AIS too good for Mariners Youth

A first-half brace by Melvin Becket has consigned the Central Coast Mariners to their second straight defeat in the National Youth League. Despite creating more opportunities than the visitors from the Australian Institute of Sport the Young Mariners were unable to convert any of them at Budgewoi this morning.

A first-half brace by Melvin Becket has consigned the Central Coast Mariners to their second straight defeat in the National Youth League. Despite creating more opportunities than the visitors from the Australian Institute of Sport the Young Mariners were unable to convert any of them at Budgewoi this morning.

Head coach Tony Walmsley was disappointed with the result but concedes the result reflects the disjointed preparation his side has had to begin this season.

“I-m not too focused on the result to be honest. I think the performance was representative of their preparation versus ours. They train fulltime in a good environment whereas we are coming off state league. I think it-s indicative of our fitness and performances to start the season.

“I think we-re a side that is coming together, we play well in five minute spells but there are aspects that we can take out of the game as positives,” Walmsley said.

The Mariners started the match in a positive fashion, and it was the captain Sam Munro who had the first opportunity to open the scoring in just the third minute. Munro-s shot was ultimately blocked but the attacking intentions of the home side were clear.

Not to be outdone the AIS launched their first attack just minutes later through a strong run by Yianni Perkatis. His cross found the boot of Jake Barker-Daish but the young midfielder blasted his shot harmlessly over the top.

Hyundai A-League squad member Matt Lewis was a constant threat down the left flank throughout the match. Indeed the first time he injected himself into the play almost resulted in the opening goal. Unfortunately for the hosts, the resulting cross to Bernie Ibini-Isei was too good and beat everyone over the goal-line.

The backline of Adam Ormsby, Mitchell Duke, Jerry Kalouris and Brady Smith were defending as a unit and putting plenty of physical pressure on the smaller AIS attackers. Indeed so effective was the defence in the early part of the game, the AIS were reduced to taking shots from well outside the penalty box, which posed no trouble for Mariners ‘keeper Nik Matic.

Lewis went within inches of opening the scoring in the 20th minute when he was able to evade the challenge of his marker, but his shot was deflected by AIS ‘keeper Aaron Lennox.

However it was to be the visitors who would open the scoring in the 23rd minute through the boot of attacking midfielder Melvin Becket. The Mariners pressing forward lost possession in midfield and were unable to recover in time to prevent Hernan Espindola from drilling his cross to an unmarked Becket.

Stunned by conceding the opener the Young Mariners immediately attempted to get themselves back on level terms. The chance came within two minutes but AIS custodian Lennox pulled off two remarkable saves that had everyone applauding. The first was a reflex save to deny a deflected Bernie Ibini-Isei shot and the second denied Matt Lewis.

Not to be outdone by his positional counterpart Nikodin Matic pulled off his own fine save on the half-hour mark to deny Adam Taggart in a one-on-one situation. Inspired by the deeds of their ‘keeper the Mariners created four more strong chances before half-time. The first fell to Brady Smith who flew high in an attempt to head home a Mitchell Duke cross, and the second came from a Nick Fitzgerald free-kick. A strong tackle from AIS defender Jake Monaco was all that stopped Mitchell Duke from scoring and Mitchell Mallia went close with a header from Brendan Griffin.

The Mariners were left to rue their missed opportunities when Melvin Becket scored his second right on halftime. Becket was released by a well-timed pass from deep in the AIS territory and ran unopposed for a considerable distance before audaciously chipping Matic. Despite having the better of possession and position the Young Mariners trailed 2-nil at halftime.

After conceding a goal late in the first half the Young Mariners attacked with purpose in the early stages of the second half. Brady Smith went close in the 52nd minute and had that chance been converted the match could very well have turned out differently for the Central Coast.

As it was the match petered out in the second period as both sides strolled through the motions, with neither side really threatening. The Mariners final chance fell to Fitzgerald but again Lennox thwarted the Central Coast side.

The AIS had two final chances of their own with Espindola shooting just wide with ten minutes of time remaining. The highlight of the second half for the Mariners came from the final scoring chance from the AIS. A strong shot was well-saved by Matic before a rebound shot was struck with venom by Espindola and in an act of desperation substitute Alexander Mansueto cleared the ball off his line shortly before fulltime.

In the end the AIS continued to be the bogey-team for the Central Coast Mariners and deserved their two-goal victory.

The Central Coast Mariners continue their NYL 2010/11 campaign against Melbourne Victory at Budgewoi Soccer Club next Saturday October 9. Kick-off is at 10am AEST.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 0 Australian Institute of Sport 2 (Becket 23-, 45-)

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Nikodin MATIC (gk), 4. Jerry KALOURIS, 6. Sam MUNRO (c), (17. Alex MANSUETO 46-) 7. Brendan GRIFFIN, 8.Nick FITZGERALD, 9. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 10. Mitchell DUKE, 11. Mitchell MALLIA, (18. Nathan JAGELMAN 59-) 12. Matthew LEWIS, 14. Brady SMITH, 15. Adam ORMSBY.

Subs not Used: 20. David BRADASEVIC (gk), 2. Max GLANVILLE.

Yellow Cards: Kalouris 10-, Mansueto 56- Red Cards: None

AIS: 1. Aaron LENNOX (gk), 2. Jake MONACO, (9. Aaron PETERSON 61-) 4. Curtis GOOD (c), 7. Jesse MAKAROUNAS, (14. Patrick DIXON 58-), 8. Jason GERIA, 10. Jake BARKER-DAISH, (16. Milos DEGENEK 37-) 12. Melvin BECKET, 13. Adam TAGGART, 18. Yianni PERKATIS, (10. Jake BARKER-DAISH 70-) 19. Herman ESPINDOLA, 21. Connor CHAPMAN.

Subs not Used: 30. Paul Izzo (gk)

Yellow Cards: None Red Cards: None

Referee: Stuart WOLFE