AFTER surrendering their lead twice against Sawtell FC two weeks ago, you'd forgive Kempsey Saints for dropping their heads after going 3-0 down to Boambee FC early in the second half of their Saturday fixture.
That's not how it happened however with Saints throwing caution to the wind to set up a grandstand finish.
The first 15 minutes saw an even contest as both sides became accustomed to beautiful conditions at Eden Street playing fields.
Once that opening passage had passed, Boambee started to take control with Kempsey goal-keeper, Jacob Lyttle, keeping his side in the contest with a great save on the 20-minute mark and another, three minutes later.
Lyttle then a further on the 26-minute mark but the pressure from Boambee proved too much with a header hitting the back of the net. Boambee then punished Saints for poor defending soon after to make it 2-0.
A counter-attack from Boambee close to the half-time whistle could've really put the nail in the coffin but a shocking miss left Saints with a sniff.
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Both teams came out of the second half firing shots with none overly threatening until a cross from the away side proved successful as Boambee extended their lead to 3-0.
From there on, Saints kicked into gear and proved if they can combat their defensive issues they'll become a tough team this year.
A great through ball was latched on by Saints striker Nick Wright at the 62-minute mark, forcing a save from the opposition goal-keeper. Wright didn't disappoint the second time - putting away a poacher's finish three minutes later to make it 3-1.
The shots kept on coming from Wright and his teammates but they couldn't find the strings, although substitute Sam Mahoney was an attacking threat.
With three minutes left in normal time the game looked like it was slipping out of Saints' hands until a great attacking build up and poor communication and defending from Boambee saw an own goal bring laughter from the crowd.
The score was now 3-2, with Saints fans on the edge of their seats eyeing off an equaliser.
With Boambee now parking the bus Saints struggled to break their defensive line until an attacking play presented opportunity.
Sub Mahoney pounced - on albeit a tough chance, from outside the box only for his shot to sail far from the posts.
The whistle blew soon after to hand Saints their second defeat but coach Kevin Sinclair told his players that he couldn't be prouder of their performance.
"That's the best game we've played against that team ever - it was a really thrilling second half and gives us plenty to work towards for next week," he told the Argus.
Saints will now head to Coffs Harbour to face Northern Storm who are coming off a 1-0 loss to Port Saints.