There was mixed results from our academy sides against opponents UNSW FC, St George City FA, and Sydney United 58 FC, with our youth sides finally getting onto the pitch after weeks of washout reschedules.
Our youth men’s sides were at home this round, itching to show the home crowd they hadn’t missed a beat.
The 13’s (5-3), and 18’s (4-1), were the only youth teams to grab the three points from Sydney United 58 FC, with the 15’s (4-1) and 16’s (5-0) unable to match the attacking strength of United.
Game of the day at Pluim Park was the 14’s in a five-all draw, though may be kicking themselves after being up 3-2 at the half.
Our senior men’s side’s ventured to Penshurst Park for their clashes with St George City FA, kicking off with the 20’s.
In a fierce encounter – shown through the 12 yellow cards given – the 20’s came from behind in the second half to grasp a point through Aidan Milicevic in the 54th minute.
The result means the 20’s drop to second on the league ladder, though stay within a victory of Northern Tigers FC.
To end Saturday night, first grade shared the spoils with St George City in a top of the table clash in a nil all draw.
The league’s two best defences resulted in a tight affair however, both halves brought chances that went begging for both sides.
St George City seemed the more dominant in the early stages of the match, though momentum was quick to turn Mariners’ way, with multiple chances failing to be capitalised on entering the half.
Both goalkeepers were constantly in the action, with each side forcing their opposition’s keepers into match-saving saves, enough to halt any balls ending in the net.
Coach Andrew Christiansen is gutted with the result due to the many chances his men created on the night.
“Disappointed in the end in not winning that game because I thought we controlled the majority of the game, limited their opportunities, and created enough to score a few,” said Christiansen.
The result still keeps first grade at the top of the league and heading home to Pluim Park this weekend is really exciting the coach and the team.
Our youth girls were ecstatic to be back on the pitch following their ordeal with wet weather, and the day began with some top performances.
14’s picked up a 2-1 victory, while result of the round would have to go to the 15’s with a massive 7-0 performance.
16’s weren’t as fortunate as their younger counterparts, going down 4-3 against UNSW FC after leading 3-2 at the half.
Moving into our senior teams, the 20’s couldn’t puncture UNSW’s defensive line throughout the match, going down 1-0.
To cap off the academy weekend, first grade slugged out a 1-1 draw with UNSW FC, another senior match with plenty of chances not secured.
Neither team gave an inch throughout the match’s entirety, with the first goal being conceded by the Mariners through an unfortunate own goal with around 20 minutes to play.
First grade didn’t let that halt their grit, clawing back to be awarded with an 89’ leveller through Eloise Jones. Mariners nearly pinched victory in stoppage time through Chloe Smith, but UNSW’s goalkeeper held strong to hold out Mariners last ditch efforts.
Coach Peter Preston acknowledged his side’s efforts while crediting the opposing keeper.
“The girls played really well and were unlucky not to win,” said Preston.
“We created a number of chances, but their goalkeeper made some nice saves.”
The result pushes first grade out of finals positioning into seventh place, tied on 25 points with three other opponents.