The Kempsey Saints suffered their first defeat of the Premier League season on Saturday when Port United proved too strong in the windy conditions.
The 2-0 loss dropped the Saints to fourth position on the ladder but they have two games in hand.
The strong breeze favoured Port United in the first 45-minutes and they managed to take a 1-0 lead into the break, but Saints coach Kevin Sinclair was satisfied with his side's first half performance.
"We were facing a really strong breeze and it was difficult to push the ball up the field," Sinclair told the Argus.
"But we scrambled really well and Jacob Lyttle had another tremendous game in goals and made a few point blank saves."
Sinclair claims Lyttle is playing at an incredibly high level.
"Jacob has been outstanding. He was our player's player once again," Sinclair said.
With the wind at their backs in the second half, Saints weren't able to find the back of the net but they did fire warning shots.
Jake Conomos and Nick Wright both came close but missed the mark.
Saints' hopes of a comeback were dwindled when centre back Shae Bass was shown his second yellow card and forced from the field with 20-minutes remaining.
Kempsey's situation was worsened when the referee pointed to the penalty spot for an illegal tackle with under 10-minutes left on the clock.
Lyttle produced a first up save to stop the goal but the United attacker followed up his penalty shot and doubled the away side's advantage.
Sinclair said his side will need to move on from the defeat quickly as they enter a testing seven day period.
Saints will face the Forster-Tuncurry Tigers this Saturday, before backing up and hosting the Camden Haven Redbacks in a make up game on Wednesday night and then travelling to battle Wallis Lake on the Saturday.
"It's a shame to lose Shae, who has been playing out of his skin, for the game against the Tigers but I have confidence we will be able to pick up points without him," Sinclair said.
"It's always hard to play three games in seven days but we have the quality and depth to handle it."
Saints managed to field their best side on paper last Saturday and Sinclair is looking forward to watching the combinations of the players grow.
"We suffered a bit from not having a regular team to field each week. The FFA Cup has stuffed us up a bit as we have been travelling all over the place and not everyone has been able to make it," Sinclair said.
"On paper, we had our strongest side but it was hard because they haven't all played together this year.
"I expect them to get better each week though, if we can continue to field that side."
Saints' match with the Tigers kicks off at 3pm at Eden St Oval.
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