Men break five straight losses to show promise

THE Monaro Panthers Canberra Premier League side are finally on the board in 2014 after defeating last year's Federation Cup grand finalists the Cooma Tigers 3-1 at Riverside last Sunday.

The Monaro Panthers in action against the Cooma Tigers in the Pre-Season Cup a month ago. The Tigers won 6-0 on that occasion. Photo: Joshua Matic.

The Monaro Panthers in action against the Cooma Tigers in the Pre-Season Cup a month ago. The Tigers won 6-0 on that occasion. Photo: Joshua Matic.

The win broke a five game losing streak and was the side's first since round 22 of last year's Premier League.

Their only other win since was back in February in the Mayor's Cup where they defeated Queanbeyan City FC in the annual friendly fixture.

Head coach Njegosh Popovic said his men's win was reward for kicking four goals in the first two games against 2013 grand finalists Canberra and Canberra Olympic, but thought the game was their weakest to date.

"To be fair the game was probably one of our lesser impressive performances in terms of our technical play," he said.

Popovic said his men won the scrappy contest purely because they wanted the win so desperately.

"We've always showed signs of being able to compete for 45 or 60 minutes with the top teams in the competition, so there are some good signs there," he said.

"Our structure against Cooma was much more composed and I think that's why we ended getting the result, because players thought about their role and responsibility for more of the game and didn't switch off."

The game was also the first time this season the men had conceded less than six goals, but Popovic said he would still like to work more on their defence, saying Cooma's front-liners just failed to execute.

He said they would improve greatly by not letting opposition have as many opportunities to score.

"Cooma just didn't finish off their chances, and in saying that we could have had another bag-full ourselves," he said.

The result capped off a great weekend for the club across all grades, who only lost in the Under 12's men's division.

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