Mistakes cost win
IT was a game the Cougars should have had marked down as a win but again silly mistakes saw the side suffer another defeat, this time by 3-2.
The only position Bundaberg Spirit has known during their history in the Hyundai QSL is bottom of the ladder but amazingly having won just six games from 65 matches in the four seasons of competition, half those wins have come against the Cougars.
Again the match at Jardine Park attracted a good crowd and they were rewarded for their support by an entertaining match
Unfortunately the first half started where last week's ended with goalkeeper Tim English forced to pull off two smart saves after lapses let the visitors in.
Bundaberg used English import Kallum Nix up front and he proved to be a player of good vision, rattling the Cougars crossbar after sighting English off his line.
With 10 minutes to go to the break the Cougars lost their way, first allowing Shane Youngberry to break between two defenders and slip the ball past English and then just before the interval giving Youngberry his second when Tim Hickey was caught in possession just outside the area and paid for his error.
Throughout the first half Michael Cay watched the game from the bench but a frantic conversation between officials saw him introduced for the second spell.
The stumbling block is Cay wanting to play both Cougars and Berserker.
Cay took to the pitch for the second half after gaining assurances he would be eligible to play in the local competition.
To bring Cay into the game Jarrod Lancaster was sacrificed and the move did make the Cougars a better attacking force.
Johnathon Sauer was just wide of the target with a powerful drive and Cay opened up the visitors defence with some mazy runs.
However, defensive frailty allowed John Brillante to open the margin to 3-0.
To the home player's credit they still believed they could beat Bundaberg and threw everything at them in the second half.
Chris Swain finally did what he does best and took on his marker to deliver a pin-point centre to the head of Hickey for goal one and then Max Thompson was flung to the ground and Sauer closed the gap from the spot.
In a late flurry Thompson again posed problems from a set-piece but his header flew over the bar.
For the Cougars Thompson and fellow central defender Trevor Wood had good games while Johnathon Sauer worked very hard in the middle of the park.
Coach Washington Gonzales remains a frustrated man.
“My concern is not the performance but the mistakes, they are the same mistakes we are making all the time,” he said.
Gonzales knows players make mistakes but expects them to learn from those errors. “I was happy with the performance of Max Thompson,” he said.
The former international player felt some players had not taken the opportunity to do better against the weakest opposition they are likely to face this season.
Bundaberg Spirit 3 (Shane Youngberry 2, John Brillante) def Cougars 2 (Tim Hickey, Johnathon Sauer pen)
FNQ Bulls 1 drew NQ Razorbacks 1
Gold Coast Stars 1 def Brisbane Strikers 0.
Sunshine Coast 1 drew Whit Miners 1