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May 24, 2022   |  11:17AM AET

Academy sides ramp it up with commanding away performances

Academy sides ramp it up with commanding away performances

It was a successful away trip for our academy sides, bringing home some commanding wins and showing their opponents Blacktown City and St George FC they aren’t reliant on home field advantage.

Men’s:

Unfortunately, due to wet weather our youth boys were subjected to another washout reschedule. The senior boys really set the stage for a triumphant weekend, beginning with the 20’s.

The 20’s continued their commanding integrity from last week’s 5-0 victory to defeat St George FC 4-0, courtesy of a hat-trick to Ezra Palombini and a goal to Aidan Milicevic.

It’s their sixth clean sheet of the season and they continue to hold equal first place positioning with Northern Tigers FC.

Our first-grade side made it four wins on the trot to take out St George FC and claim top spot on the back of a gutsy away performance.

Sasha Kuzevski was quick to open the scoring four minutes in, combining with Lachlan Bayliss on the right to rocket it into the top corner – giving the keeper no chance.

Mariners had to wait until half-time for their second, coming from A-League youngster Cameron Windust from a short corner. Windust’s first header attempt was saved by St George goalkeeper Andrew Di Biasio before finishing on his second attempt.

St George mounted several attacking opportunities that tested the strength and teamwork of the yellow and navy, though continued to show why they are statistically the best defensive side in the league.

Coach Andrew Christiansen was pleased with his men’s defensive resolve.

“I’m most pleased with the group to see the mentality to defend and having the best defensive record in the league is nice,” said Christiansen.

The Saints finally cracked the Mariners in the 81st minute through a Yu Hasegawa header but couldn’t find the equaliser as time expired.

The last quarter of an hour kept Christiansen on the edge of his seat, and he knows his attack needs to be more fluid to take their opponents out of contention.

“We need to get some consistency on the ball and start stringing some passes together and put away chances so we’re not leaving teams with the chance to get in the game

The win was a show of character of the young Mariners as they grafted a victory despite being under constant pressure all game, and they will look to further assert their authority on the league when they take a road trip to Sydney’s south to play second place St George City.

“We’re top of the table so we’re in control of our destiny now. It’s where I want to be and it’s where I believe the team deserves to be.”

Women’s:

Thankfully, the grounds were fit for all our women’s sides, though opponents Blacktown City FC sure weren’t ready for the attacking ferocity of our women.

Among the youth side’s, 14 goals were scored and only one conceded. 14’s secured three points in a tough 2-1 victory, while the 15’s clean up a controlling 4-0 victory.

Rounding out the women’s youth fixtures and likely the performance of the weekend, 16’s demolished Blacktown City 8-0 to continue their push for finals contention.

Our senior girls got on the back of their youngsters’ performances, both collecting three points.

Both 20’s and first grade came away with 2-0 victories, with first grade making it back-to-back successes courtesy of a brace – a goal either side of the half- to skipper Kaitlin Murphy.

Head coach Peter Preston was happy with his teams’ result against a Blacktown City FC outfit playing well above their weight.

“A resilient performance from the girls, really happy with the result,” said Preston.

First grade sits inside the top half of the league, primed for a chance at finals football.