Weekly warm up: Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets

It's the derby decider! Get ready for F3 rivalry to be rekindled as the Mariners aim to extend their lead at the top!

It's the derby decider! Get ready for F3 rivalry to be rekindled as the Mariners aim to extend their lead at the top!

With one win apiece from the two battles so far between Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets in the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season, it all comes down to this Saturday. Will F3 bragging rights remain on the Coast or can the Jets bring an end to the home side's unbeaten run?

Whatever happens, this tussle is certain to offer derby action at its most exhilarating, so get along to Bluetongue Stadium and be part of an intense atmosphere as this two arch-nemeses do battle!

Ladder leaders Mariners will be confident they can get one over their neighbours, as they haven't conceded a goal in their last three games at Bluetongue Stadium, which have yielded seven points.

Last time round, departing striker Matt Simon waved goodbye in perfect fashion, with a brace that put paid to the challenge that Melbourne Victory offered. Indeed, in a fairytale farewell, Simon didn't have to wait long for the goal he dreamed of. After just 20 seconds he slotted home to send the Yellow Army crazy. On an emotional night, he went on to bookend a fine team performance by tucking away a right-footed shot late on before leaving the field to the ovation he truly deserved.

The Newcastle match-up marks the first game at Bluetongue Stadium without Simon, who, after 113 appearances for the Yellow and Navy, has departed for K-League side Chunnam Dragons. While he will be missed, there is more than enough to suggest the pace-setters will cope in his absence, as they proved with a 1-0 victory against Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday which was earned thanks to midfielder Oliver Bozanic's early strike and then a solid all-round display.

Yellow Army beware though, NSW rivals Newcastle were the last team to beat the Central Coast, all the way back in Week Three.

Back then Kiwi international Jeremy Brockie scored the game's only goal in the 25th minute after some uncharacteristically sloppy Mariners defending. However, since then, the league leaders have gained their revenge, with a comprehensive 2-0 win against the Jets at Bluetongue Stadium thanks to goals from Rostyn Griffiths and that man Matt Simon.

The Jets go into this derby clash reeling from a loss in Melbourne last week which remarkably saw defender Sung-Hwan Byun score two own goals and Tarek Elrich given a red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity early in the second half.

Not a good day at the office. They'll be looking for more luck this weekend as they try to claim bragging rights.

There is more than just bragging rights at stake on Saturday though, as the Central Coast aim to cement their position at the pinnacle of the Hyundai A-League while Newcastle will be looking to push on towards the top six positions on the ladder.

Whichever way you look at it - the importance of a derby match or simply the hunt for vital points - this game is not to be missed. With so much at stake, the action is sure to be thrilling, so get along to Bluetongue Stadium and get involved. There will be a huge turnout from both sets of fans, so join them and make your voice heard!