Lions humble young Mariners in NPL2

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

NSW – PS4 NPL 2 – Men 2016 – Round 1
6:30pm, Saturday 5th March 2016 – Pluim Park, Lisarow

Central Coast Mariners FC 0 (NPL)
lost to
Bankstown City Lions FC 3 (Dean Bereveskos 41’, Grant Lynch 72’, Huseyin Jasli 80’ pen)

Bankstown City Lions began their 2016 NPL2 campaign with a resounding 3-0 win at Pluim Park on the opening day of the new season, in a game switched from Sunday to Saturday evening.

Coach Leo Carle was relieved to see his charges come away with the win after an unfortunate 1-0 loss to the same opponents last season at the Lisarow arena, a game he felt his team should have won.

With promotion the club’s main ambition these days, the results of First Grade are important, but those of the lower grades matter even more than they once did, something the coach is well aware of.

He’d seen both of the Bankstown City Lions’ Under 18s and Under 20s beaten by Central Coast Mariners earlier in the afternoon and needed this victory to square the ledger, having already surrendered nine points going into this first team game.

The three points here became nine so the club escaped with at least a situation of parity and for a long time it looked as if the youthful locals might replicate the deeds of their even younger age group teams.

“They certainly gave us a hard game,” revealed Carle, later.

“They’ll trouble a few teams in this Division this year and it took us a long time to break them down.

Bankstown had to wait until the 41st minute to break the deadlock and when they did it was far from clinical.

A corner from the left was partially cleared and Lions’ man,  Dean Bereveskos latched onto the loose ball which sat up for him just inside the 18 yard box.

His screamer of a shot crashed against the underside of the crossbar and came back into play, but Newcastle referee, Trent Nash, who had a sound match, quickly pointed to the centre to award the goal, after receiving the positive signal from his assistant on the line.

The ball had crossed the line, but not by much.

After that the plucky and far younger Central Coast players had to chase the game more and they continued to find it hard to break down a Bankstown defence that included such luminaries as Michael Beauchamp and Todd Haloran, with Dominic Hudap soaking up so much in front of the backline to make the locals frustrated.

They battled away well, but the Lions had some enterprising players going forward, none more so than Huseyin Jasli.

Apart from his work down the wings, his dead ball skills were a major factor in the end result.

In the 71st it was his corner that dependable left back, Grant Lynch, was able to head home powerfully, and provide the second goal that the tense situation demanded.

Eight minutes later any hopes of the Mariners Youth side forcing a draw were extinguished.

Lions’ substitute, Alvaro Malmierca, burst through the middle and was unceremoniously dumped to the ground inside the penalty area.

Up stepped Jasli Huseyin to make it 3-0 with a quality strike from the spot and it was game over.

Central Coast’s new coach, Ben Cahn, who’s been in the role only a matter of weeks after being brought down from Queensland after spending eight years coaching up north, was upbeat after the game.

“Yes, it’s true, I don’t know anything about the other clubs in this League or their players, but my job is to develop the young players we have here and teach them how to compete at this level.

“They will learn some lessons from this match and that’s the main thing.

Cahn knows it’s going to be a steep learning curve, but will continue to focus on development as that’s his brief, not winning the competition at this early stage.

He would have been happy to see the Under 18s and Under 20s win their games comfortably and perhaps he might be persuaded to include some of those aspiring stars in future matches.

For now, though, this First Grade side still looks competitive, with players who were in the same division last season under the banner of the Central Coast Football Association, under the coaching of Peter Preston, who put in some very strong performances all year, being hailed as likely Premiers for much of the campaign.

With Lachlan Wales, Trent Buhagiar, Steve Whyte, Joshua Forbes and Brian Jamba back again there’s a good nucleus for further development, if not honours, this year too.

Match details

Crowd: Approx 100

Central Coast Mariners FC:  20. Thomas Heward-Belle (gk) 2. Brian Jamba 3. Reece Papadimitrios 6. Liam O’Dell (c) 7 Lachlan Wales 8. Adam Berry 10. Ryan Peterson 11. Christopher Hurley 12. Trent Buhagiar 14. Cooper Boswell (4. Joshua Forbes 46’) 18. Steve Whyte.
Subs not used: 1 Adam Pearce (rgk), 9 Thomas Lyons, 5 Daniel Tuddenham, 15 Sean Pratt

Yellow cards: Liam O’Dell 78; Red cards: Nil
Coach: Ben Cahn

Bankstown City Lions FC:  1. Dion Shaw(gk) 2. Todd Halloran 5. Michael Beauchamp (c) 8. Domenic Hudap 9. Gerard Ouffoue 10. Chris Gomez (20. Alvaro Malmierca 70’) 11. Huseyin Jasli 13. Daniel Alsaad (7. Joshua Brookes 83’) 14. Dean Bereveskos (22. Kyohei Kimura 83’) 16. Kojiro Hori 23. Grant Lynch.
Subs not used: 26 Nicholas Carosi (rgk)

Yellow cards: Chris Gomez 33; Red cards: Nil
Coach: Leo Carle

Referee: Trent Nash

General comments

Weather:  Warm evening, with little breeze
Game 7/10
Pitch 7/10
Players noted: Lachlan Wales (CCM), Steve Whyte (CCM), Ryan Peterson (CCM), Michael Beauchamp (BCL), Jasli Huseyin (BCL), Grant Lynch (BCL)