Bobcats topple reigning premiers 5-1
MACLEAN has shrugged off its lethargic start to the season in sensational style, thrashing major premiers Lismore Workers 5-1 in one of only two games played in Soccer FNC Tursa Premier League on Saturday.
Wet grounds forced three games to be postponed, with the only other match resulting in another upset as Lismore Thistles stunned Italo Stars 2-0.
Maclean went into their home clash with the Redmen still chasing their first win, but the early signs were promising as Grant Nielson opened the scoring for the Bobcats after just 12 minutes.
Flanker Aaron Bylos was instrumental to their good start, hitting an accurate cross to the far post for Nielson to head in the chance and again being involved in setting up their second goal for Aaron Swanson.
Within two minutes of the Swanson goal, Maclean struck again past a shell-shocked Workers defence, as Nielson released Matt Bryant onto his favoured left foot for a clinical finish.
Workers had a goal disallowed for off-side just before the break and went to the interval trailing 3-0.
Fired up by a half-time pep talk from coach Kevin Keevers, the Redmen started the second session strongly, but the home side put the game beyond doubt with a fourth goal from Nielson.
The veteran striker rolled back the years with a stinging 25m blast that gave 'keeper Rhys Evans no chance in the top right corner of the net.
Workers clawed a goal back thanks to a penalty from Lucas MacPherson, but the Bobcats had the last say when substitute Brad Corbett hit a well-placed shot from the edge of the box for their fifth goal.
The stunning result left Workers players shaking their heads, but Maclean coach Wayne Sutton was ecstatic.
"The guys finally concentrated for the full 90 minutes and we didn't have a bad player out there, we proved what were capable of," he said.
Experienced campaigners Aaron Bylos, Grant Nielson and Gary Carmichael led by example, with their younger players such as Cody Wratten also rising to the occasion.
While Maclean enjoyed the relief of their first win, Workers have now lost two on the trot and conceded eight goals in the process, leaving plenty of issues for coach Kevin Keevers.