A record breaking 8-2 win for the Wellington Phoenix has moved them one step closer to an A-League finals return – at the expense of the hapless Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.

The ruthless Phoenix outfit were in complete control from the get-go, and their thumping victory saw Mariner head coach Mike Mulvey given his marching orders in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Roy Krishna got the ‘Nix off to the perfect start, with his cutback flying in off on-loan defender Sam Graham who put the ball into his own net inside the opening five minutes, before the Fijian got himself on the scoresheet, slamming home their second after twelve minutes.


David Williams added one of his own on 21 minutes with an easy close-range finish before Krishna had his second inside first-half stoppage time to make it 4-0 heading into the break.

It would only get worse for the Mariners as the ‘Nix youngsters got in on the act – Liberato Cacace making it it five before both Sarpreet Singh and Louis Fenton added a goal apiece to make it 7-0 with half an hour still to play.

However, the Mariners were able to pull one back through Jack Clisby before Stephen Mallon dispatched his free-kick brilliantly in the 69th minute.

The ‘Nix were not finished as Singh popped home their eighth with minutes remaining, rounding off an incredible victory for Mark Rudan’s men.

In the hours after the game, Mike Mulvey was relieved of his duties as head coach after only one win from 21 games and a total of seven points.

Wellington have now jumped into fourth place on goal-difference ahead of Adelaide United with six games to go, and are five points inside the top six. The Mariners, meanwhile, remain eight points behind the Brisbane Roar at the bottom of the table.

The ‘Nix will host the in-form Western Sydney Wanderers at home on Sunday evening, while life after Mike Mulvey begins for the cellar-dwellers in the F3 Derby against finals-chasing Newcastle Jets on Saturday.

Nick D’Urbano