Weston Bears primed for FFA Cup derby against Maitland Magpies

WINNING FEELING: The Weston Bears' hard work on an off the field has finally been rewarded with a 3-0 win against Charlestown. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

WINNING FEELING: The Weston Bears' hard work on an off the field has finally been rewarded with a 3-0 win against Charlestown. Picture: Michael Hartshorn

The Weston Bears finally matched their finishing to their effort to secure a breakthrough 3-0 National Premier League win against Charlestown Blues on Sunday.

It will fill the young Bears with renewed confidence going into Wednesday night’s FFA Cup derby against the Maitland Magpies at Cooks Square Park.

The star of the game was Zac Thomas in his starting debut. He scored the Bears opening goal with a header in the 29th minute and was named players’ player. 

“Our mentality going into this game was to keep a clean sheet or the goals to a minimum and possibly win the game with a low score,” Bears coach Steve Piggott said.

“But to get three goals and none in our net was just reward for a lot of hard work and endeavour from a young team.

“Young Zac Thomas in his starting debut in first grade got us on the board. He is a good young kid and deserved the players’ player award.”

The Bears, who had four draws and four narrow losses from their previous eight games, have been guilty of surrendering leads and not capitalising fully on chances.

But they weren’t going to let this game slip and James Thompson tapped in from six metres through the keeper’s legs in the 69th minute.

In the 93rd minute, replacement Adam Smith slotted home a rebound after his first shot, from a cutback from Cooper Buswell, was blocked by the keeper.

“It was pleasing to see a smile on their faces and reward for their effort,” Piggott said.

“They’ve just hurt themselves in some games and that takes away a bit of your belief.

“You know you are not in good form, but the only way to change that is getting back into the game and working hard.

“They have done that and I’m just so pleased for them.”

Looking forward to Wednesday’s FFA Cup derby against Maitland, who lost 2-1 to Lambton Jaffas on Sunday, Piggott said no one relished playing mid-week night fixtures at Maitland’s home ground.

“I would have preferred to have drawn somebody else than be at windy hill on a cold midweek night but it is what it is,” he said.

“Probably both side won’t go in full strength but you’ve got to put out a reasonable side to get a result. There will be three changes to our starting side from this week’s starting 11.

“Maitland no matter what team they put out will be tough. They beat us 1-0 three weeks ago, but I wouldn’t see much in this game.

“It’s just about doing the right things again and keeping things tidy.”

The Bears are away to Valentine on Sunday in round 11 of the NPL.

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