CPL WRAP: Boambee bombing as Tigers sting Sawtell
THE inaugural Coastal Premier League season is off to a flying start after three exhilarating rounds of football.
Port Saints took advantage of a top of the table stalemate over the weekend, overcoming third-placed Boambee FC, who now drops to sixth on the ladder.
Northern Storm continued their good run of form with a 3-2 win over Kempsey Saints, lifting them to fourth place.
Here’s all the action from round three:
Boambee FC 0 def by Port Saints 2
PORT have finally arrived, putting in a disciplined defensive performance and capitalising on two good chances to down the North Coast premiers 2-0. Port striker Rohan Whiteman was the difference, scoring goals either side of half time.
Boambee struggled to move the ball with speed in the first half, allowing Port time to organise their backline and keep out any forward movement.
Whiteman was clinical in front of goal finishing a well-worked team goal before following up a blocked shot and muscling away from his man to put the Saints 2-0 ahead.
The Bombers had their share of possession but couldn’t work their way back in. Zane Haywood was up to the task of keeping crafty Bombers winger Christian Penny away from goal. Saints coach Darrell Pascoe identified both Whiteman and Haywood as the standouts in a prolific Saints performance.
“Zane was fantastic, he is our left-back, and we knew they had some real strength down their right side. Zane was up to the task all afternoon. He had a blinder. Rohan was clinical in front of goal, but the whole team worked well, we really played some fantastic football against a very strong side,” Pascoe said.
“We are starting to believe in ourselves and our structure, and you can see that. Before the season started the talk was around the strength of the Coffs teams, and to be honest, they are all really strong sides.
“There’s never an easy game in this competition, but that’s the challenge of the CPL, and the Saints are starting to show they are up to that challenge.”
Northern Storm 3 defeated Kempsey Saints 2
STORM maintained their strong start with a narrow 3-2 win over Kempsey. Storm played most of the second half with ten men after Ryan Guest kicked the ball away for his second yellow of the match, but despite the disadvantage, held onto their lead to bag another home win.
Kempsey continued to provide stiff opposition, playing some great football.
Northern Storm welcomed some new faces to their squad, with several first-graders missing from action. Josh Kite scored a sensational goal from 30 metres out on debut, while stalwart Mykel Watson scored the matchwinner with just over 10 minutes to play.
Co-coach Craig Caruana said that teething issues are expected as the team continues to gel, but signs are good early on in the season.
“We are a fairly new squad with a sprinkling of experience leftover from previous years. We have always known it will take some time for this team to click and we should improve in all areas as the season goes on. Discipline and focus will be key areas to work on this week,” Caruana said.
“As we have said all along, we believed that we would be a better team and more competitive as the season progresses, so this is the beginning for us.”
Macleay Valley Rangers 0 drew with Coffs United Lions 0
MACLEAY Valley and Coffs United cancelled each other out in a thrilling top of the table clash on Saturday. Both sides had their chances, the Lions testing Valley’s goalkeeper John Clancy with some great opportunities, but the shot-stopper was up to the task.
Rangers’ Chad Applegate was presented with two great opportunities in the second half but couldn't find his way past United’s goalkeeper.
Despite a wave of chances at both ends, the match ended 0-0, another representation of the strength of the CPL this season.
Rangers coach Chris Walker was full of praise for his side following the match, specifically his goalkeeper’s performance.
“Clancy pulled off some outstanding saves, we’ve kind of become used to that now – it’s always great to have a keeper like that behind you and know that if you do have that lapse in concentration, he’s there to back you up,” Walker said.
“Coffs are a strong side. We knew that heading into the match, but we showed that we would match them this year and we’re up for the challenge.”
Taree Wildcats 1 defeated Port United 0
TAREE earned their first points of the season with an inspirational 1-0 win over Port United.
United have had a tough start to the season and there are signs the FMNC Premier League winners are underdone, but still await some key figures returning to the picture.
Despite a slow start to the season, their quality will likely shine once they start to fire with a full squad.
The Wildcats have been touted as a team to watch in recent weeks and these first points will instil some valuable confidence to the young side.
Coffs Coast Tigers 5 defeated Sawtell FC 2
A GOAL fest closed round three of the CPL, as Coffs Coast defeated Sawtell in a northern derby on Saturday night.
For the second week in a row the Scorpions were on the end of a big defeat and will be looking to pick themselves back up in round four against a firing Port Saints outfit.