2010 and 2011 Articles, as can be found on: FMNC

Promising start by Kempsey Saints - 30th April 2010 

Kempsey Saints Premier League travelled to Old Bar to begin their first campaign in the top grade. 

Despite having some players out due to injury and unavailability the squad that travelled did the club proud. 

In reserve grade the boys are still finding their feet with only one other game under their belt. They started a bit shaky and conceded an early penalty from an accidental hand ball. 

They then held their own for long periods of play and an own goal from a wayward clearance saw them down 2-0. To their credit they played the entire game in a great spirit encouraging each other to the end. 

The final score was 4-0 to Old Bar and best for Saints was workhorse Sam Preston. The club has to make mention of three 16s who went down to make up the numbers and showed that they were up to it. Well done to Robert Townsend, Nathan Phillips and Corey Pratley. 

First grade was a slightly different side that played in the trial matches but the players acquitted themselves well. 

They also got off to a horror start conceding two penalties in the first 15 minutes to be down 2-0. Away decisions are always difficult to cop but at least one of these was doubtful at best. Saints refused to give in and saw the half out with possibly the best of the chances. 

A structural change at half time got Saints back into the game with Rhys Summerhill converting a penalty to get Saints first Premier league goal. He then backed it up minutes later with one he created himself beating the keeper and slotting it home to make it 2-2. 

Saints was by then playing the better football and thriving off what the local crowd was giving them. Hindsight would say they should have closed up shop and taken a point but confidence was high and another goal looked possible for full points. 

But it wasn't to be their day and Old Bar scored a late goal when Saints was pressing forward. The final score was 3-2 to Old Bar. 

The club is proud of this first up effort and even though the squad has much still to do it can take much from the game. Best on day were utility player Toby O'Brien, forward Summerhill and keeper Craig Parker. 

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SAINTS FRUSTRATE UNITED RESERVES - 13th July 2010
 
Reserve Grade: Port United 1 Kempsey Saints 1 

Saturdays reserve grade clash in the Football Mid North Coast Premier League saw United take on the bottom placed and winless Kempsey Saints. After losing their first match of the season against Macleay Valley Rangers last week, United were keen to bounce straight back in front of their home crowd at Dixie Park. 

Like first grade to come later, the home side were left frustrated with a spate of missed opportunities and a hard working opponent that played with 10 men from the 20th minute mark after a red card. Unable to make their numerical advantage count, United were left to ponder 2 points that certainly got away in a 1-1 draw. 

Kempsey started well with a couple of attacking raids early on, but it was United who took the lead after 11 minutes. Simon Filipek slotted home when he got in behind the Saints defence and from that moment United took complete control of the match. The rest of the half however was littered with missed opportunities in front of goal for United and the occasional attack on United's goal from Kempsey. 

The second half produced much of the same, however United looked the more likely with plenty of possession in their opponents half resulting in a number of attempts on goal that went wide, over or straight at the keeper. In the 30th minute though, they were made to pay for their sloppiness in front of goal when a cross into the box was flicked in at the near post to put the visitors level. 

The Saints secured an unlikely point (only their second of the season) after repelling numerous United attacks in the closing stages which left coach Jono Toombs with some concerns following a second game in a row without a win.

"We certainly had our chances to win comfortably today and get back on the winners list after our first loss last week. It was very disappointing not to get the win and the squad is pretty frustrated. We need to put it behind us though and now concentrate on the derby with Port FC next weekend which will be a tough match" said Toombs. 

- Report by Justin McIntyre, Port United Secretary 

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Saints go down - 20th August 2010

KEMPSEY Saints Football Club played last year's grand final winners Taree Wildcats on Saturday. 

After a largely forgettable first round encounter Saints were determined to do better this time around. With only three games to go in its first season in premier league the squad was also determined to finish on a positive note. 

First grade looked the part from the start with the midfield combination of Jason Fisher, Alistair Sinclair and Jarryd Oram matching it with their southern rivals. This time around the truer bounce of Eden St and the extra space compared to Taree's Omaru Park meant the locals were in this one all the way. 

Toby O'Brien was given more room out wide and capitalised with some outstanding attack but still played his usual solid game in defence. Saints were unlucky about 15 minutes in when a clearance from their box struck a Taree forward and fell between two Saints defenders to give Wildcats an easy chance to put the visitors 1-0 up. 

Saints weren't to be intimidated and continued to follow the plan of a short passing game. Shaun Fraser struck late in the second half, from about 30m out, when he put a dipping ball high into the corner of the Taree goal. Half time 1-1. 

Saints questioned the officials about a Taree forward continually coming in to receive the ball from an offside position but this appeared to backfire with the second half starting with six penalties to Taree. With the wind behind them and that sort of possession it was hard for the locals to get out of their half. 

Frustration grew with the penalty count and then erupted when stopper Dain Summerhill finally took exception to the constant baiting from the Taree striker. A Saints player who came into the melee was given a red with Summerhill and the Taree attacker given a yellow each. 

Saints still felt confident with 10 men but a soft goal to Taree put them up 2-1. Saints continued as they started and remained competitive, unfortunately Summerhill got a second yellow and Saints found themselves with nine men for the third time this season. Sheer numbers took their toll and Taree put one away from a very forward position, in which even the Taree attacker stopped awaiting the flag, blowing the score out to 3-1. 

But Saints certainly weren't disgraced. One of the best on field was veteran midfielder Fisher who continues to get better as the season progresses and could well still be playing when recently born son Dane Fisher plays seniors in 2025. Player's player was shared between Sinclair and Fraser. 

Reserve grade were also determined to put up a good show. With a new line up forced by Saints finally having numbers the side got away to a shaky start. They conceded one early and it looked as if another was inevitable. 

A reshuffle saw them settle but Taree still got another against the run of play to go 2-0 up. Saints got one back through the continually improving Matt Clarke to make it 2-1. 

The second half was Saints reserves at their best with Clarke and the slow starting Jake Johnston finishing the game with some outstanding play. Hardworking midfielder Sam Preston again impressed as did wide man James Rossiter. Final score Taree 3-1. 

Player's player was Jake Johnston. 

With two games to go the feeling in the squad is positive. Saints play Port Saints away this week and the final round is at home against Camden Haven

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Saints campaign in disarray after defeats - 10th June 2011

KEMPSEY Saints Football Club find their 2011 premier league campaign in disarray after their match on the weekend against Taree Wildcats and then a catch up game on Wednesday evening at Old Bar. 

Several key Saints players reacted to incidents during each game, which cost them dearly in the overall scheme of things. 

First up was the fixture against Taree, both grades knew this would be tough. They were well prepared to get another game on the park in preparation for their two upcoming important matches against Port Saints and newcomers Wingham. 

Reserve grade were off the pace in this one and didn't show the form that had seen them draw with top four sides United and Port FC. Taree were always in control and took the game 2-0. 

First grade were only after an improvement on last year and saw this one as vital preparation for the last two rounds. Saints got off to a disastrous start when form keeper Jacob Lyttle reacted to the niggling of the Taree striker. After gaining a penalty then seeing it saved the Taree player took his frustration out on a Saints player as he moved back up the field. 

Saints keeper Lyttle became involved and this saw both players sent from the field. Both teams were then down to 10 players which opened the game up and Taree took better advantage of the situation and won 5-0. 

Worse was to follow with the mid-week visit to Old Bar. 

Saints had made numerous offers to play this one at any other time but FMNC had sided with the home team and demanded it be played with only seven days notice. On arrival Saints players and officials were shocked by the condition of the pitch and thought it substandard at best and even dangerous. 

These two games will be remembered for all the wrong reasons with match officials losing control of both games. At one point in the reserve game it appeared to be anything goes with the Old Bar keeper running 30m to become involved in a melee with no action taken against him. 

First grade went the same way with red cards to captain Jason Fisher and defender Lachlan Lyttle. Saints came away with losses in both grades and more players now unavailable for the next games. Full credit must go to the Saints players, and there were many of them, who didn't react to some bewildering decisions and played the game of football. 

Saints must now regroup and prepare for the two most important matches in their calendar this year. With another club looking like applying for premier league next year it appears a relegation game for last place will definitely happen. Saints is desperate not to be the club playing that match. 

This weekend there is no premier league and eyes turn to the Saturday League fixture against the Lowie's at Gladstone on Saturday afternoon.

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Luckless Kempsey Saints  - 4th July 2011

THEY say that you make your own luck in sport - well Kempsey Saints needs to find that formula fairly quickly. 

Saints knew the away trip to Wingham last weekend was one of the biggest matches to be played this year. Meaning no disrespect to Wingham it will probably come down to one of these two new clubs' as to whom finishes last in 2011. 

Despite being without three key players in the same round due to suspension, Saints still felt confident of a good result. Several late withdrawals from the squad started to sound the alarm bells but still the squad felt confident travelling down to Wingham. 

The day started off badly with Mason Brenton being taken from the field in reserve gradeafter a serious head clash with a Wingham player while contesting a high ball. Mason was transported by ambulance to Manning Base Hospital after he started bleeding from his right ear. He then underwent CT scans as a precaution and doctors suspected a fractured skull. Fortunately this turned out to be incorrect and after spending the night in hospital Mason was released still suffering from concussion. He is now off the park for a number of weeks. The club wishes Mason a speedy recovery. 

Reserve grade continued but were unsettled after the incident and despite having the majority of the possession found themselves down 2-0 at half-time. 

The call was to continue as they were and hopefully the goals would come. This is what happened with goals to Sam Preston and new signing Sam Mahoney putting the side back in the game. Then with only a few minutes on the clock, Dean Crotty using a rehearsed move in the goal box put the winner away for reserves to continue their great season. Final score Saints 3-2. 

First grade started as reserves had with Saints dominating possession in the early stages. Wingham's first foray into the Saints back third saw a free kick awarded after what appeared to be a legitimate slide tackle. Saints never really got set in defence and Wingham made no mistake and scored a fairly simple goal. 

Saints continued with enough ball to score but continued to lose their way as they entered the attacking third of the field. The bad run of luck continued when keeper Craig Parker landed awkwardly after collecting a high ball and aggravated a foot injury that has never really settled since last year. 

The half time break came, and Saints felt comfortable with the plan to continue as they were. 

Wingham got a free kick within range and a lofted ball saw the injured Parker caught just off his line. Despite this he was still able to get a hand to it. The deflection saw the ball hit the crossbar and to Saints dismay fall into the goal. This one probably summed up Saints luck on the day. 

Parker succumbed to the injury and had to be replaced. Saints then pressed forward looking to score and got caught out late in the game to make the final score to Wingham 3-0. Full credit to Wingham, with their first grade side being very young as well, the side played with enthusiasm and great spirit. 

Not without highlights, the best were Crotty's winning goal in reserves and the return of Mahoney to both Saints and the game of football where he made a significant contribution in both grades. 

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Lyttle shines with two player of the match awards - 8th July 2011

KEMPSEY Saints FC goalkeeper Jacob Lyttle marked his return to Football Mid North Coast Premier League competition with an emphatic display at Laurieton last weekend. 

Lyttle had missed two rounds due to suspension and his availability was welcome after Saints other keeper Craig Parker suffered a recurrence of a foot injury in the last game against Wingham. Due to Parkers' injury Lyttle was asked to keep in both grades and was outstanding. 

Drawing praise from both Saints coaching staff and the opposition at the after match function indicated his influence on the game. Lyttle showed both his versatility and his skills are developing with the continued pressure of playing behind one of the developing sides in the competition. 

It is certainly the keepers of the bottom four sides that are exposed to more shots and Lyttle seems to relish the challenge. Called upon to make numerous saves, defend against one on one challenges and dispose of more balls than most other keepers in the competition Lyttle is up there with the best in the league. 

Reserve grade travelled to Laurieton to take on Camden Haven, full of confidence after their win last game. Saints had a mix of players in this grade, with Saturday League postponed. 

Saints matched the Redbacks from the start and both sides appeared evenly matched. Chances fell to both teams but a wonder goal from Saints mid-fielder Jason Hearne decided the game. 

At the 20-minute mark a loose ball bounced in front of Hearne outside of the 18-yard box. Hearne, showing his class, delivered a rocket like volley past a diving Redbacks keeper. For the first time this season Saints then defended a 1-0 lead for the rest of the game. 

It was the defence that gained the points in this one with keeper Lyttle, sweeper Matt Baker and stoppers Dean Crotty and Brett Morrison working hard throughout the match. Player's player was awarded to Lyttle. 

First grade was a scrappy affair from both sides, with no disrespect to the Redbacks.Saints lacked intensity and did not really show the passages of play that they can put together during games. 

Saints scrambled well in defence and promoted stoppers James Rossiter and Jackson Thorpe who both put in solid displays to keep their opposition strikers scoreless. Scores were locked at 0-0 at half-time. 

Unfortunately for Saints and their supporters it was the Redbacks that started the second half with a renewed energy. In the first minute after the break the Redbacks held the ball in their backline long enough to see the Saints press forward. With a switched ball to one side of the field and then back across to the other the Redbacks found an unmarked player who slotted one home. 

At 1-0 Saints were still in the game but just couldn't seem to find that extra gear. Making no mistake the Redbacks went 2-0 up and that was the final score. 

For the second time this season Lyttle was named player's player in both grades. 

Saints play Old Bar at Eden St this weekend then a double header the following weekend with Port FC away and a Port Saints catch up on the Sunday at home. 

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HOPE FADES FOR OLD BAR - 12th July 2011 

OLD Bar's faint hope of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Football Mid North Coast Premier League evaporated when held to a 1-1 draw with cellar dwellers Kempsey Saints in the match at Kempsey. 

This gifted the northern outfit their first points in the competition this year. It will also place more pressure on second last placed Wingham to avoid the wooden spoon. The club that finishes last this year could become involved in a promotion/relegation. 

Old Bar dominated play for much of the 90 minutes, but were unable to put the ball into the net. "We should have scored four or five goals in the first half," club committee member Noel Lanagan lamented. "They play good football, but just can't finish off." 

Old Bar led 1-0 via a goal to James Sommerville. The Barbarians again dominated the second half territorially, but again were unable to increase their lead. This included one miss at an open goal. 

Then 10 minutes before fulltime the Saints were awarded a penalty. The resulting shot bounced off an Old Bar defender and into the net to lock up the scores. The goal inspired the Saints and Old Bar didn't look like breaking the deadlock. 

Sommerville was Old Bar's best while Brie Christie and Mitchell Saad also played strongly. 

It was a disappointing day for the Barbarians, with the reserve grade going down 3-2.

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Saints go down fighting in both grades - 5th August 2011

KEMPSEY Saints Football Club travelled to Forster to take on Wallis Lakes in the FMNC premier league competition on Saturday. Saints had a full squad and had trained well in the lead up to the game. 

Reserve grade started the afternoon and looked the goods from kick off. They had more possession than Wallis Lakes and created numerous chances in both halves. A defensive lapse from Saints saw no-one marking up and the Lakes player found Saints keeper Jacob Lyttle all alone. Despite Lyttle's best efforts a clever chip saw the ball in the back of the net. 

Saints tried hard and had enough ball to win the game with numerous shots falling to striker Lincoln Eather and midfielder Sam Preston, but it wasn't to be Saints day and nothing went in. Full credit to Wallis Lakes who played with enthusiasm throughout the game and took the points, final score Wallis Lakes 1-0. 

Player's player was shared between Josh Ryan, Sam Preston and Brodie Piggot. 

First grade are quickly running out of games to lift themselves from last spot. Wallis Lakes came out much harder than Saints and dominated the game for the first 15 minutes. A run into the box from a Wallis Lakes attacker saw another penalty awarded against Saints. With a successful conversion it was five goals in a row conceded through penalties by Saints in the last three games. 

Late in the first half, against the run of play, Wallis Lakes put their second in from well outside the box when a lofted shot found keeper Lyttle just off his line for the ball to fall into the top corner. This one hurt Saints who didn't deserve to go to the break 2-0 down. 
The second half saw Saints match Wallis Lakes in enthusiasm and commitment, but Saints run of away decisions continued when a cross into the Saints box was controlled by a Wallis Lakes hand onto another player and knocked in to go 3-0 up. 

Led by midfielders Toby O'Brien and Shaun Fraser, Saints lifted the tempo. From a Fraser corner, O'Brien held off to see the ball deflected and bounce in the box. O'Brien timed the volley to give Saints a sniff at 3-1. This effort continued and O'Brien made a great run into the box, drew his defender and laid a nice ball in front of the hard running Fraser who made no mistake putting Saints well and truly back in the game 3-2. 

Wallis Lakes put a speculator into the box which rebounded of the cross bar and into the arms of Jacob Lyttle. To the dismay of Saints players and supporters the ball was ruled to have crossed the line. Game over Wallis Lakes 4-2. 

Player's player was shared between Shaun Fraser, who had a big game, and Sam Mahoney the number 41 who attracted much support on Saturday. This week the squad is away again, at Dixie Park, with a late kick off at 3pm and 5pm. Saturday league is at home also with a delayed kick off at 3.15pm. 

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