Competition Heats up as Premiers Return to Winning Ways

In an ominous warning to all sides, the premiers of 2019 are starting to find their feet in the CPL. Both Boambee Bombers (NCF Premiers) and Port United (FMNC Premiers) had good wins in round four as wild conditions made it tough for all teams to play attractive football. 

Despite the weather, Boambee’s 1-0 win over Coffs United Lions is a great sign for the competition, while Port United are also off the mark and starting to gain momentum at just the right time. Here’s our match-by-match review of round four. 

Northern Storm 0 defeated by Port United 2 

Port United are starting to show signs of the side who won the FMNC Premiership in 2019. United was too strong for Northern Storm on Saturday afternoon, winning the match 2-0 on the road. 

Despite losing some key players in 2020, coach Nathan Wade is confident his side can return to the top of the table and says the more experience his younger players can get, the better for everyone. 

“We showed signs of getting back to the form of 2019, we have lost five starting first graders from last year, and although the younger players who have come through are just as skilful, they lack experience. Each game like this where we do well as a team, the better it is for us.” 

United combined well for the first goal of the game, Ethan Perry finishing a one-two through Storm’s defence. 

Troy Berecry set-up the next goal, beating his man down the right-wing and teeing up striker Matt Bale for a simple tap in. 

Wade said United played with real hunger and desire unlike previous weeks, which is what got them across the line. 

“Today, we competed for everything. The boys wanted it more than previous weeks, and they got to every ball first or showed the hunger to win it back. It is great to see us showing that hunger, and we will look to improve on that in the coming weeks.” 

Port Saints 4 defeated Sawtell FC 0 
Feature Match South

Port Saints are firing on all fronts four weeks into the inaugural CPL season, with striker Roan Whiteman leading the charge, following up his heroics last week to bag a brace against the Scorpions as the Saints cruised to a 4-0 win over Sawtell on Saturday. 

It was a match-up between the two youngest sides of the competition, and in wet conditions in Port Macquarie, Sawtell accounted well for themselves during the first half against an in-form Saints outfit. 

At half-time, the score favoured the Saints 1-0, and coach Darrell Pascoe wasn’t happy. 

“Not everything went our way, but we hung in there. I told the lads we needed to control the ball and not play those long passes.” 

“To the boys’ credit, they took it on board, and they did that; I couldn’t be happier.” 

The second half went the way of the Saints, with Whiteman scoring a double and the Port side lifting their quality across the pitch. 

Pascoe was full of praise for Whiteman and his entire team. 

“He’s scoring some beautiful goals, but it’s not just about Roan being in the team. The whole team are gelling really nicely, and we’re creating opportunities all over the pitch, which is leading to those goals.” 

For the full match report, visit: Port News 

Taree Wildcats 0 defeated by Macleay Valley Rangers

Taree Wildcats put on a heroic performance against the competition leaders, but ultimately Macleay Valley Rangers were too strong, scoring three unanswered goals on Saturday afternoon. 

The win sees Macleay take top position on the ladder. 

Coffs Coast Tigers 0 drew with Kempsey Saints 0 (Match Abandoned)

Coffs Coast Tigers and Kempsey Saints match at Polwarth Drive was abandoned in the 42nd minute on Saturday due to poor weather conditions which endangered the players’ welfare. The decision to abandon the match means both sides will take one point for a 0-0 draw. 

Coffs Coast Tigers were winning the match 4-2 when the match official made the decision. 

Coffs United Lions 0 defeated by Boambee Bombers 1

Boambee Bombers managed to grind out a 1-0 win against Coffs United Lions in appalling conditions on Saturday night. The weather made it difficult for either side to play their football, and in a game that could have gone either way, Boambee’s sole goal in the second half was enough to clinch the win. 

Bomber’s coach Jon Fergusson was pleased with his side’s ability to implement a unique game plan against the Lions. 

“It was a gutsy win, we made a slight change to our formation and had a specific plan which was to keep the Lions scoreless, and we managed to do that. It was a basic footballing approach, partly because of the predicted weather, and also because we knew what the Lions could do through their midfield.” 

“Their strength is their midfield, and we were able to work hard enough against their midfield to stop them playing through us, which stopped them going wide. We nullified their attack, and in those conditions, it worked” 

The Lions had the better share of possession, but couldn’t work too many chances, which Lions’ coach Glen Williams said made all the difference. 

“Boambee had two chances; one was a 30-yard screamer from Tye, the other was well saved by Jake (Mahoney). I think he parried it onto the upright. We had more possession in good areas of the pitch, but we didn’t make anything from it. They have a good young goalkeeper, and we didn’t really test him; we didn’t have that final solution for all the possession in their final third.” 

The win sees Boambee level with Coffs United on the ladder, both on seven points in third and fourth position. With a big week ahead, all eyes turn to Wednesday night for round five of the competition where the Lions face Kempsey Saints, and Boambee takes on leaders Macleay Valley Rangers. 

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