A late strike from Corey Brown has earned Brisbane Roar a valuable three points on the road in Gosford on Saturday evening.
A tense encounter appeared destined for a stalemate until Brown's dangerous low ball from the left wing beat Mariners keeper Mark Birighitti with the assistance of a slight deflection.
The result means it's consecutive victories for the first time this season for Robbie Fowler's men & sees the Roar climb into the top six.
“It was a really important win & hopefully we keep climbing," Brown said.
“We always go out to win the game. You saw the desperation in defence & if you bring that desperation, you’re going to win more games than not.”
It was desperation in defence which kept the scores locked partway through the second half with a slice of luck & a heroic goal-line block from Scott Neville keeping out what was looking like a certain goal for Mariners' attacker Tommy Oar.
The Roar had quality chances at the other end of their own with Mark Birighitti regularly called into action, most notably to deny Bradden Inman on his right boot late in the first half.
Jamie Young put in another strong contender for Save of the Week, lunging high to his left to tip over a goal-bound strike with less than 20 minutes on the clock.
Head Coach Robbie Fowler praised a "professional" performance from his squad in testing conditions in Gosford.
"We’re quietly going along. Last week was a really good performance, and this week was a good one too in terms of what we wanted from the lads," Fowler said.
"Teams will come here will find it tough with the way they set up. To come here & get the three points was brilliant – a really good, professional performance.
"We’ve done a good job & kept another clean sheet which is good. We’re in a good place at the moment."
The result extends the Roar's unbeaten run against the Mariners to an incredible 17 games ahead of a date with ladder leader Sydney FC in Kogarah.
Brisbane Roar - Brown 86' - 0-1
Corey Brown's low ball into the area deflects off a defender, beating Birighitti at the near post for the decisive goal.
Hyundai A-League 2019/20: Round 16 - Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Saturday, 25 January
Central Coast Mariners 0
Brisbane Roar 1 (Brown 86')