A young Central Coast Mariners outfit fell to the Marconi Stallions at the weekend away from home, which sets up a crucial battle against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Pluim Park this Sunday.
Marconi 5 (Mirjan Pavlovic 45’, 61’ pen, 66’, Sean Rooney 77’, Noah Chianese 86’) v Central Coast Mariners 0
Away at Marconi Stadium the Stallions started brightly and had a chance to take the lead within the first minute but Adam Pearce made a top shelf save high to his left to keep it at 0-0.
After a mostly quiet first half the next chance was almost 40 minutes later that saw Mariner Tom Lyons hit a volley on the edge of the 18-yard-box, sending it just wide of the Marconi goal.
The home side grabbed the lead with the last kick of the first half through Mirjan Pavlovic who hit his shot low and hard into the bottom corner giving keeper Pearce no chance in goals.
The Mariners Academy had a brilliant chance to restore parody just two minutes into the second half when a Reece Papadimitrios free kick found the head of Cooper Buswell. Buswell's header went just over the crossbar from close range.
In the 61st minute, Pavlovic had his brace thanks to a tidy finish from the penalty spot.
Five minutes later, Pavlovic had his hat trick and it was 3-0 to the home side.
Marconi scored another in the 72nd minute when Sean Rooney found himself with space inside the box. His shot went low and hard finding the back of the net.
With five minutes remaining Marconi had a fifth when Rooney’s cross found the head of Noah Chianese who headed home to make it 5-0.
Central Coast Mariners Academy Head Coach Ben Cahn said that he was incredibly proud to see some of his players pushing for places in the first team’s Westfield FFA Cup side but admitted that the balancing act for his side can become a challenge during the PS4 NPL2 season.
“There’s nothing that makes us more happy than seeing players like Trent Buhagiar, Adam Berry, Ryan Peterson & Reece Papadimitrios putting themselves in contention for up and coming first team games,” Cahn said. “However it makes it incredibly difficult to pick teams going into the weekend but what it does do is gives our 18s and 20s more of an opportunity.
“At one stage we had five 17-year-olds on the pitch, so we can’t expect to go to a powerhouse like Marconi and get a result but it provides an incredible opportunity to the young ones.
“The first half performance was as well as we’ve defended all season, we contained the best and most expensive forward line in the league until literally the last kick of the first half when we were well in the game.
“Before they scored from the dubious penalty we actually missed two golden one-on-one opportunities so if we score them it becomes a different game,” Cahn said.
The Central Coast Mariners Academy are in action this weekend when they face the Western Sydney Wanderers at Pluim Park on Sunday. Kick-off times are - 11am (18s), 1pm (20s) and 3pm (first grade.).
Sunday 24 July 2016
Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
Referee: Adrian Arndt
Marconi: 1. Chad Taylor 2. Jarrod Ross 4. Simon Valastro (18. Brandon Vella 65’) 5. Peter Pelekanos 6. Raimond Coletta 7. Mirjan Pavlovic 8. Sean Rooney 10. Marko Jesic (9. Kenta Hasegawa 79’) 11. Sam Perre (16. Noah Chianese 71’) 17. Steven Drewery 23. Christopher Nunes (c).
Subs not used: 21. Kristian Setkukoski 24. Christopher Godoy-Boscur
Yellow cards: Nil
Coach: Tony Candy
Central Coast Mariners Academy: 1. Adam Pearce 3. Reece Papadimitrios 4. Zachary Thomas 5. Matthew Lee 7. Lachlan Wales (14. Sean Pratt 84’) 8. Thomas Lyons (13. Peter Kekeris 66’) 9. Shelford Dais 10. Ryan Peterson (c) 11. Chris Hurley (12. Jordan Lane 79’) 15. Cooper Buswell 18. Steve Whyte.
Subs not used: 20. Thomas Heward-Belle 2. Jordan Bennett
Yellow Cards: Ryan Peterson
Coach: Ben Cahn
- 18s WON 3-1 (Cahill, Sutherland, Lozada)
- 20s WON 1-0 ( Miccio (p))