Sharks battle for third place, Seahorses for first win
IN-FORM Lennox Head has a golden opportunity to claim outright third place in their local derby with Ballina in Far North Coast premier league soccer tonight.
The Sharks are on a roll after three wins on the trot, while the Seahorses are languishing on the bottom of the ladder and still looking for their first win.
The fierce local rivals last met in the opening round of the season, producing a thrilling 3-3 draw that both sides felt they should have won.
"We've improved one hundred per cent since then," Sharks coach Troy Taylor said.
"We've got spark in the attacking third and feel confident we can break them down even if they park the bus, so to speak."
Only Jackson Sommerville and Ihsan Sauran will be missing. This leaves the Sharks close to full strength, with the league's top scorer in striker Byron Milne leading from the front.
With Joel Rudgley thriving in his new role of central defence next to Karl DeGroot, the Sharks look strong at both ends of the field and will start hot favourites.
But that doesn't diminish the Seahorses desire for an upset.
"They beat us twice last year and we want to return the favour this season," said Ballina coach Chris Layland.
Layland will replace suspended defender Luke Dixon with Seb Tolson and will need big games from his more experienced players, such as striker Matt Jeffery, midfielder David Bowder and the evergreen Dave Betterridge.
"There might be a long way between us on the ladder, but the boys are fired up for this one," Layland said.
The game gets underway at 8pm.