Alstonville close to making North Coast soccer history
ALSTONVILLE is one game away from an historic debut appearance in the Far North Coast premier league football semi-finals after a crushing 6-0 home win over Goonellabah on Friday night.
Villa's biggest win of the season lifted them a point above Bangalow into fifth place. They will now look to cement their place in the semi-finals when they square off against the Bluedogs in a catch-up game tomorrow night.
Goonellabah had no answer to Villa's fluent attack, led by Liam Giles, Josh Cole and Rick Hanna, who all bagged two goals.
Giles is now the second highest scorer in the league behind runaway Golden Boot winner Jonathan See, and shapes as a key player if they reach the semis.
Hard-working Andy Collins also played a leading role in midfield, leaving coach Mark Ambler satisfied they are ready to take on the Bluedogs and end their long semi-final drought.
"We practised our game plan for Bangalow and it worked well," Ambler said.
"We have key roles for certain individuals that we believe can nullify some of their defensive strengths, and there's a growing sense of self belief in the side."
While anticipation is reaching fever pitch at Villa, Goonellabah now face a nervous wait to see if they survive relegation.
If Tintenbar can salvage a win and a draw from their remaining two games against Ballina and Lennox Head, the Hornets will face the cut for the first time in decades.
The four other games set down for the weekend were all washed out, forcing the rescheduling of the final round and the first semi-finals. Villa's crucial away clash with Bangalow will be played tomorrow night while Tintenbar will host its vital local derby against Ballina and Byron Bay will be at home against Lismore Workers.
Richmond Rovers' home clash with local rivals Lismore Thistles looms as a pivotal match for semi-final rankings, and will now be played on Friday night.
The remaining two games will be played next Saturday, with Ballina hosting Bangalow and Lennox Head at home against Tintenbar.
The first two semi-finals will then be played on either the following Tuesday or Wednesday.