There were mixed results across the board this weekend for our Academy sides as our NPL Youth sides got their seasons underway against St George City and Marconi Stallions on the weekend.
Our U20’s enjoyed a big 6-2 win over St George City while in the U16’s, 18’s and First Grade the ties were a lot tighter, and some great matches were played out but unfortunately our 16’s and 18’s teams lost 2-1 and 3-2 respectively to the Stallions.
In the First-Grade matchup against City, Andrew Christiansen’s squad was bolstered by the inclusions of Harry Steele, Matt Hatch, Harry McCarthy and Sasha Kuzevski in the side. However, it was almost a horrific start for the Yellow and Navy as an accidental block from a St George player prevented the the visitors from going ahead 1-0 with Lawrence Caruso left stranded in net.
The Mariners were looking dangerous as they started to build int the game and Dor Jok had the best chance of the opening half but was blocked out by City defenders before being able to put an effort on goal.
Despite a goalless first half it was the Yellow and Navy who were determined to find the opener and they did through Matt Hatch who was on hand to tap in a shot from close range after Jackson Khoury and Lachlan Bayliss forced two saves from the St George keeper.
The game had settled for a period before St George pulled back a equaliser with a cut-back to an oncoming players from the right hand side of the field. The Mariners had a penalty shout waived away but were unable to break down the defensive block of St George.
It was to be late heartbreak for the First-Grade side as a late penalty in stoppage time for St George was dispatched right down the middle of Caruso’s goal and there was little time remaining for Central Coast to amount a response.
Speaking to Central Coast Mariners media post-match, Andrew Christiansen described the result as tough to take.
“It was a tough game for us against a well-structured team that sat in deep and defended well,” he said.
“A few lapses in focus at the back and not taking our chances at the other end was the story of the game for us.
“Conceding a late penalty to lose the game was tough to take and I felt the boys deserved more overall. We weren’t at our best but will review and improve for next week.
The Men’s Youth are next back in action against Rockdale Illden and Bonnyrigg White Eagles this coming weekend.
Our WNPL sides faced off against Sutherland Shire this weekend and just like our NPL, results were varied across the grades with our 16’s and 20’s enjoying 6-2 and 2-0 wins respectively while our 14’s drew 3-3 and the 15’s played out a 3-2 defeat to Sutherland.
In the final match of the day, it was the Yellow and Navy who had a dominate opening 30 minutes against the Shire with Chloe Smith opening the scoring as she twisted and turned inside the Sutherland box and fired home to give Central Coast the lead. However, Sutherland answered back quickly with their first shot on target of the match despite not providing much threat going forward before-hand.
In the second half Central Coast made it 2-1 as Kaitlin Murphy netted the second of the match but again the hosts were pegged back to 2-2 all once again and it was more heartbreak as Sutherland made it 3-2 with little remaining in the game.
The Mariners would go onto hit the frame of the goal three times throughout the match but couldn’t do enough to salvage a point at home.
Speaking to Central Coast Mariners media post-match, Peter Preston said his side need to focus on not making mistakes and take their chances.
“We played pretty well for large parts of the game, but some mistakes led to goals and in the end cost us the game,” he said.
“Overall, the game was fairly even and could have gone either way.
“We just need to reduce our errors and results will come, the girls are working hard, and they will get their rewards sooner rather than later.
Central Coast are next back in action against Camden Tigers FC this weekend.
FULL WNPL RESULTS:
Central Coast Mariners 14’s 3-3 Sutherland Shire FC 14’s
Central Coast Mariners 15’s 2-3 Sutherland Shire FC 15’s
Central Coast Mariners 16’s 6-2 Sutherland Shire FC 16’s
Central Coast Mariners 20’s 2-0 Sutherland Shire FC 20’s
Central Coast Mariners 1st Grade 2-3 Sutherland Shire 1st Grade
FULL NPL RESULTS:
Central Coast Mariners U16 1-2 Marconi Stallions
Central Coast Mariners U18 2-3 St George City FC
Central Coast Mariners U20 6-2 St George City FC
Central Coast Mariners 1st Grade 1-2 St George City FC