No singing in the rain for Mariners Youth

For the second consecutive match the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side has been forced to settle for a 1-all draw against a Queensland based opponent. A goal from Bernie Ibini-Isei not enough to hold off a fast finishing Gold Coast United side, in their Week 6 encounter at Budgewoi this afternoon.

For the second consecutive match the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side has been forced to settle for a 1-all draw against a Queensland based opponent. A goal from Bernie Ibini-Isei not enough to hold off a fast finishing Gold Coast United side, in their Week 6 encounter at Budgewoi this afternoon.

The Young Mariners welcomed back the returning Qantas Young Socceroos trio of Mustafa Amini, Marc Warren and Sam Gallagher for the first time since the early rounds of the season, and they were greeted by a torrential downpour that meant scoring chances were few and far between.

Speaking after the match Ibini-Isei was disappointed that the Young Mariners had let the chance to get three points slip from their grasp, but felt there were some positive signs to come out of the match.

“It was a good performance, and we were unlucky not to get the win at the end.

“There-s some good signs for us and hopefully we can continue this type of performance and build on it to get a win next start,” Ibini-Isei said.

“We-re building but it-s good to see the new players come on and do well.”

It was the visitors from the tourist strip who nearly opened the scoring in just the sixth minute of play. Koh Satake fired off a stinging drive from point-blank range only to be denied by a sensational reflex save by Mariners- custodian Nik Matic. The ensuring scramble for the rebounding ball was won by experienced defender Chris Doig who cleared the ball off his line.

Mitchell Duke launched the host-s first attacking raid off the afternoon three minutes later when he made a long break down the right flank. Unfortunately for the last round goal scorer his shot sailed harmlessly off-target.

The home side-s next chance came from a fluent passage of play that began with Marc Warren. The defender released Matt Lewis with a perfectly timed through-ball that split the Gold Coast defence. The young speedster couldn-t weight his attempted cross to Bernie Ibini-Isei and the chance went begging.

Determined to show that it wasn-t only the Mariners wide players who could penetrate the defence, Gold Coast-s Ben Halloran almost turned provider in the 19th minute with a pin-point cross to an unmarked Satake. Fortunately for the Young Mariners the marksman was unable to steer the ball inside the near post, and his header fell safely into the waiting arms of Matic.

By now the torrential rain that had engulfed the ground was making conditions incredibly difficult for the players. The wind was not aiding scoring opportunities either with periodic gusts meaning that ball control and passes became challenging to complete. On several occasions for both teams passes that should-ve found their target with ease were ending up twenty metres over the sideline.

The conditions were more akin to a British climate than an Australian spring, and Chris Doig for one, would-ve felt right at home. The Scotsman provided one of the light hearted moments of the match when he fearlessly stopped a pitch invader. The fact that the invader had four legs didn-t detract from the big defender-s bravery in removing the small dog. The encounter sent laughter ringing around the ground but it didn-t distract Doig who had a superb match pulling off several fine challenges and constantly encouraging his younger teammates.

After struggling for the best part of a quarter of an hour to adjust to the conditions of the ground, the next chance fell to the hosts. James Oates split the compact Gold Coast defence with a through ball to Ibini-Isei who was lurking on the right wing. Ibini-Isei-s cross was too good for the support looming in the box and beat everyone over the line.

Marc Warren sent shivers through the camp when he clutched at his knee after an orthodox landing while competing for the ball. The Qantas Young Socceroos defender quickly recovered and provided an intelligent pass to Ibini-Isei that caught the Gold Coast defenders unaware. The resulting opportunistic volley went within inches of opening the scoring for the home side.

They left it late, but the Young Mariners were rewarded for their attacking play with the final kick of the first half. Full of confidence after getting his first taste of the Hyundai A-League on Wednesday night Mustafa Amini provided a gem of a pass that found a flying Ibini-Isei. The Nigerian born marksman wasn-t to be denied this time and he slotted home his second goal of the campaign to give the Young Mariners a 1-nil lead.

“It was a great ball from Mustafa, I saw the keeper come out and just slotted it in,” said Ibini-Isei.

The first twenty-five minutes of the second half saw both sides struggle to create any scoring chances after the energy sapping conditions of the first half. Both teams were content to hold possession for as long as possible and as a result were reduced to taking shots from distance. Skipper Sam Munro, who had a strong game in midfield, went closest to scoring on one of these long-range attempts.

In the 73rd minute Gold Coast managed to net an equalizer with their only opportunity of the half. After being dispossessed the Young Mariners were caught short on the counter and substitute Elliot Ronto was able to flick in a cross past a number of bodies in the box who realised the danger of the situation too late.

After letting the lead slip the Young Mariners were desperate to regain it and gain three very valuable competition points. Ironically they then created the two best scoring chances of the game but were unable to capitalise on either opportunity.

Chris Doig, searching for his first goal for the club, soared high above his marker from a corner but the resulting header was off-target. Mitchell Mallia who tried hard after his introduction from the bench was also unable to head past Gold Coast custodian Jerrad Tyson in what was to be the final opportunity for the match.

The win keeps the Gold Coast-s unbeaten start to the campaign intact, while for the Young Mariners they can only rue the one that got away.

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team is next in action on Sunday, 7th November when they take on Melbourne Victory FC at John Cain Memorial Park, Melbourne. Kickoff is at 2pm AEST.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Ibini-Isei 45+1-) Gold Coast United 1 (Ronto 73-)

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Nikodin MATIC (gk), 5. Jimmy OATES, 6. Sam MUNRO (c), 7. Brendan GRIFFIN, 9. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 10. Mitchell DUKE, (8. Nick FITZGERALD 60-), 12. Matthew LEWIS, 16. Mustafa AMINI, (11. Mitchell MALLIA 60-), 17. Sam GALLAGHER, 18. Marc WARREN (15. Adam ORMSBY 55-), 19. Chris DOIG (OA).

Subs not Used: 20. David BRADASEVIC (gk).

Yellow Cards: Gallagher 54- Red Cards: None

Gold Coast United: 1. Jerrad TYSON (gk), 2. Josh BRILLANTE, 3. Andrew BARISIC (OA), (10. Robert RUSSELL 61-), 4. Chris BROADFOOT (OA), (13. Elliot RONTO 61-), 5. Ben WEARING, 6. Koh SATAKE, 7. Zac ANDERSON, 8. Steven LUSTICA (c) (14. Mitch COOPER 61-), 9. Chris HAROLD, 11. Ben HALLORAN, 15. Matija SIMIC.

Subs not Used: 20. Tim ANDERSON (gk).

Yellow Cards: Broadfoot 41-, Barisic 49- Red Cards: None

Referee: Stephen LUCAS