Key player:?United’s Andy Collins takes on the FC defence in the Port derby a fortnight ago. Pic: PETER GLEESONUNITED?vs REDBACKS
THERE is a pattern already emerging in Port United’s 2016 Football Mid North Coast Premier League season after three rounds.
United has gone win-loss-win in its opening three games and on Saturday they’ll be tested by undefeated competition leaders Camden Haven Redbacks.
Coach Chris Walsh was impressed with the way his side bounced back in Kempsey last week, hanging on for a 1-0 win at Eden Street, seven days after Port FC put four past them.
“We had our pants pulled down a bit by FC,” Walsh said.
“But the bounce-back factor FC had against us, we had against Kempsey Saints, so that was pleasing.”
Josh Moore’s second-half header proved the difference and provided a valuable three points after a tight opening 45.
“Full-time couldn’t quite come quick enough for us last week because we had three and a half minutes of stoppage time despite there being no injuries in the second half.”
Walsh knows his side will have to work hard against a Redbacks side who is undefeated and has conceded just five goals in three games.
“They’re carrying on from last year and they’ll be a good test for us,” he said.
“They’re at the right level and have been the form side of the last two years; they were unlucky not to go all the way because of an unlucky bounce in the box in the grand final last year and defensively they’re a very strong, physical side.”
The Green Bloods will welcome back Jake Avery and Andy Collins will again be an important factor in their ability to score goals up front.
“Jake tried his luck in Newcastle for a couple of weeks, but realised it wasn’t quite what he wanted so he’s back this week,” Walsh said.
Reserve grade will hope for a better performance than last week when they scored first, before conceding five on the way to a 5-2 defeat.
It was their first loss of the season.
“They decided it was their turn to have a week off like first grade the week before,” Walsh said.
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