preview

CPL round 16 preview

No room to move.

Port Saints might have left their run to the Coastal Premier League finals too late, but coach John Goodman is going to encourage his players to battle to the very end.

“It’s about survival and we’re living on the edge and if we slip up we’re going to fall off,” he said.

Saints host Macleay Valley on Saturday in a match where anything less than three points for either side (currently locked on 17 points) will end their season.

“I think we’ve still got a chance, but there are a lot of moons that have got to align in the right direction for us. A lot of stars so to speak,” Goodman said.

It means one thing – Saints must score goals.

“We’ve never not had an attacking mindset and that’s been the problem; we just haven’t put the ball in the back of the net and when you don’t put goals in, you get nervous at the other end and you let goals in.”

The Port Macquarie side will fancy their chances of surviving for another day with Rangers battling an injury crisis.

Goodman admitted Saints played their worst game of the year in the last clash between the two sides when Rangers registered a 2-0 win on May 22.

“We were just hopeless in that game. We just didn’t turn up. We should have stayed in Port Macquarie and we would have got the same result.”

Rangers coach Simon Tamblyn felt the horse had already bolted on their season despite amassing the same amount of points as their opponents.

“We thought that two weeks ago,” he said.

“We’ve had a horrible season with injuries and inconsistency hasn’t helped us.

“It’s been a long, slow process of trying to get people – when breakdown happens – to pick up a man and not just leave men open. That’s where we’re suffering with a lot of goals.”

In other weekend fixtures, Kempsey Saints will want to bounce back from a surprise 6-3 mid-week loss to Sawtell when they tackle Port United.

And injury-hit Taree Wildcats face a mountainous task when they host ladder-leaders Coffs City United while Sawtell travel to Polwarth Drive buoyed by their mid-week result when they clash with Coffs Coast.

Boambee host Northern Storm at Ayrshire Park on Sunday.

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