BATTLE: Clinton's Josh Noonan under heavy pressure from Central's Ryan Smith in the CQPL derby at Sun Valley Oval on Saturday night.
BATTLE: Clinton's Josh Noonan under heavy pressure from Central's Ryan Smith in the CQPL derby at Sun Valley Oval on Saturday night. Matt Taylor GLA190518SOCC

Clinton shows its class against Central

SOCCER: Clinton FC have strengthened its grip at the summit of the CQ Premier League ladder with a 2-0 derby victory over Central FC at the weekend.

Playing in front of its Sun Valley Oval faithful, Central held Clinton at the break until goals to Sam Roberts (49th minute) and Ethan Munster (72nd minute) sealed the visitors' fifth win of the season.

It was a cagey first half for both sides as each tried to get a foothold in an even contest.

Clinton dominated possession as well as field position in the opening 20 minutes, before Central really got going.

The best chance in the opening half hour fell to Central against the run of play with David Upton forcing his shot agonisingly over the crossbar from a corner.

Clinton's Mitchell Innocend battles with Central's David Upton.
Clinton's Mitchell Innocend battles with Central's David Upton. Matt Taylor GLA190518SOCC

Central looked to move ahead in the 43rd-minute when they had a shot tipped around the post by the Clinton goalkeeper Daniel White.

Central coach Joel Maudsley instructed his men to start strongly during the second half, but a minor defensive lapse in the 49th minute allowed Roberts to calmly shoot past keeper Jaleel Donald with his left foot to open the scoring after he latched onto a pin-point through ball.

Munster doubled Clinton's lead 18 minutes from full-time with a header from a set piece delivered accurately by Liam Stephen.

Clinton's Ethan Munster plays a flick pass to a teammate in the box.
Clinton's Ethan Munster plays a flick pass to a teammate in the box. Matt Taylor GLA190518SOCC

"They took the two chances they got and hats off to them - that's why they're leading the comp - they are putting their chances away,” Maudsley said.

"I thought our boys toiled really hard and matched it with them for a lot of it.

"The two things we spoke about at half-time unfortunately weren't done, which was to start strong and the set pieces... That was the downfall for us.”

Jaleel Donald with a save for Central.
Jaleel Donald with a save for Central. Matt Taylor GLA190518SOCC

Maudsley found plenty of positives in Central's performance despite the result.

"I'm sure we've given them a bit of a scare and really matched it with them,” he said.

"We had a lot of good chances to score as well and if one of them goes in it's a different ball game.”

Clinton assistant coach Dan Horton expected a tough encounter before kick-off and it delivered.

"It was a very scrappy game and it's always a dogfight against them,” he said.

"There wasn't as many chances created as I thought there would be.

"We were confident we'd get a goal, we hit the crossbar in the first half when we probably should have scored, but we got the win.”

Clinton FC 2 (Sammy Roberts, Ethan Munster) defeated Central FC 0. Half-time: 0-0.



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