Middle men are key for Wanderers in clash with table-topping Panthers

MIDDLE LINK: The speed of Wanderers' midfield, including Hayden Dillon, will be crucial in today's clash with Panthers. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0510sghock7

MIDDLE LINK: The speed of Wanderers' midfield, including Hayden Dillon, will be crucial in today's clash with Panthers. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0510sghock7

DESPITE annihilating Lithgow Zig-Zag 7-3 last weekend, Orange Wanderers coach Beth Shea said she wants more from her troops in Saturday’s men’s Premier League Hockey clash against competition leaders Lithgow Panthers.

“Last week’s win was great,” Shea said.

“But, we did what we needed to about 60 per cent of the game, and made some bad mistakes. So we haven’t overlooked that.

“This week we’ve worked heavily on what we need to do as a unit, and then we looked at what we can expect from Panthers.”

The match pits the third-placed Wanderers against the unbeaten Panthers in a battle of the competition’s best attacking and defensive teams, respectively.

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Panthers are yet to concede a goal, while Wanderers have netted 12 in the opening two rounds - four more than any other team. However, the latter has also conceded eight.

“Our structure lends itself to those results,” Shea said.

“We’ve scored some wonderful goals this season, and the speed of our play allows that. Unfortunately, if we get it wrong sometimes it becomes a situation where we are giving goals away.

“But it will take time to work into. Panthers deserve respect, they’ve been a very good side for a long time, we’ll focus on our job and what we need to do.

“That involves supporting our midfield, so much of our game plan revolves around quick midfield play. We’re very strong through there, and we’ve got a good mix of youth and experience.”

Wanderers host Panthers at Orange Hockey Centre from 2.35pm today. 

In the weekend’s other games, Bathurst Souths host Parkes United while Lithgow Zig-Zag take on St Pat’s.

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