Victory Youth go down to Mariners

A goal against the run of play two minutes from full-time has earned Central Coast Mariners a 2-1 win over the Melbourne Victory in their National Youth League clash at Epping Stadium on Saturday.

A goal against the run of play two minutes from full-time has earned Central Coast Mariners a 2-1 win over the Melbourne Victory in their National Youth League clash at Epping Stadium on Saturday.

A player down for much of the second-half following the sending-off of wing-back Evan Berger, the hosts looked the more likely to score before being caught on the break by a goal from Matthew Lewis in the 88th minute.

The Victory can feel hard done by after setting the tempo for much of the contest, but they failed to make the most of their opportunities.

The opening goal came early in the ninth minute following some neat lead-up work by Melbourne midfielder Grant Brebner whose deft through ball was helped goal-wards by Nathan Elasi.

At full-stretch, Central Coast goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne was able only to parry into the path of Victory skipper Matthew Theodore.

Redmayne did well to recover quickly to get a touch on Theodore's side-footed effort which scuttled over the line.

The hosts' lead lasted less then one minute, however, when Central Coast pressed forward direct from the restart and Daniel Taylor found space on the right to blast the ball low and hard past Mitchell Langerak.

Striker Dimitri Hatzimouratis squandered a gilt-edged chance to win back the lead for the Victory in the 15th minute when he failed to control a sizzling cross from the left by Evan Berger.

A touch volley from point blank range would almost certainly have scored, as coach Mehmed Durakovic was quick to remind Hatzimouratis from the sideline.

With a stiff southerly at their backs, the visitors pressed hard late in the first half.

At different times Greg Owens, Scott Wright and Laurence Braude found themselves in scoring positions but lacked the finish required.

The contest turned on the red card awarded to Berger for a body check on Taylor in the 54th minute which was deemed by referee Kevin Docherty to constitute unsporting behaviour.

Berger had earlier been yellow-carded on the stroke of half-time for a late tackle on Taylor.

Durakovic responded with a triple substitution, recasting the line-up by bringing on Mifit Bokju, Matthew Sweeney and Stephen Hatzikostas for Hatzimouratis, Theodore and Robert Wynne.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Victory began to dominate possession and channelled much of their attacking play through the lively Aziz Behich on the left.

Brebner came closest to breaking the deadlock when he blasted inches wide in the 63rd minute and Behich came close also when set free on the left in the 85th.

Then, totally against the trend, Owens managed to put the pacy Lewis through on the right and his scuffed shot wrong-footed Langerak and ballooned into the net to secure the points for Central Coast.

Match Details Melbourne Victory 1 (Matthew Theodore 9') Central Coast Mariners 2 (Daniel Taylor 10', Matthew Lewis 88') Saturday 17 January, Epping Stadium, Melbourne Referee: Kevin Docherty Assistant Referees: Brenton Hayward, Kris Flynn Fourth Official: Lucien Lavedure