Joe Early races back to defend for Nanango.
Joe Early races back to defend for Nanango. Callum Dick

Strack strikes hat-trick in Panthers win

Football: Missing their first-choice strikers to injury, the Nanango Panthers did not miss a beat on their way to a comfortable 6-2 win over Wests on Saturday night.

Deputising as a number nine for the top side, Evan Strack showed he had what it takes to match it with the South Burnett's best as he put three past the Wests 'keeper.

David Ashby, Kieran Mangan and Damien Copas also hit the score sheet in a comprehensive performance from the visitors, increasing their lead atop the first division standings.

Regardless, Panthers coach Lauren Mangan was a hard taskmaster, lamenting her side's poor conversion rate despite finding the back of the net six times.

"Our conversion rate must still be about 15% I think, it wasn't great,” Mangan said.

"But I was happy with how our second division players performed. Evan Strack hadn't played first division before and was great. I was impressed with some of the more inexperienced guys that stepped up and helped.”

Wests came out of the blocks seemingly with a point to prove, and had the better of the opening exchanges.

But they were unable to capitalise on the early advantage, ceding the first goal and heading into half-time 2-1 down.

"We notoriously start slow, it's something we need to work on,” Mangan said.

"We're definitely more of a second half team, so if we're vulnerable to goals it's always in the first 15 minutes.”

The proof was on display in the second 45, as the Panthers finished the match.

With Mangan's first-choice attackers still in doubt for Saturday's top of the table clash against Gunners, the slack will likely fall once more to the substitutes.

"It gives a chance for some of our second division players to have a crack,” Mangan said.

"I think it's a really good learning opportunity for these fellas to prove themselves.”

South Burnett

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