The Glen Innes Highlanders were back on the park on Saturday after a three-week break.
On their home turf, the young, Glen Innes second division team struggled against a sharp Armidale City Westside. Highlanders player Nigel Sharman said they stuck it to their opponents early before inexperience cost them points.
“Being a young team, they're all sort of trying to gather their feet together. We started off alright and were one goal down and then we equalised at one-all,” he said.
“Chris Reibelt put through a clearance kick and we scored a goal off it making the scores even and they managed to get a quick one back about five minutes after that.”
They managed to level the scores at 2-all by the half-time break.
Sharman said they had a “pep talk” at half-time but the visitors’ attack was just too sharp as they ran away with the game.
“Their forward line was pretty accurate and managed to get through our defence a fair bit in the second half and they got four goals. We had a few opportunities in the second half which didn't avail,” he said.
With Westside’s strikers throwing everything at the Highlanders, goalkeeper Connor Duddy had plenty of work to do.
Sharman estimated Duddy saved 14 goals.
“Connor Duddy was our players' player for that one,” he said.
“The score could have been a bit different if he wasn't saving goals left, right and centre.”
In the first division game, the Highlanders found themselves down early as Westside rocketed to a 2-nil lead.
The hosts were gifted a chance to get back in the game when an Armidale free kick was deflected back into the net.
It went goal for goal for the remainder of the match until Glen Innes edged ahead with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Westside levelled the scores to four apiece which remained when the full-time whistle blew.
This Saturday, the Highlanders teams face a formidable task in taking on the ladder leading The Armidale School.