THE final round of AWFA soccer turned into a forerunner of the cup quarter-final clashes with two games to be replayed next week.
Albury City will need to turn around a 5-1 loss to Boomers when the pair meet at Wodonga’s LaTrobe University ground, while Albury United and Diamonds will also meet again after last year’s cup and league winning team won 1-0 at Jelbart Park.
Andrew Grove said Boomers has played near-perfect possession soccer in its dominant second half display.
“We weren’t great in the first half and went to the break 1-1,” he said.
“But in the second half we starved them of possession, they barely touched it and that was the most pleasing aspect of the game.
“It was also nice that we actually finished our chances for a change.”
Melkie Woldemichael was a constant threat for Boomers with his pace in the second half but coach Grove said he was impressed by left back Shane Ellwood.
“He just gets up and down the park so well,” he said.
“We had experimented with him playing forward but he seems to use the width better and times his runs better from the back.”
But the clash was marred by a collision between City’s caretaker co-coach Aaron Gough and Boomers defender Dustin Patten midway through the second half.
Both were forced to leave the ground.
Last night Gough said it didn’t look good.
“The problem is underneath the foot and at the moment I can’t put any weight on it at all,” he said.
“If it’s still the same in the morning I’ll head to the hospital and if that’s the case then next week doesn’t look good either.
“But we weren’t the same side there in the second half — we started ok but then we just didn’t come out for the second half, everyone’s heads were back in the dressing room.”
Albury United coach Adam Carty was another trying to explain his team’s lethargic display.
”We just didn’t turn up to play,” he said.
“It wasn’t what we had hoped for heading into the finals.
“We gave away a penalty in the first 15 minutes and then both sides never really got into the contest after that.”
Carty said his younger brigade and keeper Marty Chambers were best for United.
“Sam Brosolo and Ben Hughes, in the second half were good, and Marty had a great game,” he said.
“Elliott Jones got through his first game in more than a month so that was a positive but at the same time we lost Cade Webb in the twos with a hamstring injury.”