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Jul 05, 2022   |  1:18PM AET

Academy Men’s climb the summit with crucial victories over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Academy Men’s climb the summit with crucial victories over Western Sydney Wanderers.

In a weather affected weekend, only the Men’s 20’s and first grade were able to play out their fixtures against Western Sydney Wanderers, while all other academy fixtures against Rockdale Ilinden FC and Camden Tigers FC were subject to washout reschedules.

Beginning then with the 20’s, and the squad pushed themselves further away from the pack in first place with a 4-2 victory over Western Sydney.

A first half brace to Dylan Susovic and a single to Bailey Brandtman led the team 3-0 up at the half, though a quick-fire double to Wanderers’ Oliver Randazzo brought the home side back into the contest.

Josh Hong (right) got on the scoresheet for the first time this season

Despite the pressure as the second half wore on, Mariners Nikola Skataric sealed the victory in the 73rd minute to push the 20’s six points clear at the top of the competition.

The 20’s now hosts Blacktown Spartans this Sunday at Pluim Park.

First grade were one of two fixtures that took place over round seventeen of the League One Men’s competition, and Andrew Christiansen’s men made it count with a 2-0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers to return to the summit.

A seven-goal thriller in their last matchup, the stakes were much higher this time round.

An early goal to Joshua Hong in the 13th minute kept the visitors ahead at the half, before Harry McCarthy picked up the scraps and chipped the keeper in style from the top corner of the box in the 55th minute to maintain Mariners lead right into full time.

Abilities were tested in the treacherous conditions, though either side were up to the challenge, creating some slick opportunities that went unpunished.

Mariners’ goalkeeper Lawrence Caruso stood strong with the slippery ball in play, making some solid saves to keep the home side scoreless throughout, and Central Coast’s attack in Dor Jok, Ezra Palombini and Stefan Nikolic continued to put Western Sydney on the back foot to show their fierce desire to win.

Lawrence Caruso had an impressive game in goals yet again

An added time chance to Jackson Khoury almost put another nail in the coffin of their opponents, as Mariners recorded their eighth clean sheet of the season to jump a point clear of Western Sydney.

More impressively, first grade is the only opponent this season to keep Western Sydney Wanderers scoreless, an almighty effort from the team.

Christiansen overall was pleased with his side’s victory against one of the League One heavyweights.

“I’m proud of the group and the performance the boys put in,” said Christiansen.

“The boys showed quality with the ball, strong desire and work ethic, and deserved the three points.”

“More importantly, we are happy to keep a clean sheet against a team that’s scored in every match prior too.”

First grade will host Blacktown Spartans next weekend at Pluim Park on Sunday.