This weekend past, all Central Coast Mariners Academy sides participated in the Easter Showdown, comprising of a weekend full of football against Nepean FC, St George FC, Western Sydney Wanderers and Mt Druitt Town Rangers.
Eager to build on some mixed results against Gladesville Ravens, the Mariners Youth Girls put on back-to-back impressive displays against Nepean on Friday afternoon and against St George FC on Sunday afternoon with all sides picking up extremely key victories for their respective seasons.
The 14’s started both Friday and Sunday’s Football filled occasions with two wins in both games, winning 4-1 and 4-3 respectively over City and Nepean while the 15’s were able to score three goals on both occasions to also pick up three points at home.
The 16’s enjoyed very comfortable 7-0 and 4-1 victories over Nepean and St George while the 20’s were treated to back-to-back dominating performances over their opponents as they picked up two 3-0 wins.
For our First-Grade side, they were eager to put together a complete and cutting-edge performance against Nepean following on from their heartbreaking loss against Gladesville Ravens last weekend.
Chloe Smith continued her good run of form as she netted another goal for the Mariners, while Gabby Blanch netted two goals against Nepean on Friday evening.
Sophie Nenadovic netted her first goal in Yellow and Navy colours while Kaitlin Murphy rounded out the scoring at Pluim Park against Nepean with a back post header.
Speaking to Central Coast Academy Correspondent Tom Pombart, Peter Preston was happy with how his side bounced back after being defeated against the Ravens.
“The Girls played very well today, and it was a good bounce back from last week,” Preston said.
“After loosing late on, it was a very good response from all players and it was a very strong performance.”
Looking to back up from such a high-scoring victory on Friday evening, the Yellow and Navy First-Grade side faced St George in what was a hard-fought but very tight affair between the two sides on Sunday, running out 1-0 winners.
It was an extremely busy and action-packed weekend for the Yellow and Navy Women’s side who only defeated Nepean 5-0 two days prior to facing St George on Sunday.
Chloe Smith netted the only goal of the contest as she found the back of the net to once again continue her red-hot run of form for Peter Preston’s side which puts the Mariners into the hunt for the top spots.
After only playing two days prior to facing City, Preston was delighted with his side’s performance on Sunday afternoon.
“It was a strong display on the quick back-up from Friday evening” Preston concluded.
“The Girls were really strong against City, and I am really happy with the result.”
Looking to build on from facing Hakoah Sydney City East FC last weekend, it was a quick turn-around for our Boy’s academy sides as they faced fellow A-League Men Academy, Western Sydney Wanderers at home on Sunday afternoon.
The 20’s started the day picking up a 2-1 win in an extremely close tie between the two A-League Men Academies and the clash between the sides would set the precedence for how the First-Grade match would play out between the Mariners and the Wanderers.
Nikola Skataric got the goals underway at Pluim Park with an absolute rocket of a strike which gave the Mariners the lead. One nearly become two as Lachlan Bayliss’s shot was blocked on the line minutes after the Yellow and Navy took the lead.
However, after not taking a chance to double the lead, the Wanderers pinned back the Mariners through Alex Badolato and soon would have the chance to double their advantage from the spot however Pat Beach plunged low to his right to deny Pelekanos from 12 yards.
Starting just as the first-half ended, the Mariners had a chance to go ahead through Sasha Kuzevski who hit the post from a free kick shortly after play resumed in the final 45 minutes.
Again though, it was a story of the Mariners not taking their chances as Connor Rose took it around the goalkeeper before finishing with confidence to give the Wanderers the lead.
With 25 minutes to go, the game was set-up for a see-saw finish between the Wanderers and Mariners.
Bayliss produced a spectacular effort after being the hero for the Yellow and Navy last week with a stunning effort from outside the area and after levelling the score once again, the Mariners had the go-ahead-goal through Ezra Polombini after Sasha Kuzevski pounced on a mistake by the Wanderers defence and set up the pacey winger for a tap-in.
Just as the Mariners thought they had picked up all-three points at Pluim Park, the Wanderers had hit back again through Michael Di Pizio entering stoppage time, placing the game at 3-3.
It didn’t all end there though as further late drama would befall this one with Dor Jok striking late in injury time for a 93rd minute winner. Ezra Polombini’s ball into the area was met by Jok who tapped the cross home from six yards and set off a team celebration for a huge three points against a quality Academy side.
Speaking to media post-match, Andrew Christensen was happy with his side’s work ethic.
“I am very happy with the overall performance, I felt we deserved the result,” he said.
“The result was very pleasing to see and the desire, work ethic and mentality from the group was an added bonus.”
FULL CENTRAL COAST MARINERS ACADEMY RESULTS:
League One Women’s:
Friday 15th April
Central Coast Mariners 14’s 4-1 Nepean FC 14’s
Central Coast Mariners 15’s 3-1 Nepean FC 15’s
Central Coast Mariners 16’s 7-0 Nepean FC 16’s
Central Coast Mariners 20’s 3-0 Nepean FC 20’s
Central Coast Mariners First Grade 5-0 Nepean FC First Grade
Sunday 17th April
Central Coast Mariners 14’s 4-3 St George FC 14’s
Central Coast Mariners 15’s 3-0 St George FC 15’s
Central Coast Mariners 16’s 4-1 St George FC 16’s
Central Coast Mariners 20’s 3-0 St George FC 20’s
Central Coast Mariners First Grade 1-0 St George FC First Grade
League One Men’s:
Sunday 17th April
Central Coast Mariners 20’s 2-1 Western Sydney Wanderers 20’s
Central Coast Mariners First Grade 4-3 Western Sydney Wanderers First Grade
Monday 18th April
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 13’s 0-4 Central Coast Mariners 13’s
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 14’s 1-5 Central Coast Mariners 14’s
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 15’s 1-1 Central Coast Mariners 15’s
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 16’s 1-2 Central Coast Mariners 16’s
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 18’s 2-4 Central Coast Mariners 18’s