THE CURSE of the early goal returned to haunt Maclean Bobcats in their Premier League stoush on Saturday night.
A week after Maclean seemingly overcame the early defensive lapse, Northern Storm found a way to punch through the Bobcats' in the first few minutes.
The mix-up proved costly for the home side, who were forced to again alter their playing style to catch up.
Coach Giuseppe Terranova was clearly frustrated.
"The early goal came back to bite us. Again," Terranova said.
"At the end of the first half we were much better. They looked to go over the top of us and that shows how well we were defending on the ball.
"They had too much time and space to move. They got through for those goals because there was some hesitation between defenders."
Daley Durrant made the wait worth it for those who braved the cool conditions.
Durrant beat four defenders on his own, before unleashing a rocket from beyond the box to equalise late in the first half.
The goal lifted Maclean's spirit and intensity, and had Northern Storm on the ropes for some time.
But the visitors' superior defensive play shone through, stopping Maclean from having any more serious chances on goal.
Terranova praised the performances of Jarrod Doyle and Ben McMahon but rued his side's lack of control.
"I thought Doyle played well up front and Doosh (McMahon) was quite solid," Terranova said.
"They played really well out there. We just kept giving too much ball away."
It is something Terranova has to work out before the must-win local derby against Westlawn Tigers this week.
It is not all doom and gloom at the club. Durrant's outstanding goal proves they have the skill to match it with the best.