PORT United’s Football Mid North Coast Premier League premiership drought will continue into an 18th season following a 2-0 loss to Wallis Lake on Saturday night.
In the season decider, Wallis struck a blow in each half to claim back-to-back titles following a 1-0 win over Camden Haven last year
It was their third grand final success in the last four years.
Port United coach Nathan Wade lamented a match where his side appeared to be the more likely to score, especially in the first half.
But grand finals are about converting your chances when they arise.
“We created just as many chances as them, but they put it in the net and we didn’t,” he said.
Jarrod Naylor opened the scoring for Wallis in the 35th minute with a clinical first-time right-footed finish from 15 yards.
We created just as many chances as them, but they put it in the net and we didn’t.
It followed a clever cut-back cross to the back post from Roan Whitemann.
United had earlier created their own chances with Brendan Prince sliding in at the far post inside the first minute.
Kaleb Langbein and Matt Broderick also had chances, but blazed over the bar.
Wallis then made United pay with one of their few first-half raids into their opponents’ penalty area.
Despite the 1-0 half-time deficit, the United coach remained confident.
“I still felt we were in the game right to the end, we just couldn’t get the ball in the net basically,” Wade said.
Wallis captain Beau Wynter then extended the visitors lead in the 53rd minute when his shot rebounded off the inside of the left post and dribbled across the goal-line.
It was after a goalmouth scramble.
As United pushed forward, last year’s premiers dropped as many as eight players behind the ball at any one time as they defended their two-goal lead.
They shut up shop after the second goal and then the pressure was on our guys to score.
Wade conceded it made United’s task even more difficult and they had trouble breaking down the defence.
“They shut up shop after the second goal and then the pressure was on our guys to score,” he said.
“The boys tried their hearts out, we started the game strong like we wanted to, just couldn’t put the ball in.
“We probably should have had a penalty because I felt their keeper came and took our striker out, but we didn’t get anything so it is what it is.”
The stop-start nature of the match suited Wallis with as many as 35 free kicks awarded throughout the 90 minutes.
“It probably was a bit stop-start, but your grand finals aren’t meant to be the perfect game,” Wade said.
I’m disappointed we lost, but I can’t be disappointed with the effort.
“It’s all about ticker and who wanted it most and I guess they wanted it most tonight.
“I’m disappointed we lost, but I can’t be disappointed with the effort.”