Sky Blues overcome Mariners in NYL

Leaders Sydney FC continued their seemingly inexorable march to the Foxtel National Youth League crown with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners.

Leaders Sydney FC continued their seemingly inexorable march to the Foxtel National Youth League crown with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners.

The free-scoring Sky Blues were made to work overtime for the victory with two first-half goals within a three-minute period from Mitch Mallia and Chris Naumoff proving the difference.

The Mariners entered the contest with just a single win all season, a record that contrasted sharply to Sydney's ten wins from eleven starts.

The visitors defied their status as competition cellar-dwellers and were solid all over the pitch, with goalkeeper Justin Pasfield proving a reliable last line of defence.

The match opened at a fast pace on the plastic pitch at the Sydney United Sports Centre despite the late afternoon heat in Sydney's west.

Nevertheless, goal-scoring chances remained at a premium until the deadlock was broken just past the half-hour mark.

Anthony Tomelic delivered a well-flighted corner from the right that was flicked onto the far post by Aaron Calver for the prolific Mallia to score.

Just three minutes later Chris Naumoff spanked home a spectacular long-range free-kick as the Sky Blues took a stranglehold on proceedings.

Alex Urosevski momentarily seemed set to put the game out of reach for the Sky Blues in the second half as he danced around Pasfield only to see the ball run out of play.

Sights of goal were rare for the visitors with a snap shot from Patrick Dixon powered wide, while Max Burgess soon did likewise at the opposite end for Sydney.

Almost immediately midfielder Lachlan Wales stuck the crossbar from distance as the Mariners narrowly missed a much-needed goal.

Dixon was then denied by an excellent low stop from Sky Blues goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast as the Mariners finished strongly, albeit to no avail.

Sydney FC 2 (Mallia 33', Chris Naumoff 36') Central Coast Mariners 0 Edensor Park, Sydney