THIS WAS not according to script.
Sport rarely is.
The high-flying Macksville Stingers were favoured to take the three competition points at home against Bellingen this afternoon in the North Coast Football men's 2nd division fixture.
And the bookies' summary looked astute in the first 15 minutes, as the Stingers could have had two goals, and should have had one, in the bank.
On the 20-minute mark, a moment of chaos.
The ball was back passed to keeper Corey Forbes who looked to send it - only for it to cannon into a Reds defender, and Bellingen pounced on the free ball to tap in.
One-nil became two 60 seconds later when Bellingen danced down the left.
The Stingers right defence was in all sorts, and 15 minutes later the black and whites went back to that corridor to take them 3-nil to the good at the break.
While the wind reduced the contest to something of a lottery, it was Bellingen who handled it better, keeping the ball mostly to the ground.
But the second half was a wrestle, and 36 minutes passed before the visitors headed twice to find the strings and kill the contest.
Seconds later Gazelle picked up a second yellow and trudged to the sideline to collect his kit.
With time nigh, Bellingen found their final and fifth of the match.