The Central Coast Mariners Women’s and Girl’s Academy returned to Pluim Park over the weekend, playing their first home matches of the 2023 season.
Facing UNSW FC across the five grades, with many being top of the table encounters, it was a hard-fought Sunday of football.
The Mariners winners in two of the matches, with UNSW FC also coming out on top in two, alongside a solitary draw.
First Grade vs UNSW FC
The Central Coast Mariners women’s academy first grade team have fallen to their first loss of the season, going down 2-0 to UNSW FC on Sunday afternoon.
In front of a healthy crowd at Pluim Park it was the visitors who got off to the ideal start, with Marcella Santos scoring her team’s first in the 13th minute.
With the Mariners pushing for an equaliser, UNSW were able to get their second of the match, with Santos collecting her brace in the 36th minute to double her sides advantage.
Despite pushing for a late goal, it was not meant to be for the Mariners, heading into the break with work to do.
The Central Coast continued to trouble UNSW’s defensive line, going close on multiple occasions. A second yellow card for Chloe Smith in the 73rd minute meant the home side had to play with 10 for the final quarter hour, ultimately unable to score one to get back into the contest.
The loss does see UNSW leap frog the Mariners into first place, however the Central Coast still do have a game in hand over 13th place Inter Lions FC.
Under 20’s vs UNSW FC
Heading into the match off the back of a catch-up win over Nepean FC during the week, the Mariners under 20’s side were faced with a difficult challenge on Sunday afternoon.
Their opponent’s UNSW were undefeated heading into the match, having recorded four wins and two draws.
Neither side were able to break the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes, with the scores level at nil-all heading into the break.
Both team’s came out in the second half looking for a game breaker, with the two sides trading efforts on goal. Mariners’ goalkeeper Kyara O’Brien making some top class saves to keep her clean sheet intact, with the game ultimately ending without a goal.
The result sees the Mariners currently sit in eighth place after seven rounds, still with a game in hand over everyone in the top seven.
Youth Girl’s vs UNSW FC
After a few extremely strong weekends of football, the Central Coast Mariners youth girl’s academy teams were back in action on Sunday at Pluim Park.
The day started off with the under 14’s, who had won each of their last three matches. Facing UNSW who were just below the side on the ladder, it was a tough and even contest.
The away team grabbing an early lead, not letting it go throughout the entirety of the match to see the Mariners fall to a 1-0 loss. The result placing the Central Coast in eighth with a game still in hand.
Our under 15’s side got back to winning way’s in their match, keeping them within touching distance of first place with a game less played. After numerous early chances the Mariners took the lead through Grace Rae-Banks before UNSW levelled the scoring shortly after.
A Coco Furniss goal before the break alongside strikes from Payton Scollay and Lilly Quayle after gave the home side a 4-1 lead, with a UNSW penalty in the dying minutes merely a consolation. The result placing the side in fourth after seven rounds.
The under 16’s finished the Youth Girl’s portion of the day with yet another victory, keeping the side undefeated to start the season.
Three first half goals left the team in the driver’s seat heading into the second half, with an additional two strikes seeing the match finish as a 5-0 win. The result placing the Mariners at the peak of the competition table, having a goal difference of plus 26 after just six games.