Mariners edge Roar in NYL

A first half goal from Nick Fitzgerald was the difference as the Central Coast Mariners maintained their impressive National Youth League form with a 1-0 win against Brisbane at Pluim Park on the Central Coast on Saturday.

A first half goal from Nick Fitzgerald was the difference as the Central Coast Mariners maintained their impressive National Youth League form with a 1-0 win against Brisbane at Pluim Park on the Central Coast on Saturday.

Fitzgerald-s strike in the 35th minute was only the goal in a scrappy contest in wet conditions. The victory sees the Mariners stay in second place with one game to play.

While happy with the result Mariners coach Tony Walmsley would have liked the victory to have been bigger with the team creating, but failing to finish, several good chances, especially in the first half.

The home team could have been up by at least three goals at the break after a dominant display.

Mariners A-League squad member Michael Baird was in the thick of the action throughout the first stanza.

The former Perth Glory front man appeared to be fouled in the box in the sixth minute but referee Stephen Lucas ruled play on.

Baird found the back of the net in the 12th minute after a good Mariners movement but he was offside.

He did have a hand in the only goal of the half. Baird crossed to Mitchell Duke who laid the ball off to Fitzgerald who fired home a powerful shot.

On the stroke of half-time Baird had another good opportunity to open his account for Central Coast but his shot was saved after being one-on-one with goalkeeper Matthew Acton.

Brisbane improved defensively in the second half. There was a heap of chances in the first half but it was a different story in the second stanza with both defensive units holding firm.

Duke shot wide a minute after half-time and second half replacement Max Glanville had a shot saved in the 77th minute.

Brisbane pushed players forward in the final minutes but could not penetrate the resilient Mariners defence.

Central Coast 1 (Nick Fitzgerald 35-) Brisbane 0