Mariners Youth defeat Victory Youth

Danny Vukovic made a winning return as Central Coast Mariners Youth kickstarted its National Youth League campaign with a 2-1 win against Melbourne Victory Youth on Saturday at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

Danny Vukovic made a winning return as Central Coast Mariners Youth kickstarted its National Youth League campaign with a 2-1 win against Melbourne Victory Youth on Saturday at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

Vukovic was beaten by a first-half penalty from Dimitri Hatzikostas, but otherwise performed well in his first match since round two of the Hyundai A-League.

Hyundai A-League players David D'Apuzzo and former national junior representative Dylan Macallister scored for the Mariners.

The win was the Mariners' first in three matches, while Melbourne is still without a point.

After a poor performance in Adelaide last week the Mariners again started slowly but looked much sharper in the second half.

Strikers Nik Mrdja and Macallister combined well up front, while D'Apuzzo was constantly looking to push forward. His first goal for the club just before the break lifted the Mariners.

Melbourne had the best of the chances in the first half but Vukovic was rarely called on in a second half dominated by the home team.

Macallister was in the right spot at the right time in the 65th minute as he showed good reflexes to head home a shot from Steven Tibbetts to seal the victory.

Defender Paul O'Grady was another to impress for the Mariners. Melbourne pushed forward in a bid to score an equaliser in the final 20 minutes but the Mariners defence, led by O'Grady, held strong.