One key ingredient has turned Williamstown’s fortunes around in the Football Federation Victoria men’s state league 3.
The Blues finishing in front of goal has left a lot to be desired, but coach Slobode Stojcevski seems to have found a solution to their goalscoring woes on the training track.
In the past two matches, Williamstown has collected a maximum six points and entertained with five goals in the process, including two in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Essendon United at J.T. Gray Reserve.
The Blues have had the lion’s share of possession and chances in the previous three matches, but failed to score a single goal in a draw and two losses.
“What we weren’t doing was finishing off our chances,” Stojcevski said.
“So the last two-and-a-half weeks, almost every session, the whole focus has been on finishing.
“What that’s done is given a bit of confidence to the players when they are in front of goal.”
Williamstown was not as dominant against Essendon United as it perhaps was in the previous month.
However, their new-found efficiency in front of goal paid dividends.
“The last time we played against Essendon, I would say that we created at least 10 clear-cut chances and only scored one goal,” Stojcevski said.
“This time I think we created four or five chances and scored two goals.
“The percentage was a lot higher and that made the difference.”
Alex Vlassis had the midas touch in front of goal, scoring with a double.
Vlassis put into action what the team had been training for in his go-ahead goal in the first half.
“It was a really good opportunistic goal that was taken out of our training session the previous Thursday, where we worked on having extra runners into the box following up our shots,” Stojcevski said.
“Our captain [Alex Dimitrijevic] took a shot, the keeper saved it but dropped it, then Alex was right on cue to tap it in.
“It was the sort of stuff we probably haven’t been doing well the previous games.”
Essendon United found an equaliser early in the second half.
It set the stage for Vlassis to step up and score the winner with a strike with 10 minutes to go.
“It’s no surprise that he’s scoring goals,” Stojcevski said.
“His runs have been absolutely fantastic, he’s a fast boy and the defenders just can’t read him or keep up with him.”
Seventh-placed Williamstown will get another chance to cause a bit of an upset when it travels to play promotion contenders FC Strathmore at Strathnaver Reserve on Saturday.
In men’s state league 1, Altona City suffered a second straight loss, going down 2-1 to Banyule City, while Yarraville Glory was out-classed 3-1 by title contenders Preston Lions.
Altona East Phoenix was mere fodder for Brimbank Stallions, downed 3-1 in men’s state league 2.
In men’s state league 4, Altona North stayed in the promotion hunt with a 2-1 win over Spring Hills.
The women’s state league 3 promotion race was shaken up by Altona Magic’s 2-0 win over St Albans Saints. The Magic is now level on points with the second-placed Saints.
In the NPL 2 west, Altona Magic is one win away from promotion after crushing Springvale White Eagles 4-0 at Paisley Park on Saturday.