For the sake of its season, Newport had to stand up and deliver.
The fifth-placed Porters did just that with a gutsy 14-point victory over Point Cook Centrals at Featherbrook Reserve on Saturday to keep their Western Region Football League division 2 finals hopes alive.
Porters captain Munir El Houli said it was a do-or-die game, as his side was entering the round two games outside the top four.
“This would’ve been done and dusted after today if we couldn’t get the four points,” he said.
“From here on end, we’ve still just got to keep on winning. We want to play finals footy and we’re good enough to be there.”
It will go down as one of Newport’s best wins of the year. Aside from the importance of the game, the Porters were also battling hard for numbers after three players pulled out on the morning of the game.
Porters coach Ziggy Kadour called up three reserves players, but they were used sparingly.
Newport trailed at every change, but only ever by a kick or two.
Staring a 12-point deficit in the face at three-quarter time, the Porters launched one last assault, the four-goal-to-nil final quarter securing the win.
“Our leaders stepped up and had to take control of the game,” El Houli said.
“We were reminding each other at half-time and three-quarter time that we’re in the game and we’ve got to stick at it.
“Credit to all the boys, the youngsters stood up when they needed to and the leaders put their hand up and made sure everyone was doing what they had to.”
Mustafa Mesto was outstanding for Newport with seven goals.
“The beauty about ‘Musti’ is that he’s been working hard for his goals,” El Houli said.
“It’s not popping in and getting the sneaky one out the back – he’s really leading hard to the ball carrier and the second, third and fourth efforts as well. He’s really making sure he earns his goals and they’re not just easy handballs over the top.”
The game-sealing goal was kicked by Mohamad Uweinat. The youngster was one of Newport’s best, along with Malek El-Hassan, Belal Mesto and Khaled Hawli.
The Porters will travel to third-placed Parkside on Saturday for another crucial game.
Elsewhere in division 2, Yarraville Seddon kicked poorly yet still beat North Footscray.
West Footscray had no answers to Wyndhamvale, copping a 116-point thrashing.
In division 1, Altona moved a step closer to the minor premiership after a 174-point battering of Point Cook. The Vikings are two games and percentage clear on top with a relatively easy draw in the run home.
Spotswood has some work to do to secure a top three spot after losing to Werribee Districts.
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