The Kempsey Saints suffered a heartbreaking last minute loss against the Forster-Tuncurry Tigers on Saturday.
Saints levelled the scores after falling behind on two occasions but the Tigers headed in the winner to move above the Saints on the ladder.
Kempsey were slow to kick into gear and they struggled to get out of their end for the opening 10-minutes.
The Tigers eventually made their possession count, finding the back of the net after a cross into the box.
Despite conceding, the Saints began to play themselves into the match and each side took turns attacking the opposition goal.
Individual brilliance from Daniel Baker saw him beat a Tigers defender and work his way into the box before firing the ball by the Tigers keeper to level the scores.
However, the lead didn’t last long with the Tigers answering just before the break.
The Saints turned over possession cheaply in their own half and the Forster-Tuncurry striker made them pay.
It was a grinding match through the early stages of the second half before the Saints blew the match wide open with 20-minutes remaining.
Tristan Smith met a cross into the box with a strong header which was too good for the keeper.
Saints continued to apply pressure to the Tigers and they pressed for the winner but it never came.
The Tigers had the last attack of the match and there was a scramble in the box off a corner before the ball landed in the Saints goal.
Coach Matt Baker said the side was deflated after the match.
“There wasn’t much said after the game,” he said.
“Again we played really good football but just couldn’t finish out opportunities.”
With five rounds remaining in the regular season, there is a logjam in the middle of the table with six sides separated by five competition points.
The Saints host Saturday’s local derby against league leaders the Macleay Valley Rangers who are coming off a bye last round.