Kempsey Saints goalkeeper Jacob Lyttle had a match to remember as his side upset Boambee 2-1 at Ayrshire Park on Sunday.
Lyttle came up with a number of high-quality saves to ensure Saints returned to Kempsey with all three points safely in their keeping.
He managed to save Bombers’ striker Luke France’s second-half penalty while he also denied Tom Frewen to preserve the visitor’s lead.
Saints co-coach Dan Baker said other results went Saints’ way over the weekend which allowed them to move into fourth spot – one point behind the second-placed Boambee.
They are building nicely.
“It’s huge for the confidence because it’s going to be a tough one next weekend against Coffs City, but with a couple of blokes back we think we can really give them a run,” Baker said.
“We’ll see where we stack up with them because they’re obviously the benchmark of the comp.”
First half goals to Angus Paterson and Dylan Whalen saw Saints take a 2-0 lead to the break before Christian Penny pulled one back for Boambee to ensure a nervous final 20 minutes.
“With 20 minutes to go they really stepped up and their captain-coach came on and they got one back, but we scrambled really well,” Baker said.
“We scrambled and held on in the end.”
Bombers caretaker coach Brady Parker is their third man in charge this season and he admitted after the game the constant change was starting to take a toll on his side.
“The wheels are wobbling,” he said.
“The boys are a bit down at the moment understandably because three coaches in one year is not ideal, but it’s about getting the boys back on side and getting them hungry for that win.
“It’s an uphill battle, but I’m sure in the coming months the hunger will be back. The next month will show where Boambee is at as a club.”
Parker admitted Saints performed their game plan perfectly.
“Kempsey held their shape well; they came with one thing in mind to absorb the pressure, sit back, retain our strikeforce and catch us on the counter and they caught us out a couple of times,” he said.
“They were hungrier for the win.”
In other games, Coffs Coast Tigers and Port Saints shared the points with a 3-all draw while Taree Wildcats climbed off the bottom of the ladder with a 4-2 win over Macleay Valley.
Coffs City United cruised past Sawtell 3-0 while Port United and Northern Storm had their fixture in Port Macquarie postponed.