Newcastle Jets Youth kept their undefeated start in the FOXTEL National Youth League 2016/17 Season intact on Saturday via a 2-2 draw with Central Coast Mariners Youth in Tuggerah.
With Clayton Zane on first team duty in Melbourne, Assistant Coach Paul Gomez took control of the junior Jets against the mini Mariners on the Central Coast.
After an even opening to the contest Jets Youth scored the game’s first goal in the 14th minute when Radovan Pavicevic sent a superb strike beyond Adam Pearce after good lead up play from Angus Thurgate.
Jets Youth’s lead didn’t last long, however, with Jacob Poscoliero levelling proceedings just a minute later with a header from a free kick.
Hyundai A-League squad member Labinot Haliti played an hour in the match and wreaked havoc for the Mariners while he was on the pitch.
In the 23rd minute Haliti sent a strike just wide of Pearce’s post, then six minutes later fired a crisp shot from the edge of the area into the back of the net to give the Jets a 2-1 lead.
Pavicevic clipped the crossbar with a header ten minutes before the half-time interval, while Leroy Jennings and Kristian Brymora were unable to take advantage of good opportunities to extend the Jets’ lead after the break.
Jets Youth custodian Dominic Fox made a timely intervention to deny Central Coast from restoring parity to the contest in the 79th minute, but Fox could do little to stop the game moving to 2-2 three minutes later when Mariners substitute Mortaza Safdari let fly with a great low strike from outside the area.
Deep into time added on at the end of the second half Jennings found Jets substitute Kent Harrison with a pass in the box, however the youngster pushed his shot just wide of the mark meaning there would be no late winner on the Coast.
Jets Youth will play their next match in the FOXTEL National Youth League this Saturday at Magic Park in Broadmeadow. Kick-off against Sydney FC Youth is at 4:00pm and admission to the match is free.