The Cowra Eagles men’s soccer team suffered their second successive loss going down 2-0 to Bathurst City Colts at Edgell Park on Sunday.
Two goals by the visitors within 60 seconds early in the second half proved to be the difference with the Colts remaining unbeaten in a game that was not without niggle.
An evenly fought first 45 minutes produced chances but no change with a nil all score line at half time.
The best opportunities fell for Bathurst as their pace up front worried Cowra but they were thwarted by Eagles’ keeper Mitch Thompson on several occasions and pushed shots wide on others.
Ash Jones’ chip from wide out had Thompson stranded but it sailed inches over the bar.
Matthew Reid’s left foot strike hit the post in the Eagles’ best chance of the half with Irish connection Paul Crawford and Brendan Mundy working hard in the backline.
In contrast, Bathurst showed greater control in the second half and were able to find and create space with accurate passes.
Colts hit the front courtesy of a Johnny Anson strike from the top of the box in the 9th minute followed in the blink of an eye by Milè Sokoleski’s left footer to lead 2-0.
Try as they may, the Eagles could not bridge the gap as the improved Colts’ structure made forward penetration difficult.
Zac Kerr looked dangerous up front for Cowra and Llewellyn McMaster continued his good form on the left.
The game threatened to erupt at times with some unseemly incidents but cool heads prevailed.
Eagles co-coach Dave D’Elboux was happy with his side’s first half performance in the loss admitting greater focus on playing the ball to feet was important for improvement in future matches.
“The second half was a totally different ball game- they changed their pattern and they dominated through the midfield,” he said.
“We switched off and the goals came. I think the second goal was the result of the first -they were still arguing with one another.
“All in all, if we can play like we did in the first half and put a couple of chances away we’ll be rapt.”
Bathurst City Colts’ manager Kevin Shurmer felt Cowra were strong, but his team’s half time structural change brought on by the players was the deciding factor.
“At half time we spoke about slowing it down and knocking it around, playing at our pace which I think they did in the second half,” he said.
“It was probably the best second half they’ve played all year.
“We changed it up going from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 and the change was instant and it paid dividends.
“We’re playing quite well and the boys are enjoying their football I think.”
Final score Bathurst City Colts 2 (Johnny Anson 9th min, Milè Sokoleski 10th min) defeated Cowra Eagles 0.
Both Eagles sides play in Cowra on Sunday with the men up against Young at 11am while the women play CSU Vixens and 1pm.