FNC Premier League squad shows why it's the dream team
FOOTBALL FNC's Premier Team lived up to its name, with a sparking performance producing an entertaining win over Gold Coast Premier League champions Murwillumbah FC.
The rare chance for the region's best players to strut their stuff was played at South Lismore on Friday night, with the FFNC line-up winning in a penalty shoot out after a high tempo 2-2 draw.
The match began at a frenetic pace, with the quality of the surface at South Lismore's field allowing both sides to knock the ball around with confidence.
The premier team didn't sit back, adopting attack as the best form of defence and with three strikers kept the pressure on Murwillumbah to stop them settling into any rhythm.
Seb Bell, Dean Casey and Jonathan See all created problems for the Murwillumbah defence, while at the other end, Premier Team goalkeeper Brad Robertson didn't have to make a save until the 26th minute.
But just two minutes later classy Murwillumbah striker Luke Morley showed why he won both the Player of the Year and Golden Boot in the Gold Coast competition.
His looping header drifted past Robertson's fingertips for the opening goal and they held their lead until the break.
FNC continued to attack after the restart, with a shot from Bell forcing an agile save from keeper Nathan Wilson.
Dean Casey used his blistering pace to craft a chance for Matt Armstrong that went untaken, but soon after they were rewarded for their enterprise with two quick goals from Jonathan See.
See capitalised on some sustained pressure in the box to slot his first, before a defensive error allowed him to capitalise again.
With time running out it was Morley who kept Murwillumbah in the game, setting up Simon Hurcombe to score a late equaliser and send the game into extra time and then the shootout.
Paddy Kable finally slotted the winning dot shot to seal a memorable win for the Premier Team.
"The attitude of the boys was fantastic," Premier team coach Craig Kennedy said.
"They went out there to win it, not just be competitive and after a performance like that, they can hold their heads high.
"Every player did well, particularly Joel Rudgley in midfield and Shaun Packham, who did a great job organising our defence after an early injury forced Max Hospers off."
Murwillumbah coach David Lonie praised the standard of play from FFNC.
"They outplayed us at times and produced a great performance," he said.
"The main thing was the concept worked well and the crowd were treated to an entertaining match."