Mariners Youth win well

Central Coast Mariners have enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win over the AIS with two early goals sealing the points in their National Youth League match in Gosford on Saturday.

Central Coast Mariners have enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win over the AIS with two early goals sealing the points in their National Youth League match in Gosford on Saturday.

Strikes to Gavin Forbes and Panni Nikas inside the first 22 minutes blew away the AIS. And despite a strong second half from the visitors they could not peg back the Mariners on a hot day at Bluetongue stadium.

The Mariners dominated the early stages with the Coast quickly finding their rhythm.

After just three minutes striker Gavin Forbes was first to react when AIS keeper Aaron Lennox parried a low shot and the Mariners forward calmly tucked it home to make it 1-0.

And Central Coast skipper Panni Nikas made it 2-0 after 22 minutes with a calm finish from just inside the box - his shot going in off the post.

It should-ve been 3-0 ten minutes later but Matt Crowell-s low drive from a set-piece rattled the base of Lennox-s right hand post.

The AIS struggled to come to terms with the Mariners- movement but finished the half the stronger of the two creating two openings on the break. The best opportunity fell to left-sided striker Kamal Ibrahim after 40 minutes but the skilful winger scuffed his shot from just inside the box.

Both sides had good chances to score early in the second half with Forbes denied with just the keeper to beat and his header minutes later missing the target by inches.

At the other end, set-pieces were causing huge problems for the home side. A corner found the lively Ibrahim in space but his header sailed over Nikodin Matic-s bar.

And Marc Warren-s corner after 65 minutes caused more havoc but the Mariners cleared the danger. And from another corner, Trent Sainsbury-s header was parried away by Matic as the AIS desperately tried to get a foothold in the game.

But the AIS-s best chance fell to substitute Kevin Davison with just minutes left. He profited from a defensive mix-up following a bouncing ball in the box but his header spun just wide of the post.

A flurry of corner kicks in time added on put more pressure on the home side-s goal but the AIS could not breach the Central Coast goal and they held on for the points to maintain their push for the National Youth League title.

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Forbes 3, Nikas 22) AIS 0