The Central Coast Mariners Youth have taken a point from Marconi Stadium against a strong Western Sydney Wanderers Youth team thanks to a first half strike to Duncan Stewart.
It was a confronting task for the Mariners who lined up against a Wanderers Foxtel National Youth League side that included the likes of Shannon Cole, Jacob Melling and Robert Cornthwaite.
On paper the Wanderers fielded one of the most experienced FNYL teams that will be seen this season but that wouldn’t deter the Yellow & Navy who dominated for the first 30 minutes of play which resulted in the opening goal and chances that could have seen them three of four goals up.
Just after the 30-minute mark the Yellow & Navy would strike to take a first half lead when Ryan Peterson broke up play in the midfield to find Tom Lyons. Lyons then played the ball to Stewart who finished from close range to take the lead.
After saving a spot kick in Foxtel National Youth league round one, Mariners’ shot-stopper Adam Pearce was again called to action against the Wanderers. Mario Shabow stepped up to the spot and was no match for Pearce who saved his second penalty in as many weeks to ensure the Mariners would head into the break with a 1-0 lead. Pearce was outstanding throughout the 90 minutes in between the sticks.
Shabow was left to rue his saved penalty in the first half but in the second half he went on to equalise in the 73rd minute and earn a point for his team in what could be described as the only defensive lapse of the Mariners game who were well organised and followed their game plan to a tee.
Another stand out performance from the Yellow & Navy was former Western Sydney Wanderer Brenton Fox who terrorised the Wanderers’ back four throughout the match and was unlucky not to have a goal of his own from right wing.
Youth team Captain, Steve Whyte also put in another solid performance at left back and handled the attacking threat of Shannon Cole on the right wing.
Ben Cahn’s side now have full focus on their first Foxtel National Youth League home match of the season this Saturday against the Newcastle Jets at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence. Kick-off is 10:30am and entry is FREE!
Western Sydney Wanderers Youth: Daniel Axford (gk), Robert Cornthwaite, Jacob Melling, Shannon Cole, Keanu Baccus, Jackson Bandiera, Henry Davies, Tariq Maia, Manyiel Riel Majok, Mario Shabow, Liam Youlley
Central Coast Mariners Youth: Adam Pearce (gk), Shelford Dais, James Enticknap, Brenton Fox, Peter Kekeris, Thomas Lyons, Reece Papadimitrios, Ryan Peterson, Zac Sfiligoi. Duncan Stewart, Steve Whyte