WALLIS Lake have been crowned Football Mid North Coast Premier League premiers and grand final winners after a nail biting 1-0 victory over Camden Haven at Port Macquarie Stadium.
The hard fought contest was a battle of attrition for the top placed side, which ended 0-0 all after 90 minutes. The match was taken into extra time, before an Ethan Perry wonder strike hit the back of the net with little more than five minutes remaining on the clock. Drama ensued in the final minutes, after a corner was failed to be cleared, and the subsequent shot forced a save from Wallis defender, Reyne Black on the line. Unfortunately, Black is not a goalkeeper and therefore handed Camden Haven a penalty with a chance to level the scores. Wallis Lake’s actual goalkeeper, Curtis Jones produced a magnificent save from the penalty, and some tenacious defending in the final minutes ensured Wallis Lake would lift the trophy for the second time in three years.
An early injury to a Wallis defender, saw Mitchell Clark replaced by Tyla Chef and a reshuffle of the midfield with Bayden Schumann moved to right back. Redbacks had an opportunity before halftime to take the lead, with Ryan Squires finding himself one-on-one in the box, before Jones made a critical save to keep the scores level at halftime. The second half was much of the same. Brodie Wynter found space outside the box, driving his shot directly at the keeper who tipped it over the bar. Redbacks had another opportunity to score, with the ball dropping to Jeremy Robinson five metres out, before spraying the shot wide. The injection of several key substitutions has been demonstrated to be the difference over the season, with Roan Whiteman and Brock Gutherson introduced to compose Wallis Lake for the final minutes.
Without a winner in regulation time, the game was heading into 30 minutes of extra time. Camden Haven controlled the first half of extra time, and they looked to secure the winner, when Toby Otto-Bin slotted the ball into an open net in the 98th minute. However, a foul in the build up play against Luke Debrincat was called back on and the goal disallowed. The crowd was sent into a frenzy when Tyla Chef found space in the middle of the park, got a ball away to captain Beau Wynter before being fouled, Wynter then put a through ball to man-of-the-match Ethan Perry who hit the top corner from 22 yards, leaving the keeper stationary.
Wallis Lake 1 (Ethan Perry 1) – Camden Haven 0