Oxley Vale Attunga coach Tim Coates was straight to the point when quizzed what he most liked about his sides performance against North Companions on Saturday.
“The fact that we won,” the Mushies’ mentor replied.
“We needed to win to keep the pressure on.”
While runaway Tamworth FC are assured of the minor premiership and the final four has been decided, who finishes where isn’t with only two points between East Armidale, the Mushies and Demon Knights.
Saturday’s 5-3 win over their Tamworth rivals means that if the Mushies can “do the unthinkable and beat Tamworth FC this weekend” they could finish second.
Other results will also influence that but they have given themselves a shot.
Beaten 4-1 the last time the two sides met the Mushies’ showed their intent to make amends early.
“They tried hard but I think we probably had them shaded from the first 15-20 minutes,” Coates said.
Cale Penrth and Will Menz gave them a 2-nil advantage and from there they were always at least a goal in front.
Coates felt the midfield was where they really got on top, James Bailey and Ryan Searl controlling things well there and distributing well to the guys up front.
He remarked that Companions did play well and highlighted the battle between the young Companions backline and the Mushies’ young front three.
“It was young guys against young guys and it was good to watch,” he said.
Bailey, Mitchell O’Keefe and Brad Cameron also found the back of the net as the Mushies notched their ninth win of the season.
“We’ve had a pretty good run the last few games,” Coates said.
They have only had the one loss since that last game against Companions – to FC the following week.
Coates attributed the turnaround to a combination of things.
The structural changes he made before the Companions game have made a difference.
“Since then we played a lot better,” he said.
They are also starting to “get hungry”, while the young guys have settled into playing first grade.
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