An in-form Central Coast Mariners' Academy recorded a 2-all draw with Hills Brumbies at Pluim Park on Saturday after the visitors came back from a two-goal deficit.
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Brenton Fox 2) Hills Brumbies 2 (Matias Toro Suazo, Daine Merrin)
Goal-scoring ace Brenton Fox grabbed two first half goals for the Mariners, while Matias Toro Suazo and Daine Merrin hit back for the Brumbies.
The Mariners were gunning for their sixth win in a row and when Fox opened the scoring in the first minute and added a second just shy of the half hour mark, it looked like the Coasters would canter home to victory. But it wasn't to be.
Mariners coach Ben Cahn said his side dominated the first half and should have held more than a two-goal lead.
"We started really well and scored in the first couple of minutes," Cahn told Football NSW. "We really dominated the first half, scored a comfortable second goal; hit the bar at 2-0 up just before halftime; missed two one-on-ones and in the second half we missed a host of really good chances and allowed them to sneak back into it."
The Central Coast mentor added that the result was disappointing and his boys felt like they'd lost, "which shows how far they've come in the last couple of months".
Cahn said his side had so many opportunities - one v ones and even an open goal from inside the six yard box - but just couldn't add to their two-goal lead.
"The boys were devastated by the result but that's a testament to the belief they have in themselves and the expectations we have as a group now.
"Hills are a good side and they've got some really good attacking players. I think structurally certainly going forward they're one of the best in the league. They're very clever with the way they use their numbers going forward and they were in the game the whole time. They also had some good chances. But it was disappointing to have led by 2-0 and not come away with the win, especially after missing so many goals when we had that two-goal buffer."
Central Coast Mariners Academy are back in action at home again this Saturday, hosting Northern Tigers FC. Kickoff is 5pm at Pluim Park in 1sts, with Under 18's at 1pm and Under 20's at 3pm.
- Under 20s - CCMA 1 Brumbies 1
- Under 18s - CCMA 6 Brumbies 1