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George Clarke

Mariners down Macarthur, go second in ALM

Socceroos striker Jason Cummings got on the scoresheet in the Mariners' 2-1 ALM win at Macarthur. (Jeremy Ng/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Central Coast have underlined their claims as Melbourne City's nearest challengers for the A-League Men premiership with a 2-1 win over Macarthur FC on Friday.

The victory in front of a crowd of 4621 at Campbelltown Stadium solidifies the Mariners' grasp on second position and leaves them just three points behind league leaders City.

First-half goals from Marco Tulio and Jason Cummings helped Nick Montgomery's side seal their second away win of the season.

It was another frustrating game for Dwight Yorke's Macarthur outfit, who were made to lament their slow start before Matthew Millar jagged one back in the second half.

The home side got off to the worst possible start when centre back Tomislav Uskok failed to deal with a routine through ball in the fourth minute.

Tulio was quickest to react, racing onto the ball before poking past Filip Kurto for his third goal of the season.

The Mariners continued to probe for a second with Frenchman Beni Nkololo blazing over the bar not long after Tulio's opener.

Cummings was beginning to find his groove, testing Kurto once before adding his side's second with an opportunistic 26th-minute finish as a result of another blunder from the Bulls.

This time the ball came across the front of the Macarthur defence with Uskok blocking Cummings' first effort, only for it to bounce kindly for the Socceroos forward who finished past Kurto.

The Mariners took a 2-0 lead in at halftime and Macarthur woke from their slumber with Daniel Arzani bringing the spark from the bench.

The winger helped the Bulls get back into the game just before the hour mark, flicking on a Jed Drew corner for Millar to steer past Mariners goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

Soon after, Arzani made a surging run into Central Coast's box only to be taken out by Sammy Silvera.

Despite protests, referee Alireza Faghani waved away the Bulls' claims.

Vukovic was key as the Mariners held on for victory, forced to deny Drew from point-blank range and tip a long-range Jake Hollman effort over the bar to keep his side in front.

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