Young Mariners make their point, better late than never

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League teams’ blushes have been spared by late goals from Jerry Kalouris and Bernie Ibini-Isei, to earn a 2-all draw in their encounter with Gold Coast United this afternoon.

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League teams- blushes have been spared by late goals from Jerry Kalouris and Bernie Ibini-Isei, to earn a 2-all draw in their encounter with Gold Coast United this afternoon.

In what can be aptly described as a game of two halves the Mariners were able to come home with a set sail after displaying their worst opening half of the season. Goals from Gold Coast United-s James Brown and Andrew Barisic, were cancelled out by the Mariners and the draw means that Tony Walmsely-s side will remain at the top of the table, for at least another week.

Head coach Tony Walmsley was brutally honest about the efforts of his side after the match.

"I wouldn-t say we were lucky with the result, I thought we were far the better team in the second half but we made an absolute pigs ear of the first half."

"We were lucky to be one down at half time, I think was where we were fortunate. That was our worst half of football all season," Walmsley said.

Gold Coast United made their attacking intentions clear in the opening minute of the match when Chris Harold had a golden chance to open the scoring. He mistimed his shot and the home side was able to regroup for the goal kick.

The Gold Coast aggressive attitude nearly paid off just minutes later when an ineffective header from Adam Ormsby was seized upon by the eager Gold Coast attackers. Fortunately for the home side the defence were able to scramble and retrieve situation.

In a worrying sign for the Young Mariners the Gold Coast side were able to split open the defence at will and the midfield were struggling to get a touch in the first ten minutes of the match. Chris Harold had two more chances to open the scoring when he blasted over the top from close range in the fifteenth minute before being thwarted moments later by the human preying mantis that is Andrew Redmayne.

Jonathan Brown showed deceptive pace to set up the Mariners first opportunity of the match in the eighteenth minute. It looked like the ball would beat the Welsh player over the sideline but he showed good determination and strength to not only regain possession but also provided a solid cross to Gavin Forbes.

Gold Coast opened the scoring through James Brown in the 25th minute It was a bizarre passage of play that should have been cleared by the Mariners defence. In the end it was an absolute miss-kick by Brown that found the net and the celebrations were notably muted who appeared almost embarrassed.

James Brown should have doubled the lead moments later but blasted his shot over the top.

Gavin Forbes tried his luck from distance on the half hour mark but his shot lacked the power to really trouble Jerrad Tyson.

Disaster was narrowly averted for the home side from the resulting counter-attack when Nathan Sherlock lost his footing, which almost allowed Harold to slide through the gap unopposed.

Panny Nikas showed touches of pure class in an attempt to get his side back into the match. Two sublime touches allowed Manny Giannaros to get a shot away, which almost resulted in the Mariners getting the equaliser. Giannaros didn-t quite get the direction on his shot and it should have been a comfortable save for Gold Coast custodian Jerrad Tyson. Tyson for reasons known only to him decided to punch the ball clear, forcing his defenders to scramble to deny the Mariners the chance to drive the ball home.

Ironically despite the 1-nil deficit the Mariners created the best chance of the half when a Nicky Travis thunderbolt from twenty-yards almost sneaked in on the far boast. To his credit Tyson was able to get a glove to the ball to deny the Englishman the goal.

Whatever Tony Walmsley said at half time seemed to have immediate effect as the Young Mariners came out full of purpose in the second half.

The Young Mariners thought they had equalised seconds into the half but were denied three times in the space of ten seconds when some scrambling defence combined to deny Jonathan Brown, Bernie Ibini-Isei and Nick Fitzgerald a goal.

Gold Coast had the chance to double their lead when James Brown stepped up to take a free kick in a dangerous position in the sixtieth minute. However Young Socceroos ‘keeper Andrew Redmayne had it well covered, frustrating the visitors.

Panny Nikas sent in a dipping free kick minutes later that troubled the Gold Coast defence who put it out of play in order to defuse the situation. From the resulting corner Brady Smith was able to defy gravity and soar above his marker but was unable to control the header and the ball sailed harmlessly wide of the target.

Nikas got away a good shot under pressure in the 70th minute but was unable to direct the shot past Tyson. To the Mariners absolute frustration the Gold Coast were able to counter-attack against the run of play with Andrew Barisic chipping Andrew Redmayne to double the Gold Coast lead.

Steven Lustica tried to put the result beyond doubt with a stinging attempt from the edge of the box in the 74th minute but Redmayne was able to comfortably get his body behind the trajectory of the ball to deny the Gold Coast substitute.

The Mariners midfield were starting to string passes together and it paid off just four minutes later when Jerry Kalouris was able to finish a loping cross from Brady Smith. It was a positive piece of play for the Young Mariners and seemed to spur the side into action.

The Young Mariners began to attack with the poise and maturity that was lacking the first half but had taken Tony Walmsley-s side to the top of the table.

Mitch Mallia was able to ride a challenge in the 84th minute and not only keep his ground but provide a perfectly weighted cross that Bernie Ibini-Isei was able to power into the back of the net. The young striker was ecstatic with notching his first goal for the club.

The momentum was now with the home side and Nick Fitzgerald clearly fancied his chances from distance but was unable to get the required accuracy on his shot. Jonathan Brown thought he was through in the dying seconds of regulation time but was deemed to be offside by the sideline official and thus was denied a chance to go one on one with Tyson.

There was one more heart-in-mouth moment for the Young Mariners in the final seconds of stoppage time when Andrew Barisic looked to be in the clear but a strong challenge from Manny Giannaros stopped the marksman in his tracks.

"We put the first half behind us, made some tactical changes and it really was a case of starting again.

"All three of our subs were fantastic today.

"The focus for us is on their mentality, we-re top of the league so they-re always under pressure, you add the heat to that and the Gold Coast are a good team. It-s more of a mental thing rather than a physical issue," Walsmley said.

The Mariners- next home match of the National Youth League 2009/10 season will be against Newcastle Jets Saturday, 6 February. Kick-off is at 3:15pm. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. Nathan SHERLOCK, 3. Jerry KALOURIS, 6. Manny GIANNAROS, 7. Matthew LEWIS, 9. Gavin FORBES, (18. Bernie IBINI-ISEI 46-) 10. Panny NIKAS (C), 12. Nicky Travis, (8. Nick FITZGERALD 46-) 14. Brady SMITH, 15. Adam ORMSBY, (11. Mitchell MALLIA 46-) 17. Jonathan BROWN.

Unused Subs 20.Mathew RYAN (GK).

Yellow Cards None Red Cards None Goals Kalouris 77-, Ibini-Isei 84-

Gold Coast United 1. Jerrad TYSON (GK), 2. Steven TOPALOVIC, 4. Steve FITZSIMMONS (C), 5. Ben WEARING, 6. James BROWN, 7. Zac ANDERSON, 9. Chris HAROLD, (15. Reuben WAY 56-) 10. Koh SATAKE, (12. Richard GREER 59-) 11. Ben HALLORAN, (8. Steven LUSTICA 56-) 13. ROBSON, 14. Andrew BARISIC.

Unused Subs 20. Tim ANDERSON (GK).

Yellow Cards Barisic 52-, Greer 63- Red Cards None Goals Brown 25-, Barisic 71-