Stars help Mariners Youth

Central Coast has leaned on its star power to help defeat Sydney FC 2-1 on Wednesday night and stay top of the Youth League table.

Central Coast has leaned on its star power to help defeat Sydney FC 2-1 on Wednesday night and stay top of the Youth League table.

First team regulars Andrew Clark, Adam Kwasnik and Ahmad Elrich all lined-up with the Mariners youngsters and, not surprisingly, had a big impact on the outcome.

Elrich and Kwasnik combined for the first goal just seven minutes in.

Elrich's blistering 25m drive was palmed onto the crossbar by Sydney keeper Nenad Vekic and Kwasnik was on hand to tuck away the rebound.

Sydney refused to go into its shell, Joseph Gibbs threading a nice ball into the box for Joel Chianese to bear down on goal after 13 minutes.

Mariners custodian Andrew Redmayne was quickly off his line to tighten the angle, forcing Chianese to slice his effort wide.

Two minutes later Chianese again found himself with room inside the box, his glanced header from a Ray Miller cross just floating over the bar.

Central Coast looked headed for a half-time lead until the Sky Blues struck in the 45th minute.

Gibbs cut back inside a defender on the edge of the box before unleashing an unstoppable bullet into the top right-hand corner of the net.

It was his first goal of a season limited to just two games due to injury.

Kwasnik carved out an opening for himself eight minutes after the break, turning the Sydney defence inside out before blasting well over the target.

By the 56th minute the Mariners had their lead back.

After some lovely one-touch football on the edge of the box, the ball fell to Mitchell Mallia.

Mallia had only been on the field a minute but his sweetly-hit left-foot shot never looked like missing the mark as it curled past Vekic.

His goal proved the difference, Sydney unable to find an equaliser despite pushing players forward late in the game.

The Sky Blues remain stuck in fifth place.

Sydney FC 1 Gibbs (45m)

Central Coast 2 Kwasnik (7m), Mallia (56m)