Young Mariners fizzle as Jets take points

The Central Coast Mariners remain on top of the ladder despite being comprehensively outplayed in a 4-1 thrashing by local rivals Newcastle Jets in their rescheduled National Youth League Round 23 match this afternoon.

The Central Coast Mariners remain on top of the ladder despite being comprehensively outplayed in a 4-1 thrashing by local rivals Newcastle Jets in their rescheduled National Youth League Round 23 match this afternoon.

The Mariners will retain top-spot on the NYL table but it was the visitors from the Hunter who threw out the formbook.

Goals from Fabian Iacovelli, James Virgili, Matthew Sim and Mirjan Pavlovic ensured that the Jets would journey up the F3 with the three points safely in their bags.

A lone strike from Gavin Forbes ensured that the Mariners wouldn-t suffer the ignominy of their biggest defeat of the season.

From the opening whistle both sides appeared content to consolidate possession and as a result goal-scoring opportunities were few and far between for attack minded players.

The home side looked at their most threatening when they played with width with Brendan Griffin and Mitchell Mallia causing headaches for the Newcastle defence with some incisive runs down the flanks.

Midfielders Matthew Lewis and Brady Smith, both fresh from appearances in the Hyundai A-League, displayed plenty of cunning and guile, but neither were able to fully capitalise on the space created by their teammates.

The combination between Nick Fitzgerald and Bernie Ibeni-Isei continues to develop and very nearly resulted in the opening goal for the home side. A pinpoint early ball from Fitzgerald released Ibeni-Isei who was able to complete a deft turn and with deceptive pace throw off his marker. He completed the maneuver by cutting the ball across the face of goal and a fully stretched Dylan Macallister just failed to connect with the ball.

In a war of attrition someone inevitably has to blink first and unfortunately for the Mariners fans it was the team wearing yellow and blue.

Newcastle-s Fabian Iacovelli was allowed to get a shot away under little pressure in the 19th minute. Goalkeeper Nik Matic was able to get enough of his body behind the ball to parry the initial shot away but Iacovelli, following through on a whim, was able to drive the ball home.

The Mariners had the next two scoring opportunities both from set pieces within the space of two minutes. Nathan Sherlock, who was skippering the side, stepped up to try his luck from about 22 yards from goal. Sherlock-s effort was a valid attempt but he was unable to get the ball to dip into the unguarded far post. Brady Smith was the next man to try his luck and after his efforts in the Hyundai A-League his confidence was sky high. Unfortunately for the Central Coast local, that-s where the ball ended up, as his effort sailed agonizingly over the cross bar.

The Mariners had a golden chance to level the score when a floating Griffin free kick found Nick Fitzgerlald who-s glancing header went just wide of the near post.

Mitchell Mallia took upon himself to have a crack from open play and his audacity nearly paid off with his full-blooded drive going just wide.

Matic was called into action for one of the few times in the match and pulled off a strong save in the 42nd minute after a drive from Jesse Pinto. The Mariners final scoring chance of the half was a well-worked passage of play with passes from Lewis and Fitzgerald finding Mallia who blasted over the bar.

With the first half deep in stoppage time, the Mariners were just a bit too casual in clearing the ball out of their backline and an alert James Virgili pounced to nab a second to give the visitors a two-goal buffer at the break.

The Jets came out full of running in the second half with Iacovelli blasting a shot over the top moments after the break. It was a friendly reminder to Andrew Redmayne, who was introduced at the break, that he needed to be on his toes.

The Mariners responded ten minutes later with a sharp chance of their own. Gavin Forbes headed the ball into the cross bar and the resulting rebound was cleared off the line, much to the frustration of the marksman.

Newcastle kept pushing, determined to add to their lead and a cross from Ivacovelli was headed down with plenty of power by Mirjan Pavlovic but was well saved by Redmayne who put it out of play.

There was controversy from the resulting corner. The Mariners cleared the ball upfield but were stunned to hear the shrill sound of the whistle fifty yards behind them. The referee had adjudged Luka Dukic to be holding onto the shirt of a Newcaslte player and deemed the offence to be worthy of a penalty.

Matthew Sim stepped up and while Mariners custodian Andrew Redmayne read the ball correctly, from that distance he was unable to get down quickly enough to stop the ball from hitting the net.

The Mariners, now desperate to salvage something out of the game, were reduced to trying their luck from distance to try and get a goal. Both Adam Ormsby and Ibeni-Isei were unable to get the required power into their shots to trouble Robbie Kolak.

Newcastle were keen to inflict more pain on the hapless Mariners and in the 76th minute they got their chance when Pavlovic was able to outjump his marker from a corner and head down into an open goal.

Such was the Mariners luck the Jets very well could have had a fifth seconds later when Redmayne came off his line after a mix up in communication with his defenders. His blushes were spared by the bounce of the ball.

Fitzgerald who had tried hard throughout the game took it upon himself to restore some pride to the Mariners but his drive from distance was easily held by Kolak.

It was up to Gavin Forbes to ensure that the Mariners would at least get a goal on the board on a disappointing afternoon for the home side.

In the 83rd minute Forbes controlled a long ball with a subtle touch. With a sudden burst of acceleration he was able to round Kolac and far from being daunted by the acute angle he found himself in he blasted the shot home for a well worked goal.

For the Mariners the match finished how it began with both teams content to hold the ball to run out the clock.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Nik MATIC (GK) (20. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK) 46-), 2. Nathan SHERLOCK (c), 3. Jerry KALOURIS (9. Gavin FORBES 54-), 4. Matthew LIDDALL, 6. Matthew LEWIS (5. Luka DUKIC 46-), 7. Brendan GRIFFIN, 8. Nick FITZGERALD, 11. Mitchell MALLIA, 14. Brady SMITH (15. Adam ORMSBY 46-), 18. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 19. Dylan MACALLISTER

Unused Subs None

Yellow Cards Kalouris 24- Red Cards Goals Forbes 83-

Newcastle Jets 1. Robbie KOLAC (GK), 2. Jon GRIFFITHS, 3. Matthew SIM, 4. Umut TOKDOGAN, 5. James VIRGILI (12. Jarrad ROSS 58-), 6. Taylor REGAN (C), 7. William ANGEL (10. Mirjan PAVLOVIC 55-), 8. Brodie MOOY, 9. Damian BROSQUE (14. Adrian KARAKOLEVSKI 54-), 11. Jesse PINTO, 13. Fabian IACOVELLI.

Unused Subs 20. Dion SHAW (GK)

Yellow Cards Griffiths 10-, Pinto 64- Red Cards Goals Iacovelli 19-, Virgili 45-, Sim 59-, Pavlovic 74-