ILLAWARRA PREMIER LEAGUE
A miscued clearance from gloveman David Poeira cost Port Kembla a valuable three points against Woonona in atrocious conditions on Saturday.
Swirling winds hammered Ocean Park in a bitterly cold 90 minutes and proved key to the custodian's demise early in the second half of the 1-1 draw.
Coming out to meet an innocuous through ball, Poeira miss-hit his clearance into the path of Woonona striker Luke Mittwollen, who had the simple task of finishing into an empty net.
It cancelled out Matt Werakso's goal on the stroke of half-time and ensured the Sharks remain unbeaten after five matches.
Apart from the error, Port were on top for most of the clash and set up camp deep in the Sharks' half throughout the opening stanza.
The defending premiers struggled to find the final ball in testy conditions for most of the opening 45 minutes, until Karouna Micheal got it right in the final minute of normal time.
Just when the Sharks thought they had escaped to the sheds on level terms, Micheal floated in a cross from the left flank for Werakso to head home the game's opener.
But 10 minutes after the break Mittwollen was handed his gift.
"We were fairly lucky in the end to get anything out of it. But sometimes you need that luck, which is good," Woonona coach Rob Bemi said.
"It keeps us undefeated and in those conditions today, one or two mistakes could have cost anyone the game, really.
"I think they made one mistake and we capitalised on it."
It proved enough for Woonona to claim a share of the spoils, as both sides struggled to conjure up another clear-cut chance to steal the points.
"It was just a freak goal which really cost us the game," Port coach Stuart Beedie said.
"I thought considering the conditions we played in, we played really well."
In other matches on Saturday, Wollongong Olympic punished Cringila Lions 3-0 while Tarrawanna had a 4-2 win against Bellambi.
South Coast United upset Wollongong United away from home with a 2-0 win.