Mariners overpower Victory

A hat trick from midfielder Justin Hayward has helped Central Coast Mariners to a dominant 6-0 win over Melbourne Victory in week 4 of the National Youth League played at Pluim Park, Lisarow on Friday afternoon.

A hat trick from midfielder Justin Hayward has helped Central Coast Mariners to a dominant 6-0 win over Melbourne Victory in week 4 of the National Youth League played at Pluim Park, Lisarow on Friday afternoon.

Hayward-s treble - two of which came from the penalty spot - was supplemented by a goal each to Hyundai A-League players Brad McDonald and Adriano Pellegrino, as well as an 85th minute effort by striker Kwabena Appiah-Kubi.

The Mariners did the majority of their damage in the opening stanza, breaking the deadlock just 15 minutes in.

Indeed, it was McDonald - who yesterday was selected for the Qantas Australian Under 23's team to face Oman and Uzbekistan - that got the Mariners on their way with a classy finish from just inside the box, having been unleashed by Appiah-Kubi.

Just nine minutes later Central Coast doubled their advantage. Enterprising play by Hayward was rewarded when the referee pointed to the spot following a handball by a Victory defender. Having done the hard yards to force the penalty, Hayward stepped up to the spot to send Victory custodian Rani Dowisha the wrong way and extend the Mariners lead.

It would take the Mariners just three minutes to deconstruct the Victory defence again. The energetic McDonald cut out an errant pass from the Victory defence before flying down the left side. Spotting Pellegrino in the centre, McDonald put the ball on a platter for the attacking midfielder who made no mistake to rifle home from close range.

In the 30th minute Hayward would earn and score his second from the spot, this time blasting an unstoppable drive past Dowisha straight down the centre.

With his name already in lights, Hayward ensured he would be hard to beat in man-of-the-match honours when he netted his third goal after 41 minutes. A fluent team move eventually saw the ball fall to the midfielder on the left side, and Hayward lashed past Dowisha from six-yards to make it 5-0 at half-time.

Mariners boss Tony Walmsley decided to rest overage players Pellegrino and Brad Porter after the break, while Victory mentor Darren Davies emptied his bench in search of a better return from his young charges.

The switches seemed to interrupt the flow of the match somewhat, with the second stanza turning into a largely scrappy affair with neither side able to craft many clear-cut opportunities.

Referee Kris Griffith-Jones also had to hand out numerous yellow cards as ill discipline crept into the match.

Despite suffering an afternoon he'd rather forget, Dowisha showed his ability with a neat one-handed save nearing full-time from a Sam Gallagher free kick.

With full-time approaching, Appiah-Kubi - who scored the winner against Sydney FC last Saturday - would get the goal his purposeful and tireless effort ultimately warranted.

Using his trademark pace to find space, Appiah-Kubi burst into the box before firing low past Dowisha to add further polish to what was a dominant Mariners display.

Central Coast Mariners Youth 6 (McDonald 15-, Hayward 24-, 30-, 41-, Pellegrino 27-, Appiah-Kubi 85-) Melbourne Victory Youth 0