NYL: Nine-man Mariners down Reds

A nine-man Central Coast Mariners extended their advantage atop the National Youth League ladder to six points following a 2-1 win against Adelaide United.

Patrick Dixon celebrates the game's opening goal. Image © John Dewberry / Central Coast Mariners

A nine-man Central Coast Mariners extended their advantage atop the National Youth League ladder to six points following a 2-1 win against Adelaide United.

The home side had to survive the dismissals of Adriano Pellegrino after eight minutes and Hayden Morton (83 minutes) along with an improved Adelaide in the second half to register the win.

Goals in the first half to Patrick Dixon and Brad McDonald laid the platform after Pellegrino was given his marching orders by referee Kevin Peddie after he allegedly spat at Adelaide's Jacob Melling.

Both Pellegrino and Melling after the encounter confirmed the incident didn-t involving spitting.

Dixon opened the Mariners account with a great finish in the 24th minute from a play which started in the home side's own half.

The advantage was doubled six minutes later after a defensive mix-up by Adelaide saw McDonald round Adelaide -keeper John Hall and slot home.

Adelaide's clear cut chances in the first stanza were few and far between, with the best of their first-half attempts a Thomas Briscoe header which ended up at the feet of team-mate Awer Mabil who couldn-t finish.

Too often Adelaide fell into the offside trap set by the Mariners or passed into vacant spaces when on the attack.

Michael Valkanis- side improved in the second half and pulled one back when Briscoe netted in the 55th minute after Mariners shot-stopper David Bradasevic came nearly 40 metres out to clear a ball but was unable to.

Bradasevic was kept busy when he stopped another Briscoe attempt in the 73rd minute and Adelaide were unlucky not to draw level after a tremendous turn and right-foot shot from Mabil rattled the cross bar with ten minutes to go.

The Mariners were forced to defend with even more effort when captain Morton was sent from the park seven minutes from time.

John McLafferty-s men held on despite the South Australians continuing to pepper their penalty in the dying stages.

The Mariners move to 33 points, six clear of Melbourne Victory who play on Sunday.

Following the game, Central Coast Mariners Youth Head Coach, John McLafferty, said that he believed his side played good football throughout the game despite the early dismissal of Pellegrino.

“With ten men to be 2-0 up and to be playing the best football we knew that we-d done something right and at half-time we knew the opposition would change to three up front.”

“(In the second half) we changed our style because we knew they would change theirs.”

“The players knew their roles and they carried them out perfectly.”

Central Coast Mariners Youth 2 (Dixon 24-, McDonald 29-) Adelaide United Youth 1 (Briscoe 55-) Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence

Central Coast Mariners Youth: 1. David Bradasevic (Gk), 4. Kieren Paull, 5. Hayden Morton (c), 6. Daniel Bragg (2. Nikola Stanojevic 61-), 7. Adam Jenner, 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 12. Patrick Dixon (9. Aaron Peterson 54-), 13. Brent Griffiths, 14. Jordan Crighton (11. Louis Bozanic 57-), 15. Brad McDonald, 17. Anthony Caceres Subs not used: 20. Daniel Sadaka (Gk) Yellow cards: Griffiths 35-, Crighton 44-, Bozanic 66- Red cards: Pellegrino 8-, Morton 83-

Adelaide United Youth: 1. John Hall (Gk), 2. Shaun Harvey (13. Daniel Pritchard 57-), 4. Sasa Zekanovic (9. John Karatzas 46-), 5. Scott Nagel, 6. Jake Monaco, 7. Liam Wooding (c), 8. Thomas Briscoe, 10. Dion Kirk, 12. Jordan Elsey, 14. Awer Mabil, 15. Jacob Melling (11. Nathan Konstandopoulos 57-) Subs not used: 20. Paul Izzo (Gk) Yellow cards: Elsey 1-, Mabil 29-, Kirk 54- Red cards: Nil

Referee: Kevin Peddie