The Central Coast Mariners’ 2-1 National Youth League (NYL) triumph over northern rivals the Newcastle Jets at Adamstown Oval on Friday night could well augur positively for the yellow and navy’s fast approaching third Hyundai A-League Finals Series campaign.
The Central Coast Mariners- 2-1 National Youth League (NYL) triumph over northern rivals the Newcastle Jets at Adamstown Oval on Friday night could well augur positively for the yellow and navy-s fast approaching third Hyundai A-League Finals Series campaign.
Hyundai A-League stars Nigel Boogaard and Matthew Osman each found the back of the net for the visitors, who responded to James Virgili-s match opener with aplomb to post a second straight NYL victory over the Jets.
Beyond their goals, Boogaard and Osman also contributed standout ninety-minute showings that will have significantly boosted their respective confidence levels – a positive sign given that both are likely to play a telling part in the Mariners- hopes of securing a first ever Hyundai A-League Championship.
Fellow overage inclusions Andrew Clark and Greg Owens also played the full match in scorching conditions in the Hunter, where the Mariners- incrementally positive NYL form was capped by their sixth triumph of the campaign.
Daniel Taylor was unlucky not to have put the Mariners in front early on, when he was twice denied by expert saves from Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy, while at the other end, Andrew Redmayne was in great touch for the yellow and navy.
With just one fixture left to play in the inaugural NYL season, the Mariners will almost certainly finish in fifth place and only marginally outside the top half of the competition – an overall positive result for a Hyundai A-League club with the smallest catchment base for grassroots talent.
“I-m pleased with the performance, over the year we-ve now shown a lot of really good away form and it-s a pity that we haven-t played as well in front of our home supporters,” said Mariners NYL Head Coach Alex Tobin after the match.
“Whilst we had a few issues in the first half, the second half we really came into our own and felt quite comfortable with the way we were pushing the ball around.
“Our level of consistency has definitely improved, we were inconsistent in the early part of the season and now, the past eight or nine games especially – whilst they-ve not all been wins – has been the level of performance that were looking for.”
The Mariners- maiden National Youth League campaign will conclude at Lisarow-s Pluim Park against southern rivals and NYL high flyers Sydney FC on Saturday, 14 February. Kick off is at 5pm and entry is free.
Central Coast Mariners 30. Andrew Redmayne (gk) (1. Matthew Nemes (gk) 56-), 2. Steven Tibbetts (13. Laurence Braude 59-), 7. Matthew Lewis, 8. Andrew Clark, 9. Brady Smith (11. Darko Vidovic 59-), 12. Scott Wright, 14. Greg Owens, 15. Nathan Sherlock, 16. Nigel Boogaard, 17. Matthew Osman, 21. Daniel Taylor (10. Glen Trifiro 59-)
Yellow Cards None
Red Cards None
Goals Boogaard 55-, Osman 63-
Newcastle Jets 1. Ben McNamara (gk) (20. Jordan Griffiths (gk) 59-), 2. Simon Mooney, 4. Jon Griffiths, 5. George Strogylos, 6. Joel Witherdin (15. Jacob Pepper 59-), 7. Fabian Iacovelli (14. Ben Martin 59-), 8. Matt Harper, 9. Brodie Mooy, 10. Jesse Pinto, 11. James Virgili, 12. Jarrad Ross
Yellow Cards Pinto 61-, Mooney 76-
Red Cards None
Goals Virgili 24-
Referee Kevin Ams