The Central Coast Mariners Academy sent a warning shot to their PS4 NPL 2 rivals in a stunning 8-0 thrashing of Bankstown City Lions at Pluim Park on Saturday.
Central Coast Mariners 8 (Brenton Fox 4, Duncan Stewart 2 & Lachlan Wales 2) defeated Bankstown City Lions 0
In a sublime effort, Brenton Fox scored four goals, while Lachlan Wales and Duncan Stewart both bagged a brace against the Lions.
Mariners Academy Head Coach Ben Cahn has constantly praised his side's performances this season, knowing that a big result wasn’t far away. On Saturday night that result would become reality in a game that saw the young Mariners lead 6-0 at half time.
The first two goals were scored by Brenton Fox who was a man on a mission, owning the right flank at Pluim Park. The opening two goals both started by playing out from the back from the foot of Adam Pearce before finding their way through the midfield. Goal number one was whipped in by Duncan Stewart and goal number two was assisted by Shelford Dais. Fox was on hand both times to give his side an early two goal lead.
For the third goal of the night, Fox turned creator after running onto a precision through ball on the right from Dais. Fox steadied himself and crossed into the box to this time allow Stewart to score his first goal of the night.
Fox then had his first half hat-trick with a touch of individual brilliance. Dais played him into the corner with another great through ball which was then followed by a direct run along the byline and a tidy finish from a difficult angle.
Although the Yellow & Navy were already four goals up, they were determined to put the game to bed and they scored another two before the break. Lachie Wales fired a penalty into the bottom corner to make it 5-0 and Fox had his fourth for the night after capitalising on impressive build up between Peter Kekeris and Stewart.
Cahn's words proved to be prophetic on Saturday as the Mariners hit Bankstown early with an up-tempo, intense start to the game, creating chance after chance in the front third.
"A couple of weeks ago I said it won't be long before we're 6-0 up at halftime against someone," Cahn laughed when speaking to Football NSW. "But I'm under no illusions that Bankstown are doing it really tough at the moment. We knew that if we could start well and score early that would be a big dent in their confidence and belief. So, we focused really hard on executing the game plan right from the start: playing with a high tempo and being really positive.
"Strangely enough it wasn't too different to a lot of our first half performances this season where we've played really well and created a lot of chances. In this case though we took all of our chances and like I said it wouldn't be long before we're six-nil up against someone at halftime."
After racing to such a significant lead, the Mariners cruised in the second half and were still rewarded with two good goals.
Gianni Stensness assisted the seventh goal of the night, threading a perfect through ball into the Bankstown area. With plenty to do, Stewart charged onto the ball and delivered a classy finish for his second goal of the evening.
Maki Petratos won a penalty with about 10 minutes to go and with already a spot-kick under his belt, Wales again stepped up to score his side’s eighth goal of the night to claim a well-earned three points.
Despite winning by the highest margin of any team so far this season, Cahn and his side will remain grounded.
"We're not getting too far ahead of ourselves because there were still times in yesterday's game where I don't think we played very well. There were still some mistakes made, there were still some things that we can improve on massively. It's just still trying to strive for that consistency in the level of performance,” Cahn said.
When asked who stood out for his side, Cahn replied: "Brenton Fox scored four and Duncan Stewart grabbed two and they were a constant threat all night and caused problems every time we went forward.
“Lachie Wales was good; we had young central defender Michael Glassock make his debut for us and he played himself into the game very well. He was very composed and a threat from set pieces for and against. Obviously when you score eight goals the front players will get the accolades, but really it was just a nice, complete team performance,” Cahn said.
The Central Coast Mariners Academy under 18s team maintained their undefeated run with a tough 1-0 win and the under 20s also had a resounding 8-0 victory over Bankstown City. The 18s and 20s results marked a momentous occasion where all three senior teams went undefeated for back-to-back weeks.
This Saturday the Mariners Academy travel to Valentine Sports Park to face Spirit FC. First Grade kicks off at 7pm.
- U18s WON 1-0
- U20s WON 8-0
Pluim Park, Saturday 20 May 2017
Central Coast Mariners Academy: 1.Adam Pearce (GK), 2.Shelford Dais, 4.Michael Glassock, 5.Jake McGuinness, 6.James Enticknap, 7.Lachlan Wales, 8.Thomas Lyons, 9.Brenton Fox, 10.Duncan Stewart, 11.Peter Kekeris, 12.Yerasimakis Petratos, 14.S Kamara, 16.Gianni Stensness, 17.Jack Kuipers, 18.Steve Whyte, 20.Aidan Munford (GK), L Wilson.
Coach: Ben Cahn
Bankstown City: 1.Dion Shaw (GK), 3.A Bercerra, 5.Jeffrey Issa, 6.Aaron D'Mello, 7.Bruno Pivato, 8.David McMurray, 9.Nikola Todoroski, 10.Hussein Akil, 11.Huseyin Jasli, 12.Steven Veleski, 13.S Tarazona, 14.Mate Lucic, 17.Davide Talone, 21.Harry Timms, 22.D Jakimovski, 26.J. Gorgovski, 27.Antonio Gauci, 28.A Tanevski, S.Tarazona
Yellow Cards: Dion Shaw, S Tarazona
Coach: Mile Todoroski