Mariners Men’s Academy Team back in action against APIA

The Central Coast Mariners NPL NSW First Grade team are back for Round 2 this afternoon, taking on APIA Leichhardt and Leichhardt Oval.

It was a tough battle last weekend for the Mariners, playing host to Sydney United 58 in the first round of the 2024 competition.

A fresh faced Mariners team, with almost the entire squad playing their first competition minutes in Yellow and Navy, the Central Coast came out strong against the competition heavyweights.

Chances to Luka Smyth and Matej Busek almost gave us the early lead, before the visitors hit on the counter through Carlos De Oliveira. Donatien Niyonkuru fired us back level in the 41st minute, before Patrick Antelmi gave United a 2-1 lead at the break from the penalty spot.

Despite looking dangerous in the second half, we were unable to get a deserved equaliser, with the match ultimately ending 9v10. Harry Menham sent from the field after what was deemed to be a red card worthy challenge, before Rocco Smith and Antelmi were both given their marching orders for their involvement in the melee afterwards.

Despite the defeat, the Mariners took numerous positives away from the match, with the young Central Coast side unfortunate not to get something from the match.

APIA also started their season with a loss, falling to Blacktown City 6-3 last weekend in a high scoring affair.

Despite scoring first through former Mariner Jordan Segreto, Blacktown responded with six straight unanswered goals, leaving last season’s champions staring down the barrel of a horrific defeat.

Goals in the 88th and 89th minute for APIA were purely for pride, seeing them leave Landen Stadium with serious work to do.

This afternoon’s matchup, which kicks off at 4pm at Leichhardt Oval will be the first home match of APIA’s season, as they look to get their first points on the board.

Our young and exciting Mariners side will look to prove to be a tough opponent, as we look to get our first positive result of the season.

To watch the match live and free on YouTube, click HERE!