A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners got back on the winners’ list after a 1-0 triumph against Perth Glory in Gosford on Monday.
Mariners youngster Bernie Ibini, on as a substitute, scored the winner on 68 minutes as the men in navy and yellow moved to 30 points after 14 games of the season.
Ibini chested down a cross from Oliver Bozanic before slotting home with the left foot for his third goal of the season.
To rub salt into the wound for the visitors, Perth defender Bas Van Den Brink will miss the visit of Sydney FC after he was sent off for two bookable offences.
Later, a Dario Vidosic masterclass piloted Adelaide United to a comprehensive 3-0 triumph over Sydney FC at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Classy Vidosic bumped his season goal tally to a team-high eight with two first-half strikes before Iain Ramsay potted one of the easiest goals of his career, which allowed United to snap their two-match losing skid and enter 2013 on a high.
Vidosic, with the expert assistance of Cassio and Marcelo Carrusca, ran rings around the visitors, whose midfield were run ragged all evening.
Central defender Iain Fyfe repeatedly took charge in the back third and Bruce Djite was in the thick of all the forward action.
The hamstrung Sky Blues were missing a host of players, including veteran Italian maestro Alessandro Del Piero, and were dealt an early body blow when veteran midfielder Adam Griffiths hobbled off in the 12th minute, replaced by Aaron Calver.
After a relatively tame opening, United soon seized complete control and bossed the visitors thoroughly for much of the contest.
Vidosic got the ball rolling in the 18th minute when, from the centre of the box, he nodded home a peach of a Carrusca cross past the outstretched clutches of Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic and into the corner of the net.
Ten minutes later, the Reds made it 2-0 after Djite was felled inside the 18-yard box by Sky Blues stopper Sebastian Ryall.
Referee Jarred Gillett spotted the infringement and dead-ball specialist Vidosic made no mistake, rifling the penalty straight down the guts, deceiving a prone Janjetovic.
Ramsay bagged the third in the 61st minute when he walked in a gift of a goal, poking one home from the deflection off Janjetovic, who was still semi-prone, having dived to save Djite’s shot seconds earlier.