Sydney FC's Foxtel National Youth League team set the Mariners adrift with a comfortable 3-1 win at Lambert Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Sky Blues controlled proceedings from the outset and their dominance eventually paid off when Jeremy Cox fired home from close range in the 20th minute to open the scoring and bag his fifth goal of the season.
Sydney FC continued to press and if not for some good work between the sticks by the Mariners keeper Tom Glover, on loan from Tottenham Hotspurs, the margin may have been greater.
There was nothing he could do in first half stoppage time when Sam McIllhatton played in Chris Zuvela on the edge of the box and the midfielder calmly slotted the ball inside the far post for a 2-0 advantage at the break.
The second half started well for the Sky Blues as Zuvela was again involved in the 52nd minute showing quick feet inside the penalty area to lay the ball back for Hassan Jalloh to shoot low and hard for a 3-0 lead.
The Mariners pulled a goal back on 66 minutes when Peter Kekeris cut inside and placed the ball high into the net for 3-1. The Mariners lifted and with ten minutes left to play they were awarded a penalty when their striker went to ground easily following a challenge in the box, however, the Sky Blues' keeper Duro Dragicevic pulled off a magnificent one handed save diving low to his right to deny Central Coast.
Sydney FC then shut the gate for the remainder of the match through possession football to secure the three points. The win puts Sydney FC one point behind Conference B leaders Western Sydney Wanderers as the competition heads into the final round.
Sydney FC face Canberra United away on Saturday, 27th January while the Wanderers take on third placed Newcastle Jets at Newcastle on the same day. A Sydney FC win and a loss or draw by the Wanderers will see the Sky Blues leapfrog their cross town rivals for the Conference B title and a spot in the NYL Grand Final.
Sydney FC 3 (Cox 20’/Zuvela 45+1’/Jalloh 52’) defeated Central Coast Mariners 1 (Kekeris 66’)
The final round sees the boys travel to Canberra United on Saturday, 27th January at McKellar Park, Belconnen 4:00pm kick off.
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