PORT Saints provided the Camden Haven Redbacks with a much sterner test than expected last Saturday in their Mid North Coast premier league clash at Laurieton.
The first grade clash was a torrid affair with some ordinary tackles dished out which left the home side a little shaken in the first half. In fact, promising young centre back Emerson Augey was forced to leave the field prior to half-time after receiving a studs up challenge after 15 minutes which certainly fired up both sets of players.
The Redbacks were first to score after 15 minutes when Daniel Trompert managed to get a final touch to steer the ball into the Port Saints net after a corner had turned into a goal mouth scramble.
Port Saints hit back 10 minutes later when their striker shook off his marker and fired off a great shot only to have Redbacks man of the match, keeper Will Bennett pull off an impressive save. Unfortunately though the ball rebounded to another Saints man following up and he dispatched it into the net to even up the score.
Five minutes from half time, the crowd was brought to life when Ryan Squires figured in a brilliant move instigated down the left wing. The ball was crossed to Squires who danced around two defenders with great ball control before firing off an unstoppable ‘grasss-cutter’ from just inside the box which found the corner of the net.
There was no further additions to the score-line after the half time break despite plenty of action at bothe ends of the park. Despite being reduced to 10 men after a send-off, Saints kept coming and would have levelled the score except for a magnificent save from Bennett off a penalty shot. Other stand-out performers on the day included Daniel Trompert and Lachlan Sessions. This was a valuable three points for the Havens which they hope to further build on when they take on newcomers Tuncurry Forster this Saturday at Tuncurry.
The Redbacks were slow out of the blocks and were punished early when Saints scored from a corner. This spurred them into some good football however they couldn’t find the net until five minutes before the half time break when Matt Bate fired in a good goal.
But this good work was undone just before the break when Saints again took the lead through their sriker.
The Redbacks best passage of lay came mid way through the second half when a long shot from Shannon hit the post and fell to Lachie Moffat who calmly crossed to Mitch Willimas who finished nicely.
At 2 all the Redbacks were on top and their dominance paid off when a well placed corner from Josh Robinson picked out Mitch Williams who again scrambled the ball into the net to give the home side a 3-2 lead.
From there however discipline and football brains went out the window as first a penaty shot was gifted Saints before a further free kick allowed their midfielder to sneak in and score on the far post to wrap up the game 4-3.