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Port United’s late-season fade continues, but assistant coach remains confident of solution

It was the rapid-fire run of games that could have consolidated Port United’s position in the top three of the Coastal Premier League Men’s competition.

Instead, the Port Macquarie side have slumped to three losses in four games and picked up a solitary point from a possible 12 in the last eight days.

They are now right back in amongst a logjam of teams mid-table and fighting for a berth in the top six.

Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Sawtell came 24 hours after a 4-all draw with the Scorpions and on the back of successive 1-0 losses to Southern United and Port Saints.

They are now five points adrift of third-placed Macleay Valley and while United still have two games in hand, they are a shadow of the team that put on a show in a 5-1 win over Coffs City United three weeks ago.

Assistant coach Tony Raymond attributed an inconsistent run of games as the key reason for his team’s inconsistent last three weeks.

“The win [against Coffs City] was an excellent result, but then we got washed out the week after so we couldn’t build on that momentum,” he said.

“That certainly hasn’t helped our situation, but we’ve got to keep consistently performing and getting those goals in the back of the net.”

United possess the fourth-best attack in the competition, but the goals have dried up in recent weeks.

They have hit the back of the net only five times in their past four games with four of those coming in 90 minutes.

“That’s been our issue – not scoring the goals,” Raymond said.

“The boys have been playing well, but not finding the back of the net. They’re hitting the post, or the keeper’s are saving it and the luck is not falling our way.”

Raymond said they still harboured ambitions of a top six finish, but with six games left they quickly need to rediscover their mojo in attack.

“Obviously the higher up the ladder (they finish) the better, but our aim is just to concentrate on our game and let the results happen,” he said.

“The boys are up for it, they know what to do, it’s just that we’ve got to get it together. We’re not panicking just yet.”

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