The Central Coast Mariners moved up to second in the A-League table following a 2-0 defeat of local rivals Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium today.
Matt Simon opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Oliver Bozanic played a fine ball over the defence for the striker to chase and finish smartly.
Substitute John Hutchinson then wrapped up the points with three minutes remaining when he latched onto a pass from Michael Baird and then fired beyond Ben Kennedy.
The Mariners are now second with 43 points, level with the third-placed Adelaide United but have a game in hand over the Reds and will be confident of sealing a top-two finish.
"I didn't think at the start of the year we'd be in second place because our goal was to make the top six, and still our goal is to make the top four but we're going to give the top two a real shake," Mariners coach Graham Arnold said on the A-League's official website.
"Overall I think for the third game in a week - we've had Wellington, Brisbane and now Newcastle here - I'm very proud of the boys' performance. It was a bit sloppy at times but overall you've got to be happy with a 2-0 win over Newcastle."
Brisbane Roar lead the Mariners and Adelaide by ten points, despite having their home match with Wellington Phoenix postponed because of Brisbane's floods crisis.