The Central Coast Mariners Academy faced a tough away fixture against last season’s Champions, St George FC in the first game of the NPL 2 season where they drew 1-1.
A fast-firing Mariners Academy side were quick to get on the scoresheet when Bilal Belkadi played a through ball to Jordan Smylie who calmly slotted his shot past the St George FC keeper in the 25th minute.
However, the home side equalised just before half time as Kevin Lopes scored for the hosts.
It was then an uphill battle for the Mariners Academy who were reduced to ten men as Belkadi was given his marching orders after retaliating to a challenge.
The ten men Mariners not only held on for the draw, but pushed hard for the winner right until the dying stages. In the 90th minute, the Mariners Academy thought they had done enough for the winner when Dan Hall's ball into the box found Charles William but his header was just wide. They returned home with a hard earned point from last season’s Grand Final Winners.
All eyes will be on next weekend as the men’s academy play their first home game at Pluim Park against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday at 4pm.
- U18’s won 4-3
- U20’s won 2-0