A-League: Wellington Phoenix beat Central Coast Mariners in Gosford

Wellington Phoenix celebrating.
Wellington Phoenix celebrating. Photo credit: Image: Getty

Wellington have continued their march towards the A-League finals with a 3-1 win over lowly Central Coast in Gosford on Sunday.

In front of a crowd of 3,773 at Central Coast Stadium, Phoenix corrected their recent struggles away from home against the struggling Mariners.

Ufuk Talay's men had lost their last two games on the road - their only defeats from their past 15 A-League matches.

In stark contrast, Alen Stajcic's men have kept just one clean sheet this season, have conceded 18 goals in their past five games, and have lost each of their last eight matches.

The Mariners started with enthusiasm but once again lost their way early on.

In took just 18 minutes for Wellington teenager Liberato Cacace to celebrate his 50th A-League appearance by slotting the opening goal past Mark Birighitti.

Gary Hooper made the most of some weak defending to score his third in four games 12 minutes later, and substitute Jaushua Sotirio polished off the win with an almost identical goal late in the second half.

A nice strike from Brazilian Jair in the 89th minute put the Mariners on the board and prevented Phoenix from claiming a third straight clean sheet.

It's the eighth loss in a row for the Mariners and it's been two months since they defeated Melbourne Victory 3-2 in Gosford.

The Mariners face Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on March 13 looking for a first win in two months since they defeated Melbourne Victory in Gosford.

Phoenix play Victory at Sky Stadium on March 15