Stemming the flow of goals will be at the forefront of Darren Elkin’s message to the Weston Bears ahead of their second round State Cup clash with Hamilton Olympic tonight.
The Bears take on their State League rivals at Darling Street Oval in the annual Northern NSW Football knockout competition just four days after being smashed 5-1 at home by undefeated Broadmeadow Magic.
It was a rude awakening for the Bears, who had been unbeaten up until that point in time this season.
And the issue for the Bears, as in previous weeks, was not putting the ball in the back of the net but rather keeping it out of their own goals.
The Bears have one of the worst defensive records in the league with 11 goals conceded in four matches and coach Elkin will be looking for a much-improved performance at the back.
“We need to try to limit the goals if we can,” he said.
“If we can stop the flow of goals against and keep scoring a few it will help address the goal difference before it gets away from us.”
Rob Macbeth and Michael Holt are unavailable for the match with work commitments while Jamie Subat remains out injured.
Striker Michael Ryan is still in doubt with a rolled ankle suffered at training last week which forced him out of the weekend’s clash. Skipper Chris Cousins returns from holidays while the likes of Robbie Turnbull, Jason Cowburn and Carl Thornton will be part of Elkin’s plans.
Elkin said the David Field, Jordan Howard and Joel Paige could also expect some more minutes for the Bears.
The Bears are the only team from the Maitland district still alive in the State Cup after First Division clubs the Maitland Magpies and the Thornton Redbacks were eliminated in the opening round.
Tonight’s match kicks off at 8pm.