COFFS City United stole two points from Korora on Saturday, but it wasn’t before they suffered two serious injuries to experienced duo Aaren Allsop and Scott Goddard.
Allsop twisted his knee and had to be taken from the field inside the first 10 minutes before Goddard also fell to a knee injury in the Lions’ 2-all draw with Northern Storm.
Lions coach Glenn Williams is hopeful Goddard’s injury is the less serious of the two with both players awaiting scan results later this week.
“Aaren got clipped unintentionally and then half kicked the ground and twisted at the same time and Scott’s is a bit of a worry as well although hopefully not quite as bad,” he said.
“When you lose your captain inside 10 minutes it’s never a good start.”
Addison Mallett dragged one back for the Lions in the shadows of half-time before Goddard converted from the penalty spot with about 20 minutes remaining. He suffered the injury shortly after.
Williams admitted his side started rusty and were made to pay with the Storm pouncing on two errors inside the first 40 minutes.
“They were probably a bit more intense than we were and shocked us before we got going,” he said.
“We weren’t unhappy with the draw, but had the chance to put game away with some opportunities late and didn’t take them unfortunately.
“But I was happy with the way we responded to being 2-0 down. We made two glaring mistakes and they pounced and scored.
“We kicked into gear in the last 15 or 20 minutes so it’s good not to lose all three points, but a draw was probably a fair result,” said Williams
Storm coach Craig Caruana was pleased to see good periods of possession football.
“It’s a tough assignment meeting the bench mark and champions first up especially when six of your starting 11 are new to the club and team this year and haven’t played a single game together.
“Overall I thought we played well, we were smart at times, tough, we had good intensity, we made good use of the ball and asked questions of them, we knew there would be periods where United would have good periods of possession and I thought we were comfortable with that for the most part,” said Caruana.
Meanwhile, Coffs City Tigers and Port United had to share the points in a six-goal thriller where United twice came from a goal down to equalise.
The Tigers then equalised with three minutes to go.
In Taree, Port Saints were too good for Taree Wildcats in a comprehensive 4-0 victory after the match was moved from Findlay Park on the morning of the match due to heavy rain in Port Macquarie.
Boambee hosted Sawtell in Sunday’s fixture and continued their good form with a 3-0 win to go joint top of the CPL with Port Saints after one match.
The Kempsey Saints versus Macleay Valley Rangers fixture in Kempsey had to be rescheduled due to wet weather.