Cummings bags brace as Mariners rediscover ALM mojo

A Jason Cummings brace has helped Central Coast silence their critics and register a 4-1 defeat of Macarthur, who risk of falling out of touch with the A-League Men's top six as a tough run of games looms.

Missing three players to suspension, the Mariners did the bulk of the damage in a second-half skirmish that took them from 1-1 at the break to 3-1 up in the 51st minute.

Twelve minute later, a Cummings spot-kick put the result beyond doubt.

Central Coast had managed only one win in seven games before meeting the Bulls in Mudgee but coach Nick Montgomery rebuffed suggestions the Mariners had rediscovered their mojo with Saturday's "massive" result.

"We've continued to play well," he said of Central Coast's recent fixtures.

"Today the difference was we were a bit more composed in and around the box."

Despite starting stronger than their rivals and opening the scoring through Daniel De Silva in the 11th minute, the Bulls came up short of answers once the Mariners began to sort their own press out.

Again playing as an attacking midfielder, ex-Socceroo Daniel Arzani was the most threatening Bull in attack and helped De Silva beat the inexperienced back-line for his long-awaited first goal of the season.

Macarthur goalkeeper Filip Kurto came up with three impressive first-half saves that kept the Mariners at bay after mid-season recruit James McGarry equalised.

Despite a solid first half, Bulls centre-back Jonathan Aspropotamitis found himself substituted out at the break in favour of Aleksandar Susnjar.

"That was just a bit of a tactical change," Bulls coach Mile Sterjovski said.

"I thought they turned us around a bit towards the end of the first half.

"Credit to the Mariners, they came out firing in the second half and we didn't deal with it well."

The substitution had been in effect only two minutes when Cummings split Susnjar and Tomislav Uskok at close range to give the Mariners the lead for the first time.

The goal broke a two-game drought for the Scottish-born striker - his longest of the season - after he was denied by Kurto in the first half.

"He's an out-and-out goalscorer, Jason," Montgomery said.

"He had a bit of a loss of form but those two goals will give him a kick now."

When Marco Tulio belted a right-footed strike from the edge of the box and into the goal, the Mariners were up and about and never looked like surrendering their advantage.

"A little bit more composure in that final third in the last 10 minutes and we probably could have had a couple more (goals)," Montgomery said.

The defeat continued a run of road losses for the Bulls, who have not won away from Campbelltown Stadium since Christmas Eve.

Macarthur are only three points out of the top six, but also only four ahead of 11th-placed Brisbane.

In their past six matches, Macarthur face four sides higher on the ladder than they currently are, including competition heavyweights Melbourne City and the Western Sydney Wanderers.

"There's a still a chance and we still believe. We just need to be more consistent,' Sterjovski said.