Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC did enough to stay top of their respective conferences as the Y-League moved past the halfway point of the 2019/20 season last weekend - Brisbane thumping Adelaide and Sydney surviving a scare against Canberra. Just how much, though, does a win in the Y-League mean?
It’s also an inescapable fact that talent, generally, wins football games and that, the side’s regularly winning – year in and year out – can reliably be considered strong academies.
What is important, therefore, is not the dismissal of results at a junior level or the holding of them to be the be-all and end-all of junior development.
Results are just one part of a larger jigsaw that makes up A-League academy junior development - with long term trends being far more important than single games in vacuums.
Newcastle Jets 0-0 Western Sydney Wanderers
Opening round five on Friday night, midtable Conference B sides Newcastle and Western Sydney combined to produce just the second scoreless draw of the Y-League season at the Number 2. Sportsground.
Lachlan Constable and Jarrod Carluccio had the pick of the chances for the visitors in the opening stanza, Constable testing Lewis Italiano from range and Carluccio forcing the Jets keeper into an acrobatic save after being picked out by a cross from defender Dean Pelekanos, while Jack Simmons and Kaine Sheppard – playing in the Y-League as he returns to fitness – had the best of the Jets opportunities.
Ryan Goodhew and Maki Petratos went on to have chances for the Jets in the second stanza but it was the Wanderers that did most of the running from thereon.
Carluccio hit the crossbar early on in the half and Rory Jordan and Fabien Monge had subsequent efforts cleared off the goal line.
Nonetheless, the Wanderers did have one final act of defending to do to secure their point when substitute defender Paolo Bonanni cleared a Jets effort off the line in the final stages of what was his Y-League debut.
Brisbane Roar 5-1 Adelaide United
While goals at the No.2 Sportsground may have been hard to come by, there were no such troubles at AJ Kelly Park as Brisbane Roar continued their red-hot start to the 2019/20 Y-League campaign.
Despite early indications though, the fireworks were largely restricted to the second half.
Mirza Muratovic’s third-minute conversion of a penalty won by Jack Hingert and Lachlan Brook’s 17th-minute equaliser initially looked as though they would be the only to goals of a very warm opening stanza in Queensland, only for George Mells to pop up with a minute to go and make it 2-1 for the men in orange.
A second penalty from Muratovic, once again won by Hingert, gave the hosts a 3-1 lead in the 51st minute before, making all the headway in the second half, they took a 4-1 lead when Eli Adams teed up a cross for Jai Ingham to guide home in the 79th minute.
Muratovic then applied the sealer in the third minute of added time when he poked home from close range for his sixth goal of the campaign.