NORTH Companions have kept their Premier League finals hopes alive with a 5-0 victory over East Armidale.
Coming into the game off the back of consecutive losses to Tamworth FC and Oxley Vale Attunga, Northies were out break their form slump and got off to a flying start.
Starting with a strong defensive effort, Northies' were able to deny the bottom-placed Easts a chance of scoring.
From there, the goals kept coming at regular intervals, handing Northies one of their biggest wins of the season.
However, Northies coach Jackson Zifodya said his side did not make the most of their opportunities in front of goal.
"This was a really solid win for us and a positive step in the right direction," Zifodya told the Leader.
"To be totally honest, it was not a very impressive game at times.
"We have come a long way in terms of converting our chances, but on Saturday we could have won by more as we let of chances go begging."
While his side missed chances in front of goal, Zifodya said his charges "were fantastic in defence".
"It is always nice to keep a clean sheet against your opposition," he said.
"What was pleasing was not only did we keep them goalless, but they barely had a sniff in front of goal all day.
"Our defence has been a focus for us this season and it was pleasing to see play out so well yesterday [Saturday]".
After seeing a major shift in personal over the off season, Saturday's victory was Northies' fourth of the season and sees them sit fifth on the Premier League table, just two points behind fourth-placed Oxley Vale Attunga.
"Our younger guys have come a long way since the start of the season and have played enough now to know the standard that is required at this level," Zifodya said.
"It was a whole team effort, everyone came together well as a team,which was pleasing.
"There wasn't anybody who really stood out during the game, everyone did their job and helped us get over the line." Zifodya said his side was still determined to push for a finals berth.
"When you look at the table, we are still right in the mix," he said.
"Our next game against North Armidale is going to be a really tough test for us. We might be missing a few key players, but we will give it our best and hopefully get the win."
In the round's other action, Tamworth FC have given themselves some breathing room atop the Premier League ladder with a 3-2 win over South Armidale on the road.
Oxley Vale Attunga continued their recent purple patch, knocking off the Demon Knights 3-1.