Boambee coach Jon Fergusson believes his side made a significant step in the right direction after they held off Coffs Coast Tigers 2-1 at Boambee on Saturday.
The Bombers had to do it without key marksman Luke France after he limped off with a hamstring injury after only a couple of minutes.
In his absence, Tyh Murphy and Christian Penny found the back of the net as the hosts started their Coastal Premier League northern conference campaign on a positive note.
Murphy converted from the penalty spot midway through the first half after Tom Frewin was brought down inside the box.
Penny then put the Bombers back in front with about 20 minutes remaining after the Tigers had equalised.
Fergusson was impressed his team showed resilience that had often been missing previously when France was on the sideline.
“It was a nice bit of evolution for the team to be able to play another good team, perform well and win without him on the park,” Fergusson said.
“He provides a lot for the team, and we would have struggled if he wasn’t fit at the start of the season.”
Before the CPL split into the two conferences, the Tigers had been impressive in wins over both Port Saints and Macleay Valley in the last month, scoring eight goals in the process.
But the Bombers had no intention of being added to the list with the coach admitting the victory was due to an ability to convert their opportunities finally.
“Our finishing hasn’t been very good so while we’ve been creating chances, we’ve made it tough on ourselves by not scoring,” Fergusson said.
“So it meant that because the team wasn’t functioning that well at the start of the season, we were conceding too many goals, and we weren’t making up for it by scoring enough.”
In other matches, North Coast defeated Northern Storm 3-1 while Coffs United belted Sawtell 7-1 on a night that saw them awarded the inaugural Coastal Premier League premiers plate.