Gisborne pulls off great victory

Gisborne’s Jack Spargo and Altona North’s Christopher Swain go up for a header. (Shawn Smits)

By Tara Murray

Gisborne pulled off one of the upsets of the FFV state league 4 west season, beating ladder leaders Altona North.

Having lost just one game for the season, Altona North went in as favourites against the middle-of-the-table Sky Blues.

But the Sky Blues put in their best performance of the season to come away with a 2-0 win.

Sky Blues coach Danny Moore said the match, which was a catch-up game from earlier in the season, was a brilliant one for the club.

“It’s a feel good factor,” he said.

“It’s more than three points, it lifts the whole mindset across the club.

“We can match up against the top team and beat them.”

The game, which was scheduled for Gisborne’s Dixon Field, was moved during the week to City Vista Recreation Reserve.

Moore said neither side had played at the ground before.

“We knew early in the week that our ground was more than likely going to be unplayable.

“The Caroline Springs facility is great and it was great to play there.

“Sometimes it can be difficult playing on a synthetic surface and it didn’t necessarily suit our game.”

Once the game started, the Sky Blues were focused on making sure they had a strong defence.

Moore said they knew if they could do that, they would be in the game.

“Altona North are on top of the table for a reason,” he said. “They are a good side and we knew it would be a huge challenge and we would be going in as underdogs.

“The boys stepped up and everyone lifted and it was phenomenal.”

Gisborne’s Callan Haynes. Picture Shawn Smits.

PHOTO GALLERY: Gisborne vs Altona North

Moore said both sides had some chances early on but weren’t able to score.

The Sky Blues hit the lead late in the first half and that was doubled before half-time.

Charles Eastwood and skipper Callan Haynes were the goalscorers.

With the lead in hand, the Sky Blues didn’t go back into their shells.

“In the second half it was important to continue what we did in the first half.

“To stay strong in the backline and be positive,” Moore said.

“We wanted to make sure we were defensively sound and we worked so hard on that.

“It was pleasing as a coach.”

Moore said the result was reward for effort for the work the group had put in during recent weeks.

He said they had been unlucky to come away empty-handed in those games.

Gisborne sits eighth with four rounds remaining. This week they face Bell Park.

Moore said they were hoping this win would give them momentum for the rest of the season.

“It brings massive confidence for the whole group,” he said.

“We can play and be competitive against the top sides and beat them.”

Sunbury United was also in action in a state league 3 north-west catch-up match.

Sunbury was able to defeat Williamstown 2-1.

Jayden Mercieca and Barisa Degal were the goalscorers for Sunbury.

The win is Sunbury’s third in a row, moving them up to seventh.