Clinton held as Central climb ladder
SOCCER: An undermanned Clinton FC dropped its first CQ Premier League points at the weekend after being held to a 1-1 draw at home against Frenchville.
Minus midfield general Anthony Cobb, attacking threats Matt Varnes and Zoran Radovanovich, defender Chris McDougall and with captain Mitch Innocend battling through the game with a knee injury, the Grubs toiled hard in testing conditions.
The home team opened the scoring through Liam Stephen in the 18th minute when the striker tapped home from a tight angle after an error from Frenchville goalkeeper Cianan Geraghty.
Clinton had a goal disallowed shortly afterwards when Sam Roberts was deemed to have fouled Geraghty.
Frenchville had a golden opportunity to equalise on 33 minutes when Joseph Burke drew a smart save from Clinton keeper Dan White, only for the rebound attempt to sky over the crossbar.
Clinton piled on some late pressure during first-half stoppage time but couldn't fine the net as the score remained 1-0 at the break.
Both sides made cagey starts to the second half until Frenchville brought life back into the contest with a goal to Harrison Dean in the 66th minute.
Frenchville kept White busy in goal during the final 20 minutes, while Sam Roberts saw his 77th-minute strike on goal saved by Geraghty.
Clinton assistant coach Dan Horton thought a draw was a fair result for his side.
"It was a typical top-two hit out with both teams creating numerous chances," he said.
"Both teams pressed on and went end to end creating numerous gilt-edged chances but both goalkeepers had their best games of the season pulling off 'worldie' saves.
"We'll take it as a point gained rather than two points dropped given the unavailability of our players.
"We're looking forward to playing any top team again when we're at full strength."
The draw keeps Clinton's seven-point advantage at the top of the table in place, although second-placed Frenchville have a game in hand.
Meanwhile, Central scored back-to-wins for the first time this season with a 3-1 win against the lowly Nerimbera Magpies at Pilbeam Park.
Captain Garth Lawrie scored twice with Jayden Clark also getting on the scoresheet.
The win moves Central up the ladder into fourth place, one point behind Cap Coast (third) and two behind Frenchville.
Both Gladstone sides play in Rockhampton this weekend.
Clinton take on Bluebirds while Central tackle Southside with both games kicking off at 7pm on Saturday.
CQ Premier League 1
Clinton FC 1 (Liam Stephen) drew Frenchville 1 (Harrison Dean); Central FC 3 (Garth Lawrie 2, Jayden Clark) def. Nerimbera Magpies 1.
CQ Premier League 2
Frenchville 3 def. Clinton FC 2 (Lachlan Dodd, Ryan Finlay); Central FC 4 (Grant Stokes 2, Joel Frost, Jordan Donald) def. Nerimbera Magpies 0.