Mariners Youth fall short in F3 Derby

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side has fallen short against a Newcastle Jets side sitting second on the ladder, following a 4-2 defeat in their F3 Derby clash at Adamstown Oval.

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side has fallen short against a Newcastle Jets side sitting second on the ladder, following a 4-2 defeat in their F3 Derby clash at Adamstown Oval.

The Jets held a 1-0 lead at half-time thanks to a 38th minute strike to Fabian Iacovelli and extended that advantage when Italian import Marcello Fiorentini drove home a powerful volley in the 48th minute.

The Mariners made it 2-1 in the 78th minute via a spectacular long-range strike from midfield substitute Jerry Kalouris.

But the Jets sealed the match with goals to Sean Rooney and Scott Petit before the Mariners picked up a consolation goal from the penalty spot deep into injury time.

It was Newcastle-s third win of the season and puts them on 11 points, just one behind league leaders Brisbane, while the Mariners remain at the foot of the table.

“When we got back in the match at 2-1 we had a good spell for a while but overall the Jets were the better team and in truth we probably didn-t deserve the points in the end,” said Mariners NYL Head Coach Tony Walsmley.

The match started in sweltering conditions with the hosts edging the visitors and having the better of the chances albeit from long range as the teams went to the first mandatory drinks half-way through the first half locked at 0-0.

Just a few minutes after the resumption of play the Jets grabbed the opening goal thanks to some great vision from Fiorentini. The wily Italian changed the angle of attack with a pin-point cross-field kick that found Fabian Iacovelli on the corner of the box.

Iacovelli showed a great first touch to take the ball past his marker and inside the penalty area before sliding a shot past Central Coast goalkeeper Nikodin Matic and inside the far post.

Newcastle almost double their advantage a few moments later when Iacovelli again found himself in space on the corner of the box but this time he choose to square the ball inside where it was cleared a scrambling Mariners defence.

The Jets were dealt a body blow just after the half-hour mark when skipper Jesse Pinto hobbled off the ground with after turning an ankle. Kyle Ewart came on to take over in the midfield.

The home side went close again five minutes before half-time when a Fiorentini corner found Rooney at the near post. He controlled the ball well before lobbing a ball to the back post where Petit headed narrowly wide of the target.

The Mariners had a few chances of their own, mainly from the edge of the area. Lanky forward Bernie Ibini-isei was causing the Jets defence some trouble with his pace and he was able to fashion a shot that sailed inches wide of the far post, while attacking midfielder Marc Warren also went close on a couple of occasions but wasn-t able to find the back of the net and the home side went to the break holding a handy 1-0 lead.

The Jets got the perfect start to the second half when Fiorentini fired in a powerful volley from 30-yards out after the Mariners defence had failed to clear a dangerous cross into the box. The ball sat up perfectly for the Italian who attacked the ball and drilled it into the back of the net for his first goal for the club.

Down the other end Warren again looked the dangerman and he made Jets goalkeeper Robbie Kolak produce a diving save to keep out a low strike at the near post.

But it was the Newcastle side that looked more likely to score again. Petit should have done better when he was gifted the ball unmarked inside the area but shot wide while substitute Gavin Forbes headed wide after some good lead-up work down the right flank from James Virgili.

The Mariners got back into the game in the 78th minute when substitute Jerry Kalouris fired in an amazing left-foot volley from 38-yards out. The Jets defence cleared a free-kick attempt as far as Kaluoris who unleashed a sweetly timed strike that powered into the top corner of the net to make it 2-1 with 12 minutes to play.

The Jets reinstated their two-goal cushion when Rooney slotted home a simple goal six minute before full-time after some nice interplay in the box between himself and Petit and Forbes.

The Jets sealed the match in injury time when Petit found the back of the net after another cross from Virgili on the right wing found the midfielder just inside the box and he slotted the ball into corner of the net for the home side-s fourth goal.

The Mariners picked up a consolation goal in the final seconds when Mitchell Duke was brought down in the area by Mario Simic. The Central Coast striker stepped up to the penalty spot to slam the ball home to make the final score 4-2 to the Newcastle Jets.

“We lost Jimmy Oates to an elbow injury in the morning and Brendan Griffin was injured in the first ten minutes so we were a little bit unbalanced, plus the Jets had a very strong lineup with four overage players, but there are no excuses, it was a poor performance overall, and it-s back to the drawing board as we look ahead now to Gold Coast,” Walmsley said.

Newcastle Jets 4 (Iacovelli 28-, Fiorentini 48-, Rooney 84-, Petit 90+2)
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Kalouris 79, Duke 90+3pen)