This weekend of NPL action saw Nick Montgomery’s side defeat Canterbury Bankstown FC 5-1 to keep their season alive whilst the women put in a wonderful second half comeback, only to suffer a heartbreaking 5-4 loss at the death
Central Coast Mariners Academy 5 (Hatch 28’, Nisbet 48’, 67’, Vinci 63, Moric 80’) vs. Canterbury Bankstown FC 1
It was a crucial game for the Men’s Academy, knowing that a big win at Pluim Park could kick start one final push for the top six.
It was a tight first 45 minutes with the academy boys dominating possession and creating most of the chances. Left back Matthew Hatch was enjoying a lot of open space, conjuring up a number of attacks for the home side. He was awarded for his efforts after curling shot flew into the top corner, to give the academy the lead. It would stay the same until the break.
The second half saw the introduction of Joshua Nisbet and it did not take long for him to make his mark on the match, scoring from distance to double the men’s advantage. The away side were able to pull one back shortly after, to give themselves a chance. In the 63rd minute, captain Alec Vinci rose the highest to head in the Mariners’ third. The academy boys scored their fourth only four minutes later, Josh Nisbet getting his second with a neat finish from the edge of the box. The home side were awarded a penalty late in the second half which was converted by Mark Moric, scoring his first of the season.
The win puts Nick Montgomery’s side in eighth place, four points out from the top six. The Men’s Academy are at Pluim Park next week for a clash with Bonnyrigg.
- U18s: WON 6-0
- U20s: WON 7-0
Sutherland Shire FA 5 vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy Women 4 (Murphy 17’, Miller 61’, Wise 65’, Collins 95’)
The academy girls travelled to ladder leaders Sutherland Shire FA in an NPL top five clash.
It was a great start for the girls, who grabbed the lead in the 17th minute through Kaitlin Murphy, scoring her first of the season. Unfortunately, Sutherland kicked into gear and managed to score four unanswered goals before the half time break. But that would not deter Dan Barrett’s brave Mariners’ outfit.
The women turned their fortunes around in the second half and put in a strong performance. Brooke Miller’s first of the season and the ever-present Danielle Wise got the girls within one goal of the home side. The women kept pushing for the equaliser and it wasn’t until the 95th minute where Leisel Collins scored the equaliser, completing the memorable comeback.
Unfortunately, there was a twist in the tale as Sutherland scored the late winner in the 97th minute with the last kick of the game.
The women’s first defeat in nine games keeps them in fifth for now, just one point ahead of Marconi Stallions. The Women’s Academy are on the road again next week, travelling to take on Southern Branch.
- U14s: WON 4-2
- U15s: WON 4-1
- U17s: WON 3-1
- Reserve Grade: WON 1-0