The Central Coast Mariners Academy PS4 NPL2 NSW side will look to bounce back from a last-start draw when they take on the Northern Tigers on Saturday at North Turramurra Recreation Reserve.
An early double from Brenton Fox in last weekend's fixture was not quite enough for the Mariners Academy to overcome the Hills Brumbies on Saturday evening, with the score ending in a 2-all draw thanks to a pair of second half goals to the visitors, which included a late penalty.
The Mariners now shift focus to this weekend's clash with the Northern Tigers, to be played at North Turramurra Recreation Area on Saturday, with kick off set for 5pm.
The Tigers, who currently sit second on the PS4 NPL2 NSW Men’s ladder, also couldn’t maintain their lead last weekend, held to a 3-all draw by third placed St. George.
Former Mariner Ryan Peterson will line-up against his former side this weekend. The attacker frequently featured in Paul Okon’s Hyundai A-League matchday squad throughout the 2016/17 season, and made a short cameo in the Round 1 come-from-behind 3-all draw with Perth Glory to start the season in October. His NPL season for the Tigers has been impressive thus far, having scored 9 goals in 13 appearances so far this season - and he will no doubt be looking to hit double figures against his former side this Saturday.
It shapes to be one of Peterson’s final games on Australian shores, as he heads to America to link up with the University of Virginia next Friday.
Peterson's strike partner Jordan Smylie has also been impressive in front of goals this season. The 17 year old has scored 7 goals in 12 first grade appearances, and this weekend both players will be looking to find the back of the net to end the Mariners six-game unbeaten run.
The Mariners, meanwhile will be hoping for a similar result to the previous clash between the two sides, when the Academy defeated the Tigers 3-0 in round 4. A double to Lachlan Wales and a strike from Maki Petratos was enough to put the Tigers to the sword that evening at Valentine Sports Park.
A win for the Mariners this weekend could them rise to as high as second place on the NPL2 ladder, where a win for the Tigers could see them go clear in second positon themselves.
Duncan Stewart remains in doubt for this weekends fixture with a knee injury, while keeper Aidan Munford is struggling with a back injury.
Player in focus: Tom Lyons
This week we caught up with Mariners Youth defensive utility Tom Lyons. 'Tommy', as he is affectionately known, can play a number of roles for Ben Cahn's side and has been in fine form this NPL2 season.
"I think we played well last week but we just weren't as clinical in front of goal as we have been in recent weeks.
"Defensively we were sound but again we made some simple errors that we haven't been making for the last month prior. If we get the mistakes out of our game again then I think we will get back to winning ways this weekend."
Overall, Lyons is pleased with the teams trajectory.
"We have hit form at almost the perfect time. This weekend will probably be the biggest game of the regular season because us and Northern Tigers are both fighting hard for promotion.
"We have a lot of players who are capable of playing first grade every week and I think that is a major factor in our form. We know that our spots aren't set in stone so we need to fight at training and in games.
"It's simple really, if we want to get back on track this weekend we need to be more composed in front of goals. At the same time we need to tighten the screws at the back again and if that's happens I am confident we can get the result", he concluded.
Central Coast Mariners Academy v Northern Tigers
Saturday 24th June, North Turramurra Recreation Area
Entry is FREE
Updates live @CCMariners on Twitter
Kick off for this weekend fixtures are as follows:
- Under 18's - 1:00pm
- Under 20's - 3:00pm
- 1sts kickoff - 5:00pm
Our Youth Academy sides will also play Bankstown City FC on Saturday, on Pluim Park No. 3 field. Kickoff times as follows:
- U13 Youth - 9:00am
- U14 Youth - 10:25am
- U15 Youth - 11:45am
- U16 Youth - 1:05pm
Our Women's Academy sides will be on the road this Sunday when they face Bankstown City FC at Jensen Park.
Bankstown City FC v Central Coast Mariners Academy Women
Sunday 25th June, Jensen Park, Clapham Road, Regents Park
Kick off for these fixtures are as follows:
- Under 13's - 8:30am
- Under 15's - 9:55am
- Under 17's - 11:30am
- Reserves - 1:05pm
- 1sts kickoff - 3pm