Gunnedah shows it can match heavyweights

GUNNEDAH United might have made a significant statement when it held Oxley Vale Attunga to a 2-all draw in Saturday’s NIF Premier League match on a wet Geoff Morgan Playing Fields pitch.

That the Mushies led 2-nil before United struck twice in the second half highlighted the determination and resolve in a United side coach Richard Grant thinks can make a run at the 2014 title.

“We’ve got two good squads,” Grant said.

“They are small but very committed  and dependable.

“We were able to put two full teams on the paddock for one of the first times this season.

“While ever we can do that we’ll be competitive and we’ll get stronger.”

Dale Roberts and Aiden James, who had just replaced Andy Cygem, were the United scorers after Brendan Fergie had bagged both Mushie goals for a 2-nil lead.

Matt Budden was United’s best, his third straight outstanding effort alongside an improving Jake Manley.

“Jake’s slotted well into the centre of defence,” Grant said.

“And played great on Adam Watson.

Rob Pryor and Andrew Mitchell also impressed Grant while Brad McIvor was another standout in goals.

The Gunnedah keeper has been an institution at the back for United over the years.

He and OVA keeper Troy Keyte both made some big saves, Grant added.

“Both sides saved off the line too,” he said.

OVA coach Tim Coates thought his side had enough chances to win it.

“Brad McIvor kept them in the game with some outstanding work,” he said.

“We did play well, everyone worked together.

“We had a good win in second grade too (7-nil) where Jacob McGoldrick scored a hat-trick. 

“Kyle and Shane Steel, a father and son also got to have a run together. Shane alleges he passed Kyle the ball that enabled him to score his goal too but everybody reckons he was 20m away from the ball.

“Our young kids all played well – they stepped up from the local comp to help out with people away in Brazil .”

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