GUNNEDAH United wasted a great opportunity to move up the NIF Premier League first grade table when it was held to a 1-all draw at home on Saturday.
Playing East Armidale, the Richard Grant-coached United finished strongly to overcome a 1-nil first-half deficit but couldn’t find a winner to move it up the table and away from a chasing Moree FC.
The two sides are locked in a battle for the fourth Southern Conference semi-final spot, United sitting just three points ahead of Moree FC, who had a 2-nil win over Guyra United at home on the weekend.
“We gave them a goal in the first half,” Grant said of an early own goal.
“They were quite a handy, young side too.
“They deserved their lead too.
“They played well for that first 30 minutes or so and had us under the pump.
“However the last 10 minutes of the first half we started to take control and the second half was all ours.
“We scored a nice goal (Andy Cygem) but just couldn’t find the net for the winner.
“We hit the cross bar, sprayed it wide – did everything bar score.
“The boys played some great stuff too.
“Young Evan Lee was great but just that last crucial touch was off.
“If we were up in Armidale and came away with that result we’d be delighted but at home I thought we might have just done a bit more.”
Rob Pryor was always dangerous for United.
“We’re getting better as a team though and improving and gelling all the time,” Grant said.
“Our reggies also had a good win – 2-nil. We’ve knocked over two of the top Armidale sides in the last two weeks now.”
While United sits fourth in the Southern Conference, North Companions leads the way from OVA and Tamworth FC (both 19) with United nine points adrift.
In the Northern Conference, Joeys FC had a big 4-nil win over OVA to remain top of the NC (on goal difference) from a North Armidale side who beat Gunnedah Hawks 4-1.
The North Redmen have a bye this weekend, with Joeys travelling to Armidale Sportsground to tackle a South Armidale Scorpions side which drew 1-all with Namoi United at Wee Waa on Saturday.
Demon Knights, who drew 2-all with Tamworth FC, tackle East Armidale in the other Armidale match while Tamworth FC hosts Namoi United, Gunnedah Hawks are at home to OVA and Moree FC travels to Tamworth to play NC leaders North Companions at Marius Street.