Hard work pays off as Tiger's chalk up first win
FOOTBALL: Westlawn have produced their first win of the season, keeping their hopes of playing finals football alive.
Westlawn Tigers ran out 2-0 winners against the Coffs Coast Tigers on Saturday and the win lifts them past Maclean Bobcats and off the bottom of the table on goal difference.
Tigers coach James Joyce said it was a great to get that first win of the season and he felt the team did almost everything right.
"There was a great feeling in the change rooms after the game and it was great to see us get the result we deserve,” he said.
"There were a lot of people singing the team song in the shed.”
The game was played at a consistently fast pace, with both teams maintaining a high intensity right until the final whistle.
Joyce said it was good to see his team keep going forward after going a goal up, a change in mentality he said was necessary if they wanted to go from being simply competitive to becoming winners.
"It felt like there was a real shift in and the guys had the right mindset after we went a goal up,” he said.
"We kept pressing.”
Captain Michael Allen opened the scoring with a curling shot from outside the box and Jordan Newman angled one into the bottom corner soon after when he latched on to a sharp low cross.
Midfielder Nathan Grayson was similarly pleased with the result and said he was proud to have got the win after past positive performances had failed to reap the rewards.
"We know we can do it, but it was just doing it on the pitch,” he said.
"I guess it's that same old thing of playing well and not getting results, but we finally did it and it gives us a bit of confidence now.”
Next up for Westlawn are the Northern Storm Thunder who Joyce says will be a physical challenge, but the team should do well if they maintain the form and mindset of last weekend.
Joyce planned on naming an unchanged line-up, included leaving himself on the bench, but warned against letting in any sense of complacency.
"It's hard to put out those guys who have been doing a good job and based on the performance I didn't want to change anything.
"But it's easy to have a good performance and say you will continue, now we actually have to go out there and back it up,” he said.
While it may be slightly premature to talk up the side's finals chances, the dominance of the top two teams has meant the gap between last place and third is 10 points, which is not insurmountable.
Boambie Bombers and Coffs Coast United Lions sit a further nine points ahead and are the only two teams with a positive goal difference, giving an indication of the gulf in class between themselves and the rest of the competition.