The Mariners have jumped into the A-League top four for the first time since 2015, with a 1-0 win over Perth in front of more than 8,000 at Central Coast Stadium.
The match was won in the 78th minute, when young star Danny De Silva teed up Blake Powell, who had just been subbed on, and Powell popped it past keeper Liam Reddy.
De Silva took out man of the match, off the back of being nominated for NAB's 'Young footballer of the year' for November earlier this week.
The goal followed a first half where the Mariners controlled most of the play. Jake McGing was electric, setting up several shots which were unlucky not to be put away.
It also marks our first back-to-back wins since February, and the first of this season.
The hype came thick and fast post-match, with several commentators declaring the Mariners are back as a force in the A-League.
But Coach Paul Okon kept a lid on things, saying he isn’t setting deadlines for success for his young side.
“We knew from day one we’d be a competitive team,” Okon said. “That’s all we’ve wanted to do and that will continue."
"We’re not looking at top four, top two or top six as aims… I don’t think we’re at the stage as a football club where we can look too far ahead.”
While Paolo said he was happy but not surprised with Powell’s immediate impact. “He scores goals like that every day in training.”
Last week against Wellington he also had an assist.
“I’m delighted for Blake,” said Okon. “He’s worked hard these past six months. We always planned to get him on at some stage, but we didn’t want it to be too early given this is only his second appearance after being out for so long.”
FULL TIME: MARINERS 1, GLORY 0.
91': CHANCE - Not content with his first goal in a year, Powell fires one from well beyond the box that's just wide. A collective "Whoah!" from the crowd follows the ball to the stands. 1-0.
90': SUBSTITUTE - De Silva receives a standing ovation after setting up the game's only goal so far. Trent Buhagiar comes on in the shadows of full time. Three minutes to go.
86': Great passing from Hoole and McGing to set up an opportunity, but Walker's there to intercept it before Pain can collect the ball. 1-0
85': Hoole misses flying shot from right in front. 1-0.
78': GOAL MARINERS! Within a minute of coming on, Blake Powell has cleverly passed to De Silva, who scooted the boundary and centred to the middle of the inner box. Powell was there to finish. We lead 1-0!
We've now scored the opening goal in every round but one in each match this season. However the stats are also our enemy right now - we've conceded eight goals in the final 30 minutes in EVERY match this year.
76': SUBSTITUTE - Blake Powell Comes on for Appiah.
68': CHANCE! Brama glides past the Perth defence and centres the ball. It misses Appiah's head by a matter of inches and goes out. 0-0. While McGing becomes the third Mariners player to get a Yellow card after a heavy challenge on Mills.
67': OFFICIAL ATTENDANCE: 8,115. That family deal the Mariners advertised across this week appears to have had the desired effect! The club lobbied to have this match rescheduled from 7pm to 5pm, after the last 7pm Sunday game, against Victory, drew only 5,500.
65': The opportunities aren't coming as thick and fast as they were in the first half for the Mariners, and it's being attributed to poor passing skills. Still a clean sheet for both sides.
60': CORNER, Hoole's good delivery ricochet's off a couple of Glory players. 0-0.
While Rowles comes off for Rose in the Mariners' first substitution, and Hiariej's been yellow-carded for a foul on Italiano.
55': CHANCE, Perth's Xavier Torres takes a shot from outside the box that's well over the crossbar, slams into the under-construction scoreboard at the Brisbane Water end. While our new guy Kye Rowles has been Yellow-carded for a low tackle on Jeremy Walker.
HALF TIME: CENTRAL COAST 0, PERTH 0.
The Mariners have had most of the play in the first half (59%), and had six shots to two, but haven't been able to convert. While a good save from keeper Ben Kennedy in the final minute ensured things remain level and scoreless at the half.
Jake McGing has the most right to feel disappointed: He set up several attempts from the South-Western end of the Stadium with some superb curling balls. While much of this one has been played in the middle third of the ground (Graphic credit, A-League).
44': CHANCE (Perth)
42': CHANCE, Some fabulous footwork from De Silva is followed up by Hoole, whose cross just misses Pain in the inner box. Goalkeeper Reddy gobbles it up.
41': The Mariners will be pretty disappointed not to score before half time - they've done most of the attacking and have started to get on top of possession since the 10 minute mark.
34': CHANCE (Perth), Nichols shot from the edge of the box beats Kennedy, but trickles harmlessly wide of the net.
30': CHANCE, McGing is killing it, another cross just misses Appiah. Pain gets a foot to it but it's wide. 0-0.
28': BIG CHANCE! Again McGing curls it into Appiah, and his lunging header is well saved by Perth goalie Reddy. Our boys are pushing hard here... 0-0.
22'-23': CHANCE, Hiariej passes cleverly through traffic to set up Pain, but his shot from the edge of the box is deflected. De Silva takes the corner, header from Golec is wide.
Next minute, another chance when McGing tries to centre to Appiah, but it's also repelled by Perth's defence. Golec finds the ball from the corner for a second time, but his half-volley shot is wide again. 0-0.
13': CHANCE, Hoole crosses into the centre of the box looking for De Silva, but it's quickly killed by Brandon Wilson. 0-0.
10': Neither side's been passing that well so far, and no real attempts on goal.
0': First Half underway.