Cobram Roar endured a frustrating afternoon against Albury City on Sunday, running out of legs in the second half to go down 4-2.
The game began as brightly as coach Bill Puckett could have hoped for, as Greg Simmons and Sean Willis both found the net in a vintage first-half display from the Roar.
‘‘We went in with a game plan which we set up at training and the lads played to a tee and it was working perfectly. We were up 2-0, stopping the way they like to attack,’’ Puckett said.
‘‘It was working well. We were getting a lot of crosses into the box and we were getting a lot of joy from the wide areas.’’
After a wonderful start, the Roar collapsed in the second period to a strong City outfit.
While Puckett said it was a disappointing way to finish the game, there were factors that hindered his side’s performance.
‘‘In the second half we had tired legs,’’ he said.
‘‘Ray Dirramacca went off injured in the first half, which was a big miss, and Lachy Osborne, one of the standout young lads coming through in the midfield, also went off injured.
‘‘Shaun Willis came on and made a great impact in the first half to score a goal. But he had just played 90 minutes for the reserves, so he ended up pulling up with cramp in the second half, so I had to make three subs which were all tired lads, and they just capitalised.
‘‘The boys put everything they could into the game, but we just ran out out gas in the end.’’
With the Roar still in the lead at 2-1, the game was inadvertently flipped on its head when City fortuitously equalised, with a big deflection off a Roar defender looping into the top corner, breaking Cobram’s spirit.
Puckett said that moment changed the course of the game.
‘‘I think that was a real big turning point,’’ he said.
‘‘At the time of that goal we were under the pump a little bit but defending well and we knew we they were going to have those moments in games.
‘‘We mentioned it in the change rooms at half-time that we just needed to ride out the storm and stay in the game.
‘‘When the deflected goal went in you could just see the lads deflate from that moment. It had felt like we had gone behind, which was frustrating because it was only level.
‘‘Body language was something I addressed with the players after the game.’’
The Roar have a bye this weekend as they were meant to play Wodonga Hearts, who do not have a senior side.