The Young Lions First Grade men have consolidated their top four spot in Football Wagga after defeating Junee 5-2 at Junee on Saturday night.
In a tense opening 15 minutes Young had the better chances, but it was the home side who took the lead after an error in judging a clearance allowed Junee to take possession and quickly put the ball in the back of the net.
The Lions however were back on level terms within 30 seconds, when Isaac Hines created space for himself just inside the Junee penalty area and beat the keeper at the far post.
Parity was to last for a couple of minutes though, after a cross from the Junee right wing found an unmarked player at the back post and he headed the ball home. Three goals in four minutes made the score 2-1 to the hosts.
With 15 minutes to go before half time the tempo seemed to increase, with Young leveling the game at 2-2 after a brilliant solo run down the left and cutback from Duncan Cameron found Milo Dowling who buried it from six yards.
The turning point of the match came no more than 90 seconds later when a Junee player was brought down in the box and the home side awarded a penalty.
The Junee captain to the spot kick but saw the ball cannon off the outside of the post. From the ensuing plays Young moved the ball downfield through a good combination from Zac Wark, Isaac Hines, Frazer Burns and Alex Mitchell, with Mitchell beating the Junee keeper to make the game 3-2 to the visitors.
Young added a fourth when Frazer Burns went on a solo run past four Junee defenders before putting the ball across the goalkeeper and inside the far post.
The second half was a more sedate affair with both Junee trying to claw their way back into the match and Young desperately trying to hold out against the overloaded Junee midfield.
The final goal of the game came after Milo Dowling was fouled by the Junee goalkeeper and Alex Mitchell stroked the resulting spot kick into the inside left netting to make the final score 5-2 to the Lions.
Best players for the Lions were Patrick Hislop and Frazer Burns, whilst Isaac Hines controlled the midfield and was the catalyst of a number of Young attacks.
All eyes now turn to Young’s upcoming clash with Henwood Park. Henwood Park are the reigning premiers and Young coach Mark Mellish is under no illusion of the challenge ahead but said his team would be ready for a fight.
“This competition is extremely tight and realistically the teams we’ve beaten have given us a run for our money,” he said. “Henwood Park have some quality players and play well as a team so to get the three points would be a tremendous effort.”
Young currently sit equal third with Henwood Park. Kickoff is at 3pm Sunday at Hall Bros Oval in Young.