After leading for majority of the match, the Central Coast Mariners Youth conceded two late goals to fall 3-2 to the Newcastle Jets in a five-goal-thriller at the Mariners Centre of Excellence.
It was a heartbreaking end to a great game where a goal on the stroke of half time and two at the death saw the Jets Youth through.
We looked certain to claim three points with a gutsy performance in scorching heat thanks to goals by Lachie Wales, James Markovic and an Adam Pearce penalty save, but Newcastle stole it in the 90th minute.
At a scorching Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence the game got off to a flying start with both teams playing fast paced, aggressive football.
The Mariners had the best of the opening stages with Peter Kekeris creating the first clear cut chance of the match in the 4th minute. He lobbed a precision pass to Matias Paz in the box who chested down beautifully but his shot wasn’t enough to beat the keeper.
As play started to slow down due to the heat, Adam Berry found himself with the next chance of the match for the Mariners. Lachie Wales burst up the middle of the pitch and started an impressive build up that ended with Adam Berry firing a shot into the upright.
In the 31st minute, the Mariners took the lead after Quentin Cheng was chopped down just outside the box. From the set piece, the ball bobbled to Markovic who poked his shot home from close range to give his side the lead.
Before the end of the half, Adam Pearce made an impressive save with his left boot to deny a Jets’ two-on-one opportunity. Berry then hit the post at the other end with another impressive shot. A minute later, Kekeris fired a shot that also found the upright thanks to a sharp fingertip save from Kane Runge in the Jets’ goal.
Then, on the stroke of half time, the Jets lodged an attack down the left where they found their equaliser. The ball came in from the wing and Cameron Joice took his chance to make it 1-1 just before the break.
Early in the second half the Mariners took the lead through Lachie Wales. A wide ball fell to the feet of Wales who steadied himself to fire home and give his side a 2-1 lead in the 58th minute.
With the game, firmly in the Mariners’ control, the Jets were awarded a penalty in the 77th minute. Devante Clut had the honours to attempt an equaliser but a huge full stretched diving save by Adam Pearce kept the Mariners 2-1 up.
Then the unthinkable happened.
In the 89th minute the Jets found an equaliser through Finn Harris After some pinball in the box it fell to Harris who volleyed home. The Jets then found a winner in the last minute of the game, Angus Thurgate was the hero for the Newcastle Jets Youth with a finish from inside the box to steal three points at the death.
Central Coast Mariners Youth: 1.Adam PEARCE (gk), 2.Quentin CHENG, 3.Lewis MILLER, 4.James MARKOVIC, 5.Jack KUIPERS (c), 6.Josh NISBET, 7.Lachlan WALES, 9.Matias PAZ (18.Kyle JOHNSON 83’), 10.Assad TAOUIL (19.Charles WILLIAM 62’), 11.Peter KEKERIS (12.Emmanuel PETERS 80’), 15.Adam BERRY
Unused Substitutes: 20.Jack GREENWOOD (gk)
Newcastle Jets Youth: 1.Kane RUNGE (gk), 2.Joseph O’CONNOR, 5.Kieran HAYES, 6.Antonee BURKE GILROY (19.Finn HARRIS 63’), 7.Yerasimakis PETRATOS (12.Cameron JOICE 17’), 8.Angus THURGATE, 9.Kent HARRISON, 10.Devante CLUT, 11.Kosta PETRATOS (18.Tyson JACKSON 63’), 14.Solomon-John MONAGHAN-VAIIKA
Unused Substitutes: 20.Tristan EQUILANT (gk)