The Wanderers beat the Mariners thanks to a Labinot Haliti goal in the 81st minute in wet conditions and in front of 18,721 fans at Bluetongue Stadium in the top-of-the-table clash.
In Saturday night's two other A-League fixtures, two-time defending champions Brisbane Roar moved up to sixth spot with a 1-0 win over Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium and Perth Glory kept its slim finals hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Sydney FC at nib Stadium.
The story of the night were the Wanderers, though, as they won their season-best eighth straight match to leapfrog the Mariners and move two points clear on top of the table with four matches of the regular season to go.
The Wanderers became the first team this season to beat the Mariners at home and knocked them off their perch for the first time in 14 weeks while also equalling the Melbourne Victory's A-League record eight-game winning streak.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic was still letting the fact that his team is atop the table sink in after the match.
"The feeling of being top of the table hasn’t really sunk in yet. Winning this game is just really pleasing. It was in tough conditions and they are obviously an excellent team," Popovic said.
"We weren’t at our best on the ball but we found a way to win. They are undefeated at home so to come here and find a way to win, it's just a great day for our football club."
The Mariners had plenty of goal scoring chances right throughout the match, but the one that could haunt them was a 52nd minute penalty that was taken by 'keeper Matt Ryan.
He made it four straight missed penalties for Central Coast when he meekly kicked it right into his Wanderers counterpart Ante Covic.
Mariners coach Graham Arnold was left a frustrated man after the loss.
"I thought we played very well and football-wise we dominated the match, but if you don’t take your chances then you cop one up the backside at the other end and that's what happened," Arnold said.
We had some good chances, they had one and were able to finish it. We've thrown away three points tonight."
The Roar beat a lacklustre Adelaide thanks to a Ben Halloran goal in the 82nd minute in a bizarre contest at Hindmarsh Stadium.
However, no matter how they got the three points, the fact they got them is what matters and Brisbane now has moved into sixth spot but only just with Melbourne Heart a chance to take that position back on Sunday against Wellington.
It was always set to be a strange affair in Adelaide when the opening minutes of the match was continually hindered by flat footballs. Eventually both sides got one they were happy with and it was the Roar creating all the scoring chances in the first half.
An Ivan Franjic header refused to go over the goal line despite hitting both side posts and then in the 48th minute the Roar were lucky to receive a penalty when the controversial Besart Berisha went down when it appeared Reds defender Osama Malik did nothing to contribute to it.
Perhaps, karma kicked in and Berisha missed the penalty when he hit the left post but eventually Brisbane got their goal through substitute Halloran in the 82nd minute.
Roar coach Mike Mulvey is happy with his team's form as they continue to make a charge towards securing a spot in the top six.
"It doesn’t really bother me what other teams are thinking or doing," Mulvey said.
"Today was the best 90 minutes we have played since I joined the club. It's all about us. We are still the masters of our own destiny."
Interim Adelaide coach Michael Valkanis lost his voice while talking post-match and accusing his players of not turning up to play.
"In the first half we didn’t turn up. There were too many stupid errors, too many turnovers, going backwards when we could go forwards and even the goal was comical with two players crashing into each other," Valkanis said.
"To me it seems like it's mental because there are days when they can turn it on and play good football, and there are days like today where they didn’t turn up.
"It looked like we were wanting to score for them in the first half. We were waiting for a goal, we wanted to concede and I can't understand the mentality. We have to find the players that will stick to the game plan, people need to stand up and find solutions during the game and not give up."
It was a goal fest in the first 35 minutes in Perth with the Glory scoring twice through Chris Harold and Shane Smeltz, and Sydney FC getting one back thanks to a wonder strike from Allesandro Del Piero.
That was the last of the goals and the Glory won 2-1 to score a crucial three points that leaves them three behind the Roar who is in sixth position with four games left.
Glory coach Alistair Edwards admitted to even admiring Del Piero's strike, but the fact his team went on to win probably helped him be able to do that.
"It was a world class goal and even I enjoyed that," Edwards said.
"There's nothing you can do about those things, apart from try and close him down a bit quicker so he can't get the shot off."
Sydney coach Frank Farina was disappointed to come away with nothing especially when he felt Ali Abbas deserved a penalty early on.
"I thought we had arguably the better chances in the first half and then we had a clear-cut penalty that wasn’t given," Farina said.
"But you can't complain about that. You get some and you don’t get some."