Melbourne City have picked up a valuable 1-0 win against Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

City will be happy to return to the winners list, who have had a frustrating run lately with their form and results.

Ross McCormack’s first goal from open play this season broke the deadlock and rewarded City’s creative work.

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The chances all went City’s way in the first 45, keeping Ben Kennedy very busy.

Their opening attempt came after nine minutes as McCormack headed down strongly at goal but Daniel De Silva was in perfect position to clear off the line.

A few minutes passed and it was a low curled shot by Stefan Mauk destined for the bottom left but Kennedy dived to keep it out.

Mauk’s next opportunity midway through the first half was a weak effort that ended up being comfortable for Kennedy.

McCormack provided a great diagonal pass but the finish didn’t match it.

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From the resulting corner, Jake McGing almost scored an own goal with his clearance attempt but Kennedy was alert and palmed away.

Within the last five minutes before the break, City peppered the goals once more.

A one-two combination between Nick Fitzgerfield and Michael Jakobsen ended with the captain who got a good shot away but the skipper couldn’t go either side of Kennedy to score.

After a penalty shout from City, Luke Brattan’s half-volley was parried by Kennedy.

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The signs were there that City looked likely to score and they did after an hour.

Dean Bouzanis launched a long ball to Brattan who won an aerial duel with his head.

Fitzgerald and Brattan linked up well before the latter found McCormack unmarked in the box.

The Scot calmly finished to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

It was a better second-half from the Mariners who started to have chances of their own, including an off-target miss by Blake Powell which flew very close past the top corner.

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Their best chance of the whole game came in stoppage time when Connor Pain received a loose cross.

A crucial block by Mauk rescued this side, as City held on to an important 1-0 win.

Melbourne City 1 (McCormack 59′)
Central Coast Mariners 0

AAMI Park

Referee: Jarred GILLETT
Assistant Referees: Luke BRENNAN & Daniel ILIEVSKI
Fourth Offical: Lachlan KEEVERS

Melbourne City
1. BOUZANIS Dean (GK), 3. JAMIESON Scott, 5. SCHENKEVELD Bart, 6. MALIK Osama, 7. FITZGERALD Nick, 13. MAUK Stefan, 22. JAKOBSEN Michael (c), 25. LA ROCCA Iacopo, 26. BRATTAN Luke, 37. ATKINSON Nathaniel, 44. MCCORMACK Ross (12. CROWLEY Braedyn 88′)
Substitutes: 14. ARZANI Daniel, 18. GALEKOVIC Eugene (GK), 21. TONGYIK Ruon, 27. BUDZINSKI Marcin.

Central Coast Mariners
1. KENNEDY Ben (GK), 3. ROSE Josh (12. BUHAGIAR Trent 90′), 4. MCGING Jake, 5. GOLEC Antony, 7. HOOLE Andrew, 10. DE SILVA Daniel, 11. PAIN Connor,  13. APPIAH-KUBI Kwabena (8. POWELL Blake 71′), 15. BARO Alan (c), 16. ROSE Liam (14. BERRY Adam 80′), 23. BRAMA Wout.
Substitutes: 18. GLOVER Tom (GK), 21. ROWLES Kye.

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Liam Watson is covering Melbourne Victory this season while completing Media and Communications at La Trobe University.