SUCCESS seems to be following the New Norfolk Panthers wherever they go, with the hallowed home grounds of Metro FC being no exception after a well-deserved 11-0 win for the Derwent Valley’s soccer side on Friday night.
The “wall” is starting to make a name for itself among opposition sides as the Panthers’ defending prowess grows stronger as every week passes. Through well-structured training and committed individual plays, a European-style of seamless and visionary defending, complemented by the ever-so-safe hands of keeper Luke Richmond, has been born at the team who proved their worth with a second clean sheet in a row.
As with all matches against Metro FC, the game was defined by aggressive plays across the midfield and back through defence, but the nimble finesse of the Panthers’ attack found this to be no problem whatsoever. Christopher Driver graced North Chigwell with a hat-trick, bringing his total goals for the club to an astonishing 12.
Whilst experienced attack shone, some key defenders snuck their way up front to take part in the scoring frenzy with Andy Healy catching the keeper off-guard and sneaking a beauty into the back of the net and Sam Coetzee scoring a brilliantly-placed screamer from behind halfway, marking the duo’s first goals for the season.
As with every week it seems, New Norfolk’s in-form attack saw Damien Nieuwesteeg and Paul Cairns pick up two-a-piece and Martin Cairns and Joel White with one goal each.
Most notably, as readers would remember from Friday night, was the wind – never before has the experienced defender Tom Sheppard seen a ball make its way to the halfway line and then back again – without it going anywhere near the ground – as the strong gusts played a crucial role in tactical decisions made after the mishap to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible.
The Panthers’ next match is against the University Wanderers away at Olinda Grove, Mt Nelson, at noon this Sunday the 11th. It should be one of the closer matches of the season after a narrow 2-1 win against the side earlier in the year.