Bernie hits four in Mariners romp

Four expertly taken goals, including a first half hat-trick, by the electric Bernie Ibini-Isei has helped the Central Coast Mariners to a 5-1 victory over Adelaide United in the National Youth League at Budgewoi Soccer Club on Saturday morning.

Four expertly taken goals, including a first half hat-trick, by the electric Bernie Ibini-Isei has helped the Central Coast Mariners to a 5-1 victory over Adelaide United in the National Youth League at Budgewoi Soccer Club on Saturday morning.

The athletic striker opened the scoring inside the first quarter of an hour, before Adelaide number 10 Evan Kostapoulos restored parity just moments before the half-time break.

However, two goals in as many minutes afforded the home side a comfortable buffer heading into the interval, and a penalty in the early stages of the second stanza rounded out a brilliant individual display by Ibini-Isei.

A late goal by substitute Mitch Duke then completed the Mariners' second consecutive victory.

On 14 minutes, the Mariners broke quickly down the left through midfielder Matt Lewis, a square ball to Nik Mrdja opened things up in the middle of the pitch, allowing Ibini-Isei to storm onto the ball and finish with aplomb from inside the penalty area.

The visitors were knocking on the door though, and after a couple of near misses through Kostapoulos and Bradley Norton, the Reds struck back in the 42nd minute. Played clean through on goal by strike partner Francesco Monterosso, Kostapoulos made no mistake after rounding goalkeeper Nik Matic to level matters.

But the scores would not be locked for long, as Ibini-Isei finished the half with a flurry, sealing his hat-trick in the process. The 18-year-old's second was a simple tap-in after a fierce Mrdja strike was parried into his path by Ostbye, but the third was all class by the striker as he sprinted away from the scrambling Adelaide defence before calmly slotting the ball under the onrushing keeper.

Five minutes into the second half and Ibini-Isei was at it again, this time converting a penalty after lively right-back Trent Sainsbury was brought down in the box by Matthew Mullen.

The Westfield Sports High product then turned provider, setting up Duke with a well-weighted through ball to finish off a swift counter-attacking move by the home side in the 79th minute.

Adelaide midfielder Mitch Nicholson was given his marching orders in the 88th minute, but it was certainly too late to have any effect on the result as the Central Coast cruised past their opponents into seventh spot on the National Youth League ladder.

Central Coast Mariners 5 (Ibini-Isei 14, 45, 45+1, 51pen, Duke 79) Adelaide United 1 (Kostapoulos 43)