Eastern Wanderers 2
West Griffith SC 0
EASTERN Wanderers have enjoyed a winning Billabong Cup debut, claiming a 2-0 win over West Griffith SC yesterday at Ted Scobie Oval.
But in a warning to the rest of the competition, coach Andrew Douglas said he expected the Wagga-based side would improve markedly on its first ever performance in Griffith.
Taking a depleted side missing up to eight first-choice names to Collina, where the match was moved after the Coro Club surface was rendered unplayable due to last week's rain, the Wanderers hit the front after just five minutes.
Shaun Reddy etched his name into the history books with the club's first ever goal, prodding home on the post after the ball fell to him from a corner kick.
The Wanderers doubled their advantage 20 minutes later through Justin Curran, who fired home with a 20-metre drive.
"We're happy to get away with the win, but we've still got a lot of work," Douglas said.
"I would expect we'll get a lot better than that.
"We got away with the win, we got through the game unscathed.
"But there's a hell of a lot more in us than that."
Douglas was full of praise for the new-look Magpies, who worked their way back into the match at varying stages and will be much better for their first run under new coaches Frank Portolesi and Jim Rimmer.
"I didn't think they were too bad," he said.
"I'd say they're in a similar boat, it's the first game and they'll build into the season like us.
"I think they were a little bit structurally unsound in the first half but they fixed that up in the second half and started moving the ball a lot better.
"They've got a couple of dangerous players."
The Wanderers had the chance to go 3-0 up from the penalty spot in the second half but were foiled thanks to a terrific save from West Griffith's new German goalkeeper Jan Hoeher.
The Wagga outfit will host Yoogali FC in its first home match this weekend.