Sydney FC Youth continued their winning start to the Foxtel National Youth League season with a 2-1 victory over Central Coast Mariners Youth in Tuggerah.
Sydney FC Youth continued their winning start to the Foxtel National Youth League 2013/14 season on Saturday with a narrow 2-1 victory over Central Coast Mariners Youth in Tuggerah.
Steve Corica's boys edged out their hosts courtesy of Anthony Tomelic's stunning early strike, combined with Daniel Petkovski's 56th-minute effort from an angle.
Tall defender Joshua Forbes levelled proceedings for Patrick Zwaanswijk's charges just eight minutes into the second stanza, however, the stopper's header wasn't enough for the baby Mariners to earn any points from round three of Australia's premier youth competition.
In sweltering conditions in Tuggerah it was Corica's team who began the game on the front foot, with Tomelic netting the opening goal of the match after only five minutes of play.
After finding a few yards of space outside the box, Tomelic let fly with a blistering strike that left Mariners Youth custodian David Bradasevic with no chance.
The mini Mariners' first opportunity to level proceedings came in the 23rd minute when Steve Whyte made good ground down the right before finding Dillon Vorster.
From the edge of the area, Vorster sent his shot over Anthony Bouzanis' crossbar.
Left midfielder Alec Urosevski was looking dangerous for the junior Sky Blues and in the space of two minutes nearing the end of the first half he almost played provider and scored himself.
First, Urosevski sent a sweet ball into the box which striker Mitchell Mallia pushed past the post, before the wide-man shot himself only to see Bradasevic react smartly and produce a strong save.
Zwaanswijk's words of encouragement and advice clearly made a difference for Mariners Youth after the break, with the young Central Coast outfit returning to the field with renewed energy and enterprise.
Only three minutes into the second 45 left back Michael Neill flashed a crisp shot just beyond Bouzanis' woodwork, before Forbes restored parity to the contest soon after.
After Jesse Curran lifted a free-kick into the area and Sydney FC Youth failed to clear their lines, Forbes rose highest to nod the ball into the back of an unguarded net.
To the delight of Sydney FC Youth the match wouldn't stay level for long, with the powerful Petkovski breaking down the left before sending a neat low shot past Bradasevic just three minutes after Forbes' goal to restore the junior Sky Blues' advantage.
Indeed, an inspired Petkovski would have claimed his brace if not for the great goalkeeping of Bradasevic in the 60th minute.
After Petkovski unleashed a fierce drive, Bradasevic reacted well to ensure Zwaanswijk's Mariners remained only one goal down.
Sydney FC Youth were reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute of the match when Max Burgess - who had already received a yellow card earlier in the match - was shown a straight red card for a nasty challenge on Mariners midfielder Curran.
The tackle left Curran requiring medical attention and forced him from the field for the remainder of the encounter.
Due to the long break in play while Curran was receiving assistance, the fourth official indicated that there would be five minutes of additional time played at the end of the second half.
Keen to salvage at least a point from the round 3 fixture, Zwaanswijk's charges pressed late in the game.
However, the closest the junior Mariners would come to levelling the contest again was with the final kick of the match, as Vorster dragged his strike from the edge of the area just wide of Bouzanis' right post.
Both teams will be back in action on November 16, with top-of-the-table Sydney FC Youth facing Adelaide United Youth at home, while the mini Mariners will be searching for their first win of the campaign against Brisbane Roar Youth in Tuggerah.
Central Coast Mariners Youth 1 (Forbes 53) Sydney FC Youth 2 (Tomelic 5, Petkovski 56) Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah