Double strike puts Northies back in the frame

A SECOND half brace to North Companions striker Jake Thompson re-ignited his side’s NIF Premier League Southern Conference season in Tamworth on Saturday as Joeys FC returned to the top of the Northern Conference with an away win in Armidale.

Joeys FC made the victory more rewarding by beating East 3-2 at Doody Park in Armidale and hurdle them back to the top of he Northern Conference.

North Armidale made it three wins in succession with a 5-nil home win Guyra United and Demon Knights made it a good day for Armidale-based clubs when they beat Moree FC 5-4 in a goalfest at Moree.

In the Southern Conference it rained goals at Narrabri for Tamworth Oxley Vale Attunga when they notched 8-nil first and second grade wins over Narrabri/Wee Waa.

“Narrabri/Wee Waa had some energetic young players in second grade and held us pretty well in the fist half of first grade,” said OVA coach Tim Coates.

“We only led 2-nil at half time but ran away with in the second half.”

Brendan Fergie and Ben Genardini both notched hat-tricks for the Mushies.

In Gunnedah Tamworth FC scored after just a few minutes but had to wait for their final goal of a 2-nil against Gunnedah United until the final minute.

Both were scored by Kelly Nystrom.

The Gunnedah Hawks also failed to score when they lost 3-nil to North Companions at Max Sutton Oval in Tamworth.

Norths had won their first three games of the PL season but had lost two on the trot and were desperate to turn that record around.

A scoreless first half saw Gunnedah enjoying extra possession and looking to be on top but unable to penetrate the home side’s defence.

North’s coach Gavin Thompson said Gunnedah were impressive in that first half.

“We both play a similar game and we were both knocking it around a lot,” Thompson said.

“They were quite physical but we matched them.”

The start of the second half saw Gunnedah unravel.

Ben Van Aanholt found himself one on one with the keeper after a poorly executed back pass and found the back of the net just after the break.

Shortly after Michael Kleinschafer got his second yellow card and was sent off, leaving the visitors a goal and man short.

After that the pressure was too much for the Hawks who lost their structure under some good pressure.

It didn’t take long for them to capitalise on that with Thompson finishing off a great team goal that went from end to end down the left side.

The midfielder then put in another one to close out the game.

“I am really happy with the way they played as a team,” Gavin Thompson said.

“We have a lot of young guys and they stood up and weren’t intimidated by the physical team.”

Van Aanholt and Ben Todd were Thompson’s choices for best on field although he stressed that everyone played as a good football side.

Jake Thompson will be hoping to carry his good form into the North West team playing in the State CHS Championships in Rooty Hill starting tomorrow.

Gunnedah coach Gary Sams said that it was their worst defeat yet.

“We lost it ourselves,” Sams said.

“We failed.”

The coach said that while they played well in the first half it wasn’t enough.

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