Mariners youth prove double trouble for Roar

Goals in each half have given the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar at Ballymore, as they continued to build on their strong start to the season.

Goals in each half have given the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar at Ballymore, as they continued to build on their strong start to the season.

A bizarre own goal was added to by a late David Gullo strike to give the young Mariners maximum points, and ensure they-d remain undefeated through six rounds.

Despite the victory, though, head coach Tony Walmsley is still keen to see more from his young charges.

“We were very disappointed with the first half, but I don-t think Brisbane were very good either. Our goal in the first half which was an own goal, probably summed the first half up,” said Walmsley.

“It allowed us to shuffle the pack and re-establish some fundamental things that weren-t happening. There was a big shift in the second half, and we certainly had the ascendency for most of the second half.”

The Mariners headed north in the hope of continuing their unbeaten start to the new campaign, but it was the hosts who were threatening early, Luke Bratten and Matthew Mundy both trying their luck from distance, but both times Central Coast custodian Andrew Redmayne proved equal to the task.

The yellow and navy was doing its best to push forward, but the assistant referees flag thwarted their advances on three occasions in the opening ten minutes, as Gavin Forbes and Ahmad Elrich both found themselves straying into offside positions.

Brady Smith saw a shot flash wide on 11 minutes, while a minute later Panni Nikas found himself free down the left, only to be denied by some scrambling Brisbane defence.

Still, the Mariners looked as though they-d traveled to Brisbane with the intention to attack, and attack they did.

Elrich and Forbes were linking well down the right, Matthew Lewis and Smith were working together on the left, while Mitchell Mallia, Nikas and Forbes were all looking dangerous through the middle, Nikas forcing a great save from Matthew Acton just after the quarter-hour mark after finding himself one-on-one with the Roar ‘keeper.

Acton again had to be at his best to tip a dipping speculator over the bar from Shane Huke, but would have been scratching his head soon after, as the visitors took the lead in the most bizarre circumstances.

Daniel Bowles played a backpass from just inside his own half toward Acton, but it managed to slip past the Brisbane goalkeeper, trickling toward the goalmouth, and despite Acton-s best efforts chasing back, he was unable to keep it out of the back of the net.

Mallia was causing headaches for the Roar, going on a mazy run into the box only to be denied by some good defending, before shooting over the bar from 25 yards not long after.

Ahmad Elrich and Brady Smith both had chances as the half wound down, but the Central Coast would have to be content with a one-goal half time advantage.

“We took two players off at half time because either they weren-t coping with the emotional aspects of the game, not coping with the pressure of playing at this level, or (not reaching) the work ethic that is required.

“If you are going to have an impact against A-League opponents, then the players have to learn very quickly that they need to go about their business a different way, and they need to work much harder.

“We have good examples of that with Brad Porter-s work ethic and Andrew Clark sets examples that are easy for the players to follow,” said Walmsley.

Andrew Clark made a strong run down the right channel upon the resumption, and provided a perfect ball in for David Gullo, the replacement unlucky to see his volley from close to the penalty spot clear the bar, with close to his first touch of the season.

Brisbane should have leveled things up on 54 minutes, as Andrew Redmayne miscued a clearance, however Josh McVey blasted over as Redmayne left his post in an attempt to regather.

Brad Porter launched a thunderous effort inches wide of the far post as the Mariners sought to close the game out, but the hosts were to find a way back in.

Matt Mundy beat Ahmad Elrich down the left and played a lovely ball in for Tim Smits, who left Redmayne with no chance, by curling a lovely shot into the back of the net.

Nick Fitzgerald took the ball into the area and had a shot blocked, the rebound falling for Porter, who in turn saw an effort saved by Acton.

Andrew Clark shot at Acton as the visitors pressed for a winner, and their perseverance was ultimately rewarded.

It was Fitzgerald again who saw a shot blocked, and this time the rebound fell at Gullo-s feet, and he marked his first appearance in yellow and navy by firing a low drive home in the 84th minute, to secure a vital three points for Tony Walmsley-s men, and help them continue on their unbeaten path.

“The second half was great. We were happy even though we conceded a goal, it was a great finish. Ahmad (Elrich) could have kicked the ball out, but he was playing the Rugby Union lines and thought the ball was already out, so there was a bit of a mix up in the build up to that but it was a very good finish.

“We-re really pleased with David Gullo who got his chance today and took it, and Fitzy (Nick Fitzgerald) chipped in as well and was unlucky not to score late on. He-s a conduit, a good link man, and can open things up for other people,” said Walmsley.

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Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2. Nathan SHERLOCK, 3. Brad PORTER (OA), 5. Shane HUKE (OA) (8. Nick FITZGERALD 59-), 7. Matthew LEWIS, 9. Gavin FORBES (17. David GULLO 45-), 10. Panni NIKAS (c), 11. Mitchell MALLIA (6. Manny GIANNAROS 45-), 12. Andrew CLARK (OA), 14. Brady SMITH, 18. Ahmad ELRICH (OA).

Unused Subs 20. Matthew RYAN (gk).

Yellow Cards None
Red Cards None
Goals BOWLES (og) 35-, GULLO 85-

Brisbane Roar 1. Matthew ACTON (gk), 2. Matthew BYRNE, 5. Daniel BOWLES (c), 6. Adam SAROTA (10. Stefan VRBESIC 54-), 7. Luke BRATTEN, 8. Matthew MUNDY (OA), 9. Isaka CERNAK (15. Antony SCHIAVO 60-), 11. Joshua McVEY, 12. Kenneth DOUGALL, 14. Tim SMITS (OA) (9. Isaka CERNAK 81-), 16. Andrew PACKER (OA) (4. Michael RYAN 60-).

Unused Subs 20. Luke MUIR (gk).

Yellow Cards BRATTEN 31-, DOUGALL 59-
Red Cards None
Goals SMITS 66-

Referee Matthew SKINNER