Mariners youth up to second

The Central Coast Mariners have moved to second place on the National Youth League ladder after thoroughly outclassing the Brisbane Roar on the way to a 5-2 victory at Spencer Park.

The Central Coast Mariners have moved to second place on the National Youth League ladder after thoroughly outclassing the Brisbane Roar on the way to a 5-2 victory at Spencer Park.

The Mariners ran rings around the hosts, who turned in an abysmal and disorganised defensive performance, forfeiting their own chance to move from fourth to second.

Central Coast front-man Bernie Ibini-Isei enjoyed the spoils of Brisbane's regular defensive lapses, banging home a first-half brace before being replaced by Mitchell Mallia, who netted two of his own in the second half.

Hyundai A-League fringe player Rocky Visconte was one of the few men in orange to show any real desire, while goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne did his best to limit the damage with a number of brilliant one-on-one saves.

Brisbane didn't take long to unravel in the face of the high-intensity Mariners play, and after Nicholas Fitzgerald found the net in the 20th only to be ruled offside, Ibini-Isei had the opener just two minutes later, slamming home a powerful right-foot shot.

Having conceded the early deficit, the Roar began to show some purpose, and after Alistair Quinn went close with a long-range strike, Matthew Thurtell found the equaliser moments later, latching onto a well-weighted Visconte pass and giving David Bradasevic no chance with his shot.

Ibini-Isei missed a gift-wrapped chance grab a double, losing control of an excellent cross from Fitzgerald, allowing the Roar defence to scramble desperately and close down the attack.

But he didn't have to wait long for his second, reclaiming the lead for the visitors in the 40th minute when he outpaced Daniel Bowles to a through ball from Mitchell Duke and beat Andrew Redmayne with another firm and accurate strike.

The Mariners were pouring on the pressure and with only moments left in first-half injury time they cracked the Brisbane defence again, with Trent Sainsbury showing fine touch to create space in the area and rake his shot low into the left-hand corner of the net.

Roar coach John Sime made two substitutions to begin the second half, bringing on attacking weapons Josh McVey and Josh Groenewald, but it was still defence that was Brisbane's biggest problem.

Visconte continued to work hard to create on the left-hand flank, but after splitting the mariners defence in the 50th minute he had yet another beautiful pass to an unmarked man go begging, this time with Quinn the culprit.

The Mariners should have had their fourth of the game shortly after, but having sliced through the paper-thin Roar defence, Fitzgerald had his shot smothered in a great effort by Redmayne.

Brisbane were still well off the pace, but some inspired work from the substitutes allowed the home-side to peg a goal back.

Livewire forward McVey made use of his blistering pace to get a touch on a hurried clearance from Bradasevic, and the deflected ball fell for Groenewald, who made no mistake.

But the Brisbane comeback was short-lived, and as the defence all but put the cue in the rack, substitute Mitchell Mallia cashed in, missing his first one-on-one chance, scoring with his second and then making it a brace with a tap-in just minutes later.

The Mariners had plenty of chances to send the result into humiliation territory, as the match turned into target practice, but fortunately for the few die-hard Roar fans in attendance, the shots sailed wide and the final whistle eventually came.

Brisbane Roar: 2 (Thurtell 29, Groenewald 64) Central Coast Mariners: 5 (Ibini-Isei 22, 41 , Sainsbury 45+, Mallia 80, 81)