In the 17th minute the home team took the lead via a first time finish from Cirjak. A flowing move through midfield found Troy Hearfield wide on the right. Hearfield crossed low across the face of goal, and with his left boot Cirjak fired a crisp shot beyond Jets goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
It would take only six minutes for McLafferty’s team to double their advantage. Again, the cross came in from the right side, but this time in the air via the impressive Patrick Dixon. Timing his run to perfection Kwasnik met the ball with purpose, steering his header neatly past Duncan and into the back of the net.
The Jets came out with intent after the break and would take just two minutes to halve the deficit. Midfielder Mitchell Oxborrow netted for the away team to get Clayton Zane’s side on the board.
With both teams making wholesale changes throughout the second half the game seemed to lose some of its fluency. Nevertheless, both teams continued to attack and the Jets were awarded a penalty by referee Stephen Lucas with only five minutes to play.
Marko Jesic had the opportunity to earn a point for his team, however Pasfield made a fine double save to deny the former Australian youth representative. From the penalty Pasfield dropped low to his right to thwart Jesic, before springing to his feet to block the rebound.
And despite a few late raids by the Jets, McLafferty’s boys held on to commence their National Youth League title defence in the best way possible.
Following the match, McLafferty said he was happy with the effort from his team but noted there are still areas for the side to improve upon.
“Any win is a good win,” he said. “I think there is a long way to go but there is a lot of good ball players out there and we’re happy with the way we went forward but defensively we still have some room for improvement.”
Central Coast Youth play their next match away to Melbourne Heart Youth on Saturday 27 October at John Cain Memorial Park in Victoria.
Central Coast Mariners Youth 2 (Cirjak 17’, Kwasnik 23’)
Newcastle Jets Youth 1 (Oxborrow 47’)
Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence
Central Coast Mariners Youth: 1. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 2. Troy Hearfield, 3. Adam Jenner, 4. Zachary Anderson, 5. Michael Neill ( 12. Kieran Paull 60'), 6. Oliver Bozanic, 7. Nikola Stanojevic (c) (13. Dillon Vorster, 60'), 8. Tomislav Cirjak (14. Louis Bozanic 60'), 9. Daniel Bragg, 10. Adam Kwasnik, 11. Patrick Dixon
Substitutes not used: 20. David Bradasevic (Gk)
Yellow cards: Hearfield, Kwasnik
Red cards: None
Newcastle Jets Youth: 20. Jack Duncan (Gk), 2. Andrew Hoole, 3. Connor Chapman (c), 4. Sam Gallaway, 6. Ben Kantarovski (18. Mason Campbell 56'), 7. Marko Jesic, 8. Jacob Pepper, 9. Stevan Ilic (13. Kale Bradbery, 60'), 11. Mitchell Oxborrow, 12. Joshua Brillante (5. Luke Remington 56'), 19. Bernardo Ribeiro
Substitutes not used: 1. Nicholas Hartnett (Gk)
Yellow cards: Oxborrow, Jesic, Hoole
Red cards: None
Referee: Stephen Lucas