THE late season run of form has continued for the Western NSW Mariners FC men’s NSW Premier Leagues 3 team following a 2-1 win over Inter Lions at Lithgow.
Two Mariners goals in the opening half – one from the field and the other from the penalty spot – gave the hosts the advantage at the break.
Lions found a goal back through a header but Western held onto their lead and mirrored their winning score from the match against Dulwich Hill FC a fortnight earlier.
Mariners had been encouraged by a 2-1 loss to league leaders St George FC in the previous round and brought a similar quality performance to Majorie Jackson Oval on Saturday.
Western’s Paul Long said there’s a great vibe around the Mariners camp.
“We’ve been on a good run in recent times and we’re starting to play out our games. We’ve sometimes started well then waned in the past and struggled to put together 90 minute performances,” he said.
“In the second half they came out with some intent to pin the game back but we managed to hold on and keep playing to our structure.
“They’re a side that like to play through the midfield so we stayed very compact, particularly at the back.
“Our wide players were more narrow to congest that midfield and stop them delivering the ball through there, because they’ve got some quality up front.
“We didn’t give them that time to give service to their front third.”
Ryan Campbell found the opening goal for the Mariners in the 16th minute.
Campbell cut inside his defender and delivered a perfectly placed effort into the bottom corner of Inter’s net.
When Long was fouled inside the penalty area it gave Lachlan Thomas the chance to double the Mariners’ advantage.
Thomas made no mistake to push the lead to 2-0.
Inter Lions showed improvement after the break and their efforts were rewarded when Chris Lawson’s header found the back of the Mariners net.
The result has extended the gap between Mariners and last-placed Fraser Park in the club championship.
“We’ve relied very heavily on our 18s and 20s so to get some results for the club is great,” Long said.
“We’re starting to pull away and trying to make that charge so we can take ourselves away from that relegation battle.”
Meanwhile the Mariners women’s team went down in their contest against the Lions, losing 3-0 Orange’s Sir Jack Brabham Park.