Mariners Youth run riot over Glory

The Central Coast Mariners produced a ruthless display of football to comprehensively down Perth Glory 4-nil in their Week 19 National Youth League encounter at Pluim Park this morning.

The Central Coast Mariners produced a ruthless display of football to comprehensively down Perth Glory 4-nil in their Week 19 National Youth League encounter at Pluim Park this morning.

A first half brace from Mitchell Duke was the catalyst for a dominant all-round team performance, one of the finest of the season, and helped the Mariners to a lead they would never relinquish.

“The first half was absolutely outstanding, and in the second half we did what we had to do,” said Head Coach Tony Walmsley.

“With the short turnaround for the Brisbane game on Tuesday we wanted to keep our pointy end fresh so we took off Fitzy and Dukey, and told our midfielders to be mindful of the energy they were using. Consequently Perth were able to get more possession in that second half without really hurting us.

“The target today was a clean-sheet. We re-set our goals after that disappointing loss last week to Adelaide, and today was the first step in our last five games.

“I think in terms of all-round contribution from everyone across the park it was one of the best first halves we-ve played this season.”

Walmsley was quick to sing the praises of a committed defensive performance, which combined brilliantly to continually frustrate the Perth attack.

“On days like today when the attacking players are playing attractive football it-s sometimes easy to miss the defenders out. I thought Alex Mansueto was outstanding today.

“Our defensive structure is the product of a season-s work, and our defenders are protected by a very hard working midfield,” said Walmsley.

From the opening whistle the Young Mariners made their attacking intent clear. Passes were crisp, and communication was sharp and purposeful. Desperate to avenge a frustrating 3-2 loss to Adelaide United last start, it was only a matter of time before the enthusiastic opening was rewarded.

While there may have been an element of luck to the opening goal, there was nothing lucky about the sizzling strike from Mitchell Duke who was on hand to drive the ball home after an initial shot was well saved.

The goal triggered an avalanche of first half opportunities for the home side, and next to try his luck was Trent Sainsbury. Sainsbury-s volley was denied by a reflex save from Perth custodian Tim Doyle. Doyle was in the thick of the action again when the Mariners next forayed into Perth-s half conspiring to deny Jimmy Oates a second goal in as many matches.

Under sustained pressure from a ruthless Mariners attack, and on the wrong end of a possession count, the Perth defence eventually crumbled in the 24th minute. Duke provided a defence-splitting pass from the right flank, which found his captain Sam Munro lurking in support. Munro continued the movement before unleashing a powerful strike. The midfielder thought he had done enough to double the Mariners lead, and he had, unfortunately for him the ball had deflected off defender Luke Johnston and an own goal was ruled.

With the comfort of a two-goal buffer, the Young Mariners continued to press forward in search of a knockout blow. Bernie Ibini-Isei tried his best to provide it, but the young striker dragged his shot across the face of goal.

In recent weeks it has been the Young Mariners attacking players who have received the plaudits for the team-s run of good form, but today it was the men charged with protecting the goal who really stood up to be counted. Such was the dominance of the back four combination of Matt Lewis, Jerry Kalouris, Alex Mansueto and Trent Sainsbury that Perth couldn-t manage to get near the goal until the 30th minute. Even then Sahr Musa couldn-t get his header on target.

Central Coast custodian David Bradasevic got his first touch of the match in the 32nd minute when he pulled off a fine save to deny a solid shot from Cameron Edwards.

This mini Perth resurgence was quashed by a stunning second goal from Duke. The striker who is in the middle of a golden run of form showed tremendous vision to head around a charging ‘keeper and defender before calmly slotting the ball home for a deserved brace.

Duke could have had a first half hat-trick only a minute later but he was thwarted by another outstanding save from the highly impressive Doyle.

Not content with a three-goal lead the Mariners had three late chances. The first fell to Ibini-Isei who headed wide from a set piece, and the other two fell to the right and left fullback respectively. Sainsbury made an energetic burst from the back, unleashed a powerful shot and was denied by an equally superb save from Doyle. Matt Lewis had the final chance of the half but dragged his strong shot across the face of goal.

Mindful of the challenges of a short turnaround and a trip to Brisbane, Tony Walmsley opted to make changes early in the second term. Duke and Nick Fitzgerald both were given an early mark, and the team made a conscious effort to maintain possession.

The halftime break revitalized the Glory, who were intent on taking the game to the home side in the second half. While they still couldn-t break down a committed Mariners defence they still managed to force Bradasevic into making a few saves. The visitor-s best chance of a consolation goal fell to Edwards who dragged the ball across the face of the goal.

The Mariners had an early chance to go further ahead in the 52nd minute, but the league-s leading marksman Ibini-Isei couldn-t take advantage of a close range chance.

Ibini-Isei had another chance in the closing stages, after a superb touch gave him time and space to shoot, but unfortunately for the potent striker he couldn-t get his volley to dip.

Substitute Max Glanville showed some nice touches of skill, but he too couldn-t quite his shots on target. On one occasion the goal bound striker was thwarted by some resolute Perth defence.

In the end the Mariners would get that elusive goal, and it fell to the captain Sam Munro in the 86th minute. Glanville showed great presence of mind, and strength to ride a challenge in the box before crossing to Matt Lewis.

The resulting shot was blocked, but only as far as Ibini-Isei who drove it again into a mass of Perth defenders. It was a case of third time lucky for the Mariners, with Munro making no mistake with the final rebound of the movement, driving the ball home for the fourth goal.

Mitchell Mallia had one final chance to add to the tally, but couldn-t turn his header inside the near post.

The Young Mariners attention switches to recovery mode, before a trip to Brisbane on Tuesday evening.

“The boys who played today have no injuries, and we can focus on recovery before what should be a good game against Brisbane on Tuesday,” said Walmsley.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 4 (Duke 5-/40-, Johnston (og) 24-, Munro 86)
Perth Glory 0

Central Coast Mariners: 20. David BRADASEVIC (gk), 3. Jerry KALOURIS (14. Zachary FREEBURN 62-), 4. Alexander MANSUETO, 5. Jimmy OATES, 6. Sam MUNRO (c), 7. Brendan GRIFFIN, 8. Nick FITZGERALD (11. Mitchell MALLIA 56-), 9. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 10. Mitchell DUKE (2. Max GLANVILLE 59-), 12. Matthew LEWIS, 15. Trent SAINSBURY.

Subs not Used: 1. Nik MATIC (gk).

Yellow Cards: Kalouris 3-, Griffin 59-
Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1. Timothy DOYLE (gk), 2. Ryan PEARSON, 3. Luke JOHNSTON (13. James MAROCCHI 59-), 4. Samuel MITCHINSON (c), 5. Brent GRIFFITHS, 6. Storm ROUX, 7. Cameron EDWARDS, 9. Nick AMBROGIO, 10. Victor SIKORA (8. Brandon O-NEILL 34-), 11. Sebit OYET (14. Al JOVIC 5-), 12. Sahr MUSA.

Subs not Used: 20. Francis SOALE (gk).

Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None

Referee: Kurt AMS