Week One Review
Port Saints FC 1 def by Macleay Valley Rangers 2
The CPL launched over the weekend with Port Saints hosting heavyweights Macleay Valley Rangers in an enthralling encounter at Findlay Park.
The Rangers were rewarded for a stronger start to the match, their two goals in the opening hour enough to secure the points despite a strong finish from the Saints.
The opening 15 minutes were equally matched, both sides relishing in the excitement of the launch of the new competition.
Macleay edged their way in front, controlling possession and working a few half chances, before Tristan Smith tapped home the opener on the 30 minute mark, poaching at the back post after a well worked free-kick saw the ball ricochet off the back post into his path.
Ten minutes into the second half, Sam Applegate doubled the Rangers lead with a spectacular 40m lob, catching Saints keeper off his line for the second of the match.
The Saints showed great fight to work their way back into the match, and after several good chances brought the deficit back to one with a breakaway through the middle, after the Rangers had given the ball away in midfield.
Despite a late surge, the Rangers held on to their first 3 points of the season.
Rangers Coach Chris Walker was pleased with his sides performance, especially against a strong Saints outfit.
“The Saints are always a tough team, they played well today. We had some good chances to seal the match but I was happy with our performance overall.
We will only get better as we play more games, and this first result was an important one for the season.”
Northern Storm FC 2 def Taree Wildcats 1
Northern Storm FC defeated the Wildcats 2-1 in just under one hour of football played. The match was abandoned close to the hour mark when a Wildcats’ player was injured on field, and due to the nature of the injury an ambulance had to tend to the player on the pitch.
Therefore, the match official ended the match early for the safety of all players, with Northern Storm winning the fixture 2-1. For an official explanation of this ruling, visit:
A tough first outing for the Wildcats, but they made a great account of themselves in the opening hour of football, and will be a team to watch in Round Two.
Kempsey Saints 3 def. by Sawtell Scorpions 4
Kempsey Saints hosted Sawtell Scorpions at Eden Park. Kempsey led Sawtell for the majority of the match, with the Scorpions clenching a quick two goal turnaround in the last 10 minutes of the game to secure all 3 points.
Kemspey played a very physical game and took it to Sawtell early, leading 1-0 and then 2-1 at half time.
Sawtell’s young team, probably the youngest in the competition, with an average age of 19, had the fitness to see out the match, and left it late to find an equaliser, and then the winner.
Former NCF NPL striker Charlie Alderman scored two goals within 10 minutes to give the Scorpions the win. The first a free kick from the flank, which levelled the scores with five minutes remaining.
Alderman then struck again in stoppage time, this time a deflected shot from outside of the box finding the back of the net.
Sawtell Coach Jody Jenkins was impressed with his young sides determination.
“We performed better than expected for such a young side. Kempsey were good, very physical side. This was our first form of non-contact football in months, so I was very pleased with the boys’ performance, especially against such a physical team.
“The longer we go on the fitter we will get and the more confidence the youngsters will gain.”
Coffs United Lions 2 def Port United 0
Coffs United Lions defeated Port United 2-0 at McLean Street Oval on Saturday Night.
The Lions showed some real class throughout the match to overcome a strong Port outfit, though United coach Nathan Wade says his team were underdone heading into the game and have a lot more to give.
Boambee Bombers 1 draw Coffs Coast Tigers 1
The final match of Round One saw Coffs Coast Tigers travel to Ayrshire Park to take on Boambee FC in the northern derby.
For all the anticipation in the lead up the the start of the season, the expectation was tapered somewhat due to the fitness levels and preparation time for all teams.
Whilst it was evident across the board that all teams will improve with more game time, there was no lack of fight or determination, especially not with these two sides.
Boambee FC met a determined Tigers outfit who were well organised in defence and showed some good patches throughout the match. Tigers opened the game well, and had some half chances with good movement on both flanks.
Tyh Murphy opened the scoring for the Bombers from a supurb free kick in the opening half an hour.
The Tigers responded immediately with great movement and energy on the ball. Just before half time this led to their equaliser, with a neat ball played in behind for James Palmer, who slotted home past the Bombers Keeper to level the scores.
The second half was a different match for both sides. Boambee came out refreshed and finally started to look like the Premiership winning side they were 6 months ago.
The Tigers required all of their defensive structure, and some good luck, to keep them out.
Christian Penny was unlucky to see his bullet header rocket off the underside of the cross bar as the Bombers squandered several good chances toward the end of the match.
Tigers coach Felipe Berrera was upbeat with his sides’ performance.
“We sort of ran out of legs towards the end but the first three quarters of the match we played some really good football.”
“It is early days for us but we had a game plan and I was happy with the performance”.
Bombers coach Jon Fergusson said his side lacked urgency in the first half but played an improved second half.
“We gave up too much in the first half and couldn’t finish in the 2nd. Football has small margins from 1 pt to 3 pts, on Sunday we were reminded of this.”