Magic Mariners sink teeth into Sydney

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side has registered its first victory of the new campaign, in the form of a dominant 3-1 win over Sydney FC.

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side has registered its first victory of the new campaign, in the form of a dominant 3-1 win over Sydney FC.

After going a goal down inside two minutes, the Mariners Youth soon clicked in to gear, with goals to short term injury replacement Lachlan Cahill, Mitchell Mallia and skipper Panny Nikas securing a well deserved three points.

"They had been the best team in the competition up until this point and we knew they were going to be tough to break down, but our boys were more than up to the task and I was particularly impressed with the character the lads showed after going a goal down so early," said National Youth League head coach Tony Walmsley.

The clash couldn-t have started any worse for Walmsley-s charges, as Joel Chianese did well to create space and finish past Matthew Ryan, but the Mariners grew in confidence from there on.

A long range effort from Matthew Crowell forced Sydney custodian Nenad Vekic into action on eight minutes, and there was a sense that he-d have plenty more work to do before the afternoon was out.

Ahmad Elrich was creating plenty of problems for Sydney-s defence down the right wing, and the Mariners received a just reward for their toil approaching half time, as Lachlan Cahill, brought in as a short term injury replacement for two weeks by Lawrie McKinna, pressed his claims for a longer stint in yellow and navy by firing off a 20 yard screamer to give Vekic no chance.

Mitchell Mallia and Gavin Forbes were introduced at half time, and Mallia made his presence felt almost immediately to give the Central Coast the lead for the first time.

Brad Porter, on his return from injury, whipped in a dangerous cross which Vekic could only parry as far as Mallia, who blasted home with his very first touch.

And it was one way traffic from there, Sutherland Sharks State League star Panny Nikas, playing on his home ground secured the points just four minutes later.

The Mariners skipper latched on to a great ball in from Elrich to coolly finish past Vekic, and he could have increased the lead even further as the match wore on, only to be denied by a brilliant Vekic save.

At the other end, the Mariners back four had done well to contain the competitions leading goalscorer Karim Bulut all match, however he did break free late on to rattle the woodwork, but the late effort was never going to be enough to deny Walmsley-s men their maiden three points.

"They were all super goals, all three really well taken, so credit to the three boys for finishing like they did. The pleasing thing for me was the workrate for the entire 90 minutes.

"We kept the ball really well. Sydney was always a threat on the counter attack and I was particularly pleased with the concentration and composure of Adam Ormsby and Luka Dukic in the centre of our defence. They not only defended well, but wanted to play and allowed our midfield to take complete charge of the match.

"There is plenty of improvement in the squad as well which is exciting, and we-ll have to be at our best to get something out of the match against the AIS next week," Walmsley said.

The Mariners National Youth League campaign continues next Saturday, 10 October when they host the Australian Institute of Sport at Budgewoi-s Frank Millington Field. Kick off is at 11am, entry is free.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 1. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Matthew CROWELL (OA), 3. Brad PORTER (OA), 5. Luka DUKIC, 7. Matthew LEWIS, 8. Nick FITZGERALD (9. Gavin FORBES 45-), 10. Panny NIKAS (c) (6. Manny GIANNAROS 58-), 12. Ahmad ELRICH (OA), 14. Brady SMITH (11. Mitchell MALLIA 45-), 15. Adam ORMSBY, 17. Lachlan CAHILL (OA).

Unused Subs 20. Nik MATIC (gk)

Yellow Cards None Red Cards None Goals 17. Lachlan CAHILL 42-, 11. Mitchell MALLIA 47-, 10. Panny NIKAS 51-.

Sydney FC 1. Nenad VEKIC (gk) (20. Mark PULLMAN (gk) 75-), 2. Steven TIBBETTS (c), 3. Mitchell SPEER (17. Luke AUSTIN 58-), 4. Adam CASEY (OA) (15. Raymond MILLER 53-), 5. Antony GOLEC, 8. Hussein AKIL (7. Dimitri PETRATOS 56-), 9. Kerim BULUT, 10. Zach CAIRNCROSS, 11. Iain RAMSAY, 13. Joel CHIANESE, 14. Tim MCGOWAN.

Unused Subs Nil

Yellow Cards 3. Mitchell SPEER 9-, 10. Zach CAIRNCROSS 18-, 14. Tim MCGOWAN 61-. Red Cards None Goals Joel CHIANESE 2-

Referee Ryan SHEPHEARD