The Central Coast Mariners Academy earned an important point in their PS4 NPL 2 fixture against the Bankstown Berries in a 2-2 draw at Pluim Park thanks to a brace by Reece Papadimitrios.
After a disappointing loss away from home to Marcarthur Rams last weekend despite a dominant performance, the Mariners Academy were looking to get back in the winner’s circle against the Bankstown Berries at home.
The Berries had a good chance 20 minutes in when a shot was fired towards goal but Adam Pearce was up to the task. The ball looked like it was flying into the top corner but Pearcey threw himself right to make a very impressive save and keep the scores level.
After making his Hyundai A-League debut last weekend, Lachlan Wales was back for the Academy this weekend. The 19-year-old-attacker found his range mid-way through the first half, when he sent a sizzling shot onto the crossbar in the 35th minute.
Just as the game looked to be deadlocked at half time, a mistake at the back lead to Bankstown Berries taking the lead thanks to Jake Bradshaw.
Whatever Head Coach, Ben Cahn said at half time worked wonders and his side came flying out of the blocks in the second half. Just five minutes into the first half Reece Papadimitrios connected with a stunning free-kick that found its way into the top corner.
The Mariners players and fans all thought they had earned a penalty in the 69th minute when Shelford Prais was brought down in the box but the penalty claims were waved away.
The away side snatched the lead back with five minutes left on the clock when Gavin Forbes capitalised on a header which looked like it would secure three points for the Berries but the Mariners Academy had other ideas.
In typical Mariners spirit, the youngsters fought hard and won a late penalty in stoppage time when a Berries’ defender was ruled to have handled the ball in the box. Reece Papadimitrios stepped up and slotted the ball home to give the Academy a hard-fought point.
- U18's WON 7-0
- U20's WON 6-2