Newcastle Jets Youth continued their impressive start to the Foxtel National Youth League 2013/14 season on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners Youth in Tuggerah.
Fresh from thumping the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) 6-1 last round, the junior Jets continued their strong form with another good performance against their regional rivals.
Clayton Zane's side earned their win via goals from Kale Bradbery and Radovan Pavicevic, combined with a late clincher from the Hyundai A-League's youngest ever captain Mitch Cooper.
The Mariners' sole goal of the contest came via the head of seasoned striker Adam Kwasnik in the 68th minute, with the former Chengdu Blades man nodding a cross beyond Jets Youth custodian John Solari to give Patrick Zwaanswijk's team hope of levelling the encounter.
But Jets Youth ultimately deserved their win at the Mariners' Centre of Excellence having dominated large chunks of the fixture.
Indeed, Zane's boys started the game brightly with A-League squad members Craig Goodwin and Joey Gibbs firing shots wide of David Bradasevic's woodwork in the early stages.
In the 12th minute, Bradbery was denied by experienced NYL 'keeper Bradasevic after the Mariners' number one made an impressive stop from the striker's firm drive.
But there was little the gloveman could do three minutes later as Bradbery capitalised on a defensive mix-up before rounding the shot-stopper and sliding the ball into an unguarded net.
Jets Youth netted their second of the game 10 minutes before half-time after Pavicevic forced the mini Mariners to concede a corner following his crisp shot on the angle.
Zwaanswijk's side failed to deal with the delivery of the set-piece, with Pavicevic netting from close range as he sent the ball through a sea of bodies.
Zwaanswijk's team talk at the interval made a difference to his side's output in the second stanza with Mariners Youth looking sharper after the break.
Enterprising midfielder Josh Bingham almost connected with a Mile Sterjovski free-kick seven minutes after half-time, before Kwasnik rose highest to level proceedings with 22 minutes remaining.
With a precise cross swung in from the left, Kwasnik met the centre with purpose to give Mariners Youth a boost.
Zwaanswijk's side pushed for a leveller as the clock wound down, however, good keeping from Solari denied Kwasnik from close range, as well as desperate Jets Youth defending to thwart efforts from Zac Anderson and Nick Fitzgerald maintained Newcastle's advantage.
And in time added at the end of the second stanza, Cooper displayed neat footwork on the edge of the area before sending a sweet, low drive beyond Bradasevic.
Central Coast Mariners Youth remain winless after the opening six rounds of season six of Australia's premier youth competition, while Jets Youth look to be among the top contenders to claim the 2013/14 Foxtel NYL crown.
The win moved Zane's team to 12 points and into first place, at least temporarily, on the NYL ladder.
Both teams will be in action next Sunday with Mariners Youth challenging Western Sydney Wanderers Youth away, while Jets Youth will travel to Victoria to take on Melbourne Victory's juniors.
Central Coast Mariners Youth 1 (Kwasnik 68')
Newcastle Jets Youth 3 (Bradbery 15', Pavicevic 35', Cooper 90+2')
Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah
Central Coast Mariners Youth: 1. David BRADASEVIC (Gk), 4. Liam O'DELL, 5. Zac ANDERSON, 6. Jesse CURRAN, 9. Adam KWASNIK, 10. Dominic FERGUSON, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 13. Hayden MORTON (13. Lachlan EVERETT 46'), 18. Michael NEILL (2. Jacob ESPOSITO 41'), 19. Josh BINGHAM (7. Dillon VORSTER 55'), 20. Mile STERJOVSKI
Substitutes not used: 12. Tonu LIIBAND (Gk)
Newcastle Jets Youth: 1. John SOLARI (Gk), 2. Michael FINALYSON (12, Reece PAPADIMITRIOS 46'), 3. Nicholas COWBURN, 4. Josh MITCHELL (14. Mitch COOPER 60'), 5. Craig GOODWIN, 6. Mitchell OXBORROW, 7. Radovan PAVICEVIC, 8. Michael KANTAROVSKI, 9. Kale BRADBERY, 10. Joey GIBBS, 11. Thomas WALLER (13. Matthew BILIC 55')
Substitutes not used: 20. Adam PEARCE (Gk)