Wolves getting into groove

FOOTBALL

An improved display couldn't provide the tonic South Coast Wolves needed to thwart Sutherland in the National Premier League NSW second round.

Two second-half strikes propelled the Sharks to a 2-1 win on Saturday at Seymour Shaw Park.

Ricky Zucco gave the visiting Wolves a 1-0 lead in the opening stanza but his first of the season was cancelled out by a Panny Nikas goal before Jordan Figon stole the points in the 79th minute.

The result consigned the Wolves to the bottom of the competition ladder but coach Richard Lloyd was pleased by the improvement from his squad after they had lost 5-0 in the opening round.

"Overall, I don't like losing but it was a much better performance than the week before," Lloyd said.

"We have turned it on its head from the week before.

"Against Blacktown, we weren't a football team that day but [on Saturday] we were definitely matching it with perhaps one of the top-four teams in the competition."

The Wolves were right in the mix early in the match, trading chances with the Sharks in search of the opening goal.

Zucco came close from a free-kick before he stole the ball from Sutherland defender Nick Littler and fired home the match's first goal.

South Coast went into the sheds with a 1-0 advantage yet had ample opportunities to add to their lead only to be denied by gloveman Nathan Denham.

Not without chances of their own, the Sharks eventually found an equaliser in the 63rd minute when Nikas drove inside and nailed his shot into the back of the net.

Sutherland found an extra gear and substitute Figon came up with the knockout blow.

Attacking a retreating Michael Robinson, Figon gave himself some space to fire the match winner into the top corner.

"We will stick at it. You make your own luck in any game you play," Lloyd said.

"We need to keep battling and put in some good performances and we will turn this around.

"It happens when teams aren't performing, you don't get the rub [of the green] but if we keep putting the effort in on the practice pitch I am sure we will turn this around."

Lloyd handed a debut to new recruit Darcy Madden for the clash with the youngster doing well at left back.

"He has just come from the [Australian] Institute of Sport and I said 'Mate I am giving you an opportunity' and he took it with both hands," Lloyd said.

"I was very impressed with his performance."

The Wolves meet Sydney Olympic at WIN Stadium this Sunday for a chance to get their first win of the season on home soil.

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