A STUNNING scoring burst early in the second half has given Griffith City Football Club its first win of the season, coming over the top of Yoogali FC at Exies Oval last Saturday night.
Trailing the visitors at the break 2-1, City coach Ross Panebianco urged his men to lift another gear and they followed their coach’s word to the letter to score three times in 15 minutes.
“To start the season to get a win, that’s what every coach is looking for and to the credit of the boys they delivered that for me,” Panebianco said.
“It wasn’t all one-way traffic though, YFC really gave us a big scare for most of the game so the guys had to work for it.”
Yoogali FC opened the scoring before the home side drew level, with the men in gold getting their noses in front before the break, much to the bewilderment of the home coach.
“I’m not usually lost for words, but I said them to them at half-time that we’re not playing well, but we’re not playing overly badly so I didn’t understand how we were behind,” Panebianco said.
“I said to them the game was going to be won or lost in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half and that if we could score first, I believed the guys would come home stronger.”
Pleasingly for City, they lifted at their coach’s urgings and scored three goals in the blink of an eye to knock the wind out of YFC, with Jason Lennon, and Matt White finding the back of the net.
Yoogali FC then pushed its men forward in the hope of climbing back into the game, but the task was made harder when the game was called off eight minutes early because of a serious injury scare.
“We had a bit of an concern at the end of the game when our ’keeper Bryce Manweiler went up to contest the ball and collided mid-air with some players and came down quite hard on his back,” Panebianco said.
“The ambulance was called and the Yoogali boys showed good sportsmanship to allow the game to be called off.”
Manweiler eventually left Griffith Base Hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning under his own power, but his playing status is yet to established for this weekend.
Panebianco said his side is not getting carried away with the first-up win, but said they were looking to make big strides forward in 2012.
“We’re trying to concentrate on improving our game and all of those three goals involved good lead ups from the boys and the last half an hour of the ground down towards the end,” he said.