BATHURST '75 will look to covert the promising football they showed over the opening half of the Western Premier League season into a new level of play, starting with this Saturday's match at home against Orange CYMS.
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The Bathurst men picked up a convincing 5-1 win over CYMS in their return to the WPL back in round one but both clubs have gone through a lot of development and changes since that opening game.
The position of third on the ladder for Bathurst '75, despite being undefeated, speaks to the number of draws that '75 failed to convert into wins.
It's something that '75 coach Mark Comerford wants his team to get on top of as they look to make a positive run towards finals.
"We're happy that we're a new team - albeit with players who have been together in the Western NSW environment - who are playing positive football with good results, but we've had games where we've dropped points," he said.
"It's about turning some of those draws during tight games into wins. Part of the reason why they're tight games is because, defensively, at times we haven't been capable, where we've had lapses or poor reads.
"Last weekend we were 2-0 up at half-time then found ourselves in a position where we could have lost that game 3-2. We need to manage our games better. Scoring goals isn't a problem for us, we just need to not be conceding as many."
Failing to convert positive positions against the two teams above them on the ladder - Panorama FC and Orange Waratahs FC - was frustrating for '75 but Comerford said that should cloud the fact that his side have managed to make a strong impression as a new squad this year.
"There's still way more positives than negatives about the season so far," he said.
"We were really good in that first half last week but why we weren't as good in the second half I don't know. Panorama threw a bit more at us and put numbers forward but we should have been able to deal with that.
"Against Waratahs it was a similar thing. We went down early, got it back to 2-1 at half-time, got to a 3-2 lead then gave it away in the last 10 minutes. It's just the small things in defence that if we turn around we can convert those draws into wins."
Comerford has had the opportunity to watch CYMS on several occasions since the round one contest and said the Orange squad has developed well.
"We have important games coming up now and CYMS are starting to find some consistency," he said.
"They go into this on the back of two draws so they'll come in with confidence. As competitions go on teams start to build combinations, fitness goes up and different things happen.
"You need to respect everyone you play against, regardless of if they've won 10 games or lost 10 games. CYMS definitely have players capable of hurting you. Even in the first game we played against them they had opportunities to score more than the one goal that they did score."
Kick-off is Saturday 5pm at Proctor Park.
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