On the back of some home excellence last weekend, our academy sides were hungry to continue their form of late, taking on opponents in Apia Leichhardt FC, Hills United FC, and Marconi Stallions FC.
The Mariners Men’s youth sides were pitted against powerhouse Apia Leichhardt FC for their clashes, collecting mixed results.
Only the 14’s, 5-2, and the 18’s, 2-0, were able to walk away from their round 12 fixtures collecting maximum points, while the 15’s gathered a point for their 1-1 efforts.
13’s gave up a one goal half-time lead to lose 3-2, while the 16’s went down 1-0 after playing out a tight second half.
Our 20’s side recorded their fourth consecutive win, beating Hills United FC 2-1 and homing in on first place Northern Tigers FC. Only goal difference separates the top two sides, with Mariners only having conceded eight goals in their nine matches.
In a tough League One Men’s, back-to-back victories is a tough ask for teams. Lachlan Bayliss stepped up to the plate, scoring a brace in their 2-0 victory over Hills United FC.
A low cross from Jordan Segreto gave Bayliss his first in the 11th minute, easily tapping the ball home.
Many say defence is what win’s you games, and goalkeeper Patrick Beach showed just that with some outstretched efforts to stop Hills equalising. The mounting pressure up front from United unfazed Andrew Christiansen’s men, able to turn defence into attack instantly.
Mariners were rewarded with the stable efforts in the 80th minute, when Teng Kuol fed Bayliss to secure his brace in style, sending the ball into the top left corner from the edge of the area.
Coach Christiansen was impressed with the all-round efforts on an unfavourable pitch.
“I was very happy with the attitude and application from the group on a difficult pitch,” he said.
“We played some nice football and defended well to earn a clean sheet and the win.”
It was a real tough Sunday to finish the weekend, with only two sides picking up tight victories against a strong Marconi outfit.
The 14’s began the day on a high, leading from the front for the game’s entirety to collect the three points. Right after, the 15’s were downed 2-0, with no goals scored in a sapping second half.
The final women’s youth fixture, the 16’s, continued their scoring prowess in a tight 4-3 victory, making it nine goals in their last two outings.
Despite earlier results, it wasn’t enough to inspire the seniors. The 20’s were swarmed by the opposition 7-2. Incredibly, nine goals were scored in the second half, with Marconi only leading 1-0 at the half despite the Mariners missing a lot of chances in the opening 45 and allowing Marconi to extend their lead through defensive errors.
Peter Preston’s side set out to make it back-to-back victories after a tense 2-1 victory over SD Raiders the week prior.
Marconi’s frontline proved dangerous to Mariners defence, having a couple chances at goal that were snuffed by Central Coast’s defence. Mariners took their time to gather themselves and build momentum, though the game remained a stalemate entering the half.
Alike the first half, Marconi controlled much possession, before a spot-kick was awarded after a foul on Talie Walton. Natasha Aitken stepped up to the spot and converted in the 65th minute, sparking life the Stallions squad.
Kaitlin Murphy created havoc in the box for the Stallions defence, though failed to equalise after some desperate opposition defence. Marconi were able to defend their lone goal lead, finishing the match with 10 players after Daniela Brekic collected her second yellow in the 90th minute.
Coach Preston felt his side were the more dominate, but lapses cost them dearly.
“The girls started slowly for the first 20’ but then steeled and were able to play our game on our terms for large periods of the game,”, he said.
“We were controlling the big moments but unfortunately we conceded a soft penalty which Marconi converted.”
“Overall, another strong performance but disappointing result.”
Central Coast Mariners 13’s 2 – 3 Apia Leichhardt FC 13’s
Central Coast Mariners 14’s 5 – 2 Apia Leichhardt FC 14’s
Central Coast Mariners 15’s 1 – 1 Apia Leichhardt FC 15’s
Central Coast Mariners 16’s 0 – 1 Apia Leichhardt FC 16’s
Central Coast Mariners 18’s 2 – 0 Apia Leichhardt FC 18’s
Hills United FC 20’s 1 – 2 Central Coast Mariners 20’s
Hills United FC 1st Grade 0 – 2 Central Coast Mariners 1st Grade
Marconi Stallions FC 14’s 1 – 2 Central Coast Mariners 14s
Marconi Stallions 15’s 2 – 0 Central Coast Mariners 15’s
Marconi Stallions 16’s 3 – 4 Central Coast Mariners 16’s
Marconi Stallions 20’s 2 – 7 Central Coast Mariners 20’s
Marconi Stallions 1st Grade 1 – 0 Central Coast Mariners 1st Grade