Wanderers back on track after edging Griffith City

TIT FOR TAT: Griffith City coach Pat Ciampa challenges Eastern Wanderers' Nathan Bowman for the ball on Saturday in Wagga. Picture: The Daily Advertiser

TIT FOR TAT: Griffith City coach Pat Ciampa challenges Eastern Wanderers' Nathan Bowman for the ball on Saturday in Wagga. Picture: The Daily Advertiser

Football

THE Eastern Wanderers are back on track in the Billabong Cup after scraping through with an ugly 1-0 win over Griffith City on Saturday at Gissing Oval.

A fortuitous own goal about 15 minutes from full-time was enough for the Wanderers to secure the three points, the ball deflecting off a sea of Griffith City bodies in the 18-yard box and trickling into the back of the net.

The victory - the Wanderers' first since the opening round of the season - lifts the Wagga side into the top five, but coach Andrew Douglas is under no illusions as to how much hard work lies ahead if they are to compete for a finals position.

"We were very ordinary and I'd say we were very, very lucky to win," Douglas said.

"We didn't really deserve it. 

"Personally I was disappointed with the performance.

"Griffith City weren't as bad as previous results might possibly suggest - they played pretty well and had some good opportunities.

"But three points is three points and we'll take it."

The Wanderers were missing four first-choice players, most of whom form the team's spine and provide key on-field leadership to the rest of the squad.

Douglas said he was pleased to secure the win without them, but admitted the new club is going through something of an availability crisis.

"It's not one thing - it's a combination of factors," he said.

"Training's probably been a bit slack, we're not going through a good run with numbers at the moment.

"Too many key position players are injured or away and we're just lacking a bit of coagulation.

"We just need to refocus and get back on with the job at hand."

Douglas said he was hopeful the Wanderers would have a full compliment after the June long weekend.

The Wanderers head to Hanwood Oval this weekend to take on bottom side Hanwood Juniors while City have the bye, and won't return to action until June 14 against Yoogali FC.

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