Tigers and Scorpions collect wins
SATURDAY'S opening round fixtures of the NCF 1st Division saw Coffs Coast Tigers and Sawtell open the season with a win, both sides relying on late penalties to claim all three points.
Westlawn v Sawtell
SAWTELL survived a second half collapse away from home against Westlawn to win 4-3 in a match that should've been wrapped up at half time.
A goal to Ben Gentle as well as a brace to Sam Sawtell early in the first half saw the Scorpions race to a 3-0 goal lead at the break.
Despite being severely outplayed in the first half, Westlawn took advantage of some lazy Sawtell defence to strike back three goals of its own leveling the scores with only minutes to go into the match.
Luckily for Sawtell they were awarded a controversial penalty in the dying stages, Matt Parkins easily putting it away and gaving the Scorpions a lucky win.
Sawtell Captain Grant Martin said his side came out of the sheds too comfortable with the 3-0 lead.
"We rated our chances a bit too much after the break and it really showed with how we played," Martin said.
"As a side we were slack in defence and our passing was poor in the second half which was so disappointing considering how impressive I felt we were to start the match.
"It was a relief to get the win and start the season with all three points."
SAWTELL 4 bt WESTLAWN 3
at Barnier Park
Woolgoolga v Coffs Coast Tigers
THE Coffs Coast Tigers battled windy conditions in Woolgoolga on its way to a tight 2-1 win against the Woolgoolga Wolves.
Taking only 10 minutes to break the deadlock, the Tigers looked as if they would take control of the match.
However Woolgoolga refused to back down and denied the visitors a chance to double its lead before the half.
Going into the second stanza with only a narrow 1-0 lead the Tigers still had plenty of work to do and the Wolves physical style of play was making it hard.
Unfortunatley for Woolgoolga its no holds barred approach to tackling saw the side reduced to 10 men with 20 minutes to go after the referee produced his red card for a questionable challenge.
Despite being a man down the home side managed to level the score, but not for long.
Only two minutes after the Wolves tied the match, Coffs Coast Tigers were awarded a penalty and duly slotted it from the spot to come out narrow victors.
Tigers Coach Curt Dixon was happy to claim the points but felt his side should have won more convincingly.
"We had plenty of chances all game but failed to convert," Dixon said.
"Woolgoolga hardly had any shots on goal yet still managed to equalise.
"It's only the first round so we still have plenty of time to improve but it was good to get the season off with a win."
COFFS COAST TIGERS 2 bt WOOLGOOLGA WOLVES 1
at Woolgoolga High Street Complex