A POOR defensive performance in the last half hour of the first half proved disastrous for Football Mid North Coast in the Women's Premier League fixture against Merewether United at the Taree Zone Field.
The teams trooped off with Merewether, the defending premiers, leading 5-0. However, FMNC produced their best effort of the season in the second stanza, highlighted by a goal to Jenna Doyle. Merewether won the match 5-1.
Coach Mick Grass said he told his players at halftime that the scoreline would blow to double figures in the second half unless they lifted their game.
"I said to that a double figure scoreline would be embarrassing,'' he said.
"And to their credit, they listened and they really improved. We played over the top of them in the second half and were the better team.
"The score wasn't a reflection of the game. I'm very proud of them.''
Doyle's goal was FMNC's first of the season. Grass said overall the effort would be a great morale boost for the side for the matches ahead.
He said FMNC started strongly however, the opposition scored against the run of play.
"They dropped their heads after that - that happens with a young team, they showed their immaturity,'' Grass said.
Merewether cashed in, thumping in four more goals before the break against a badly beaten defence.
However, from the resumption of play in the second half FMNC showed more resolve.
Grass said centre back Lauren Brown was the best player on the park.
"She's usually a pretty laid back person, but she stepped up physically and showed plenty of aggression,'' Grass said.
Rubi Grass and Layni Fens battled on to see out the game despite carrying injuries.
FMNC will be at Taree again this Sunday against Thornton.
"There's no easy game in this, but I think Thornton will be a better game for us,'' Grass said.
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