The positive aspects have been the way he has fitted into the squad and his ability to hold up the ball and find a support player while under enormous pressure. The down side has been the lack of goals.

Sutton has netted only one goal for the Mariners despite having several chances to hit the back of the net.

He will be desperate to add to his tally when the Mariners take on Perth in the qualifying final at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night. For Sutton, playing in a semi-final series is a new experience and one he is relishing.

The Englishman has several years experience in the Scottish Premier League and is enjoying the cut and thrust nature of the semi-finals.

"It's different but good, I'm loving it so far," Sutton said. "It's like two competitions. We won the Premiers Plate and now we're focused on trying to reach and win the grand final."

Sutton knows he needs to perform at his best to keep getting game time for the Mariners.

Veteran striker Adam Kwasnik has picked the perfect time of the year to hit his peak, while youngster Bernie Ibini is also keen to make his mark in only his second semi-final series.

Daniel McBreen and Troy Hearfield are also in the mix for game time at the pointy end of the Central Coast attack.

"I'm just trying to keep making good runs and do a job for the team," Sutton said. "It's always nice to score."

One thing the Mariners will be hoping for tomorrow night is a much improved crowd.

In last week's second leg of the major semi-final against Brisbane under 10,000 fans turned out to see the club's most important home match of the season.