The LUSC sponsored Camden Haven Redbacks were not at their best on Saturday in Laurieton, but still managed to scrape a narrow 3-2 victory against a strong Taree side to remain undefeated after six games in the Football Mid North Coast Premier League.
The visitors came ready to play and really took it to the Havens from the outset, winning a lot of the loose ball and taking advantage of their pace up front and out wide.
An early injury to the experienced David Amidy in the centre of defence didn't help either.
Taree had already opened the scoring before he came off, when the Reds turned the ball over cheaply in the middle of the park.
The scores were levelled 10 minutes later when midfielder Josh Tomasone made a bright run into the penalty box only to be fouled. Rob Holland stepped up and netted the penalty, before Taree restored their lead into the break after again beating a sloppy Redbacks defence late in the first half.
Havens coach Simon Hancox expected his players to not panic and just bring the game back under control.
"We talked about having scored a lot of goals already this year and that coming back from a deficit, while new to us this season, was not an impossible task. We just needed more composure and the goals would come."
And they did.
Tomasone in midfield was again brilliant providing the final pass for Toby Otto, who decisively crossed for Holland to calmly finish and level the scores before Jaryd Shaw, on his Redbacks First Grade debut sealed the victory.
It was a nervous final 10 minutes for the coaching staff as they watched Taree put two good attempts over the bar.
"Taree played really well today, and we didn't, but we're not winning competitions in May. The season has a long way to go and we will have some dips in form throughout. We've just got to keep preparing to peak at the right end of the season," said Hancox.
Next week the Redbacks travel to Forster to take on a very strong Wallis Lake side who are currently four points behind the Havens on the table and are undefeated. Premier League table - Redbacks (18), Wallis Lake (14), Tuncurry (13), Kempsey Saints (10), Port FC (9), Macleay Valley (7), Port Saints (4), Port United (3)
Reserve Grade boys took on Taree Wildcats at Laurieton this week. After a disappointing effort last week the Reds were looking to turn things around with a more committed performance.
The first half saw a rejuvenated Redbacks put in an improved half of football. The Wildcats were making some inroads through the middle of the park but the Reds were showing more urgency in defence and were making some dangerous counter attacks of their own.
The second half was a more open affair. Unluckily the Reds' clocked off in defence assuming a player was offside - he wasn't, and was able to slot home a decisive goal. Both teams had more chances to add to the score, but alas the final score was 2-0 to the visitors. A much better performance from the Reds this week. Lachie Peterson was once again rock solid in goals. Dave Jackson was terrific at the back and Logan Shaw threatened every time he had the ball. The final score of 2-0 not a true reflection of the match.
It was a frustrating game for the Camden Haven Redbacks Ladies squad on Saturday, as they ventured north to take on Macleay Valley Rangers.
Coming up against a depleted MVR side, and with ample substitutions within their own ranks, the match was an opportunity to expand on the style of play the Redbacks have been working towards each week. While the game showcased a number of great teamwork plays, the inability to finish proved frustrating.
The first half saw some great work in the midfield, with impressive passing and teamwork creating a number of early opportunities.
Some extremely unlucky shots, coupled with some ill-disciplined shots meant that chances weren’t converted to goals, and the score remained 0-0 for much of the first half.
Redbacks got the break they needed when forward Brooke Williams was taken out, awarding the Redbacks a free kick. Yas Egan made no mistake placing a perfect kick over the defence and out of reach of the keeper to give the Redbacks a 1-0 lead at half time.
The second half played out with impressive plays, but no goal at the end.
The frustration was evident, but the squad continued to rally.
Midfielders Paris Gibson and Gaelia Monks were outstanding out wide, while an unwell Maria Wilson led the charge up front.
Their efforts were rewarded when Wilson took the perfect shot, curving the ball away from the keeper in a way that seemed to defy gravity, to give the Redbacks a 2-0 lead, and a bit of breathing space.
The win gave the Redbacks the points they need on the ladder.
“The match certainly didn’t unfold the way we would have liked,” said Coach Jose Ustariz.
“The opposition were tough, and while we had a lot of great moments, we need to learn to stay settled so we can be justly rewarded for our efforts. Next week we take on tied ladder leaders Wauchope, who no doubt will be out to avenge last year’s semi-final when we knocked them out. We have a great squad though, and I’m confident we can regroup and compete this weekend.”
The match against Wauchope will take place in Laurieton, with kickoff at 1:15pm.