Cup chances take a dive
ON a disappointing day for local soccer clubs, Goonellabah and Byron Bay have missed out on a place in the quarter-finals of Northern NSW Football’s $10,000 Solo Cup after losing in a third-round double-header at Weston Park, Goonellabah, on Saturday.
Goonellabah was well below its best in going down 2-0 to former FNC club Maclean, while Byron Bay also under-performed, losing 3-0 to Woolgoolga, another club from the Coffs Harbour competition.
Goonellabah went into their clash with Maclean missing key players Kale Hopper and Paul Pomroy and couldn’t cope with the Bobcats’ intensity and fast-breaking attacks.
Indecisive defence from the Hornets gifted Maclean the opening goal, when a cross from Jessie Browning was allowed to bounce into their own net.
The Bobcats played an expansive game with a lot of running off the ball and it stretched the Hornets’ defence, triggering their second goal when an accurate cross from Broden Hirst found Jarrad Doyle at the far post with a sliding finish.
The two former Goonellabah players played well against their old club and with a 2-0 half-time lead, Maclean was in control.
Goonellabah started the second half strongly, exerting pressure with a string of corners, but the Coffs Harbour premiers weathered the storm.
Byron Bay paid dearly for some defensive lapses in their 3-0 loss to Woolgoolga, with former Rovers player Mark Coster starring with two of the Wolves’ three goals.
The Rams did manage to mount pressure on the Woolgoolga defence at times, but luck was not on their side with four shots finding the woodwork rather than the net.