Undefeated Richmond Athletic have underlined their favourites tag in Nelson Bays division one football competition by tipping over last year’s champions Suburbs Seals 2-0 on Saturday.
Both goals came late in the second half in what was a niggly affair at Jubilee Park.
Suburbs hit the frame of the goal twice in the opening 10 minutes, but Richmond looked to have more time on the ball and certainly won the midfield battle.
The deadlock was broken by a well taken penalty from Richmond centre back Darryn Cunningham, with substitute Drew Gaskin scrambling the ball over the line to make the game safe as it headed into injury time.
Richmond coach Matt Campbell says his team wore Suburbs down after the opening 20 minutes, despite not physically being at their best.
“We had to stay in the grind of the game and the first goal was going to be important.
“That’s the difference this year, we have the quality to get that goal and keep things tight until we do.”
Suburbs Brandon Kay was a menace on attack, as was Callum Rollo, but they lacked the final touch at crucial times.
Richmond are now six points clear of Suburbs and Tahuna at the top of the table.
In other results: A hattrick from Harrison Pine helped Marlborough Mariners to a 6-0 romp over Wakefield; Thomas Amasia and David Maisey each scored twice as Nelson College thumped Nelson Suburbs first XI 8-0, and FC Nelson continued their resurgence with a 2-0 win over Tahuna FC.