Key Points:

Melbourne Victory stumbled to only their second loss of the season but the 1-0 hiccup at home to the Newcastle Jets hardly dented their long-held advantage at the top of the A-League points table.

Their cause was helped by Adelaide United's 2-0 away loss to Central Coast Mariners.

Adelaide have slipped back to third, a point behind Sydney FC who swamped Queensland Roar 3-0 at home to move into second place and finally show as a legitimate challenger in the Hyundai A-League race.

With their 4-1 win over the New Zealand Knights, Perth Glory catapulted themselves back into play-off contention, just two points behind fourth-placed Central Coast.

Sadly, the Knights offer little more than nuisance value these days. Another couple of results like Sunday night in Perth will soon have even their faintest play-off hopes ended.

In front of the biggest crowd of the round - 27,753 at Telstra Stadium - the Victory, with hard man and inspirational leader Kevin Muscat (injured) and regular goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos (injured) missing, found the Jets a handful.

The deadlock was broken by Milton Rodriguez in the 61st minute which sparked a busy time for the match-winner. He was booked a minute later and substituted not long after.

In beating Queensland, Sydney FC equalled the league record for the most consecutive matches scored in. Their 3-0 win made it 21 games in a row. The record set in season one by minor premiers Adelaide.

The home side dominated. Their cause was also helped when Queensland's Chad Gibson was sent off in the 21st minute.

Ufuk Talay booted home from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute to get Sydney started. Steve Corica added the second in the 64th and former Football Kings midfielder Robbie Middleby completed the rout in the 89th minute.

Even the appearance of former World Cup winning Brazilian Romario could not get Adelaide home in their match on the Coast.

Goals three minutes apart from Adam Kwasnik and Stewart Petrie were enough to earn Central Coast their fifth win of the season.

The Knights won more corners than Perth at Members Equity Stadium, five to three, but that was their lot even though the home side enjoyed only slightly more possession (52 per cent). In attempts on goal, Perth had twice as many as the Knights 10.

The only satisfaction for the Knights was seeing Noah Hickey score his second goal of the season, thus joining All Whites striker Vaughan Coveny (Newcastle) on that mark.

Two first-half goals from converted striker Jamie Harnwell wiped out the advantage of Hickey's beauty which gave the visitors their early lead. Harnwell completed his hat-trick 16 minutes after the break and substitute Bobby Despotovski ended the misery with Perths fourth goal seven minutes from time.

In two matches involving the top four teams, Adelaide are at home to Melbourne on Friday and Central Coast entertain Sydney on Sunday the same day the Knights are at home to Newcastle in 15th round action.