Redlands United played their final NPL men’s game for the 2023 season on Saturday evening away at Kippa-Ring against Peninsula Power.
Power were looking to consolidate their finals position against a Redlands side weakened through injury and suspensions.
It was the home side who took the early advantage with two goals in the first 12 minutes through Josah Hitchcock and Sam Cronin.
Despite the early setback, Redlands did not drop their heads and continued to play their attacking brand of football.
With 23 minutes gone, a free kick outside the Power box saw Redlands central defender Noah Hitchcock rise high to meet the ball but ended up in a collision with the Power keeper, hitting his head hard on the ground as he landed.
There was a long stoppage in play as the medical teams attended to both Hitchcock and the Power keeper.
Thankfully, Hitchcock managed to walk from the field but was unable to continue and was substituted, with Redlands losing another key player to injury.
Just a few minutes after the resumption of play, Redlands were on the scoreboard. Dylan Brent delivered a ball across the face of goal where Deane Alterio was waiting at the back post for a tap in, reducing the deficit to a single goal.
As the first half progressed, the Red Devils started to gain the ascendancy, pressuring the Power goal and forcing the keeper into saves, but the score remained 2-1 at the break.
The second stanza started much the same way as the first, with Power scoring on the counterattack to restore their two-goal advantage.
Redlands were not deterred in the face of multiple Power attempts on goal and continued to play forward at every opportunity.
Guil Santana had his shot cleared off the line by Power after some great lead up play by the Red Devils.
Redlands continued to create a number of scoring opportunities, but Power were able to scramble in defence to hold them out.
Despite a valiant effort from Redlands, the match finished 3-1 in Power’s favour.
Redlands Fiction Bar and Restaurant man of the match was awarded to hard-working midfielder Ryo Emoto.