JOEYS FC made another annotation in their book of record on the weekend.
For the first time in the young club’s history, the first and second grade sides sit atop the McDonald’s Northern Inland Premier League ladders, club founder Heinrich Haussler said.
It follows the first grade side’s 7-1 win over Gunnedah Hawks at the Inverell Sporting Complex on Saturday and after the Joeys FC second side had beaten the visiting Hawks 5-nil.
It was the perfect opening to the Joeys’ home season, coach Steve Gadd said.
“With many new faces, Gunnedah were a bit of an unknown package so we knew we had to prepare for a tough match,” Gadd said.
Joeys controlled possession from the outset and wore down Gunnedah, taking the lead through a well-taken Ashley Smith header.
Smith was at hand again after some good lead-up work to make the score 2-nil at half time.
Gunnedah went into the second half with some enthusiasm and capitalised on a lapse in concentration from the Joeys to make the score 2-1.
The Joeys answered back quickly when Smith completed his first hat-trick for the Joeys after some more slick passing and speed out wide.
This took the wind out of Gunnedah’s sails and Joeys piled on four more goals through Smith (who finished with four goals), Daniel Ferris and Amine Lahia (two goals).
Gadd said best for Joeys were Ashley Smith, Daniel Ferris, Amine Lahia and Trent Irwin.
“Kyle King made a fantastic contribution in his first grade debut and Callum Dolby did well since returning from a broken leg that kept him out of the last half of last season,” Gadd said.
Joeys’ next game will be a huge test, taking on Urunga in the third round of the State Cup in Armidale (2pm April 26 at Rologas 1).
Urunga won the Cup last year and will be hard to beat.
“Our next Premier League game will be on May 3 in Gunnedah against Gunnedah United,” Gadd said.
The next home game will be against Narrabri-WeeWaa on May 10.
The Joeys’ second grade also impressed with one of their best games to hammer Gunnedah Hawks 5-nil.
Callum Dolby and Sage Cook both scored doubles, with Kyle Chilcott notching the other.
In other Northern Conference results, North Armidale defeated South Armidale 1-nil and East Armidale had a 3-nil win over Guyra.
In the Southern Conference, OVA beat reigning champions Tamworth FC 2-1, North Companions decimated Gunnedah United 9-nil and Moree FC had a big 6-nil win over Narrabri-Wee Waa.