Mariners rolled as Roar pick up speed
Brisbane Roar have continued their dominance over the Central Coast Mariners to move into the A-League's top six.
A late Corey Brown strike that took a deflection off Mariners defender Lewis Miller proved the difference as the Roar extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a 1-0 win in Gosford on Saturday.
The Roar are now undefeated in their past 17 A-League matches against the Mariners, whose defeat keeps them second last on the ladder.
Brisbane's fifth win of the season moved them into sixth spot on the table, a point ahead of Adelaide United.
While the Reds can move back into the sixth at the Roar's expense by avoiding defeat against Western United on Sunday, Brisbane's season is gaining momentum.
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"We're in a good place at the minute," Roar coach Robbie Fowler said.
"For us to come here and get the three points was brilliant … a good professional performance."
However, Brisbane will need to step up a couple of gears on yesterday's performance if they are to trouble A-League leaders Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium on Friday night.
"We still want a bit more, we always do," said Fowler, whose side was thrashed 5-1 by the Sky Blues at the same venue last month.
"Sydney are a good team. We'll go there and try to give it our best shot because that's all we can do."
Fowler made three changes to the team that started in the Roar's 1-0 home win over Wellington Phoenix last weekend.
Skipper Tom Aldred returned from suspension to replace Daniel Bowles in defence, while attacking pair Scott McDonald and Dylan Wenzel-Halls came in for Mirza Muratovic and Rahmat Akbari.
Wenzel-Halls was immediately in the action, forcing a smart save out of Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti in just the third minute.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net in the 17th minute via a Scott Neville header but the defender was correctly ruled offside.
Brad Inman had a decent opportunity on the half-hour mark, but again Birighitti came to the Mariners' rescue with a good save.
The Mariners also had their share of chances, and should have taken the lead in the 60th minute.
Clever midfielder Milan Duric crossed to an unmarked Danny De Silva, whose header, while too good for Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young, hit the post.
From the same passage of play, the ball fell for former Roar prodigy Tommy Oar, whose goal-bound shot was blocked by defender Neville.
The ball was then moved swiftly up the other end of the park, where a hesitant Inman failed to get a shot away from a dangerous position in the Mariners' penalty area.
Soon after it was again the Mariners' turn to attack, with Jordan Murray forcing an excellent save out of Young.
Just when it seemed the teams would have to settle for a share of the points, left-back Brown, in just his second appearance since re-joining the Roar from Melbourne Victory, settled the contest in the 86th minute with angled strike that clipped Miller on its way to the back of the net.
"I think I was crossing the ball (but) I'll take it," a sheepish Brown told Fox Sports.
Full-time BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Corey Brown 87m) bt CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0 at Central Coast Stadium. Crowd: 4,539. Referee: Adam Fielding.