Villa captain ends his personal goal drought in style
ALSTONVILLE captain Joel Perkins has waited all season for his first goal and ended his drought in style by scoring late in their crucial clash with Lismore Thistles to give his side a vital 1-0 away win in Far North Coast premier league soccer.
A defensive error gifted Perkins the ball eight minutes from time, and he punished the Blues with a 30-metre shot that skidded past goalkeeper Ben Albertini.
Thistles produced some of their best form for weeks in the first half, but the combination of some wayward finishing and some fine saves from Villa goalkeeper Peter Weingarth kept them at bay.
The second half was closer, with Weingarth again making some vital saves before the dramatic late winner from Perkins.
"It was a captain's knock from Joel," Villa coach Mark Ambler said.
"Thistles played well, but we knew that if we could weather the storm early on we'd be a chance.
"Considering we had Phil Francis, Josh Cole and Rick Hanna all out, it was a great team effort."
Weingarth was outstanding in goals, while the back four of Eamon Banks, Brody Parker, Joel Organ and Liam Stevenson also did a great job to keep Thistles scoreless.
It was a welcome return to form for Villa after six games without a win, lifting them back into the top five at the expense of Goonellabah.
Thistles remain seventh and will now focus on their catch-up away game against Bangalow tomorrow night.
A win there would lift the Blues back into semi-finals contention, level with Goonellabah a point outside the top five.
"That's now a must win game for us," Blues coach Rod Lees said.
"We should have been five goals up by half-time but we let Villa off the hook and can't afford any more slip-ups."