Cobram hits Melrose for six

By Dylan Arvela

Cobram Roar continued its push for the top four with a dominant 6-1 victory against eighth-placed Melrose at the Cobram Showgrounds.

Roar led 1-0 at half-time with veteran midfielder Nathan Thomas scoring his first goal since returning to the club.

In bitter conditions, Roar turned the heat up in the second half with five goals.

Marius Williams and Shaun Willis each scored, while Thomas netted his second.

Star forward Mitchell Speechley-Price, who set up three goals, also secured a brace, taking his tally to 30 goals for the season.

Melrose’s only goal came through Bailey Dexter after a well-worked move down the right flank.

‘‘It was a very impressive performance — both in defence and in attack,’’ Cobram coach Bill Puckett said.

‘‘We were clinical and we improved our shots-to-goal ratio in the second half, which is a vast improvement on recent weeks.

‘‘Scoring goals becomes a habit, with the lads scoring six goals against Melrose, it should have a knock on effect to when we play probably our toughest opponent next weekend (Wangaratta City).’’

Puckett praised Thomas, who was convinced to return to the game after sitting out the first half of the season.

‘‘I think it was his third game (against Melrose),’’ he said.

‘‘He has an influence on the pitch and in the dressing room, for the younger players and even the older lads, he has a settling effect.

‘‘In the middle of the park, he adds structure, intelligence and ability on the ball.

‘‘It is a massive boost to have him back, I have been asking him to come back all season and thankfully he’s agreed get his boots back on at the business end of the season.

Cobram hosts runaway AWFA men’s leaders Wangaratta City this weekend. City beat second-place Albury United on Sunday to open up a six-point gap at the top of the table.

Wangaratta beat Roar 6-1 in round six and since, Daniel Vasilevski has picked up 28 of 30 available points as well as former A-League striker Andrew Barisic, who has three goals in two games.

Puckett was confident his side has what it takes to get a result.

‘‘We can attack well and score goals against anyone in the league,’’ he said.

‘‘But at the same time, on our day, we can stop anyone scoring goals against us.’’