Clinton claim top spot on the ladder
SOCCER: Clinton has firmed as premiership favourite in the Central Queensland Premier League after a 3-1 win against emerging Bluebirds United in Rockhampton on Saturday night.
In what was deemed a danger game for Clinton, the home side was certainly in the contest at half-time.
In-form Michael Varnes continued his rich vein of goal-scoring form with a 12th-minute goal to put Clinton 1-0 in front at the long break.
It could well have been 1-1 at half-time because Bluebirds missed a golden opportunity early in the game.
In a funny sort of way, it kick-started the visitors, according to assistant coach Dan Horton.
"It started just how we expected it to with the young Bluebirds outfit playing with plenty of confidence and energy (and they) should have opened the scoring with a great chance but it was squandered by the home side and this seemed to spark us into action after a sluggish start,” Horton said.
The Clinton side seized the opportunity and is a better team than last year because it can adapt to any opposition tactics.
Clinton dominated play after the Varnes opener.
The returning Mitch Innocend added Clinton's second after 66 minutes.
"We spoke at the break about keeping our composure in front of goal and tweaked our formation a little bit and the domination continued into the second half,” he explained.
Dominic Barra and youngster Liam Stephen were constant threats for the Bluebirds to handle with their soccer smarts.
Ryan Crawford was the beneficiary of a penalty which ultimately iced the game when he found the back of the net after 72 minutes to make it 3-0.
The home team scored a consolation goal via Cameron Fewtrell just moments before full-time.
"Man of the match Dominic Barra was just too quick for Bluebirds to handle and he deserved a goal for his efforts but it never came,” Horton said.
In a convincing win, Horton said there were more areas to improve.
"Unfortunately a lapse in concentration in the 90th minute gave Bluebirds a consolation goal which we were disappointed with,”
"It should have easily been a five or six goals, but we did what we had to do which was get the three points at a difficult venue.”
Clinton's reserve-grade kept its undefeated season in tact with a 9-0 win against Bluebirds which shows the club has great depth.
In other premier league matches, Frenchville rebounded from last weekend's loss with a 4-2 win over Southside United while Parkana beat bottom-of-the-table Nerimbera Magpies 1-0.
Clinton has the bye this weekend before a home game against Parkana at Clinton on Saturday week at 7pm.