PLFCTV | Passion, spirit and playing for your shirt. Re-live the moments when we were victorious against Altona Magic Soccer Club in the Macedonian Derb
TOPPLED by bottom side Altona East Phoenix two weeks ago, Preston Lions responded in style with a 3-2 victory over champions-elect Altona Magic on Sunday.
A first-half Chris Davies double and Hakeem Alaraibi’s 80th-minute tap-in sealed Preston’s sixth and most-impressive win of the State League 1 North-West campaign.
“Unfortunately, the week before we lost against the bottom of the league team, Altona East, at home,” Lions boss Lou Acevski said.
“Then we’ve come out the following week and beat the top of the league team, Altona Magic, who are leading the league by eight points.
“It was two different teams basically which played in the space of a week.
“When you show a bit of character and integrity, it takes you a long way.”
Jon McShane opened the scoring for the visitors at B.T Connor Reserve after a missed clearance from Lions keeper Robert Santilli.
Less than 10 minutes later, Davies restored parity when he turned sharply at the top of the box and fired a left-foot strike under Altona custodian Sebastien Bechaud.
The Lions went ahead after 25 minutes when Davies struck again, launching himself above two defenders to head home a cross from the right flank.
Adamson Ajayi pulled the Magic level with his 10th goal of the campaign, losing his marker in the penalty box before tapping home from a pinpoint cross.
Alaraibi had the final say in a pulsating encounter, making Bechaud pay after he was beaten to a freekick by Davies in the air.
The striker’s header flew goalbound before being angled in by Alaraibi to restore Preston’s advantage with 10 minutes on the clock.
The Lions held on to climb to sixth on the ladder after Round 15.
“I think we have got another four league games at home, we obviously want to try and win all our home games and pick up as many points away from home as well,” Acevski said.
“It would be a positive thing to finish on a high note and win as many games as we can.
“We are obviously in a rebuilding (phase) for next year and will be trying to put a squad together for next year to challenge for the title.”
Preston is at home again this Sunday, taking on Essendon Royals from 3pm.
Tim Michell, Preston Leader
July 17, 2017 9:41am