NORTH Armidale Redmen might have beaten Tamworth FC 3-1 in their NIF Premier League conference cross-over match on Saturday but winning coach Andy Lennon was far from impressed.
His side was playing a club, the reigning premiers, which had taken just 16 outfield players north to Phil Wheaton Oval, North Armidale on Saturday with half a dozen backing up after FC’s second grade win.
“We were a little complacent I think,” Lennon said, “knowing they only had 16 or 17 players for two grades. And they were weakened.”
It was a bonus that his side “played badly and still won”.
“We’ve had games where we’ve played a lot better and lost,” Lennon said.
“That was one of the things I told the boys at halftime.
“And we did play a lot better in the second half.
“After the game the boys all agreed we had dodged a bullet there.
“At 2-1 they hit the posts twice – if one of those goes in it’s a different game.”
Tamworth FC had won second grade 3-nil after Kurt Barrow had scored twice and first grade goalkeeper Troy Osborne had knocked in another goal.
“It was a good goal too,” coach Wayne May said.
“But I thought we played quite well and didn’t take our chances.
“North Armidale had four or five and capitalised.
“We had some good chances but hit the posts twice, hit the crossbar and missed an open goal with a header.
“We also had an appeal for a penalty turned down but we only took the 16 outfield players up and did pretty well after the good win in reserve grade.”
He thought English recruit Michael Roberts revelled in the conditions and marshalled midfield well with the help of Jack Byrne and Brent May.
“Steve Marshall did a good job on Willow Grieves too,” May said.
Grieves scored the third and final goal for the Redmen after Andrew Magann had knocked in the first and Tyler Cook the second.
FC’s Chris Hughes had pulled one back to make it 2-1 before Grieves’s strike.
Tim Smith also played well at the back for FC in what Wayne May thought was a great team effort.
His side now has a weekend off in what has been a stop-start season for the defending premiers.
“Joeys FC (Inverell) are playing a State Cup match this weekend. We’ve got the weekend off again,” May said.