Back on home soil after a solid away trip, Mariners academy needed some home love to rally against fierce opposition.
Our youth boys kicked off the weekend by soaking in the home-field advantage with some dominating displays against Mount Druitt Town Rangers FC.
14’s (5-1), 15’s (4-2), and 16’s (4-0) all routed their opponents, while the 18’s couldn’t walk away with any points in a 2-0 defeat.
Sunday afternoon was home to our senior men’s fixtures against North West Sydney Spirit FC, and the 20’s continued their clean sheet success in a sublime 7-0 victory.
Other than an Adrian Delmoni and Dylan Susovic double, the other five goals were shared around the team. Despite the victory, a win to Northern Tigers FC puts them ahead in goal difference.
First grade, however, couldn’t match their youngers efforts – defeated 1-0 – their first defeat since April.
Spirit opened the scoring in the 24th minute through Dominic Johns, and from then on, the Mariners couldn’t pierce their opponent’s defence.
Mariners had a chance to level in the first half from a spot kick, though goal-scoring leader Lachlan Bayliss’ effort was denied by Christopher Marques to keep the home side scoreless.
Andrew Christiansen’s men continued to mount the pressure with several chances, though they were to no result, even with Spirit going down to 10 men.
Although the result still keeps first grade within touching distance of top spot, Christiansen was weary of his side’s quality not being of usual standard.
“We weren’t ourselves in the first half. Though we were much improved in the second half, we lacked quality in the final third to put away chances,” he said.
“The player sent off with 25 minutes remaining changed the games dynamic, though ultimately couldn’t find a way to score.”
“We’re disappointed but we’ll bounce back next week at home again,” he said finally.
Our women’s sides concluded the weekend, with the youth teams setting the stage for the senior sides against Northbridge Bulls FC.
14’s (3-2) and 16’s (5-2) collected victories, while 15’s tallied a 1-1 draw.
Drawing back on last week’s wrap, our girls 14’s victory puts them above Sutherland Shire FA into first place and still undefeated.
20’s played out a gritty match against Bulls and went into half time 0-0. The second half scoring did open, though it wasn’t the way of our girls, going down 3-1.
According to Football NSW, and many would the match of the round for the League One Women’s competition went to our first-grade side in an electric 2-2 draw against heavy weights Northbridge.
Our girls jumped to a 2-0 first half lead thanks to captain Kaitlin Murphy – her tenth of the season – and an incredible chip past Bulls goalkeeper from Sophie Nenadovic from halfway no less put the Mariners two goals ahead at the break.
Northbridge struck back right after the half through a nice finish from Tamires Souza, though Peter Preston’s side were quick to attempt to restore their two-goal advantage.
Despite their efforts, first grade couldn’t get their chances to fall, and Northbridge took advantage of that to find the equaliser in the 86th minute courtesy of Cate Gyzen.
Preston was pleased with his girl’s performance against one of the contender sides in the competition.
“We played really well, though conceded late in the second half unfortunately,” he said.
“Girls put in a tremendous shift against a very good team.”
The result keeps first grade in eighth position and will now need to get more positive results on the board to push into finals.