Fitness tells as Rams stroll in

Alstonville striker Josh Mumford attempts to manoeuvre his way out of a corner as Thistles defender Jeremy Sullivan tries to thwart his efforts in the Far North Coast premier league soccer clash on the Southern Cross University synthetic pitch on Saturday.
Alstonville striker Josh Mumford attempts to manoeuvre his way out of a corner as Thistles defender Jeremy Sullivan tries to thwart his efforts in the Far North Coast premier league soccer clash on the Southern Cross University synthetic pitch on Saturday.

BYRON BAY secured a 4-0 home win against Bangalow in Far North Coast Premier League soccer on Saturday.

Goals to Sam Shepherd, Emanuele Altarui and Joel Wood as well as an own goal secured bragging rights for the Rams over their local rivals.

Byron hit the ground running when forward Sam Shepherd opened the scoring inside the first minute.

The Rams doubled the lead when a controversial own goal sent them in 2-0 up at the break.

Second-half strikes from flanker Emanuele Altarui and returning striker Joel Wood sealed a comfortable win.

It leaves undefeated Byron Bay - which has three games in hand - four points behind league leaders Richmond Rovers.

Coach Damon Bell said his side's performance was a little flat despite the result but that his players had retained the ball well in the wet conditions.

"We were a bit flat, which I was worried about after Newcastle,” he said.

"We scored very early, in the first minute, so that helped us, I think.

"We kept possession quite well on a wet and slippery pitch; we were fitter than them and we dominated the second half.

"We didn't make mistakes, that was the most important thing, so Bangalow couldn't capitalise.”

Bangalow coach Neil Fuller lamented his side's slow start, which has been a common occurrence for the Bluedogs this season.

"A lack of fitness and letting in a silly early goal cost us,” he said.

"It's something that's happened in probably half our games this season.

"We're starting the game half asleep; perhaps I'm not doing a warm-up that's inspiring the players early enough.

"In the last 15-20 minutes we were just out on our feet and were lucky the scoreline didn't blow out further.”

Alstonville boosted their finals hopes with a 1-0 win over Lismore Thistles at the Southern Cross Football Centre.

It lifts Alstonville to seventh on the ladder, just four points outside the top five.

Most weekend games across all Far North Coast competitions were postponed due to wet grounds and persistent rain.

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