The Central Coast Mariners Academy recorded their first PS4 NPL2 win at the weekend with a 2-1 victory over St George thanks to strikes by Brian Jamba and Reece Papadimitrios at St George Soccer Stadium.
St George 1 (Bruno Pivato 35’) vs. Central Coast Mariners 2 (Brian Jamba 76’, Reece Papadimitrios 87’)
It was a quiet start to the game with both teams settling in to challenging conditions. but the Academy had a good chance to go one ahead in the 15th minute when a well directed ball found Trent Buhagiar who squared across the face of the goal to Ryan Peterson who forced a good save from St. George shot stopper George Bouropoulos.
The Mini Mariners continued to pile on the pressure in the 26th minute after a great ball from Lachlan Wales found the head of Buhagiar who headed just off target.
All the hard work came undone when a mistake at the back in the 35th minute proved costly as Bruno Pivato snatched the ball from the centre back’s feet and went one-on-one with Heward-Belle to make it 1-0.
St. George should've doubled their lead through Bruno Pivato when a goal line scrap was deflected into the air only for Pivato to head over the bar from inside the six-yard box just after half time.
In the 69th minute the home side went close again when the striker’s one-on-one opportunity was sensationally saved by Heward-Belle, keeping the Mariners in contention.
It was the Mariners turn to attack in the 76th minute when the ball fell to Brian Jamba’s feet just inside the 18-yard-box who calmly placed his shot past the keeper to put the Academy on level terms at 1-1 with 14 minutes to play.
The Academy had a great chance to go 2-1 up in the 80th minute when a great ball in from the wing found Buhagiar on the head who put his chance just wide.
But it was the Mariners who closed out the game when Buhagiar was on goal only to be brought down from behind by St. George’s Johnathan Kontalis who received a straight red card and put his team down to ten men for the last five minutes of the game.
Mariners centre back Reece Papadimtrios then stepped up to take the free kick on the edge of the 18 and perfectly slotted it home into the top corner to send the Mariners Academy up 2-1 in the 86th minute.
St. George had one more chance in the 91st minute when a ball was smartly crossed in across the face of goal only for it to be well defended out for a goal kick.
The Central Coast Mariners Academy are back in action next Saturday night against Macarthur Rams at Pluim Park, Lisarow. Kick off at 6:30pm
St George: 1. George Bouropoulos 3. Ali Nasreddine 5. Billy Darwich 7. Stefan de Jesus (4. Johnathan Kontalis 55’) 8. Tarek Ercan 9. Stevan Ilic (15. Nicholas Perez 68’) 10. Nicholas Rouco 13. Peter Vassilis (c) (16. Thomas Menton 73’) 17. Bruno Pivato 18. Sam Cornish 20. Alexander McCracken.
Red card: Johnathan Kontalis 87’
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Thomas Heward-Belle 2. Brian Jamba 3. Reece Papadimitrios 5. Daniel Tuddenham (Thomas Lyons) 6. Liam O’Dell (c) 7. Lachlan Wales 8. Adam Berry 10. Ryan Peterson 12. Trent Buhagiar 14. Nathan Verity (11. Christopher Hurley 81’) 18. Steve Whyte (15. Sean Pratt 75’).
- U20s: 2-1 loss (Lyons)
- U18s: 5-1 win (Johnson, Macey x 2, Bennet, Appo)