Port Saints capitalise as top three tank – Round three review

The Coastal Premier League is off to a flying start after three rounds. Port Saints took advantage of a top of the table stalemate over the weekend, overcoming third-placed Boambee FC, which now drops to sixth on the ladder.

Northern Storm continues their good form with a 3-2 win over Kempsey Saints, which lifts them to fourth place. Here’s all the action from the Coastal Premier League round three.

Boambee FC 0 def by Port Saints 2

Feature Match North

Port Saints have arrived and in style. The Saints were the stronger on the day, maintaining discipline in defence and capitalising on two good chances to win the match 2-0. Port striker Rohan Whiteman was the difference, his goals either side of half time went unanswered by Boambee, largely due to the defensive efforts by the Saints back-line.

In the first half, Boambee struggled to move the ball with speed, allowing Port time to organise defensively and keep out any forward movement.

Whiteman was clinical in front of goal, first finishing a well-worked team goal. The second came following some pressure from Boambee, with a blocked shot deflected up the other end of the field, and it fell nicely for Whiteman who still had plenty of work to do, muscling away from his man to put the Saints 2-0 ahead.

The Bombers had their share of possession but couldn’t work anything from it. Zane Haywood was up to the task to keep Bombers winger Christian Penny away from goal. Saints coach Darrell Pascoe identified both Whiteman and Haywood as the standouts from a fantastic Saints performance.

“Zane was fantastic, he is our left-back, and we knew they had some real strength down their right side. Zane was up to the task all afternoon. He had a blinder. Rohan was clinical in front of goal, but the whole team worked well, we really played some fantastic football against a very strong side.”

“We are starting to believe in ourselves and our structure, and you can see that. Before the season started the talk was around the strength of the Coffs teams, and to be honest, they are all really strong sides. There’s never an easy game in this competition, but that’s the challenge of the CPL, and the Saints are starting to show they are up to that challenge.”

Northern Storm 3 defeated Kempsey Saints 2

Northern Storm continued their strong start to the season with a narrow 3-2 win over Kempsey Saints. Storm played most of the second half with ten men when Ryan Guest kicked the ball away for his second yellow of the match. Despite the disadvantage, the Storm held onto their lead to bag another home win.

Kempsey continued to provide stiff opposition to all opponents and played some great football.

Northern Storm welcomed some new faces to their squad, with several first-graders missing from action. Josh Kite scored a sensational goal from 30 metres out on debut, while stalwart Mykel Watson scored the match-winner with just over 10 minutes to play.

Co-Coach Craig Caruana said that teething issues are expected as the team continues to gel, but that signs are good so early on in the season.

“We are a fairly new squad with a sprinkling of experience leftover from previous years. We have always known it will take some time for this team to click and we should improve in all areas as the season goes on. Discipline and focus will be key areas to work on this week.”

“As we have said all along, we believed that we would be a better team and more competitive as the season progresses, so this is the beginning for us.”

Macleay Valley Rangers 0 drew with Coffs United Lions 0

Feature Match South

Macleay Valley Rangers and Coffs United Lions cancelled each other out in a thrilling top of the table clash on Saturday. Both sides had their chances, with the Lions probing Valley’s goalkeeper John Clancy with some great opportunities, but the shot-stopper was up to the task.

The Rangers had their chances too, Chad Applegate with two great opportunities in the second half but one fired wide while the other was well saved by United’s goalkeeper.

Despite a wave of chances at both ends, the match ended 0-0, another representation of the strength of the CPL this season.

MVR coach Chris Walker was full of praise for his side following the match, specifically his goalkeeper’s performance.

“Clancy pulled off some outstanding saves, we’ve kind of become used to that now – it’s always great to have a keeper like that behind you and know that if you do have that lapse in concentration, he’s there to back you up”.

“Coffs is a strong side. We knew that heading into the match, but we showed that we would match them this year and we’re up for the challenge.”

Taree Wildcats 1 defeated Port United 0

Taree Wildcats earned their first points of the season with an inspirational 1-0 win over Port United.

United have had a tough start to the season. The 2019 Premiers of the FMNC Premier League are underdone with some players still coming into the side, but despite a slow start to the season, nothing can be taken away from their quality once they start to fire.

The Wildcats have been touted as a team to watch of recent weeks, and these first points will install some valuable confidence to the young side.

Coffs Coast Tigers 5 defeated Sawtell FC 2

A goal-fest closed round three of the CPL, as Coffs Coast Tigers defeated Sawtell FC in a northern derby on Saturday night.

For the second week in a row, the Scorpions were on the end of a big defeat and will be looking to pick themselves back up next week against a firing Port Saints outfit.

Updated: 22 July 2020

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