Mariners snatch win from Reds

Central Coast Mariners have defeated Adelaide United 2-0 with a dominant second-half display in the Youth League clash at Burton Park on Saturday afternoon.

Central Coast Mariners have defeated Adelaide United 2-0 with a dominant second-half display in the Youth League clash at Burton Park on Saturday afternoon.

The match was a dour affair with neither side really threatening until the Mariners sprung to life and found a breakthrough in the second-half through with goals to defender Trent Sainsbury and substitute Justin Hayward.

The game began similar to the senior clash on Friday night with neither side willing to take risks, preferring to remain patient when going forward.

Adelaide however retained most of the possession early and were the first to threaten the goal on 13 minutes.

Full-back Jake Monaco ripped through the Mariners midfield before chipping a ball through to Joe Costa whose controlled header was punched clear by an on-rushing Justin Pasfield in goals for Central Coast.

The opening chance seemed to spur the Mariners into life who created the second chance and their first of the game, three minutes later when striker Mitchell Duke with a neat first touch, flicked the ball over his own and two Reds defenders- heads before firing his shot directly at Adelaide custodian Mark Birighitti.

Chances dried up shortly after with both sides visibly frustrated at their inability to find a killer edge in their attacking thirds.

It wasn-t until the 24th minute that the Baby Reds almost broke the deadlock when a long clearing ball from defence fell to Teeboy Kamara clean through on the half-way line.

Kamara raced free on the counter but his final touch let him down when he attempted to round Pasfield, allowing two Mariners defenders to rush back and clear the striker-s shot off the line.

Seemingly worried again by Adelaide-s attempts to get forward, the Mariners struck back with an effort of their own three minutes later though Duke once more.

The 20-year-old-s strike broke into the left-side of the box with a strong effort on the ball but his shot was well saved at the near post by Birighitti with Kwabena Appiah-Kubi-s follow-up effort scrambled away by the United defence.

After a dour opening 45 minutes the second stanza promised to deliver more when Central Coast began to find plenty of space in Adelaide-s half.

Bradley McDonald almost found the opener for the Mariners in the 49th minute but another smart save from Birighitti denied the midfielder-s low-struck drive.

Senior defender Antony Golec should have found the net on the hour mark when he found himself free in the area from Liam Wooding-s long set-piece delivery, but the 21-year-old-s downward header bounced over the bar.

The miss would come to haunt the Baby Reds as Mariners- full-back Sainsbury punished the SA side six minutes later when he fired into the far corner off the post Birighitti after being fed into the right-side of the box by Duke.

Substitute Hayward should have found a second for his side in the 70th minute from a rebound off his own long-range effort that Birighitti failed to hold, however he put his shot wide.

Hayward made no mistake five minutes later however when he was put through again down Adelaide-s suspect right-side of defence by fellow substitute Zachary Freeburn to finish and wrap up the three points for the Mariners.

Former Adelaide United midfielder Adriano Pellegrino could have put the gloss on another win for the Mariners when the ever-present Duke nut-megged Golec with trickery again down the right-side of the Reds rearguard and squared to midfielder, but he bobbled his shot over the bar with an open goal gaping.

Adelaide United: 0 Central Coast: 2 (Sainsbury 65, Hayward 75)