Draws lock in position in A-grade table
A flurry of draws in the penultimate round has failed to make any major shifts at the top of the Orange Football Association table A-Grade table.
The home advantage helped 5th-placed Cowra hand competition leaders Waratahs FC a scare with a nil-all draw.
The match of the round on Saturday at Brabham Park saw the club derby between 2nd placed Barnstoneworth FC and 3rd-placed Barnies United deliver another draw, both sides notching two goals apiece.
Barnies FC flew out the blocks and led by 2 goals at the break.
Ben Giumelli hit a wonder strike, that’s in the running for goal of the season before Adam Radburn popped up to bag a goal, putting pressure on the United keeper before a simple tap-in.
Short of personnel at the sharp end of the season, United regrouped at the break. It took an expertly-converted penalty from United’s Lachie Peet to change the momentum of the game.
United Manager Chris Jacobs was pleased with the way his side fought their way back into the match.
“United simply pushed hard to find the equaliser and it was that man Lachie Peet again who was on hand to power home a strike,” Chris Jacobs said.
“It was no surprise that the game ended with both sides pushing for a winner and our backline of Bill Foster, Aaron Driver and Ibby Yunusa provided the stern defense we needed.”
“It was a whole team performance. Matt Delaney was safe in goal, Sam Sutton and Matt Downer provided additional cover in the midfield. Mitch Jacobs always looked dangerous when he dropped deep from the frontline to pick up the ball.”
FC captain Brendon Manning was expecting the “hard-fought game for the derby.”
“Coach Rob Dawson was impressed with our team’s structure and hard pressing, but we couldn’t have done it without our 2 fill-in players Adam Radburn and Josh Forrest-White,” Brendon Manning said.
“The game didn’t go so well for us in the 2nd half. We just turned off as a unit and with a few hard decisions going against us we didn’t get the run we needed.”
“We were also impressed with how our subs played with Matt Stonestreet being solid as a rock back their shutting down their plays.
"But now we have to turn to our match next week against Saints and get a result to stay in 2nd.”
“With the return of Jeremy and Luke Boulton this week we feel very confident for the up coming finals series.”
On Sunday Millthorpe Tigers made their way to Brabham Park to face a 3rd placed Barnies United side playing their second game of the weekend.
It was the opposite story in this match from Saturday's game with United taking a 2 nil lead to the break.
Lachie Peet continued his recent goal scoring run with another goal.
Alex Elliott played a neat one-two with the midfield, and neatly slotted the ball past the rushing keeper.
But with the game seemingly in the bag United became complacent and were punished by an eager Millthorpe crew, who scored twice.
United were under pressure at the end of the game and dug in to hold onto the draw.
It doesn't seem to be a Barnies game without an injury and the weekend was no exception. Tom Radnedge and Ibby Yunusa were rushed off for tests at the end of the game and the manager is awaiting an update form the medical staff. Not ideal preparations leading into the last round before semis.
Jerome Luke and Chris Davis filled in for United and both made positive contributions throughout the match.