Clinical Mariners Youth thrash Reds

A composed and clinical performance from the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team has seen it comprehensively beat Adelaide United 5-1 in the Week 12 fixture at Budgewoi this morning.

A composed and clinical performance from the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team has seen it comprehensively beat Adelaide United 5-1 in the Week 12 fixture at Budgewoi this morning.

Three goals in three minutes before halftime provided an entertaining passage of play for the fans that braved the early morning heat. Striker Bernie Ibini-Isei capitalized on superb efforts from his teammates to net four goals, whilst Mitchell Duke completed the scoring in the second half.

Head Coach Tony Walmsley was pleased by the performance of his charges.

“The boys were very good out there today,” said Walmsley.

“We had a very good squad, with a lot of experience. James Oates was probably man of the match today, but you can-t take anything away from someone who scores four goals and assists with the other one. Our bench as well contributed when they came on, so it was very pleasing.

“We set ourselves the goal a few weeks ago to get ourselves three wins in a row to move up the table, and we achieved our second one today. We-ve got a tough away trip to Perth next week to contend with, and hopefully we can continue to keep displaying performances like that.”

Always one to focus on overall improvement, Walmsley was quick to point out that his side could have been even more clinical in front of goal.

“We took some of our chances today, but we also missed a number. Chances that in a tight game means that the result wouldn-t necessarily fall our way. Some of our finishes were very composed, so it-s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Boosted by the inclusion of Hyundai A-League stalwarts John Hutchinson, Chris Doig and Nik Mrdja, the Young Mariners were understandably focused on getting a second consecutive win. It was the visitors from South Australia who arguably started stronger.

Adelaide United had a mountain of possession in the first ten minutes, but was constantly thwarted by a methodical Mariners defence. The visitors were unable to manufacture a scoring chance, despite having five corners during the opening exchanges.

The hosts weathered the storm, and fired the opening shot of the morning through the boot of Ibini-Isei. Adelaide didn-t heed the warning.

After winning a free kick in good position, the visitors thought they had the chance to put some real pressure on Mariners custodian Nik Matic. The Young Reds committed too many players forward. When the ball fell to the feet of Matt Lewis, the youngster had the presence of mind to realise that there was an opportunity. His pin-point pass found Mrdja, and the veteran striker then displayed exquisite skills to find an unmarked Ibini-Isei, who gleefully drove the ball home.

Mrdja thought he was taken down in the box in the Mariners next foray into Adelaide-s red zone, but referee Matthew Cropper was unsighted, and ruled play on. Adelaide responded to the let-off by creating their first chance of the morning. A Francesco Monterosso header was well saved by Matic.

Jimmy Oates, who had one of his best games in the National Youth League, then decided to try his luck from distance. His optimistic drive didn-t miss the target by much.

Marc Warren has developed a lethal combination with Matt Lewis in recent times, and it was on show again today. Lewis showed great poise to control a ball whilst under enormous pressure from the Adelaide defence. His resulting cross should have resulted in the second goal for his side, but the delivery was too good, and his support was unable to get there in time.

Desperate to get an equalizer, and force their way back into the contest Adelaide fashioned their second chance of the match through the boot of Bradley Norton. An alert Matic spotted the danger pulling off a fine reflex save to deny the visitors.

Matic wasn-t able to deny the visitors sixty seconds later. The Mariners custodian lost his footing as he came off his line to prevent a goal-scoring chance, and Evan Kostopoulos was able to seize his chance. The youngster rounded the stricken ‘keeper to drive the ball home.

The Mariners didn-t drop their heads. From the resulting kick-off they immediately pressed forward. The ball fell to the feet of Mrdja who didn-t hesitate in releasing one of his full-blooded drives. Adelaide-s custodian Luke Ostbye did well to get his body behind the rocketing ball. Despite his best efforts, the ball ricocheted back to Ibini-Isei who was on hand to score his second.

Keen to inflict more damage on the shell-shocked visitors, the Young Mariners dispossessed Adelaide in the final seconds of regular time. Some quick thinking from midfield released Ibini-Isei who was able to slot home a first half hat-trick, giving the home side a 3-1 lead at the break.

After scoring two goals within a minute, the Young Mariners could easily have come back out and tried to be too clever. The presence of the first team players prevented any chance of that. Chris Doig was a calming influence at the back, constantly encouraging his younger teammates. The Young Mariners midfield had an outstanding Nick Fitzgerald and Mitch Mallia relishing the space created by passes from Hutchinson.

Full of confidence after getting his first taste of the Hyundai A-League Trent Sainsbury turned out an incredible display of endurance. Shrugging off the heat, Sainsbury covered countless kilometers as he surged out from the back. He was well rewarded for his efforts in the 50th minute when a clumsy challenge from Adelaide-s skipper Matthew Mullen saw the Mariners awarded a penalty. Ibini-Isei stepped up and calmly slotted the ball home.

Sainsbury backed up this effort minutes later and went within inches of scoring himself. The Young Mariners had two more scoring chances from Ibini-Isei and Mitchell Duke, but both strikers put the ball wide.

Adelaide were reduced to taking shots from well outside the box, much to their frustration and Matic barely had to break a sweat as he watched the ball sail over his head.

The crowd could sense a fifth goal coming, and Duke delivered in the 78th minute. In his cameo appearance of just over half an hour Duke was causing havoc for the Adelaide defence. His goal finished with aplomb after smart lead-up work put him one on one with Ostbye. It was a reward for persistence as much as anything else after Duke was nearly decapitated by a stray boot from Mullen minutes earlier.

While Mullen can consider himself lucky to have finished the match, his teammate Mitchell Nicholson wasn-t so fortunate. A rash challenge saw him red-carded in the 86th minute, capping off a frustrating match for the visitors.

As impressive as their attack was throughout the match, the Mariners composure in defence was as equally important. This was evident in the fact that replacement ‘keeper David Bradasevic didn-t have to make a save in his time on the filed. Sam Gallagher who captained the side pulled off a fine challenge deep in stoppage time to deny the visitors a consolation goal.

The Young Mariners played well across the park, but there is still plenty of improvement left in the side. Something that the coach, Tony Walmsley would no doubt be looking for.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 5 (Ibini-Isei 14-, 44-, 45-, 50- (pen), Duke 78-) Adelaide United 1 (Kostopoulous 43-)

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Nik MATIC (gk) (20. David BRADASEVIC (gk) 72-), 2. Trent SAINSBURY, 3. Matthew LEWIS, 4. John HUTCHINSON, 5. Jimmy OATES, 6. Nick FITZGERALD (11. Mitchell MALLIA 60-), 9. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 15. Nik MRDJA (10. Mitchell DUKE 59-), 17. Sam GALLAGHER (c), 18. Marc WARREN (8. Zac FREEBURN 60-), 19. Chris DOIG.

Subs Not Used: Nil

Yellow Cards: Hutchinson 18- Red Cards: None

Adelaide United: 1. Luke OSTBYE (gk), 2. Jordan ELSEY, 3. Bradley NORTON, 4. Matthew HALLIDAY, 5. Matthew MULLEN (c), 6. Mitchell NICHOLSON, 8. Inseob SHIN (11. Perry MITRIS 58-), 10. Evan KOSTOPOULOUS, 14. Alan WELSH, 15. Francesco MONTEROSSO (7. Brett RAYNER 59-), 21. Jordan SPADAVECCHIA (12. Jackson GROVES 60-).

Subs not Used: 20. Nicholas MUNRO (gk).

Yellow Cards: Mullen 32-, Groves 61- Red Cards: Nicholson 86'

Referee: Matthew CROPPER