Central Coast extend unbeaten run to eight

ANGELA HABASHY
Last updated 23:56 14/12/2012
Pedj Bojic
Getty Images
AT THE DOUBLE: Pedj Bojic celebrates scoring for Central Coast Mariners against Melbourne Heart.

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A Pedj Bojic brace has secured the Central Coast a 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart to extend the Mariners' unbeaten run to eight games and consolidate their place at the A-League's summit.

It was a case of history repeating with Bojic, who scored the winner in the Mariners 1-0 win over the Heart in their last meeting, sinking the visitors with two second-half goals at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday.

Heart's veteran gloveman Clint Bolton will want to forget his sloppy keeping gifting Bojic his first goal and he should have done better to save his second. The loss leaves the Heart in seventh place.

Melbourne had a defensive game plan from the outset not attempting one shot on goal in the opening half, while the table-topping Mariners ran riot in the front third.

Bojic looked like netting four minutes in, curling a free-kick from about 25 metres out to force a spectacular save from Bolton.

The Mariners had another chance just before the half-hour mark when Joshua Rose beat the Heart defence with a through-ball to Berni Ibini, who instead of passing the ball to the waiting Daniel McBreen, went for glory himself with Bolton saving the effort.

The Mariners had a flurry of chances late in the opening half but the stoic Heart defence of Simon Colosimo and Patrick Gerhardt managed to keep them scoreless.

Bojic finally opened the scoring in the the 49th minute with what looked like an innocuous long range strike but Bolton made a meal of saving the effort letting it slip through his hands and into the back of the net.

McBreen, currently the league's top scorer, looked like adding to his tally of nine goals this season keeping Bolton busy with a long range shot.

Socceroo tyro Tomas Rogic, who was kept relatively quiet, set McBreen up for another but the veteran striker sent it sailing over the crossbar.

Bojic continued to be Bolton's nightmare when the keeper was unable to save his dipping free-kick in the 69th minute putting the Mariners 2-0 up.

McBreen outpaced Gerhardt and could have put the game beyond doubt with 10 minutes remaining but didn't get a clean connection.

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- AAP

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