Melbourne City sink the Mariners to move clear on top of the table

That all changed when they were taken over by the City Football Group in mid-2014, the new owners changing the team’s name and colours to City and sky blue.

In difficult conditions last night City struggled initially to impose themselves on their opponents and the Mariners, buoyed by their win in Perth five days ago, began to grow in confidence.

Simply Brillante: Central Coast’s Gianni Stensness gives chase as City midfielder Josh Brillante surges forward.Credit:Getty Images

The visitors pressed well, preventing City from building up from the back and after some good pressure it was Sammy Silvera, Central Coast’s teenage striker, who flashed a shot wide.

Craig Noone took advantage of a Giancarlo Gallifuoco slip to create an attacking chance for City but blazed wide in the 11th minute.

Ball up: Tommy Oar of the Mariners (left) takes on Rostyn Griffiths of City.

Ball up: Tommy Oar of the Mariners (left) takes on Rostyn Griffiths of City.Credit:Getty Images

City made the breakthrough in the 17th minute from a set piece after centre back Harrison Delbridge’s enterprising run from deep carried the ball forward. Eventually a half clearance fell to Scott Jamieson, whose long-range shot was tipped over the bar by Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.

From Noone’s short corner Lachie Wales drove over a cross and centre half Curtis Good escaped his marker Dylan Fox and flicked a glancing header wide of Birighitti.

It was a signature moment for the injury-plagued central defender whose talents as a youngster saw Premier League Newcastle sign him on a long-term deal.

These days Good, a former Socceroo, is rebuilding his career in the A-League and this was his first goal since he netted against Brisbane in round 22 in season 2011-12 – and he celebrated with gusto.

Tommy Oar, another former Socceroo, tested Dean Bouzanis in the City goal with a shot the latter palmed to safety. Noone shot wide when he made space at the other end, and a few minutes later struck the bar with a shot from distance.

The Mariners went in search of a leveller early in the second half as the game inevitably started to stretch, Milan Duric’s header easily dealt with by Bouzanis. But City doubled their lead just before the hour mark and it was through Uruguayan striker Adrian Luna, who netted his first A-League goal.

Good this time turned provider, his pass down the left finding Connor Metcalfe. The young midfielder’s cross was turned in first time by Luna, who got there just before Mariners defender Kye Rowles to slide the ball home.

That was in the 59th minute and four minutes later Luna almost doubled his tally, his free kick forcing Birighitti into a fine diving save.

Two goals to the good, City had the buffer they wanted and began to take control of the game. They got their third in the 81st minute when Rostyn Griffiths swept home at the far post when the Mariners failed to clear Wales’ cross. Jordan Murray’s 89th-minute strike was just a consolation for the Mariners.

Halving the deficit: Jordan Murray beats City keeper Dean Bouzanis to put the Mariners back in the hunt.

Halving the deficit: Jordan Murray beats City keeper Dean Bouzanis to put the Mariners back in the hunt.Credit:Getty Images

City’s win means that Erick Mombaerts’ side is now unbeaten in five matches, with four wins and a draw.

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