Port United young guns Ben Oakley and Lachlan Walker scored their first goals of the season as the Green Bloods cruised to a 5-0 win over Taree Wildcats on Saturday.
Oakley’s well-executed free-kick from just outside the area was the highlight as United went on with the job after leading 3-0 at halftime.
Coach Nathan Wade admitted it could have been even more if not for some missed opportunities in front of goal in the first half.
“We could have scored a lot more but just didn’t have the polish in front of goal,” he said.
“They were understrength, and we could have really taken advantage, but their keeper pulled a few saves out of his you-know-what.”
United started strongly and stamped their authority on the contest early with Eddie Castro-Wade scoring a brace while Matt Bale also ended up on the scoresheet.
“I was probably happiest the two young boys scored in first grade; that was nice for them,” the coach said.
“Ben has been in the squad for most of the year, but he’s played a lot of fullback, and we put him a bit closer to the top the last three weeks.
“It was a nice free-kick that he put in.”
Taree coach Ben Sedlen conceded his team knew they faced an uphill task with suspensions and unavailabilities ensuring they had the bare minimum of players.
“We were pretty short on players, but we got through it,” he said.
“We knew we were up for a tough one with the players out suspended, but we had one or two that stepped up, otherwise there wasn’t too much to take out of it.”
While the Wildcats will end the season with the Coastal Premier League southern conference wooden spoon, Sedlen is confident brighter times are ahead.
“We need a striker; as we saw from the table we struggled to score goals,” he said.
“We were in games and rarely got dominated, but we just couldn’t convert the chances we created.
“We’re not as far away as everyone thinks we are.” In the other weekend match, Port Saints registered a 3-2 win as part of a five-goal thriller in Kempsey.