Central Coast Mariners outlasted a fast-finishing Western United to claim a 2-0 win and third on the A-League ladder, setting up a semi-final against Macarthur FC.
Mariners' fullback Jack Clisby netted on 25 minutes as last season's wooden-spooners looked to take full advantage of Brisbane Roar's earlier defeat against Sydney FC to move up one spot on the ladder.
Clisby was the unlikely scorer when he swooped on a loose ball in the penalty area to impressively volley home after United had failed to clear a corner.
Western United, with little to play for except pride, threatened to dampen the party atmosphere at Central Coast Stadium with a strong second-half showing.
It was a complete change of momentum after a strong start for the Mariners and the home side were indebted to goalkeeper Mark Birighitti for several key blocks.
Mariners coach Alen Stajcic clearly had one eye on the final series leaving out Marco Urena and Danny De Silva, while captain Oliver Bozanic was injured in the warm-up.
Urena came off the bench to net the Mariners' second five minutes into stoppage time after finishing off a pacy counter-attack.
Central Coast will host Macarthur next Saturday in the first semi-final, while Brisbane Roar will welcome Adelaide United the following day.