Travelling away or right at home, our academy was by no means generous against their opponents, putting on some exhilarating performances as the league’s etch closer to finals time.
The youth boys were back at Pluim Park after a solid away trip to Blacktown, and certainly showed their eagerness to continue against Wollongong Wolves FC on Sunday.
13’s (5-2) and 14’s (4-0) marched their way to victory, while 15’s (1-1) and 16’s (0-0) took a point away from their tough contests.
The senior boys played out their contests on Saturday against Northern Tigers FC, and 20’s began the away party with a 3-1 victory.
A double to Nikola Skataric inside the first quarter of an hour – including his first in the opening minute of the match – and a 68th minute securer to Ben Duncan saw Mariners run away with the win, putting 20’s eight points clear of their second-placed opponents.
First grade’s 2-1 victory over Tigers was a real gritty team performance, resulting in a few injuries for Andrew Christiansen’s men.
The visitors opened their account in the second minute through Stefan Nikolic from early pressure against the home side, with captain Brad Tapp sending the ball across the face for Nikolic to score.
Mariners had to wait until the 84th minute to extend their lead after staying resilient and strong to deter Tigers’ pressure.
Tapp intervening yet again with an intercept cross in the middle for a Dor Jok flick on to find Jackson Khoury to finish.
Tigers were gifted an own goal from a Dean Larson clearing header going wayward, though couldn’t find the equaliser in the dying minutes as first grade held on.
Coach Andrew Christiansen was proud of his men’s performance and their resilience to continue fighting after some injuries and work towards their team goals set out at the season’s beginning.
“Really proud of the defensive performance from the group, putting their bodies on the line to win,” he said.
“Securing promotion was one of our team goals for the season and are almost there, but there’s still plenty more to accomplish.
First grade sits second, two points behind Western Sydney Wanderers, and will return home to host Hills United in Round 20.
Sunday was a big day for women’s Mariners sides, with Pluim Park host to all teams in some neat conditions against South Coast Flame.
Youth girls set the tone early, with 14’s (6-2), 15’s (5-0), and 16’s (2-1) all collecting three points and continue to hold their position inside the top three of their competitions.
Into the seniors, and 20’s continued on from their 5-0 rampage of Inter Lions, bettering their previous result with a 6-0 demolition of Flame.
Abbey Van Gemert and Grace Heinemann led the show with a hattrick and double to their names, with Skye Parkes capping off the win in the 90th minute to remain in fourth position.
First grade concluded a stunning Sunday, sharing the points in tightly tussled 1-1 draw.
Sitting in the middle of the League One Women’s competition logjam, results are crucial for first grades’ finals push, and the draw makes their chances slightly tougher.
For Mariners, the experienced Gabrielle Blanch bagged her sixth of the season in the 36th minute, though South Coast were quick to match their opposition just before the half in Monique Koloski amongst a goal mouth scramble.
The second half was a battle of attrition with both sides not giving their opposition the edge, as neither side could find the back of the net, and more importantly, the win and three valuable points.
Back-to-back draws at home for Peter Preston’s side, Preston felt both teams had a good crack and was a fair result in the end.
First grade host front runners Gladesville Raiders in their next match.