Last season's losing A-League grand finalists Central Coast are mounting the case that they remain the greatest challengers to Brisbane Roar's football supremacy.
The Mariners overtook Sydney FC to climb into second place behind runaway leaders Brisbane with an entertaining 3-2 win over the Sky Blues at Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.
The Mariners have won three of their past four games and with a touch more luck would have won the other - last weekend's scoreless draw with Melbourne Victory.
The Roar increased their buffer at the top of the table to six points as they extended their unbeaten streak to 35 with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Newcastle at Ausgrid Stadium on Saturday night.
Meanwhile the struggling Wellington Phoenix salvaged a home draw against Adelaide United on Saturday, lifting themselves off the foot of the table into second to last place.