LAKE Albert co-coach Chris Ayton is not letting an opening round draw distract him from the Sharks' lofty goals for this season.
The Sharks blew a 3-1 lead to split the points 3-3 with Tumut in the Pascoe Cup fixture at The Bull Paddock last Sunday.
Ayton said the positive signs were there despite allowing Tumut back into the game.
"For the first game, first hit-out of the year, we played really good footy. So from the coaching point of view, we were happy with what happened," Ayton said.
"Yeah the result wasn't the best but it is what it is. Just that luck of the bounce didn't quite come our way on a few things."
Lake Albert led 3-1 with about 15 minutes remaining. Tumut clawed their way back through a penalty, then a cracking strike from outside the 18 yard box.
"We probably should have put the game to bed, at that point," Ayton said.
"From all the boys point of view, yeah they were disappointed with the result but the way we played, just for us it's a matter of getting them in the net now."
Jaiden Watson started the year strongly with a hat-trick for Lake Albert. Ayton said the focus leading up to Sunday's round two clash with Leeton has been converting opportunities.
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"That game (against Tumut) really could have been anything. It could have been 10 plus goals," he said.
"It was a bit of a fitness thing too, the way we play, we create a lot, it's just a matter of putting them away. I think we will, when you're creating that many chances, we were starting to play that footy towards the back end of last year too.
"As a defensive structure, we're not that disappointed with those three goals because they weren't anything the boys could do anything about."
The trip to Leeton kicks off a difficult three-week period for Lake Albert, who follow up with games against Hanwood and Young.
The Sharks will be boosted by the availability of teenage recruit Josh Everingham from Finley this Sunday.
Ayton believes it is important to gain as many points as possible over the next three weeks.
"We don't want to be getting to the turn of the round when some of those lower teams play the top teams to get points back," he said.
"Looking at some of those results (from round one), I don't think there is going to be any easy games.
"It's going to be a good test for us this week. I'm confident, unless they're a far better side to what they were last year, because I think we're a better side than last year."
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