Despite a dominant 2-0 lead at the break the Central Coast Mariners Academy have fallen to a determined Mounties Wanderers at Pluim Park on Saturday evening in round 19 of the PS4 NPL 2.
Ben Cahn’s Mariners Academy came into the fixture full of confidence and asserted their presence on the game from the first minute of play where they dictated the tempo and direction for the first 45 minutes.
Playing out from the back with ease, Steve Whyte & Michael Glassock held a very tight back four letting very little past their watch in the first half with the Mounties long ball the only option for the away side.
The Yellow & Navy created numerous chances in the first half but were forced to patiently wait until the 38th minute for their first goal of the match which came from Lachie Wales who looked dangerous on the right wing throughout the match.
The Terrigal junior stepped up to a spot kick won with five minutes remaining in the first half that he fired into the bottom corner to give his side a 1-0 lead.
But that wouldn’t be the only goal before the break. After an impressive performance on Wednesday night with the Hyundai A-League outfit – Peter Kekeris burst in from the left flank with nothing but the goal in his sights. With plenty of work to do, Kekeris let fly on an impressive shot that gave the Mounties keeper no chance to make a save and doubled the Mariners lead just before the half time whistle.
With the momentum well and truly on the Mariners side in the opening 45, Mounties fought their way back into the game in the second half and 10 minutes into the second stanza they hit back with a chip from distance to make it 2-1.
The counter attack was the main weapon of choice for Wanderers who then equalised against the run of play in the 74th minute which made for a grandstand finish at Pluim Park.
Then five minutes later, Mounties Wanderers were given their best chance of the match to equalise when young centre back, Michael Glassock was harshly ruled to have handled the ball on the goal line. Wanderers were awarded the penalty but goalkeeper, Chris Marques was up to the challenge and made an impressive diving save to his right to keep his side in the contest. Glassock was also shown red.
The one-man-advantage didn’t seem to disrupt the attacking threats of the Mariners who pushed in the final third until the end but the Wanderers capitalised with almost the last kick of the game when a deflected shot flew into the net of Marques to make it 3-2. A heartbreaking end to the PS4 NPL 2 match.
This Saturday the Mariners Academy are back at home, hosting the Macarthur Rams FC. First Grade kick-off at 5pm.