Complete game for Men in Black

NORTHERN conference ladder leaders Joeys FC’s undefeated run came to a sudden halt as North Companions thumped four in, however they will keep their place at the top of the table after North Armidale stumbled, drawing 3-3 with cellar dwellers Namoi United.

North 
Companions' Jake Thompson takes a spill after a slide tackle from Joeys captain Steve Gadd. Thompson found plenty of space down the left side in the four goal victory. Photo: Barry Smith 260714BSB33

North Companions' Jake Thompson takes a spill after a slide tackle from Joeys captain Steve Gadd. Thompson found plenty of space down the left side in the four goal victory. Photo: Barry Smith 260714BSB33

The second placed Southern Conference side were a class above the Northern Conference leaders as they put on what coach Gavin Thompson described as a complete game.

“That was our best game this year,” Thompson said.

“And we still left a lot of chances out there.”

North’s were a constant threat down the middle with Ben van Aanholt latching on to some great balls over the top early, before Nick Bowden and Jake Thompson took them apart on the left fringe to create plenty of opportunities.

The NC defence seemed impenetrable and apart from one fantastic save Brendan Langenbaker was rarely tested.

“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Thompson said.

“We knew it was coming.”

While the Men In Black dominated, Inverell’s Joeys FC managed to maintain the lead in the Northern Conference.

They had entered the weekend three points ahead of North Armidale who were held to a shock 3-all draw at Narrabri against Southern Conference stragglers Namoi United.

The draw enabled Namoi United to draw level with Moree FC at the foot of the Souther Conference.

As the Northern Conference boys celebrated, so too did their Tamworth rivals – OVA Mushies and Tamworth FC.

The Mushies had a big 5-1 win over Demon Knights at Scully Park despite playing 35 minutes of the second half with 12 men after Ryan Searl was red carded.

Searl was also one of the five goal scorers and enjoyed an outstanding game until his 

dismissal.

Matt Dunn, Brendan Fergie, Chris Fenton and Luke Purcell also joined Searl on the scoresheet with Callum McGregor DK’s lone scorer.

“The first grade side was very impressive,” said OVA coach Tim Coates. “It was pretty tight early, we led 2-1 at half time but then scored three goals in four minutes early in the second half.”

Tamworth FC struggled for numbers at Johnson Field, eking out 1-nil wins over East Armidale in both fist and second grade.

Chris Hughes netted in second grade and then Michael Roberts continued his goalscoring run with a well taken free kick through the wall.

“We only had 18 players for both grades and did it tough,” FC coach Wayne May said.

“It was a tough day in the conditions.”

FC has a big weekend approaching with a catch-up game against Joeys FC in Tamworth next Sunday after an away game at Armidale Sportsground against South Armidale Scorpions on Saturday.

The Scorpions beat Gunnedah United 4-2 at Armidale Sportsground on Saturday while Gunnedah Hawks had a 3-2 win over Guyra United.

The Scorpions had led 2-nil but two Andy Cygem strikes levelled up the game before the striker received a second yellow card.

“It was 2-all with 15 to go,” said United coach Richard Grant.

“Andy had scored two good goals to draw level. He also hit the post and we had another good chance too but then Andy got his second yellow, two very mild fouls and we were down to 10 men.

“They scored a very good goal from a free kick to take the lead, Brad (goalkeeper Brad McIvor) didn’t move and then they nipped one at the death to seal it.

“They were quite strong but we certainly competed and it was frustrating not to get the scalp we wanted. It was a disappointing result, we deserved something out of it.”

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