Clinton rebound with clutch soccer win against Frenchville
SOCCER: Like all good teams do, response is the key.
That's exactly how Football Central Queensland Premier League reigning premiers Clinton executed coach Brad O'Sullivan's message after last week's 2-0 loss to Cap Coast.
Third-placed Clinton beat arch-rivals Frenchville (second) 2-1 at Clinton Oval in a Saturday night spectacular.
A second-half strike by Matt Varnes was the winner after the game was up for grabs at half-time.
"I though the intensity was great from the start and there was a vibe where I could tell from the first two minutes that the boys were switched on," O'Sullivan said.
After Joshua Noonan drew first blood for Clinton, Frenchville replied to level scores and they tested Clinton's mettle.
The hosts held their nerve.
Billy Hunter, the Gladstone Select Team hero from the game against Brisbane Roar, continued his great form as the goal-keeper.
"Matt Varnes was our goal-keeper for most of this season, but he can also play as striker and that's where he played in this game," O'Sullivan said.
This versatility will be crucial in the team's quest for back-to-back titles.
Clinton had several hurdles to combat this season with injuries throughout the season along with rescheduling of games.
"We have been challenged in more ways than one this season but we'll just plug away," O'Sullivan said.
Adjustments needed to be made during Saturday night's game when Michael Stephens suffered a calf strain in the second half.
"We also missed a couple fairly easy shots where our score could have been four goals," O'Sullivan said.
Clinton meet bottom-placed Southside United this Saturday at Clinton followed by the final regular round game against Bluebirds United in what is likely to be a dress rehearsal to the first semi-final next month.