NPL WRAP: Wanderers move to top of table after victory over Central Coast Mariners

Our NPL side moved two points clear at the top of the table after a thumping 5-2 victory over the Central Coast Mariners.

The Wanderers raced out to a 3-0 lead at half-time, and despite the Mariners getting to within a goal midway through the second half, two late goals secured a deserved victory for the Red and Black.

Fresh off the back of a dominant Sydney Derby victory, the boys started well as they hit the front inside seven minutes; the Mariners failed to deal with a corner, and from the second phase of play Marcus Younis ghosted in at the back post and headed home a Zac Sapsford delivery.

The Wanderers were in control of possession and had more of the ball, and they doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute when Anthony Pantazopoulos scored his first goal of the club with a brilliant chipped effort after the Mariners gave him too much time and space on the edge of the area.

Former Mariner Aydan Hammond, who was fired up against his old club, made it three soon after as he smashed a first time volley past Jack Warshawsky to wrap up a scintillating half of football from the Wanderers.

The Mariners regrouped at half-time and halted the Wanderers chances and momentum, and had a goal of their own when Luka Smyth prodded the ball home from close range, before Luca Scicluna scored minutes later with a classy long range effort.

As the home side pushed for an equaliser, the Wanderers punished them with brutal efficiency, as Nathaneal Blair broke down the right side of the pitch, and cut the ball back to Sapsford who swept the ball home in the 85th minute.

Blair made sure to get in on the act in the last moments of the match after a swift counter attack where he calmly slotted the ball past Warshawsky and into the corner of the net; it was the striker’s seventh goal of the season.

The win leaves the Wanderers on 15 points, clear of second placed Wollongong who are on 13 points, and also happen to be their opponents on Sunday at WIN Stadium.