Round one review from the June long weekend

Northern Storm has crept into a three-way tie for the Coastal Premier League’s fourth spot following a comfortable 3-0 victory over Kempsey Saints on Saturday.

Christian Mirindi, James Gorrie and Muang En-Sian all found the back of the net as the Storm continued to quietly go about their business in 2021.

Three matches occurred this weekend. They were originally scheduled for the start of the season but postponed due to poor weather. Matches involving Port United and Coffs United were further postponed with the two teams away on FFA Cup duty.

In this campaign, Craig Caruana and Eric McCarthy’s men have only tasted defeat once and are well poised to make a challenge at the top two in the second half of the season.

Their three-goal success on the road at Kempsey was arguably their most resilient performance of the season, although it lacked polish.

“When things aren’t going our way we’ve found over the last three or four weeks that we’ve been able to dig in and find resilience which has been good,” Caruana said.

“In the last 15-20 minutes we were able to manage the game and see it out knowing we had another tough game during the week.”

Caruana was hopeful the results his side has achieved so far would now start to be seen as less of an ‘upset’.

“We’ve competed and been in a position to win every single game and that’s the difference between last year and this year,” he said.

“You can only have so many ‘upsets’ in a season before people start saying they’re good results. We’re reasonably placed.”

Kempsey co-coach Evan Clarke admitted there was an element of complacency following a month’s worth of positive results.

The defeat was their first since a 4-0 loss to Coffs City United on May 8.

“All the boys were aware of the importance of the game and maybe there was a bit of complacency around the effort that was required in the game,” he said.

“Our boys didn’t really show up and we lacked a bit of energy.

“We weren’t performing how we had performed in the weeks previous and were a bit off the pace.

“I wouldn’t call it a reality check and don’t want to read too much into it but it was one of those days.”

In other matches Coffs Coast Tigers breezed past Taree Wildcats 5-0 while Macleay Valley Rangers held off a gallant Sawtell 1-0.


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