NORTHS United have finished their Westfield FFA Cup season on a high despite going down four-nil to a tough Hamilton-Olympic team.
The team travelled to Lake Macquarie full of confidence after toppling Forster-Tuncurry in the previous round but were soon brought back to earth by their fast paced opposition.
Coach Neil Wheaton said his team were given a valuable lesson in bringing the game back to basics and playing a simple but effective game.
He believes his team can take a lot out of the match to chase the McDonalds’ Northern Inland Premier League trophy.
“They are top of the table so they controlled the ball,” he said.
“It was just very simple but when they wanted to put their foot down, they certainly did.
“They understood a football game goes for an hour and a half so they don’t have to score six goals in the first half.
“They were just patient and wore us down and when we were tired or made a mistake, they punished us.
“What they were doing was working for that good opportunity and if it wasn’t on they would just come back through their backline or midfield and reset and go again.
“To our credit, we did a lot of defensive work and our defence was excellent.”
Hamilton-Olympic sit on top of the ladder in the competition with a host of players who have played at higher level events. Wheaton said even though his side were on the wrong end of the scoreline, they were competitive against high calibre players and weren’t too worried about losing.
“All the guys came off buzzing after it,” he said.
“They got to play on amazing artificial grass which they played on and the stadium was amazing.
“The whole weekend was an experience that most of them will cherish for the rest of their lives.
“From a coach’s point of view, both Scott and I were really happy to be involved in that experience.
“To see the simple stuff we have been trying to say, like play the way you face and move off the ball.
“We can do that sort of stuff but it is just going to take a lot of discipline and patience.
“It was a great experience and the matches before were good to watch.
“Hopefully we get to do it again next year.”
North Armidale return to the local competition this weekend when they host North Companions at Phil Wheaton Oval.
Kick off is 3pm.
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