The Thornton Redbacks managed to put two goals past the Cessnock Hornets in Sunday’s First Division loss despite being two men down.
The Redbacks were reduced to nine players
with centre back Nathan Willoughby and centre midfielder Josh Benacquista sent off either side of half-time.
But following the double blow the Redbacks managed to score twice in the last half hour of the round 10 fixture despite the odds being against them and eventually being beaten 6-2.
“The pleasing thing is we were able to score twice when we were down to nine men,” Redbacks coach Neville Bajzath said.
“I think there is a lot of respect in that.”
The Hornets scored two “soft goals” in the first 30 minutes despite the Redbacks “controlling play well” according to Bajzath.
But disaster struck for the Redbacks on the half hour mark when Willoughby was given his marching orders
for his second yellow card offence.
Not only were the Redbacks down to 10 men but the infringement occurred inside the box and the Hornets slotted home the ensuing penalty for a 3-0 lead, which Cessnock carried through to the break.
The Hornets netted two more after half-time before Benacquista received his second warning and was shown the red card by the referee.
With 30 minutes to go the Redbacks were now five goals down and running around with nine players.
Somehow they rallied and shortly after the setback Redbacks striker Matt McLaren volleyed home inside the box to reduce the margin to four.
The Hornets bagged their sixth but Redbacks right back John Dobija continued the see-sawing in the final exchanges with an impressive left-foot shot from 20 metres out.
Bajzath said the Redbacks would attempt to build a brick wall in their defence before travelling to Cooks Square Park on Sunday for their cross-town clash with the Maitland Magpies.
The Magpies’ match with Belmont Swansea was abandoned midway through the first half because of unsafe conditions caused by heavy rain at Blacksmiths Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The Northern NSW Football fixture has been rescheduled for the same venue on Wednesday, May 30.
In other results from the weekend, Adamstown handed league leaders Lambton their first loss of the year with a 2-1 result at Arthur Edden Oval on Saturday while Toronto Awaba smashed Singleton 6-1 at Howe Park on Sunday.