Fleta Page April 15, 2012
BELCONNEN United has made it two from two at the start of the ACT men's premier league season, overcoming a slow start to register a 3-1 win over Monaro Panthers.
Belconnen was highly fancied over its less experienced rival, but at half-time the scoreboard had the Panthers in front 1-0.
United coach, Steve Forshaw said he hadn't written Monaro off before the game, expecting every team to be competitive.
''They proved that today - certainly in the first half. Having said that I thought we were a bit flat,'' he said.
In a first half controlled by Belconnen and played largely in its attacking half, Monaro took its chances. In the 16th minute a long range shot from striker Tony Haider wrong footed Belconnen goalkeeper Rowan Sheppard, who was able to get a glove to the ball, but couldn't push it wide of the post.
Belconnen had a number of chances to equalise before half-time, but couldn't find the net. With frustrations growing, Forshaw asked his players to get their ''heads in the right spot''.
''I basically said at the end of the day we were beating ourselves because we were turning over possession cheaply when we weren't under pressure.''
The players responded, creating a number of chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half, before a David Arranz shot through traffic found its way in via a deflection from the goal post and an unfortunate keeper Callum Hogan.
Hogan made up for the unlucky own goal with a couple of very good saves from back to back Belconnen corners, but had no answer for a drive from Misko Naumoski in the 60th minute.
It was Naumoski who set up Belconnen's third goal six minutes later, with a cross for David Kemp to slide the ball in.
Monaro co-coach, Frank Cachia, was pleased with his young team's defensive pressure, and was left to rue missed opportunities from his side, which didn't look as comfortable in front of goal as its opponents.
''We actually showed a bit going forward - even in that second half we had a few chances, side netting and things like that,'' Cachia said ''We battled hard, unfortunately we fell asleep a couple of times and it cost us a couple of goals.''