielder Alex Smith proved a handful on occasion, and Phoenix strikers Paul Ifill and Stein Huysegems threatened at times, there were very few clear-cut chances for the home team despite pressing hard in the closing 10 minutes.

Patrick Zwaanswijk calmly marshalled the Mariners' back four, the experienced Josh Rose and Pedj Bojic combining with 20-year-old up-and-comer Trent Sainsbury to hold off a series of Phoenix forays as fulltime approached.

At the other end of the field, the return of Ben Sigmund after his one-match suspension gave the Phoenix a more settled look at the back.

But the defence was kept increasingly busy as Mariners playmakers Rogic and Michael McGlinchey ran with power and purpose, silencing the 6568-strong crowd desperate to see the Phoenix add to their solitary win of the season.

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