WHEN Western NSW Mariners FC drifted away from their game plan against Hawkesbury City FC at Lithgow on Saturday things began to fall out of control.
Mariners were soundly beaten 6-1 by the travelling Hawks side whose penetrating long balls and plays in behind the Western defensive line did the damage.
Hawks’ Clement Waoci travelled back home with a hat-trick to his name.
Adam Scimone was the sole goal scorer for the Mariners, picking up a consolation goal in the second half.
Mariners captain Nikki Spice said his side stuck to their shape for the majority of the match but when they didn’t they were punished severely for it.
“Going into the game we knew what Hawkesbury could do and what sort of attack they would bring,” he said.
“They’re the biggest side in comp. They’re very physical, love to bomb the ball forward and get in behind us.
“We had a game plan and we stuck to it. Everything was going to plan for about 60 minutes but then they scored. It was a tough decision that didn’t go our way and that was probably the turning point of the game.”
Mariners went into the match encouraged by a 1-all draw with the Hawks earlier in the season at Orange.
With the Hawks currently in premiership contention that result gave Western the confidence they could give the Hawkesbury men a tough time.
However, Hawks were more ready for the occasion on Saturday as they repelled the Mariners’ advances and continually asked questions of the hosts’ defence.
“From that hour mark we panicked and began thinking that we had to score inside the next five minutes. We started to spread out, got wide, opened up and got picked apart,” Spice said.
“The goal we scored was awesome. It was fed through by Jackson Fuda to Adam Scimone and he scored a great goal that went off the post and in. Was great to get one on them it’s just a pity it came too late.
“If we had stayed tight at the back in defence then we would have still been in the running for the win.
“Playing out from the back was where we went wrong. We tried to play a few too many balls through the middle and that wasn’t working for us. We needed to play more wide.”
Mariners will play host to Dulwich Hill at Orange this Saturday.
From that hour mark we panicked and began thinking that we had to score inside the next five minutes.Nikki Spice