Grafton United have continued their run of good form this season.
Grafton United have continued their run of good form this season. Jenna Thompson

Gritty United close in on NCF top four

FOOTBALL: Grafton United have corrected the course of their 2018 season and are knocking on the door of the North Coast Football Premier League top four after a valiant win against Coffs Coast Tigers.

United had to fight through tough conditions at the weekend, digging deep in a scrappy second half at Ayrshire Park to overcome the Tigers 2-1.

The game was played in torrential rain and on a field that deteriorated as the clash wore on, and United coach Scott Elphic was quick to get his players to flip the script.

"The guys were just getting bogged down as the field got all chopped up,” he said.

"I just told them at half time to tighten up the play, utilise their short passes, and they all responded really well.

"We just kept the pressure on them, and they got rattled midway through the second half. We just had to hold them out over a thrilling final quarter of the game which was a determined effort.”

United captain Braydon Jones netted both of Grafton's goals and could have had a few more after being called offside on a play and missing a penalty.

"Being called offside has sort of become our thing this season,” Elphic said. "I think it is just a case of the boys getting a little bit overexcited.”

United will have no room to get overexcited this weekend when they play local rivals Westlawn Tigers.