Mariners topple local rivals

The Central Coast Mariners kept top spot in the Westfield W-League with a 3-1 win over F3 derby rival Newcastle although they were made to work hard against their bottom of the table rivals.

The Central Coast Mariners kept top spot in the Westfield W-League with a 3-1 win over F3 derby rival Newcastle although they were made to work hard against their bottom of the table rivals.

There was plenty on the line for both sides, the Mariners desperate to keep Brisbane out of top spot, while the Jets were out to secure their first win of the season.

Central Coast striker Jenna Kingsley made the most of her opportunity, with a player of the match performance in her first match in the starting side since the last match against the Jets.

Central Coast had a slight ascendancy in the early stages, with its enthusiasm creating a couple of half chances.

Striker Michelle Heyman chased down a ball that Newcastle goalkeeper Emma-Kate Dewhurst had underestimated, the stopper diving for the ball just before the quarter-hour.

This was followed in the 17th minute, by a Lydia Vandenburgh free kick hitting the left post.

Newcastle's chances of securing the win were dealt a massive blow in the 23rd minute, when midfielder Amber Neilson was red-carded for dissent.

Central Coast made the most of its numbers and hit the front in the 36th minute, a strong ball into the box from Renee Rollason finished off by prolific goalscorer Heyman.

But the Jets didn't stop fighting and their tenacity paid off in the dying minutes of the half, with Tara Andrews slotting the match-leveller past Jillian Loyden.

The Mariners started the second half strongly and could have had their second when Renee Rollason missed a one-on-one with Dewhurst.

The home side took the lead again in the 70th minute when a corner from Kendall Fletcher was tipped into the back of the net by Dewhurst.

The Mariners sealed the match with a third goal, as Vandenburgh was left unmarked in front of goal.

Central Coast was dealt a blow in the final minutes, captain Caitlin Cooper receiving her third yellow card of the season and with it a one-match ban, missing next weekend-s home game against Sydney.