NAMBUCCA Strikers parried, pushed and probed - but were denied the 'P' they most coveted and probably deserved ... a competition point from their away clash against Orara Valley in a North Coast Football men's second division clash this afternoon.
Orara went into this fixture on top of the table - though have played an extra game than the hard-chasing Macksville - so it was set to be a bell-ringer against the fourth-placed Strikers.
The early exchanges were what was hoped for between two quality sides, who both had their chances.
But it was 10 minutes from time in the opening spell before a score - and the sole goal of the contest, which was secured when the Dingoes pounced in a lineball onside call to slot home.
The Strikers lifted appreciably in the second half and soon had the ball in the strings only to be ruled offside.
After a period of sustained pressure, Nambucca had a free kick and Daniel Flack fired a curving exocet over the wall only to be denied by the fingertips of the Orara keeper and the crossbar.
So one-nil it finished though few would have argued that a draw was deserved.
For the Strikers, Daniel was sensational at the back, defusing numerous Dingoes' raids, and sparking accurate low, long ball counter. Kai Allan was masterful in midfield and was unlucky not to get on the sheet in the second half, while Ethan Hocking was a handful on the flank and never stopped trying.
Excitement machine Stephen 'Horvat' Ryan was on the sideline with a niggle - in what might be a glimpse of the future in five years or so as 'the one' transitions to a management role.
Next Saturday the Strikers will look to get back on the winners' list when they host the high flying Macksville Stingers in the Nambucca Valley derby at the Coroseum. 1pm kick-off.