SOUTH Armidale caused an upset by knocking one of the Northern Inland Premier League favourites out of the competition in Saturday’s semi-final at Phil Wheaton Oval.
It took a penalty shoot-out to separate South and northern conference minor premiers North Armidale United after they drew 1-all in regular time and there were no goals during extra time.
The shootout went the way of the Scorpions 6-4.
“They’re a very good side and they might even go on and win the comp,” North coach Andy Lennon said.
“They play a style that is very difficult to play against.
“But we created enough chances to win the game.”
Michael Griffiths put North into the lead but his goal was the only one the Redmen converted.
Lennon lamented the fact that his side has struggled to find the back of the net lately.
“It was just the same old story,” he said.
“In the past few weeks we haven’t been able to score goals and it was the same again today.
“Week to week you can get away with that but as I said the other day, semi- final football is totally different.”
Lennon said his side fell into a lull during the game and his old club capitalised.
Matt Wright scored the equaliser and North couldn’t fight its way back in front.
“They put a lot of pressure on us and we stopped playing a bit,” Lennon said.
“We started using long balls and trying to get behind them that way and it was just giving the ball back to them.
“Then they scored with 15 minutes to go.
“It was quite a good goal actually.
“In extra time we had a couple more chances but didn’t put any away and then it went to a shoot-out where anything can happen.”
After dominating the northern conference, it was a devastating blow to be knocked out in straight sets in the playoffs.
The Reds went down 4-1 to Oxley Vale Attunga last week.
“We’ve played some really good football and the boys have enjoyed how they’ve played,” Lennon said.
“But it’s no consolation. They’re gutted, they really are.
“Reserve grade is going well so we’ll have to support them now.
“But it’s very difficult and I don’t know why we’ve dominated so many games the way we have and in the past few weeks we haven’t been able to score the goals we needed.”