National Youth League - 2009/2010 - Season 2

Mariners couldn't put AIS to the sword
By Chris Dunkerley

2009/2010 National Youth League - Round 19
4:15pm, Saturday 9 January, 2010
at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 2
(Gavin Forbes 4', Panigiotis Nikas 23')
Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) 0

(Photo Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

Central Coast Mariners have returned to the top of the National Youth League table, after an unconvincing 2-nil victory over the Australian Institute of Sport at Gosford. Two up by the 23rd minute, they failed to put the younger AIS students to 'the sword' - and are lucky that Sydney took 2 points off Glory in Perth.

In stifling humid conditions, with the thermometer in the high 30s, the game started with surprising vigour at the palm-tree enhanced bay-side stadium setting.

The Mariners drew first blood when in the 4th minute a fine pass from Nick Fitzgerald split the AIS defence, and Panni Nikas laid-off the ball for Gavin Forbes to just tap in. 1-0

AIS may have got one back minutes later except that the glancing header from Curtis Good was weak and well saved by Central Coast's custodian Nik Matic standing in goals for this game.

A free-kick from Panni Nikas, 25m out, was hit with venom but alas for the Mariners captain it went over the crossbar. AIS's best on the day, Terry Antonis, snuck in behind the Coast defensive line but couldn't quite bring down and capitalise on a cheeky chip in the 22nd minute.

More joy for the home side, who were dominating, when Nikas picked up a loose ball outside rthe area on the right and curled his shot off the inside of the left post. 2-0

Matthew Crowell, over-age player, was providing leadership, and decided to take an offensive opportunity himself. He struck a shot along the ground and it cannoned off the left upright at the 32 minute mark.

In the 39th minute lively AIS left-winger Kamal Ibrahim gave his side some hope when he got himself into a good position for a shot at the edge of the area - but his effort was too weak to trouble Matic.

In the 54th minute Antonis headed just wide off a corner from the right, and then two minutes later Fitzgerald's glancing header also passed the outside of the post.

The AIS were ringing in the 60 minutes 'youth carousel' changes and the fresh legs aided them to put sustained pressure on a static Mariners. Ibrahim snuck onto the left post but his header, under close attention, from a cross went back across goal rather than in.

In the 86th minute AIS substitute Kevin Davison muffed a chance to get his header into an open goal when Coast 'keeper Matic failed to control a high bouncing ball in his area.

In stoppage time Ibrahim slammed a free-kick from 22m over the cross-bar.

The AIS had made a game of it in the second half as the Mariners fell into a hole, putting out a poor performance that suggests they will have a mountain to climb to make let along win the Final.

2009/2010 National Youth League - Round 19
4:15pm, Saturday 9 January, 2010
at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 2
(Gavin Forbes 4', Panigiotis Nikas 23')
Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) 0

    Crowd: about 500


    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing: 1. Nikodin MATIC (gk), 2. Nathan SHERLOCK, 3. Jerry KALOURIS, 5. Luka DUKIC (4. Matthew LIDDALL +61) 6. Manny GIANNAROS, 8. Nick FITZGERALD, 9. Gavin FORBES, 10. Panny NIKAS (c), 12. Matthew CROWELL, (7. Brendan GRIFFIN +46) 14. Brady SMITH, (18. Bernie IBINI-ISEI +46), 17. Matthew LEWIS

    Substitutes not used: 20. Matthew RYAN (rgk)

    Coach: Tony Walmsley

    Yellow Cards: Panni NIKAS 47', Nik MATIC 90'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Australian Institute of Sport :
    Player listing: 20. Aaron LENNOX (GK), 2. Trent SAINSBURY, 4. Marc WARREN , 5. Sam GALLAWAY,( 24. Scott MELLISH +56) 6. Patrick DIXON (17. Kevin DAVISON +46), 7. Terry ANTONIS, 10. Nikola STANOJEVIC (c), 11. Christopher BUSH, 13. Kamal IBRAHIM, 19. Curtis GOOD (22. Jake BARKER-DAISH +55) 26. Aaron PETERSON

    Substitutes not used: 30. Lachlan TIBBLES (rgk)

    Coach: Jan Versleijen (with Gary van Egmond and Ron Corry)

    Yellow Cards: Nik STANOJEVIC 33, Marc WARREN 38, Sam GALLAWAY 52, Jake BARKER-DAISH 85
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones 5/10
    Assistant referees: Gareth Askem, Thomas Klein; Fourth Official: Lance Greenshields, Referee coach: Gary Power

    BOTN players to watch:
    CCM: Matt Crowell (OA), Nicholas Fitzgerald, Panni Nikas; AIS: Terry Antonis, Kamal Ibrahim, Aaron Lennox (gk)

    Game rating: 5/10

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Match Report and ratings: Chris Dunkerley

(Teams line up - Photo Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

(Kick off - Photo Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

(Compression (9 around the ball) - Photo Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

(Brady Smith?, and Terry Antonis (AIS) - Photo Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

(Nathan Sherlock (CCM) covers - Photo Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

(Matthew Crowell (OA) (CCM) led by example - Photo Chris Dunkerley for BOTN)

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. FFA has not this season accredited any Photographers for BOTN, so any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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