'It isn't panic stations just yet': Mariners not worried by poor start

DESPITE losing their first two opening Mens (1) State League matches, Western NSW Mariners FC coach Andrew Fearnley isn’t stressing yet.

After twin 4-nil defeats to Granville Rage and Inter Lions SC in rounds one and two, and a wash-out, the Mariners take to Wade Parkon Saturday night in a must-win round four clash with competition heavyweights Hawkesbury City FC.

With two victories, over Balmain Tigers FC (3-2) and Camden Tigers (5-nil), and a wash-out Hawkesbury remains the only undefeated team in the top grade, and present the Mariners with their toughest assignment yet.

“Haweksbury are a very good team, they’re undefeated so they’ll be tough,” Fearnley said.

“We haven’t played anywhere near our best though, and the scoreline in the first game was a bit harsh, it didn’t show how well we actually played. Unfortunately in the second game it did, we played badly and got hammered as a result.

“It isn’t panic stations just yet though.”

Fearnley pinpointed ball control and discipline as two main factors in the Mariners’ slow start to the season.

“We’ve been turning the ball over pretty cheaply, a lot,” Fearnley explained.

“Also, we haven’t been controlling the ball well enough, or taking smart options. I think if we can rectify that we should be alright in this game.”

Saturday’s match is the first time the Mariners have played at Wade Park, due to scheduling clashes in the past.

First grade kicks off at 6pm on Saturday night, with the Mariners under 16s, under 18s and under 20s kicking off at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm respectively, in the lead up to the main event.

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