ANOTHER loss and another missed penalty sums up the disappointment Webbers Retravision Cougars coach Brad Smith and players felt after losing 2-0 at table-topping Sunshine Coast yesterday.
“We were down 1-0 at half-time after Fergus (McIntosh) missed a penalty. It should have been 1-1,” Smith said after the game.
McIntosh was the liveliest of the Cougars, continually beating players and getting himself into good attacking positions.
“We also had three one-on-ones with their goalkeeper and didn’t hit the target with any of them,” the disappointed coach claimed.
The match went the way of so many this season with the
Cougars matching or outplaying opponents without putting away scoring chances.
“Neutral bystanders watching would have thought we were the top team,” Smith added.
Once again the refereeing left both the Cougars and Sunshine Coast camp shaking their heads.
“He was very inconsistent,” Smith said.
“I don’t blame him for the result. We had nobody to blame but ourselves. He just allowed them to get away with their bully tactics.”
Surprisingly Tyson Holmes was back for the Coast after playing for the North Queensland Fury against PNG champion Hekari on Saturday at Townsville.
As always, Holmes is an influence for the Coast side and he made his contribution in the second half.
Yuta Gonai gave the Sunshine Coast a lead after 36 minutes and then in the second spell the Cougars’ task appeared to have been made easier when the Coast had a player sent off for a second bookable offence, both committed on McIntosh.
However, Smith said the team never capitalised on the numerical advantage.
“We never gained the confidence to play the ball around,” Smith said. The Cougars had their own slice of luck when McIntosh brought down a Coast player who was bearing down on goal only to receive a yellow card instead of the red one demanded by the home team.
The ledger was evened up shortly afterwards when defender Dai Thomas received a straight red for a tackle on Holmes, a decision which left Smith in disbelief.
Seven minutes from time Holmes ended the Cougars’ chances of getting anything from the match when he made it 2-0.
Apart from the mercurial McIntosh, Smith said all the team had done well.
Fullback Robert Lupton was at his best, while Oliver Saunders carried out the task of stopping the ball being played into the feet of Coast target man Sean Blackman to Smith’s satisfaction.
“We were right in the game with seven minutes to go,” Smith said.