Villa play extraordinary FFA Cup match against Coffs
ALSTONVILLE has gone down fighting in an extraordinary FFA Cup soccer match against Coffs City Lions at Coffs Harbour on Saturday.
While the final scoreline was 7-4 to the Lions, it gave no hint of the fighting spirit shown by Villa.
Running with a strong wind in the first half, Coffs City established a 3-0 lead by half-time which blew out to 4-0 with another goal soon after the restart.
But rather than capitulate, Villa fought back with a hat-trick from Jacob Arthur and another goal from Dan Baxter to trail 5-4.
A free kick from Reece Bramley almost levelled the scores, but thumped off the Lions' crossbar.
Soon after, Villa had Zac Illife sent off and Joel Perkins and Baxter forced off with injury.
With the maximum three subs already used, a courageous Villa finished the game with just nine men and, despite the loss, coach Mark Ambler was full of praise for his squad.
"The boys never gave up and showed enormous character," he said. "I couldn't be more proud of them."
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CASINO has sprung the upset of the season with a stunning 5-1 home win over a shell-shocked Lismore Thistles in Far North Coast premier league soccer.
It was the Cobras' first win since returning to the top flight this season and after just one goal in four games, they finally discovered their scoring touch.
Thistles went in hot favourites but were 2-0 down by half-time after goals to Zac Innes and Scott Creighton.
With 2013 player of the year Dean Casey moved from midfield to a striking role for the first time, the Cobras looked much more dangerous and went on with the job in the second half with Innes completing a hat- trick and Casey also scoring.
"I've watched Thistles play and noticed the longer you keep them scoreless, the more chance you have of beating them," Cobras coach Shane Hogan said.
Thistles got on the score-sheet thanks only to an own goal from the Cobras.
Byron Bay firmed as the premiership favourites with a hard-fought 4-3 away win over Lennox Head.
Goals from Argentinian midfielder Alejo Villasana and striker James Tomlinson had the Rams 2-0 up, before Sharks striker Byron Milne levelled with two goals from free kicks.
The turning point came from a Rams corner which triggered a penalty, with Sharks defender Karl DeGroot shown the red card.
Tyson Kaye put away the dot shot and Michael Kelly scored a fourth, leaving Luke Wakefield to net a late consolation goal for Lennox.
In the other game, Bangalow earned its first point of the season in a 2-all away draw with Goonellabah.