Queensland Youth dispose of Mariners

A Timothy Smits hat-trick has handed the Queensland Roar a convincing 3-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners in their Round 16 National Youth League match at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A Timothy Smits hat-trick has handed the Queensland Roar a convincing 3-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners in their Round 16 National Youth League match at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Queensland looked in control from the outset with Smits swinging in a lovely curling shot to opening the scoring in the 25th minute. The Mariners threatened to equalise in the period just after half-time before the Roar regained control of the match and settled the account with two more tap-in goals to Smits.

The win sees Queensland regain outright second spot on the NYL ladder on 24 points just three ahead of Adelaide, while the Central Coast remain fifth on 14 points.

The match started in perfect conditions on a sunny afternoon on the Central Coast and it was the visitors who took the initiative from the opening whistle.

The Roar enjoyed the bulk of possession and territory in the opening stanza and almost scored in the 16th minute when nippy winger Joshua McVey fired in a dangerous cross for Smits, who met the ball on the six-yard box but Mariners defender Paul O-Grady was able to sweep the ball away.

The Mariners had their best chance of the half when Glen Trifiro headed Matthew Lewis- corner just over the crossbar in the 22nd minute.

Queensland grabbed the opening goal three minutes later after an attack via McVey. He took the ball down the left flank and into the penalty area where his cross was cleared by the Mariners defence but only to the edge of the box where Smits curled a lovely first-time strike into just inside the right post.

Queensland should have doubled its advantage five minutes before half-time when Michael Angus was gifted the ball 12 yards out after a Robbie Kruse cross deflected off Mariners defended Paul O-Grady, but Angus fired his shot over the bar.

The Roar made one change at the half-time break bringing on Isaka Cernak for Michael Ryan and the attacking midfielder had an impact immediately sliding in a lovely through ball for Smits to go one-on-one with the Mariners goalkeeper but the striker fired his shot across the face of goal.

The home team started to launch some enterprising attacks on goal mainly via livewire winger Matthew Lewis. His raids caused the Roar defence some headaches but finishing let the Mariners down.

Greg Owens made a good break laying off for Daniel Taylor but he slid his shot across the face of goal, while Lewis was unlucky when he bundled down in the area after a swerving run.

Queensland soaked up the pressure and grabbed a second goal in the 68th minute when Smits got the ball six-yard out after a confident build-up and fired a shot through the grasp of Mariners substitute goalkeeper Matthew Nemes.

Roar skipper Adam Sarota and Cernak forced good saves from Nemes with shots from the edge of the area before Smits snared his hat-trick after Robbie Kruse fired in a pin-point cross for the striker to tap in from two yards out.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 0 Queensland Roar 3 (Tim Smits 25-/68-/86-)

Saturday 10 January 2008 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Referee: Stuart Wolfe Assistant Referees: Adam Weir & Gareth Askham Fourth Official: Tim McGilchrist

Central Coast Mariners line-up: 30.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk) (1.Matthew NEMES (gk)), 2.Steven TIBBETTS, 7.Matthew LEWIS, 8.Nick KAPSIS (16.Tim McGOWAN 54-), 9.Brady SMITH, 10.Glen TRIFIRO (17.Sean MITCHELL 60-), 12.Scott WRIGHT, 13.Laurence BRAUDE, 14.Greg OWENS (OA), 15.Paul O-GRADY (OA), 21.Daniel TAYLOR (6.Ashley BALCOMB 60-).

Yellow Cards: Greg Owens 72-, Scott Wright 88-. Red Cards: Nil

Queensland Roar line-up: 1. Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Michael RYAN (14.Isaka CERNAK 46-), 3.Matt MUNDY, 4.Robbie KRUSE, 6.William TUMUSIIME, 7.Adam SAROTA, 8.Michael ANGUS (5.Brad McDONALD 60-), 9.Tim SMITS (OA), 10.Luke BRATTAN, 11.Josh McVEY (13.Jordan FARINA 60-), 12.Ben GRIFFIN (OA).

Yellow Cards: Michael Ryan 22-, Matt Mundy 76-. Red Cards: Nil