The Central Coast Mariners Academy sealed a great weekend for the club with a 2-0 win over Spirit FC at Pluim Park where Lachlan Wales & Josh Bingham both featured on the scoresheet.
Central Coast Mariners Academy 2 (Wales & Bingham) vs. Spirit FC 0
The Mariners took just 12 minutes to grab the lead when some pressure from Trent Buhagiar forced the Spirit keeper into a crucial error. Buhagiar intercepted possession then passed to Wales who finished into an empty net.
The home team wasted no time in doubling the lead in the 27th minute when a pinpoint cross from Trent Buhagiar found the feet of Josh Bingham. Bingham made no mistake finding the back of the net from close range.
It could’ve been 3-0 just moments later when O’Dell found himself on the end of a corner. O’Dell rose above the pack with a header that was just off target.
Tom Heward-Belle was called into action in the 50th minute when Spirit had their first clear cut chance of the affair. The shot didn’t worry THB though, catching calmly to keep the ball out.
Lachlan Wales looked to make it 3-0 20 minutes into the second half but a stunning save from David Lowery tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Despite holding a 2-0 lead the Central Coast Mariners pushed hard until the final whistle, creating more chances before the match finished with three points to the home side.
Central Coast Mariners Academy Head Coach, Ben Cahn was proud of the result and Ryan Peterson’s starting debut for the first team against the Newcastle Jets in Tamworth.
“Our target was to win our last three matches to give us a shot at the finals,” Cahn said. “For us it’s not about making the finals but it’s about developing players but it would be good to get some recognition for the hard work we’ve put in and the win against Spirit was part one of that.
“The most pleasing aspect of it was keeping a clean sheet, we’ve had plenty of 2-0 leads this season and thrown them away, we worked incredibly hard this week on defence and on the weekend they executed it really well.
“Don’t get me wrong, winning games is certainly part of the development and education of young footballers but I would rather the young players make mistakes in the NPL 2 rather than the big stage of the Hyundai A-League, it is very pleasing to see a performance turn into a result.
“Ryan Peterson is an intelligent, hard-working, dedicated young footballer and he deserves every success that he gets. Ryan will be very modest and humble, he knows that he’s got a long way to go but this is a great step for him and the academy,” Cahn said.
The Central Coast Mariners are in action next week in Mt Druitt against the Rangers on August 20, kick off times are: 3pm (18s), 5pm (20s) and 7pm (first grade)
Central Coast Mariners Academy: Josh Bingham, Trent Buhagiar, Cooper Buswell, Shelford Dais, Thomas Heward-Belle, Christopher Hurley, Jordan Lane, Thomas Lyons, Liam O’Dell, Adam Pearce, Sean Pratt, Liam Rose, Nathan Verity, Lachlan Wales, Steve Whyte, Reece Papadimitrios
Spirit FC: Reuben Agyie-Danso, Kim Changyu, Grant Cornwall, Daniel Cunningham, Bradley Gibson, David Lowery, David Mavisa, Mark McAlpine, Jason Najdovski, Murray Nelson, Andrew Robertson, Michael Streeter, Henry Wells, Lachlan Rose, Jordan Waas, Stuart Collins.
- 18s lost 5-0
- 20s won 6-1 (Kekeris x2, Hornery, Hall, Buswell, Foster)