The Central Coast Mariners triumphed in a tough away trip to the Macarthur Rams on Saturday night where they emerged as 3-2 winners thanks to goals by Buhagiar, Peterson & Buswell.
Macarthur Rams 2 (Ben Cornish 13’, Eros Bergamin 30’) v Central Coast Mariners 3 (Trent Buhagiar 1’, Ryan Peterson 6’, Cooper Buswell 53’)
The match at Lynwood Park couldn’t have started any better when the Academy took a 1-0 lead straight from the kick off when a pinpoint through ball from Adam Berry found Trent Buhagiar. Buhagiar made no mistake and finished calmly with a left foot strike to send the Academy ahead in the first minute.
Even though they were away from home, the Mariners took the game to the Rams and Ryan Peterson doubled their lead five minutes later to put his side 2-0 up in the 6th minute. Lachlan Wales whipped a cross onto head of Peterson who headed home off the crossbar.
The home side hit back in the 13th minute thanks to Ben Cornish who fired home a free kick, scoring the third goal of the match in a short period of time.
It was almost 2-2 in the 20th minute but it was Tom Heward-Belle who kept the visitors ahead making a full stretched dive to deny the Rams.
However the scores were level in the 31st minute when a goal line scrap fell to the feet of the Rams’ attacker inside the 18-yard-box. Eros Bergamin drove his shot low and it just made its way over the line, to level the game at 2-2.
The Academy had a good chance to go 3-2 ahead just before the break when Buhagiar found his way in behind the Rams’ defence. Buhagiar then squared his ball to an unmarked Cade Mapu. Mapu went found Berry who couldn't quite direct his shot on target from just outside the area.
The Academy took the lead in the 52nd minute when a cross from Christopher Hurley was met by substitute Cooper Buswell in the box. Buswell hit the cross on the volley sending it flying past the keeper and into the back of the net to restore the Academy's lead.
The Central Coast Mariners Academy nearly took a 4-2 lead in the 60th minute when a perfect diagonal long ball from centre back Steve Whyte found Wales. Wales bought the ball down and pulled the trigger sending his shot just wide of the Rams’ goal.
The Rams had a golden chance in the 75th minute when Eli Squillacoiti found himself one-on-one with Academy keeper Heward-Belle. Belle stood tall and saved the shot to keep the Academy ahead at 3-2.
In the 89th minute Heward-Belle was again the saviour, the Rams attacker won a header, which was bottom corner bound, only to be heroically saved by THB to secure all three points.
The Central Coast Mariners Academy will be back in action next weekend away from home against the Bankstown Berries at the Crest Athletic Centre.
- 18s DREW 1-1 ( Lozada (pen))
- 20s WON 2-0 (Hall, Lee)
Saturday 18 June 2016 at Lynwood Park
Referee: Kurt Ams
Macarthur Rams: 20. Jair Fernandez 2. Craig Cooley 4. Ben Cornish 5. Elsid Barkhousir 9. Anthony Schmidt 10. Eros Bergamin 12. David McMurray 13. Daniel Carrozza (7. Eli Squillacioti 69’) 15. Yotaro Hagiwara (16. Mason Versi 57’) 17. James Ralston 19. Damian Travis (8. Cristian Leiva Martinez 84’)
Subs not used: 1. Nikola Matic 11. Marvin Potrus
Yellow Cards: Mason Versi
Coach: Lee Sterrey
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Thomas Heward-Belle 2. Cade Mapu (15. Cooper Buswell 46’) 3. Trent Buhagiar 7. Lachlan Wales (5. Sean Pratt 90’) 8. Adam Berry 9. Shelford Dais 10. Ryan Peterson 11. Chris Hurley 14. Nathan Verity 16. Joshua Forbes 18. Steve Whyte
Subs not used: 12. Peter Kekeris 13. Mitchell Walker 20. Jack O’Malley
Yellow Cards: Trent Buhagiar, Ryan Peterson
Coach: Ben Cahn