A MAJOR knee injury dampened a great day of attacking football on Thursday as Country Western and Riverina fought out a 2-all draw in day four of the Football NSW under 14 state titles.
Country Western left back Cole Mutton went down with a knee injury towards the end of the match and, due to the severity of the injury, the referees had no choice but to call time.
“It looks like a suspected cruciate ligament .... it may put him out for 10 to 12 weeks,” Country Western head coach John Rimmer said of the Bathurst player.
“It’s a real shame because Cole has had a great tournament, one of our hard workers.”
In their other result on Thursday, Country Western went down to Metro West 3-1 with Oberon’s Mickey Muratovic scoring the Western goal.
“Despite the score it was a tight game. They [Metro West] scored in the last minute while we pushed up,” Rimmer said.
Metro West were first to score before Country Western hit back almost immediately through Muratovic to lock the scores up at 1-all.
Metro West took the lead again and the score remained 2-1 for much of the match, before the Metro West added the late goal to shore up the win.
Rimmer was pleased with the result, despite Country Western having more chances to score.
“I thought we showed real character to draw level and the result puts in a good position to lift the Country title,” he said.
Rimmer hailed Muratovic’s efforts and skill this tournament, with the Oberon player constantly being a headache for the opposition.
“Mickey’s a special talent and could play at a higher level,,” Rimmer explained.
“He’s big and strong on the ball, the opposition is constantly worrying about him and despite the extra attention he gets, he still manages to beat many defenders to create chances,” he said.
The Country Shield is decided on the team with the highest pointscore out of Country Western, Country Southern and Riverina.
Western sits on five points, Riverina sit on four and Southern are on three.
Country Western will take on Country Southern on Friday at 9.30am, with a win or draw likely to see them lift the shield, despite Riverina and Southern having an extra game in hand.
“A win or a draw could be enough [to win the shield], we obviously want to take full points though,” Rimmer said.
“They [Southern and Riverina] are playing the top sides tomorrow [today] so were a good chance.”