Westside Panthers celebrated their first win of the 2019 season after sneaking past the South Dubbo Wanderers by a goal in round five of the Dubbo and District Football Association's 2019 first grade competition.
The Panthers faced a 2-0 deficit at the break but stormed home on the back of three, second-half goals to score a 3-2 victory and snap a three-game losing streak to start the year.
Panthers' coach Joshua Bernard says it was an amazing comeback.
The side has been absent from first grade for a number of years and failed to kick a goal during the first three rounds of 2019, conceding 30 in the same time.
As a result, Bernard revealed Panthers' main focus against Wanderers was scoring goals before anything else; a desire made all the more difficult after a disrupted start to the day.
"There was no ref and we were down two players with our goalkeeper feeling under-the-weather and our vice president out with an ankle injury," Bernard said.
At half-time things weren't looking good as the Panthers were yet to land one in the back of the net but, according to Bernard, the tide would turn if the Panthers could steady the ship.
"The Wanderers' were under-strength," he said.
"Most of them were fatigued due to half of their side having already played for second grade right before.
"So half their side played back-to-back games."
Bernard says during the first half they played at their opposition's speed.
"We had to communicate with each other, wait until the fatigue really kicked in for the Wanderers' and then start firing," he said.
"At half-time, we had a big chat to try and motivate each other and refocus. After that the boys put their foot down, they were relentless and they came out firing.
In the first five seconds of the second half, Jack Benias landed Panthers' first goal for the season before the exciting Westside striker soon banged home a second, levelling the scores.
Recep "Reggie" Ozdemir landed the winner and Panthers' hung on to secure win number one of the season.
"It was Reggie's first game, but I'll tell you what, he's a good pickup for the Panthers," Bernard said.
The team was put together from scratch eight weeks ago and has only played four games as a unit.
"I don't know how, but we clicked from day one as mates," Bernard said.
Bernard says they're still learning each others' plays and are working their communication and the camaraderie of the team.
"Every week they're improving dramatically," he said. "We have five under-17 players who have really stepped up. They're fearless, they get out there and they're not scared to speak up and tell other teammates to drop back or push forward.
"On Wednesdays when I coach second grade about half of the first-grade team will come and train an extra day of the week to keep up their fitness levels and to help out.
"They put in 110 per cent effort always."
At half-time we had a big chat to try and motivate each other ... after that they came out firingJoshua Bernard