Razorbacks blow it
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
The North Queensland Razorbacks were left lamenting missed opportunities after their State League football finals hopes suffered another blow at the weekend.
The Razorbacks blew a golden opportunity to make up valuable ground on the top four when held 1-all by lowly Whitsunday at the Townsville Sports Reserve on Saturday night.
Razorbacks coach Mick Tonner said the home team had done more than enough to win, particularly in the second half.
''We dominated long parts of the game, it was just our inability to convert pressure into goals,'' Tonner said.
''We made numerous chances but once again, we just can't seem to find the back of the net.
''I think 'Gonzo' (goalkeeper Kieran Gonzales) only touched the ball once or twice in the second half, which was just an indication of how long we were in their territory. (Whitsunday) were absolutely over the moon to come away from Townsville with a 1-all draw, they got a goal then defended like buggery to try and hold on to it.''
Whitsunday led 1-0 at halftime, with the Razorbacks drawing level through Josh Searle's fine volley of a Ramone Close cross midway through the second half.
''Within about five minutes of that Ramone Close hit the post, Lorenzo Sipi had a header in the six-yard box which went just over the top and Paul Sapelli had a shot he would normally bury go wide,'' Tonner said.
Tonner was concerned pressure resulting from Whitsunday's goal had led the Razorbacks away from their normal passing game to a less-skilled long-ball approach.
Tonner said Gonzales, with two outstanding first-half saves, had been among his team's best.
The result sees the Razorbacks remain five points adrift of the top four with five games remaining.
They have a game in hand of fourth-placed Redlands City Devils.
Tonner said the Razorbacks would likely need to win all their remaining games to clinch successive finals appearances.
''It's disappointing in that the other teams around us all had draws, it was certainly two points that went begging,'' Tonner said.
''But nothing's really changed, everything stays the same.
''We've got five games to win to get to where I think we deserve to be.''
But Tonner said the Razorbacks needed urgently to overcome their goal-shyness, starting this weekend against last-placed Bundaberg.
''From my point of view, I've got to come up with some way of getting our forwards to score goals,'' he said.
''We've scored less goals than teams coming below us, and that's not good enough.''
North Queensland's extensive casualty list was added to on Saturday night with injuries to Sean Burke (ankle) and Lee Mayberry (thigh strain).