Naracoorte United heads to Portland

NARACOORTE United's senior sides came away with a loss and a draw against Portland on May 25.

A grade

In the first 10 minutes of the game Portland scored.

United held good defence but Portland were too quick.

Portland kept kicking at the goals but the defence, with a strong performance from Num, fought them off.

Luke blocked a very close goal in the middle of the first half. United held good pressure on the Panthers to the point where they let a hand ball slip and United got a free kick, which was defended well.

Both goalies blocked plenty of incoming balls, especially United's keeper Dylan Blanck.

In the first minutes of the second half United got another free kick, but Portland were too quick - defending the ball away.

United fought strongly and Michael Bartlett got the first goal for United.

Portland scored their second goal soon after. United kept their heads high and played on. Bartlett tried for a second goal, but missed.

Scott took a corner and Sky headed the ball into the goals. Second goal for United.

The pressure from United resulted in another handball by Portland and a tackle from behind into United player, giving United another free kick which was again fought off by Portland.

United let their defence down and Portland scored their third goal after being held off since the start of the second half.

In the last 10 minutes of the game, Portland scored again.

There were seconds left before the final whistle blew when Chipper and Messi made a great team play and scored the final goal.

The final score was 4 - 3, Portland's way.

A grade best players were Kazem, Dave Clifford and JK.

B grade

When our Naracoorte B grade squad came onto the pitch, they were ready to show Portland that they were a force not to be reckoned with.

With only 10 minutes into the game they slotted the first goal from the trusty foot of Dale Masters. Portland tried to retaliate, only to find themselves shut down by a pressuring midfield with key players Jon Thurlow and Willy Hyslop and a strong defence with new player A grade coach Dino Bueti.

They worked the ball back up the pitch to our attacking players where Masters added another goal to the scoreboard.

It was intense play from then on, with both teams hard on the ball.

Not long into the second half, a penalty was given to Portland and they were now in the running for the win.

It was hard play for most of the second half with both teams fighting for the ball.

It wasn't until the Portland goalkeeper came out of the box for a chance at goal that Naracoorte started to panic for a goal, while the keeper was out.

With United's structure starting to fade, a Portland player got off a kick just out of the 18 yard box, where B grade keeper Andrew Rishworth was just fingertips away from saving it. The equaliser was scored and the game ended moments after, with a 2-2 draw.

Best players were Andrew Munro, Jon Thurlow and Willy Hyslop.

Under 12s

It was an early start for everyone as we trekked over to our farthest away game at Portland. 

The twelves were further hampered by the fact that we only had 10 players available, and a very competitive Victorian team to play against. 

The side did very well in the first half, and with a marvellous solo effort from Paddy, managed to contain Portland to three goals to our one. 

The magic could not last however and with multiple interchanges available and with a higher fitness level the Panthers piled on the pressure and the goals. 

Michael scored a consolation goal at the end, but it was Portland who carried the day by 9-2.

Under 17s

The early start really showed up the under 17 squad, as they did not come alive for the first 20 minutes of the game. 

The defence fell apart and the midfield did not kick into gear until a lot of the damage had been done. 

Portland pounced, and in spite of a marvellous effort from the Naracoorte goalie, it was a 6-0 home advantage at the break. 

Once again, a strategic talk from the coaches produced a "new" team for the second spell. 

Naracoorte United vs Portland, May 25.

Naracoorte United vs Portland, May 25.

The centres were more focused and spread the ball wide instead of always pushing it up the middle. 

This gave our forwards the confidence to attack, and we really took the game to Portland. In the end it was superior size, but more importantly much better fitness that carried the day for the Panthers, as they added four more goals to their tally. 

Although the result was not unexpected, United have to work on their game, and really work on their fitness. - "Hotspur"