Mariners topple Jets Youth team
The Newcastle Jets Youth team has suffered a setback being beaten 3-1 by the Central Coast Mariners at Pluim Park on Tuesday night.
The Newcastle Jets Youth team has suffered a setback being beaten 3-1 in an F3 derby by the Central Coast Mariners in their National Youth League fixture at Pluim Park on Tuesday night.
The Jets went into the match as favourites looking to move into the top three on the NYL ladder, but the Mariners upstaged their arch rivals with a devastating first half that saw them hold a match-winning 3-0 lead at the break.
The Jets finally settled into some rhythm in the second half but could only pull one goal back five minutes before full-time via dynamic forward Fabian Iacovelli.
The loss leaves the Jets in sixth place on the NYL ladder on 17 points but just one point out of the top four while the Mariners move up to seventh.
The match started in warm evening conditions and the home side got the perfect start with a goal in just the third minute of play. Striker Mitchell Duke met a cross from the right with a powerful header for an early 1-0.
The Jets went close to equalising twice in the next 10 minutes. The first chance fell to James Virgili who was denied by a fine reflex save from Mariners keeper Nikodin Matic, before the Central Coast custodian again produced the goods to parry away a slick shot from Chinese import Zhang Shou.
The home side doubled their advantage in the 20th minute via rising star Mustafa Amini. The youn attacking midfielder showed all his class to control a difficult ball in the middle of the park before advancing on goal and unleashing a cracking volley that gave Newcastle goalkeeper Robbie Kolak no chance.
The Mariners made it 3-0 just five minutes later when the league-s leading goal scorer striker Bernie Ibini-Isei slotted a cross from Duke into the corner of the net for his 10th goal of the season.
Amini went close to getting his second on the half-hour mark when he curled a ball towards the far post but Kolak was able to produce a fine diving save to keep the score 3-0 at the break.
The Jets regrouped after break, controlling possession and looking good in the midfield but the Mariners were able to protect their lead stacking the defence and holding the visitors at bay.
Newcastle eventually pegged one back in the 85th minute when Iacovelli was on hand to poke in a long-range Virgili effort hat had come off the crossbar.
Central Coast 3 Mitchell Duke 3' Mustafa Amini 20, Bernie Ibini-Isei 25'
Newcastle 1 Fabian Iacovelli 85'