PANORAMA FC Red’s defence was the key to their 3-0 Bathurst District Football men’s Premier League semi-final success over Abercrombie FC at Proctor Park on Sunday.
It’s the first time the club has moved on to the top grade grand final and if their performance in the semi-final is anything to go by then their upcoming opponents in the decider, CSU White, will be on alert.
The red and black returned to the field 1-0 up in Sunday’s clash after withstanding a flurry of Abercrombie pressure in the opening half, and from that point they began to seize the momentum.
When they doubled their advantage shortly after the resumption of play Panorama were in the box seat.
Abercrombie tried their hardest to reel the deficit back but the Goats’ back line wasn’t in the mood to leak opportunities.
It was fantastic for the full 90 minutes. That’s a game that gives you a lot of confidence going into the grand final.
“It was a really solid performance across the park,” Panorama FC president Beau Yates said.
“I thought Ryan Ellis in goals was fantastic. He just gets better and better every week. Our attack was strong and they showed a lot of intensity.
“Abercrombie came out very strong in that first half and they were putting the pressure on. That’s when I thought that if they scored then anything could happen.
“We had a good chat at half-time, talked about where we needed to lift and we broke through straight after.”
Paul Long capitalised on Panorama’s early pressure to give his side the lead.
After the opener Abercrombie started to pepper the Panorama defence frequently but the men in yellow couldn’t find an equaliser before the break.
Long’s Western NSW Mariners FC team-mate Jaiden Culbert struck almost immediately after the whistle blew to start the second half.
Abercrombie kept their heads up and came close to scoring when a shot struck the crossbar.
Both teams looked capable of finding the back of the net in an entertaining half but inside the final 10 minutes Panorama had a chance to put the game away.
Tom Hines was awarded a penalty and beat Abercrombie’s goalkeeper Tim Daley to seal the result.
Yates said the Goats players made a great account of themselves going into the last day of the season.
“Brent Osborne as captain led the boys really well. There was some great talk out there.
“It was fantastic for the full 90 minutes. We scored some great goals and kept a clean sheet. That’s a game that gives you a lot of confidence going into the grand final.
“James Cox was my man of the match. He was on fire all game, didn’t miss a thing and did all the simple things right.”
The upcoming grand final between CSU White and Panorama Red pits first against second respectively.