The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side’s three match winning streak has come to an end, after an early goal handed Melbourne Victory a 1-nil win in their week 14 clash at John Cain memorial Park in Melbourne today.
The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side-s three match winning streak has come to an end, after an early goal handed Melbourne Victory a 1-nil win in their week 14 clash at John Cain memorial Park in Melbourne today.
Despite dominating large chunks of the clash, the Mariners were unable to find an equaliser, after striker James Kalifatidis scored against the run of play eleven minutes in to send the Victory up to fourth place on the ladder.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t find the scoring touch of recent weeks despite turning in an excellent performance,” said Mariners NYL Head Coach Tony Walmsley.
“Victory defended very well in desperation throughout and did enough to capitalize on their first half advantage.
“When the boys play with that much invention and imagination after a 5am start we can only applaud the intention and the effort.
“No points but we deserved more, it wasn’t to be today. Mitchell Duke was outstanding across the forward line and defenders are finding it hard to contain him.”
While the three points will be greatly received by Victory, the Mariners will certainly lament what could have been, after dictating all aspects of an engaging, often heated contest which featured 11 yellow cards, but not one red, enjoying superior possession and field position, particularly during a second-half which Central Coast searched in vain for an equaliser.
Victory goalkeeper Sebastian Mattei was a central figure in his side’s ability to stave off the Mariners and was rewarded with a clean sheet.
The custodian wouldn’t be beaten, pulling off a string of quality saves, right to the death in a performance that stamps him as a rising star.
Mattei was also assisted by a tight back four in front of him, featuring the ever-impressive Matthew Foschini, over-age left-back Evan Berger, the uncompromising Nicholas Ansell and fellow central defender Peter Franjic.
The battle between the Victory’s back four and the Mariners front-pairing of Mitchell Duke and Bernie Ibini-Isei added some warmth on a bitterly cold, windswept afternoon in suburban Melbourne.
Both appear to have bright futures, Duke working his socks off throughout, but his toil went unrewarded in the goal department.
The rangy Ibini-Isei has a real presence and showed glimpses of talent during a highly-entertaining 55-minute cameo.
The Mariners were also well-served by left-back Marc Warren, who didn’t need a second invitation to press forward and fellow left-footer Jerry Kalouris also caught the eye in a hard-working display.
The Central Coast Mariners next match of the 2010/11 National Youth League campaign will be against Newcastle Jets on Tuesday, 4 December at Pluim Park, Lisarow. Kick-off is at 5:00pm.
Melbourne Victory 1 (Kalifatidis 11)
Central Coast Mariners 0