Round 8 was a strong round of results for our senior teams, as the Men’s NPL2 side shored up top spot and the Women’s NPL2 squad staked their claims for a finals spot and tightened their grip on fourth place.
NPL2 sponsored by State Road Constructions |
A dominant win over SD Raiders on Saturday night kept the Academy Men at the top of the NSW NPL2 table thanks to a strike from Matthew Cahill and a Damian Tsekenis double.
After chances went astray at both ends in the first half, Cahill opened the scoring 12 minutes into the second when Mikey Katsoulis found him with a good ball at the back post, but Raiders levelled proceedings deep in the second half with a header.
Nick Montgomery’s side would not be flustered though, and Tsekenis struck twice in the final minutes with a couple of tidy finishes to ensure the Mariners grabbed their second win in a row and kept a hold of top spot.
“Saturday was a massive game, Raiders had a really good home record from last season in to this season, so we knew they would be strong there,” Montgomery said.
“It was our last away game and we knew we needed a big performance and we got that. After we went a goal up we had a chance to kill the game off but couldn’t convert, and fair play to Raiders who got back in the game and after that we made a couple of changes and two counter attacks ended in two excellent finishes.
“We knew how important 3 points was coming into this next week and then the bye, so it’s great that we could achieve that.”
The Mariners now have the opportunity to put pressure on Northern Tigers this weekend, with the Tigers having a bye and Monty’s side taking on St. George FC at Pluim Park before a bye in the penultimate round the following weekend.
1st Grade: SD Raiders 1 def. by Central Coast Mariners 3 (Matthew Cahill 57’, Damian Tsekenis 82’, 89’)
U/20’s: SD Raiders 0 def. by Central Coast Mariners 3 (Lachlan Bayliss, Cameron Windust (2))
NPLW sponsored by Club Mingara |
The Academy Women took another step towards locking in a finals position on Sunday at Pluim Park thanks to a first half goal from Liz Shorter that took them to a 1-0 win over UNSW FC.
The win opens up a five point gap to fifth place, although Nepean do have one game in hand, and this weekend’s clash with SD Raiders takes on plenty of importance as Dan Barrett and his team look to bank some points before a bye in week 10.
I can’t stress enough how important that win was,” Barrett said post-game.
“Our finals hopes were on the line and it was the best start to a match since the break. We completely dominated the first half and deserved the lead, and at half time the instruction was to simplify our game and play with minimal risk.”
With finals now in sight and their position much stronger, Barrett said it’s important that the focus remains on strong performances in the remaining weeks.
“It is of the utmost importance we keep the foot down and look to build momentum and gain more confidence,” he said.
“On Sunday we got back to a style that we implemented in my first season and the team found familiarity in that and were able to take confidence from it.”
1st Grade: Central Coast Mariners 1 (Liz Shorter 23’) def. University NSW 0
Reserves: Central Coast Mariners 2 (Lily McMahon, Maddison van Dijk) def. University NSW 1