The Central Coast Mariners Youth succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the weekend to Foxtel National Youth League leaders Melbourne City Youth at Epping Stadium in Melbourne.
Goals to Melbourne City’s Iain Ramsay and Hernan Espindola in a quick fire two minutes of play were enough to ensure all three points for the home side and push them three points clear at the top of the table.
The visitors made a promising start to the day’s proceedings through Josh Bingham who intercepted possession in the front third but his shot flew just wide of the upright.
The yellow and navy looked dangerous on the counter throughout the match, their second chance again fell to Bingham who found himself with a one-on-one opportunity after a Same Perre run however Bingham’s shot was thwarted by City’s shot stopper.
In a whirlwind two minutes of play that started in the 39th minute, Ramsay ran onto a Tyler James through ball and finished with venom to put the home side 1-0 up. City’s lead was immediately doubled through Espindola who ran on to a throw-in and headed home from close range after a mix up in the Mariners defensive set up.
Just before the break Bingham was again in front of goal who could not put his effort past the home team keeper. City’s custodian remained busy who also saw off Jesse Curran bullet just moments later.
The yellow and navy continued to create clear-cut chances and it was Tom Slater who broke the defensive line in the 55th minute, his shot found the side netting.
It was a very young Mariners youth team who finished the proceedings and 17-year-old Lachlan Wales was the next player to ask the question with a strike from distance that crashed into the crossbar.
The closing stages of the game were filled with drama as Melbourne City’s keeper received a second yellow card that resulted in a send off. The Mariners had one last chance to get one back with a quality set piece but the away side were denied by the upright.
The Central Coast Mariners youth team were able to take confidence from a promising performance as well as adding to the experience to younger squad members including Daniel McFarlane, Lachlan Wales and Trent Buhagiar.