Goalfest hopes as Suburbs host Spirit

JOSH REICH
Last updated 13:05 20/04/2012

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Football

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Scoring shouldn't be a problem for either side when Nelson Suburbs host Coastal Spirit at Saxton Field on Sunday.

The two sides lead the goals tally after five matches this season, both hitting the back of the net 11 times, the most in the Mainland Premier Football League.

Remarkably, eight of Coastal Spirit's goals have come from Ash Wellbourn, while Gagame Feni leads the way for AMI Suburbs with five, followed by Wesley Olea with three.

Coastal are yet to drop a point on the road, but with two wins and a draw at home, Suburbs will be eager to keep their Saxton Field fortress intact.

Co-coach Ben Wright said Suburbs had played Coastal in a pre-season match this year, and he played them in the Chatham Cup while at Richmond Athletic last season.

"I've been impressed with them, I think they are very well organised, have a good coach and they've got good team spirit as well, it's going to be a tough game for us but one that we are looking forward too.

"We will fancy our chances to score, but they are on fire going forward as well, so hopefully it will be an exciting and open game."

Wright said they would work on combating the danger of Wellbourn, but would largely concentrate on their own efforts, especially as the defence had kept clean sheets in the past two matches against FC Twenty 11 and Christchurch United.

"The defence has been good all season, they are quite compact, they are solid and they don't really concede too many chances, which is good."

Wright and co-coach Paul Brydon were yet to settle on a lineup, with the availability of Mike Bothwell (ankle) and Joe Green (calf) uncertain.

Wright, who has battled a tight hamstring in recent weeks and has missed the last two outings, should be fit to make the bench.

Meanwhile, Western take on Cashmere Technical, FC Twenty 11 play Christchurch United and Halswell play Ferrymead Bays.

Sunday's match kicks off at 1pm, the day and time for remaining matches at Saxton Field.

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- The Nelson Mail

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