Bluedogs snatch win
AN inspired Bangalow has triggered the first major upset of the Football FNC men's premier league season.
The Bluedogs earned a surprise 1-0 home win over 2012 major premiers Lismore Workers on Saturday.
Newly promoted Bluedogs were under pressure early as Workers' patient possession game created several chances, including one that hit the woodwork and a chaotic goal mouth scramble.
The league new boys weathered the storm and by midway through the first half began to create chances of their own, with Taha
Belaazziz forcing a good save from Workers custodian Simon Cleaver.
Batok Ring also looked dangerous with his pace creating problems for Workers' defence, but it was hard working midfielder Joel Rudgley who crafted the Bluedogs' vital goal.
From a short corner, Rudgley found room on the edge of the box to curl a precise cross onto the head of Daniel Bonesi on the burst, giving Cleaver no chance.
Bangalow held their lead until half-time and then spent most of the second half defending, as Workers threw everything into attack.
But despite having the bulk of possession, Workers found it difficult to create clear chances against a solid Bluedogs defence.
Holding midfielder Victor Pires put in a man-of-the-match performance and easily won the aerial battle against his taller opponents, Martin Kelleher and Jonty Miller.
Central defender Josh McInerney also had a strong game along with Rudgley in the middle, with the surprise result leaving coach Mark Shephard beaming.
"Workers are a quality side and we had a little bit of luck, but once we got into our stride I thought we matched them," he said.
"The boys showed a lot of character and the team ethos is really starting to develop.
"We can only get better from here."
Byron Bay's fluent attack shows no sign of slowing down as they secured a 4-1 home win over Casino.
The two sides met on Tuesday night in an Anzac Cup semi with Byron running out 5-1 winners and once again the Cobras found them too hard to contain.
Rams' goals came from Sam Owens (two), Sebastian Bell and Sequoya Lawson, while Cobras' veteran sweeper Stewart Coughran scored from the penalty spot.
Alstonville racked up its first points of the season with a dominant 6-3 home win over Italo Stars.
Danny Chatterton led the way with a hat-trick, with classy Brazilian Vinnie Leite scoring his first two goals for his new club and Matt Campbell also scoring.
Stars' goals came from Shaun McDonald (two) and Josh Wraight, with keeper Ben Perry making numerous saves to prevent the scoreline blowing out any further.
Lismore Thistles continued their undefeated start to the season with a 3-1 away win over Goonellabah.
Two goals from Ryan Parmenter and a third from former Hornet Matt Armstrong gave the Blues a comfortable lead, with a late consolation goal from Dave Annetts the only blemish.