Pythons squander lead
SECOND place went begging for Uki on Saturday after slipping to a disheartening 4-3 loss at home to Casino at Districts.
Up 3-1 entering the sheds, the Pythons looked set to move level on points with the southerners but three unanswered goals in a dreary second-half showing left much to lament.
The result leaves Uki in third spot on the Football Far North Coast first division ladder, five points adrift of Casino.
“Quite simply we stuffed up,” Uki coach Joe Scholl said.
“There was a lot of positive talk after the game though, which was good to hear, and the boys are adamant they're going to learn from it.
“The good thing is we know we can match it with them and we still have more to offer, so all the lads can keep their heads up.”
The hosts got away to a dream start 20 minutes in when recruit, former Tweed Valley King talent Col Ashton, delivered a dynamite corner on to the head of Kyle Underwood who hammered it home.
Underwood was again involved in the second, making a strong charge into the area and drawing a penalty that Dave Stratton made no mistake in putting away on the half-hour mark.
Inexplicably, Uki then took their foot off the gas and during a 10-minute lull allowed Casino to half the deficit with a penalty of their own.
However, the Pythons struck back as the halftime siren drew near, courtesy of a Michael Douglas thunderbolt from 20 yards out that will go down as one of the goals of the season.
But everything came undone for Uki in the second stanza.
Having conceded from a defensive error 15 minutes in, Uki, as has been the case for much of the season, let their heads drop and gifted Casino their third just 90 seconds later.
The visitors' winner came with 15 minutes remaining and al- though the Pythons lifted, they were unable to find an equaliser.
“The last 15 minutes of that first half was poor and I knew that if we played like that in the second, we'd get run over,” Scholl said.
“To their credit Casino played great football in the second half and as much as we changed things around and pushed forward for the equaliser, we just couldn't crack them.
“We need to slow it down when we're in front and stop running around at 100 miles an hour.
“But we've been going good and we'll keep plugging away.”
All other FFNC fixtures were rained out.