By Chris Curulli
It was the home side Narrabeen who prevailed in a 5-3 goal-fest against St Augustine’s at Narrabeen Sports High School on Saturday afternoon.
A brace from their captain Andy Higginson and strikes from Daniel Flew, Luke Reid and Tomas Klembara saw the hosts come from behind to earn all three points.
In an end-to-end encounter, Narrabeen found themselves surrender a 2-0 lead to trail 3-2 just after half time.
To make matters worse, they were reduced to ten men midway through the second period with a player placed in the sin-bin.
Yet remarkably, Ross Talarico’s outfit pushed on in spite of their numerical disadvantage and turned the contest on its head in the space of ten minutes – restoring a 4-3 lead before returning to their full complement and closing out the contest late on.
The Narrabeen coach was pleased with his side’s gutsy performance.
“It didn’t pan out as we expected, at the start we were pretty comfortable,” Talarico said.
“We just wanted to hang on with ten men with St Augustines’ coming at us but we managed to nip in with two goals to bring us back into it.
“So we’re pretty happy with how we went on with it from there.”
Especially considering the loss of their talismanic top scorer Sipan Berti this season, Narrabeen are experiencing a similar rebuilding phase to Saturday’s opposition Saints.
“After having surgery in the off-season, we said to Sipan that this is more of a developmental year for the boys, so it was best for him to have the year off,” Talarico explained. “But him coming back in next year will be a massive boost.”
“When we came back from lockdown I told the boys that this year I want to make more first-graders and battle it out for a top four spot.
“So as long as I achieve those two things, and we are consistently getting better week in, week out, that’s all I can ask for from my squad.”
In other fixtures Brookvale left it late to snatch a 2-1 victory over Belrose-Terry Hills, Wakehurst prevailed 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller against Mosman and Curl Curl ran out 3-1 victors at Seaforth Oval.
Pittwater maintained their lead at the summit with a 3-0 win over CC Strikers, while Harbord FC celebrated their first three points of the campaign with a tight 1-0 triumph over Manly Vale.