Villa win against resolute Workers
ALSTONVILLE has shown its finals experience, beating Lismore Workers 1-0 in the Far North Coast Ladies Premier Division qualifying final on Friday night.
Workers had homeground advantage. There was plenty of intensity as the large crowd was treated to an end-to-end battle.
Alstonville, led by midfielder Jess Woolfe and striker Chelsea Coleman, tested the Workers' defence.
However, despite a better field position, Alstonville couldn't take advantage.
Workers' stand-in goalkeeper Hannah Saunders made several saves.
Late in the half Villa almost opened the scoring when Jess Wolfe's header seemed goalbound before Workers defender Riley Hore cleared brilliantly off the line.
Minutes later Hore repeated the dose, again clearing a seemingly certain goal and keeping the scores even at the break.
After half-time Workers began to attack with greater penetration, midfielders Sally Crowley-McHattan and Laura Gordon attempting to use the pace of Madi Fieldler and Serena Mangan on the break.
However, the Alstonville defensive pairing of Erin Huntsman and Setina Smith were having huge games for the visitors and Workers were unable to break the deadlock.
At the other end, Saunders was continuing to have a great game in goal, denying the Villa attack until Woolfe won a free kick just outside the Workers' penalty area 15 minutes before full-time.
Woolfe's powerful shot deflected into the net off the Workers defence to give Villa a match-winning lead.
Both sides traded blows as the half wore on but neither could score to give Alstonville a rousing win.
Alstonville coach Rob Sheehan was satisfied with the work rate and commitment of all his players and is looking forward to a match-up with minor premiers Bangalow.
Workers coach Luke McWaide was disappointed with not being able to break the Villa defence but felt his side performed well in what was a fast-paced, physical encounter.
The elimination final between Thistles and Lennox Head was washed out over the weekend and will be played tonight with the winner facing Workers on Friday.