Veterans and young gun craft Italo Stars’ first win
THREE veterans and a young gun helped inspire Italo Stars to their first competition points since returning to the top flight with a 3-1 home win over Alstonville in FNC premier league soccer.
Stars coach Rick Austen signed former Workers player Damien Keevers mid-week and he made an immediate impact, combining well with Stars captain Clint Willoughby in central midfield.
Along with evergreen striker Wayne Mortimer, the trio’s experience helped guide Stars to the morale-boosting win, with a little help from 16-year-old flanker Reggie Sharp.
Mortimer and Sharp scored well-taken goals, along with Shaun McDonald, much to the relief of Austen.
“It's the first time we’ve been able to get our top side out there, and now we can look at getting a few more wins to guarantee survival, which would be great for the club’s future,” Austen said.
Thistles also broke through for their first win, returning from Lennox Head with a 3-1 result.
The Blues trailed for most of the game after the Sharks’ Jaiden Patch scored, but a late flurry of goals from Darren Beardow, Nathan McCann and Kaine Allen allowed them to steal the match.
Bangalow also had to come from behind for a 3-1 away win over Casino after the Cobras led at the break with a goal from Zac Inness.
But the Bluedogs stuck to their game plan in the second half, crafting goals for Joel Rudgley, Byron Milne and Ihsan Savran to maintain their momentum.
Richmond Rovers continue to sweep all before them, thrashing previously unbeaten Goonellabah 9-1 on the Hornets’ home turf.
The Anzac Cup champions dominated from the outset, with five goals in the first half hour.
Once the dust had settled, there were hat-tricks to strikers Jonathan See and Bobby Bugden, two goals for Jake Heffernan and one for Jeremy Perkins.
The Hornets’ consolation goal came from Dave Annetts, but coach Brendan Logan was left shell-shocked.
“Every time we made a mistake they just punished us with quality finishing,” he said.
Yesterday, Lismore Workers and Byron Bay shared the points in a tense 1-all draw at Richards Oval.
Jay Keevers scored with a 30m thunderbolt for the Redmen, before Aaron Walker equalised for the Rams after skipping past two defenders and rounding the goalkeeper.