Pottsville captain positive

POTTSVILLE Panthers captain-coach, Dave Lonie, is anything but down in the doldrums following the side’s disastrous start to the new Far North Coast Soccer Premier League season.

The Panthers were virtually fang and clawless in the first game of the season proper, receiving a 6-0 flogging at the hands of Lismore Workers, but Lonie says he and his fellow pride members are confident of bouncing back with a win over Italo Stars this afternoon.

A bog track down in Lismore meant a late decision was made to switch venues, Stars now making the trip north to tackle the Panthers at Pottsville (5pm).

The match will be the third time the teams have met this season and in both encounters there was notmuch between them on the scoreboard and out of the field.

Panthers won a pre-season game 3-1 but were then edged out 2-3 in a round of the Anzac Cup knockout competition.

Lonie believes last week’s result was “an aberration” and he expects a vastly improved showing by his men.

“Workers had about 10 opportunities to score and they converted six of them but we had about the same chances and couldn’t beat their goalie once,” Lonie said.

“As if the attack was below par, our defensive pattern was even worse and we allowed them in for six goals, all of which came from breakaways deep in Workers territory.

“I’ve made several key positional changes this week.”

Moving into striking roles are Josh Taylor, whose ability to hold up the ball should give the men up front, especially fleet-footed Josh Boag, plenty of room and time to get away their shots.

Returning to defenders roles are Nathan Alley and Matt de Groot while Lonie himself will become more of a defensive centre midfielder.

Pottsville Panthers line-up: Josh Boag, Josh Taylor, Adam Rogers, David Lonie (c), Brad Sheard, Glen Sheldrick, Matt de Groot, Brett Dramon, Jared Lee, Nathan Alley, Jesse Rodway, Jake Marcus, Ryan Howard (GK).

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