VALENTINE coach Lindsay Tapp is confident Phoenix will eventually get the rub of the green but in the meantime he has implored his troops to keep fighting hard – starting with tonight’s catch-up clash with competition leaders Broadmeadow Magic.
Phoenix were unlucky not to grab a much-needed three points against the Jets youth team, conceding a controversial injury-time penalty to draw 2-all at Blacksmiths on Saturday.
It was the third game they have given up vital points late.
‘‘Against South Cardiff they scored four minutes into injury time to beat us 2-1, Weston scored in the last couple of minutes in normal play for a 1-all draw, and then on the weekend they get a penalty with virtually the last kick,’’ Tapp said.
‘‘It is frustrating, but we just have to keep turning up and playing.
‘‘The players were angry on the weekend, but we have to do a few things smarter and improve a bit to take all the unknowns out of it.’’
Despite the deflating end, Tapp said there were positives to be taken from the draw.
‘‘Second half we played well,’’ he said.
‘‘We had more ball in their half. Ethan Carusi produced a nice left-foot finish for the first goal and he also created the second goal.
‘‘Overall it was a decent performance.’’
Valentine sit on nine points, five points adrift of fifth-placed Hamilton Olympic entering the second half of the season.
After tonight’s match, which hinges on a pitch inspection this morning, they take on cellar dwellers West Wallsend on Sunday.