The Central Coast Mariners Academy went down fighting to the Wanderers Academy in a five-goal thriller at Valentine Sports Park on Saturday.
Western Sydney Wanderers Academy 3 (Cimenti x 2, Scott) Central Coast Mariners Academy 2 (Buhagiar, Baccus (OG))
It was the Mariners who made a bright start and took the lead 11 minutes in when a through ball from Reece Papadimitrios found Trent Buhagiar on the run who made no mistake finishing his one-on-one opportunity.
The Mariners went close to doubling their lead immediately when winger Kade Mapu forced the mistake from Wanderers defender Jackson Bandiera, which fell to Buhagiar in behind the Wanderers back four, who then forced a good save from keeper Matthew Symes.
The Mariners doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when Buhagiar was fouled on the edge of the area. Papadimtrios sent his free kick in at an awkward height that resulted in an own goal by the Wanderers.
The Wanderers hit back in the 38th minute when a through ball from Tariq Maia sent striker Kyle Cimenti through on goal. Tom Heward-Belle closed down the angle and forced Cimenti to send his shot onto the post, only to score on the follow up.
Heward-Belle was fantastic through out and his saves kept the Mariners Academy in the contest from start to finish.
The Wanderers had another good chance to level on the hour mark when a ball from Keanu Baccus found Lachlan Scott but it was Heward-Belle who smothered Scott and made a great save to keep the score at 2-1.
The home side levelled proceedings in the 75th minute when the two substitutes, Scott and Devlin found their way in behind the CCMA defence when Devlin cut the ball back to the ever present Lachlan Scott who found his way past Heward-Belle from close range making the score 2-2.
The home side took the lead through Kyle Cimenti in the 82nd minute from close range to send the WSW Academy ahead 3-2.
Despite some promising chances in the final minutes of the game, Western Sydney Wanderers held on to be the victors in all three grades in what was a tough day for the Academy.
The Central Coast Mariners Academy take on Sydney FC Academy at Pluim Park, Lisarow next Saturday. 18s kick off at 2:30, 20s at 4:30 and first grade at 6:30. Keep your eye out for details of a Mariners Merchandise sale that is also set to take place at Pluim Park this Saturday.
CCMA : Jordan Bennett, Trent Buhagiar, Thomas Heward-Belle ( GK ), Christopher Hurley, Brian Jamba, Thomas Lyons, Cade Mapu, Liam O'Dell (c), Reece Papadimitrios, Adam Pearce ( GK ), Ryan Peterson, Daniel Tuddenham, Lachlan Wales, Steve Whyte, Josh Forbes, Sean Pratt
WSWA: Daniel Alessi, Keanu Baccus, Jackson Bandiera, Kyle Cimenti, Shane D'Cunha, Cameron Devlin, Alusine Fofanah, Joshua McDonald, Tariq Maia, Ramy Najjarine, Lachlan Roberts, Lachlan Scott, Mario Shabow, Nicholas Suman ( GK ), Matthew Symes ( GK ), Liam Youlley
- U18s lost 6-0
- U20s lost 3-0
Female Academy (Bankstown CIty):
Bankstown City continued their impressive start to the season with a 2-0 victory over fellow newcomers Central Coast.
Locked 0-0 at the break, it was down to substitute Paulina Labra to break the deadlock and give the home side the advantage. Bankstown wasted several golden opportunities to boost the lead before Vida Opoku-Agyemang doubled the lead and wrapped up the points for the Lions.
The Mariners put in a promising performance with enough chances to take points away from the fixture but unfortuantely the finish touch was just off.
- U13s drew 1-1
- U17s lost 3-1