The Mariners Academy Women made the long road trip to South Nowra to earn a gutsy win over Southern Branch Women in the PS4 NPL 2.
Central Coast Mariners Academy Women 2 (30’ Phelan, 41’ Blanch) Southern Branch Women 0
The Mariners started in an energetic way getting on the front foot from the opening whistle, confidently pushing forward through the middle and having options via Candice Phelan and out wide with Gabbi Blanch and Kate Duffy.
However the 6th minute saw the Mariners dealt a crushing blow with inspirational Captain Oriana Keane taken from the field with a knee injury. She would play no further part in the game.
Coach Yule had to rearrange his troops and brought on a speedster in Alice McKee, who returned from injury.
The 30th minute saw a Mariners corner defended strongly for another corner. This time the Mariners made no mistake with Phelan timing her run to perfection and getting her head on the ball to give the keeper no chance. The goal was a worthy reward for a period of sustained attack.
Leading into half time the Mariners speedsters up front switched sides. Alice McKee received a great ball through from the hard working Jade McAtamney and the keeper came out to cut down the angle. McKee’s shot was blocked by the keeper and the ball was pounced on by the ever present Blanch who measured her shot, chipping the keeper with an unstoppable touch.
The home side wouldn’t be deterred and just before the break Mariners keeper Jess Shultz was forced to make a full stretch save, impressively gathering the ball to deny their effort. The Mariners held a 2-0 lead at half time.
It was the home side who came out fast in the second half and momentum shifted for a time with the Mariners defence under vigorous attack.
Yule replaced hard working defender Christine Granero mid way through the half as her high intensity work rate had taken it’s toll. Rising star Jess Hines settled in well with the ever consistent defenders Georgia Davis, Letisha Waddell and Katie Oliveira and the Mariners held strong for a very satisfying win.
After the game, coach Yule expressed how proud he was of the team’s effort saying they fought hard and deserved the win.
He was particularly impressed with how his senior players had stepped up with the early loss of Oriana Keane, singling out Jade McAtamney for her outstanding commitment. Just as impressive he noted Jess Shultz’s clean sheet against a determined attack.
Next weekend is Round 17 and the Mariners Women return to Pluim Park to take on Gladesville Ravens. Under 13’s kick off at 8.30am, first grade kick off at 3pm and entry is free to the Mariners last home game of the season.
Sunday 30rd July
South Nowra Football Complex
Referee: W Shutz
Central Coast Mariners Women: 1. SCHULTZ Jess, 13.BRYANT Grace, 3. GRANERO Christine (11 HINES Jess), 4. DAVIS Georgia, 5. WADDELL Letisha, 6. MCATAMNEY Jade, 7. BLANCH Gabrielle, 8. KEANE Oriana (10 McKEE Alice) (16 LOPEZ Nubia), 9. PHELAN Candice, 12. OLIVEIRA Katie, 15. DUFFY Kate
Subs not used: 20. BRADBURY Maddison 2. TERRY Jessica
Yellow cards: G Blanch
Southern Branch FC: Abbott J, Anderson B, Brown R, Carter D, Clark L, Emery S, Ford P, Ford A, Grainger L, Hely S, Kienka J, Menzies J, Milani J, Ryan C
- Under 13 CCMA 5 SBFC 0
- Under 15 CCMA 0 SBFC 1
- Under 17 CCMA 1 SBFC 1
- Reserves CCMA 4 SBFC 0