Albion Park gained a vital confidence boost on the eve of their biggest game this season with a 4-1 win over Woonona at Ocean Park on Saturday.
A double from Mitchell Del Turco as well as goals to talented Japanese duo Hikaru Kawasakira and Shohei Okuno helped the White Eagles to claim the three competition points.
The 2016 grand final winners have endured an inconsistent start to the Illawarra Premier League campaign, but coach Jeff Allport is confident the victory will give his side a much-needed confidence boost. The triumph comes just three days before the White Eagles face NSW National Premier League Men’s 1 team Hakoah Sydney City East in round six of the FFA Cup.
"That was probably the most complete performance we had all year,” Allport said of Saturday’s display.
“We gained a lot of confidence out of it.
“We just want to do the best we can in the match [on Tuesday] because if we can knock over Hakoah, which I give us a good chance of doing, we will only be one game away from the main draw,”
“It would be a big thing for the club.
“We are going to give it a really good shot on Tuesday.”
If the White Eagles are to knock over Hakoah, they will need their attack to be firing in the same fashion it was against the Sharks.
Del Turco had Park on the right track early on when he slotted home from a ball by Okuno in the 7th minute.
Okuno got a reward for his first half effort in the shadows of half time when he comfortably doubled the advantage.
All Park’s good work might have come undone in the 53rd minute after Mark Every mistimed a tackle and was dismissing when he was handed a second yellow card.
However, the visitors failed to flinch after going a man down.
Kawasakira made it 3-0 just two minutes later before Del Turco added his second of the afternoon when he fired his right-foot strike past Jacob Madden in the 78th minute.
A stunning strike from substitute Caleb Russell with four minutes remaining proved to be the only way to pierce Park’s defence.
It did little to prevent Park from racing away with the points.
The performance gave Allport cause for optimism for the remainder of the campaign.
“Hopefully we have turned a corner,” he said.
“We were just getting out caught out in transition but we have really worked hard on fixing that.
“All of that stuff with whole work rate and attitude lifted and I think that has been the real difference for us this weekend.
“It enabled us to go back to playing the way we can.”
The victory moved Albion Park into eighth on the ladder, level with South Coast United on nine competition points.
Park still have another match up their sleeve on many of their competition rivals.
They will host in-form Tarrawanna next weekend at Terry Reserve.