National Youth League - 2011/2012 - Season 4

Feisty match between Victory and Mariners
ends in goal-less stalemate
By Zee Ko

2011/2012 National Youth League - Round 15
4:00pm, Saturday 11 February, 2012
at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham (Vic)

Melbourne Victory FC 0
drew with
Central Coast Mariners FC 0

(Linked from FFA web site)

Last night may have been Melbourne Victory midfielder Jimmy Jeggo's proudest as a football player, but he was back at Kingston Heath today watching on as the Youths battled to a credible goalless draw with the Central Coast.

Senior listed goalkeeper Tando Velaphi was the hero of the day, palming away Mitchell Duke's 70th minute penalty, but the Victory squandered more than a couple of chances late on and could arguably have snatched a win.

Only about a hundred non-paying spectators turned up for this week's match, down from a record derby crowd a week ago. Cold windy conditions and a substantial downpour might have kept supporters away, but the overcast sky magically cleared up before kick-off and most of the match was played under glorious sunshine.

Last week's goal scoring hero Chris Cristaldo was left out of the Victory lineup after incurring four yellow cards, but Dado Lokvancic, Adam Nakic and John Buceto were recalled to the starting lineup with Jeggo's younger brother Luc on the bench.

The Central Coast boys are said to be among the oldest in the league, and it was to no surprise that every one of them seemed to have a significant height and size advantage compared to the home team. Victory had learnt the lessons of the first half of the season well though, and were in no mood to be pushed around. The opening exchanges were very much in their favour and the midfielders had the lion's share of possession, helped somewhat by the tigerish presence of Billy Celeski in central midfield.

Kwabena Appiah-Kubi was looking lively for the visitors on occasion, as was the number ten Mitchell Duke. The first real chance fell to the pair, as Duke let loose with a shot from just outside the box while the defenders were preoccupied with tracking Appiah-Kubi in the box. Velaphi spilled the ball, but managed to grab it with the second chance.

For the home side, Hernan Espondola, Paulo Retre and forward Luke O'Dea were proving hard to handle of the flanks. Adrian Caceres found himself the first name in the referee's book as he went in late on Retre before Nicholas Littler and Adrian Jenner found themselves in hot water too after getting bamboozled by O'Dea in the 24th and 30th minutes.

Despite all the possession, Victory were finding it hard to come up with a decent end product as Central Coast consistently appeared to have one defender left to blunt any attacking impetus. Espindola almost managed to knock home a goal from an acute angle in the 44th minute with goalkeeper Dylan Mitchell in no man's land but even then, Littler slid in at the last second to clear off the line.

Central Coast came out of the break looking hungrier than ever, and were quickly in the ascendancy. Substitute Josh Da Silva was looking lively, while Justin Hayward was threatening on the left flank after an anonymous first half. Velaphi was called upon to save from an onrushing Hayward in the 49th minute, receiving a knee into the solar plexus for his efforts. Kobbie Boahene was also putting his body on the line, beating his man and managing to clear the ball upfield while airborne before getting knocked senseless and crumpling to the turf. As the Victory bench screamed at the referee, play continued before Boahene was dragged off the pitch by a physio. Thankfully, there was no lasting damage and the right back returned to the field of play.

The spectators might have been forgiven for marvelling at the disparity in sizes between the two sides, but it might just have played a part in making Sam Gallagher's tackle look more brutal than it was. The Central Coast player went through the back of Buceto, earning the ire of the referee and an early bath.

There was still more drama though shortly after when Da Silva was bundled clear of the ball in the box while shaping to shoot. Appearing to kick Nicholas Ansell's ankle with the follow through, the referee instead blew for a penalty and booked the defender. Up stepped Velaphi to cement his status as hero for the day as he dived low to his left to stop Duke's well struck penalty before punching clear with players closing in.

Victory head coach Jim Magilton appeared to have snuck into the stands in the meanwhile, casually attired and accompanied by assistant Chris O'Loughlin. All the fight seemed to have left Central Coast shortly after the penalty miss and they seemed satisfied to play out for a draw with ten men. No such qualms for Victory though, as they swarmed forward in search of a winner. Three times in a row, substitute Danny Chaabani floated crosses into a box, and three times in a row Espindola failed to put the chance away.

In the end, both sides would agree that a draw was the fairest of results. Victory could and should have snatched all three points late on, but would also have admitted that they were lucky that the penalty was saved. Melbourne are now on a four match unbeaten streak while Central Coast maintain their lead at the top of the standings.

2011/2012 National Youth League - Round 15
4:00pm, Saturday 11 February, 2012
at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham (Vic)

Melbourne Victory FC 0
drew with
Central Coast Mariners FC 0

    Crowd: abt. 100


    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing: 1 Tando Velaphi (gk)(OA), 2 Kwabene Boahene, 3 Adam Nakic, 4 Nicholas Ansell, 5 James Riccobene, 6 Damir Lokvancic (c), 7 Paulo Retre (17 Danny Chaabani +64'), 8 Billy Celeski (OA) 9 Luke O'Dea, 11 Hernan Espindola, 14 John Buceto (15 Luc Jeggo +64')

    Substitutes not used: 20. Marko Stevenja (rgk)

    Coach: Darren Davies

    Yellow Cards: Nicholas Ansell 69''
    Red Cards: Nil

    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing: 1. Dylan Mitchell (gk), 2. Nikola Stanojevic, 3. Adam Jenner (4. Zachary Freeburn +58'), 5. Nicholas Littler (11. Joshua Da Silva +46'), 6. Anthony Caceres, 7. Sam Gallagher 8. James Oates (c), 9. Kwabena Appiah-Kubi (12. Ben Jurman +64'), 10. Mitchell Duke, 15. Bradley McDonald, 16. Justin Hayward

    Substitutes not used: 20. David Bradasevic (rgk)

    Coach: John Walmsley

    Yellow Cards: Anthony Caceres 19', Nick Littler 24', Adam Jenner 33'
    Red Cards: Sam Gallagher 63'

    Referee: Greg Gontscharow 7/10
    Assistants: Anthony Sideris, Patrick Chaplin; Fourth Official: Brenton Hayward

    BOTN players to watch (pts 3,2,1):
    3. Tando Velaphi (MV); 2. Adam Nakic (MV); 1. Kwabena Boahene (MV)

    Game rating: 7/10

    Pitch rating: 6/10

    Match Report and ratings: by Zee Ko

(Magilton, left - Photo - Zee Ko for BOTN)

(Photo - Zee Ko for BOTN)

(Photo - Zee Ko for BOTN)

(Photo - Zee Ko 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. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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