Central Coast might have a licence to thrill but face A-League irrelevancy after an unprecedented sixth-straight loss.
The club-record streak has the Mariners well adrift as the league's worst club.
A revival from Adelaide United, who enjoyed their best win of the season just before the Mariners' latest loss, has Central Coast seven points behind ninth-placed Perth Glory.
The Reds capped an unbeaten December by beating Wellington 3-0 on Boxing Day, while Glory took a point home from AAMI Park against Melbourne Victory.
But it's woe for the Mariners, with Sydney FC dishing out their latest drubbing.
Goalkeeper Paul Izzo was dismissed before half-time in a 4-1 loss that could have been worse.
There's no recriminations on the coast, given coach Tony Walmsley's riding instructions are to entertain first, and win second.
Walmsley was spirited before the match, hamming it up with Sydney FC fans that had brought a 'All I want for Christmas is 3 points' banner.
After the chance to add to their paltry points tally of five had gone begging, he still refused to be downbeat.
"It's a challenging situation to be head coach of a team that's at the bottom, a team that's copped a few results on the bounce," he said.
"But I see that as an opportunity.
"Resilience is key in this, we want the players to develop that to grow, and to grow quickly."
Adelaide's 3-0 defeat of Wellington Phoenix has the Reds heading in the opposite direction.
Craig Goodwin and Michael Marrone's second-half goals added to an own goal in the first.
Victory's draw with Perth drew ire from coach Kevin Muscat, who said his side had let themselves down in front of their home fans.
"We've got to have a good look at ourselves now," he said.
"I don't think we've done enough tonight to push on and win."
The A-League champions will end December without a win after sharing two penalty goals with Perth Glory.
Visiting coach Kenny Lowe celebrated his own return to health after a virus with the point.
"It's a positive, coming to a place like this with a team like they've got, to get it," he said.
"I thought it was deserved ... and maybe a couple of little sniffs at the end when they were a bit jittery, we maybe could have pinched it."
In the round's pre-Christmas match, Western Sydney kept marching on with a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle Jets.
Alberto Aguilar and Mark Bridge goals ensured a ninth-straight match without defeat for Tony Popovic's side and camps the Jets outside the top six.