Goals either side of half-time ensured high-flying Central Coast Mariners eased to a 2-0 win against 10-man Wellington Phoenix in Wollongong.
Veteran striker Matt Simon broke the deadlock five minutes before the break and captain Oliver Bozanic slotted home a penalty soon after the restart for a winning margin that could have been far greater.
The Phoenix were on the back foot from midway through the first half when forward David Ball was dismissed for a wild and unnecessary lunge on Simon.
The contest was effectively over with Bozanic's penalty conversion and only a string of second-half saves from Phoenix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic kept the scoreline down.
The Mariners looked confident throughout the contest with central midfield pair Bozanic and Danny De Silva a constant threat with their movement and sharp passing.
The Mariners missed several clear second-half chances, most notably in the final minutes as substitute Alou Koul pushed a golden opportunity wide.
It was a sixth win from eight starts for the Mariners and a third in succession for last season's wooden-spooners.