TAREE Wildcats emphatically confirmed their number one status in the Football Mid North Coast Premier League as they over-ran the Tigers 6-1 at Tuncurry on Saturday.
“I couldn’t fault the effort from my players today” Tigers coach Jonathon Newman said. “Probably though my game plan was wrong for a team that hasn’t really trained much in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps we should have simply tried to keep them out, but we are trying to play pro-active, good football, and that requires good understanding between players.”
The Tigers were quietly confident of springing an upset in first grade and it looked a distinct possibility with some great searching runs by Mitch Minors, Brodie McGowan, Tom Brittle and Dave Hardy turning the Taree defence around, and with multiple attempts on goal it seemed only a matter of time before the Tigers would score. At the other end the Tigers defence of Brittle, Hardy, Pete Goonan and Matt Thompson were doing a great job of containing the Wildcats very dangerous attack. It was against the run of play then when the Wildcats left back was allowed time to lump the ball forward, and Ricky Campbell was slightly quicker to the ball than Scott White in the Tigers goal, his glancing header just beating the keepers outstretched arm to open the scoring at the 20th minute. This rocked the Tigers, and it was shortly after that some panicked defending allowed the Wildcats to double their lead with the simplest of goals. The Tigers finished the half playing the better football with several good chances to get back on the scoreboard going untaken. It took all of 15 seconds in the second half for the Wildcats to score again with both McGowan and Hardy pressed up high on the Tigers right the Wildcats’ left midfielder put on the afterburners and finished well past keeper White. With a 3-0 deficit the Tigers had to chase the game, and were caught short handed again at around the 60 minute mark when another searching long ball was spilled by White into the path of the waiting Taree striker to make it 4-0. The Tigers continued to give their utmost, and this effort was rewarded when McGowan pressed the Taree defence into the corner, won the ball with a great tackle and then swung a fantastic ball into Minors who finished from close range. The Wildcats, who had understandably relaxed given their lead, were looking shaky and the Tigers pressed again. A series of corners eventually saw the Tigers celebrating a second goal, only to be denied by the linesman who ruled that the whole ball had not crossed the line. Still recovering from the disappointment, the home side allowed Campbell to go one on one with Matt Scarff and a seemingly successful tackle was adjudged to be a foul by the referee who pointed to the spot, bringing up the Wildcats fifth. The Tigers continued to press to the end, and conceded a sixth with a carbon copy of their fourth goal.
The Tigers will have to learn the lessons from the weekends defeat quickly, as they take on reigning premiers Macleay Valley Rangers on Saturday week again at Tuncurry.