The Kempsey Saints Premier League side were left ruing their missed opportunities in their 3-1 defeat against the Forster-Tuncurry Tigers.
Coach Matt Baker was disappointed with the loss but proud of the effort shown from his players.
“The boys were committed until the 90th minute, they never gave up and continued to push,” Baker said.
“The commitment to the game was great but we need to work on capitalising on the chances we create in that front third and we need to tighten up at the back.”
Baker said it could have been a different story if they were able to make the most of their opportunities.
"Unfortunately we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net, we played really good football but at the end of the day, if you can’t score then you can’t win games,” Baker said.
It was a tight opening 20-minutes with both sides pressing for the opening goal.
It came to the Forster-Tuncurry side after the Saints turned the ball over at the back and the Tigers striker made no mistake.
Saints levelled the scores heading into half-time through Nick Wright, who grabbed his first goal of the season with a strike from outside the 18-yard-box.
The close encounter continued into the second half but the Tigers made the most of their possession, as they scrambled in the Saints box and pushed the ball passed the keeper for a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers final goal came from a quality free kick that gave the keeper no chance of producing a save.
Troy Ward and Tristan Smith shared player’s player honours.
Meanwhile the reserve grade side holds onto their top spot on the ladder after a 1-1 draw against the Tigers.
The side fought back from a half-time deficit with Sam Mahoney capping a successful return from injury with the equalising goal.
The two sides face the Macleay Valley Rangers in the local derby on Saturday and Baker is excited for the meeting.
“Both clubs have quality first and reserve grade sides and it will be a cracking match,” he said.
“Each team will let their football do the talking.”
The Saints had in-club rivalries on Saturday with the Northern and women’s teams facing off.
Saints White earned the bragging rights in a 3-1 victory over Saints Green in the Northern League while the Women’s Green team defeated the White side by the same scoreline.
The victory for Saints Women’s Green lifts them into second position on the ladder while the White side drops to seventh position.
The Macleay Valley Rangers had a bye for round four of the competition.