Persistent rain across NSW saw majority of our Academy’s matches postponed due to wet weather last weekend but despite another week of downpour across the state, our sides returned to the pitch for what was a mixed bag of results.
For the Youth Girls, the 14’s started off the day with an entertaining 3-3 draw at Christie Park and the 15’s were able to put together an impressive 2-1 win over the Gladesville Ravens on Sunday afternoon and the 16’s rounded at the youth matches with a 1-1 draw.
Unfortunately, for our senior sides the results did not go our way as the Ravens flew past the Yellow and Navy 20’s defeating the Mariners 4-0 at Christie Park while the First-Grade side were narrowly defeated by Gladesville 2-1 by a heartbreaking goal in the final minute of the tie.
After taking an early lead through Kaitlin Murphy, the Mariners thought they were on their way to three points away from home but an own-goal late in the contest brought the Yellow and Navy back to level pegging with the Ravens away from home.
Ash Palombi was the hero for the FNSW League One heavyweights as she netted both goals in a dramatic 2-1 win for the Ravens that left the Mariners players heartbroken after losing it so late on at Christie Park.
Speaking to media after the game, Preston said it was a day of what could have been.
“It was a strong and resilient performance from the girls,” Preston said.
“We took an early lead through Murphy but the Ravens found a equaliser in the 75th minute.
“They pushed hard late on and found a winner in the 93rd minute for a heartbreaking loss for the girls.
“We are looking forward to bouncing back against Nepean and St George in the Easter double header.
Despite majority of NPL NSW League One games being postponed, last weekend our Youth Boys had an impressive display of results against Wollongong Wolves and after a great outing against the Wolves, they were treated to a week off after having the bye round.
In what was a top-of-the-table clash against Hakoah Sydney City East FC on Sunday, our senior sides also had mixed results at Hensley Athletic Field.
With the 20’s currently sitting on top of the NPL NSW League One U20 ladder, they were defeated 2-0 in a close match by Hakoah for the opening game of the day at Hensley Athletic Field.
For First Grade though, Lachlan Bayliss was the late hero as the young winger netted two goals to send the Yellow and Navy fans into raptures away from home.
Chances were at a premium before the half time whistle, Hakoah were closest to going ahead as ball into the box from Joseph Roddy caused some issues for the Mariners defence, but the two sides were locked in together at half-time.
Not long after the action restarted in the second half, Nikola Skataric’s free-kick narrowly went over the bar, and it was the Mariners who controlled the opening minutes of the second-half.
In an extremely tight contest, it called for a special moment from a special player and up stepped Lachlan Bayliss.
The youngster opened the scoring with a spectacular effort from outside the area after a lighting quick counter-attack saw the winger free with a bucket-load of space on the right side of the pitch to launch his strike right into the back of Hakoah’s net late on.
Minutes later, Bayliss struck the final gut-wrenching blow at Hensley Athletic, the winger was played in behind again and he coolly slotted his strike into the bottom left corner to seal the three points for Central Coast Mariners.
Speaking to media post-match Andrew Christansen was extremely pleased with his sides result away from home.
“It was a top performance and a very well deserved win,” Christansen explained.
“I’m very happy for the players, we controlled majority of the game and limited the opposition to a few counter attacks and set pieces.
“We fought hard and played with discipline against a physical side and it was two fantastic goals from Lachlan Bayliss along with a clean sheet to reward our performance with three points.”
The Yellow and Navy return to Pluim Park this weekend to face Western Sydney Wanderers in a Easter Weekend blockbuster showdown.