Maclean Bobcats perfection
THE Maclean Bobcats made it back-to-back victories to start the North Coast Football men’s First Division season after a gritty 3-1 victory over Woolgoolga Wolves at the Maclean Showgrounds on Saturday.
Woolgoolga emerged as a team on a mission in the early exchanges and completely dominated possession for the first 25 minutes of the game.
And the young Woopi side finally took advantage of their early dominance.
Graeme Court uncharacteristically spilt a shot on goal allowing one of the Wolves’ strikers an easy tap in.
Going a goal down seemed to spark the Bobcats into action.
They did however cop a major blow with young defender Luke Pappalinas suffering a serious ankle injury.
Luckily coach Grant Neilson had the luxury of bringing on experienced Lance Knibbs.
Then just before half time the game swung in Maclean’s favour.
A Woolgoolga defender handled the ball inside the box and captain Kevin Crofton smashed the subsequent penalty into the top corner.
Buoyed by the equaliser, Maclean’s class started to shine through at the beginning of the second half and unlike the first stanza, they were able to control possession.
This pressure told mid-way through the half when Woolgoolga’s talented yet naive playmaker Navrin Deane was dispossessed in midfield.
The speedy Broden Hirst then broke quickly before cutting the ball back for Jesse Browning who showed an assured finish to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead.
The game became quite scrappy after this and whilst the Bobcats never really looked in danger of relinquishing their hard-earned lead they would have been relieved five minutes from time when Aaron Bylos unleashed a superb free kick to make the score 3-1.
After the match Neilson was happy to see his side make it back to back victories to start the year. “They’re a very good side and we knew they’d come out firing,” he said.
“The most pleasing thing is to see the boys come back from a goal down. It shows we have great ticker in this side. We now have perfect two and zero record to start the year and I couldn’t be happier.”
In the curtain raiser the Bobcats Youth Grade side notched their first win of the season with Pat Delaney, Toby Walters & Reece Holden all getting on the score sheet in their 3-1 win.