Mariners Youth back in Winners’ Circle

The Central Coast Mariners have moved to the top of the National Youth League ladder, after a clinical display at Ballymore Stadium earned Tony Walmsley’s side a 3-1 victory over Brisbane Roar.

The Central Coast Mariners have moved to the top of the National Youth League ladder, after a clinical display at Ballymore Stadium earned Tony Walmsley-s side a 3-1 victory over Brisbane Roar.

Less than a week after suffering their first loss of the 2009/10 season, the young Mariners responded in perfect fashion in a match littered with familiar Hyundai A-League faces, thanks to the nation-s elite competition being on a FIFA international break.

And it was one of the Mariners- senior squad members who got the ball rolling on seven minutes, after the Roar gave away cheap possession in the attacking half of the pitch.

The Mariners broke quickly and Nik Mrdja collected the ball just inside the Roar half and despite Matt Mundy trying to pressure the Central Coast striker, he hammered the ball into the top corner of the goal.

But the early advantage was tempered as Dylan Macallister-s afternoon came to a premature end, forced from the field with a leg injury following a mid-air collision with Brisbane goalkeeper Matt Acton.

Acton was forced into a finger-tip save on 13 minutes as Brendan Griffin dipped a free-kick into the same corner Mrdja had hit his goal.

Brisbane nearly drew level on 18 minutes when Jordan Farina blasted a bullet-like corner into the Central Coast box, but despite Andrew Redmayne spilling his catch, neither Adam Sarota or Mundy could capitalize – Mundy having a stinging shot well saved by Redmayne.

The home side went close again two minutes later when Farina and Tim Smits combined well to set up Ken Dougall, but with Redmayne beaten his shot drifted just outside the post.

Farina then had two efforts on goal in a minute – one saved and one going just wide of the mark.

Mrjda had an effort on goal with 10 minutes left in the opening half to remind the Roar of the Yellow and Navy-s attacking threat.

As if to underline that threat, Central Coast captain Panny Nikas doubled the lead on 37 minutes when he pounced on a Mundy defensive error to slot the ball past Acton.

After sustaining extensive attacking pressure from the Roar through large chunks of the second half, The Mariners all but secured the three points on 73 minutes when a looping ball across the box dropped to Nick Fitzgerald, who was given far too much time on the ball and snuck the ball under Acton for the third goal.

Two minutes later the managed to claw one back when the Mariners failed to clear the danger from a corner and Mundy smashed home a half-volley into the bottom corner.

The goal spurred on the young Roar side and Smits had a goal ruled out for a tug on a defender-s shirt just three minutes later.

Acton was well on his toes with six minutes left in the game as Mrdja bore down on his goal, but he was bravely out to the feet of the big striker to halt the danger.

It wasn-t to be, but the three goals proved more than enough to help the Mariners return to winning ways, and move into top spot ahead of Gold Coast United, who still have a bye up their sleeve.

The Mariners- next National Youth League match will be against the Australian Institute of Sport at the AIS Athletics Track next Saturday, 21 November. Kick-off is at 2pm.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now on sale by clicking here

Match Details

Brisbane Roar: 1. Matt ACTON (GK), 2. Tim SMITS (OA), 4. Michael RYAN (capt), 5. Isaka CERNAK, 6. Calum O-CONNELL (3. Alistair QUINN 46-), 8. Jordan FARINA (15. Antony SCHIAVO 57-), 12. Ken DOUGALL, 13. Adam SAROTA, 14. Bob MALCOLM (OA), 16. Matt MUNDY (OA). 18. Massimo MURDOCCA (OA) (7. Luke BRATTAN 46-).

Unused substitutes: 20. Luke MUIR (GK)

Yellow cards: Calum O-CONNELL (31-)
Red cards: Nil
Goals: Matt MUNDY 75-

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK) (20. Mathew RYAN (GK) 73-), 2. Nathan SHERLOCK, 6. Matthew LEWIS, 7. Brendan GRIFFIN (3. Jerry KALOURIS 60-), 10. Panagiotis NIKAS, 12. Shane HUKE (OA) (8. Nicholas FITZGERALD 60-), 14. Brady SMITH, 15. Adam ORMSBY, 16. Nik MRDJA (OA), 17. Matthew CROWELL (OA), 19. Dylan MACALLISTER (11. Mitchell MALLIA 7-).

Unused substitutes: Nil

Yellow cards: Mitchell MALLIA (43-)
Red cards: Nil
Goals: Nik MRDJA 7-, Panny NIKAS 37-, Nick FITZGERALD 73-

Referee: Alan MILLINER