READING F.C, aka Huskisson have kept their finals hopes alive with a 6-2 win against Culburra on Saturday.
Huskisson were wearing the strip of English Premier League club Reading to celebrate the achievements of local junior Adam Federici, who has since gone onto bigger things, and all players had the name Federici on the back of their jerseys.
Although there is no proven fact that wearing different jerseys will improve performances, the kit change seemed to work wonders for the home side, who managed to keep their slim finals chances alive.
They made the perfect start, when they caught the Culburra defence off guard for Gary Masterson to slot their first goal into the bottom corner in the first five minutes.
While they played on with plenty of enthusiasm, the chances dried up a bit in the first half as Culburra began to find their feet.
It was all square at the break when Steve Gray scored Culburra’s opening goal on the back of a free kick, late in the first half.
With their season on the line, Huskisson came out firing and did all the damage in the first 15 minutes after the break, with a flurry of goals.
Jake Malligan scored the next two and when Gary Neimeier and Jordan Godley found the back of the net, it was soon 5-1 in favour of the home side.
Huskisson added one more before full time through Jim Neimeier, while Blair Sutherland added another goal for Culburra.
With a bye next week, Huskisson have done all they can for a spot in the finals and their fate now rests on other results.
Coach Sam Tooley has been really happy with their performance in recent weeks and said he hopes they get a crack at the finals.
“Before the game I asked the question if they wanted to play beyond this week,” Tooley said.
“To be honest it didn’t have the feeling of being our last game of the season,” he added.
Tooley has been crunching the numbers and they will need Gerringong to beat Bomaderry and for Illaroo and United to draw next week if they are going to play in the finals.
While he admitted, it was their own fault they now have to rely on other results, he has not given up hope.
“Put it this way, we’re still going to be training this week,” he laughed.
“We’re hoping the results go our way and I certainly don’t think it’s impossible.
“If that doesn’t happen, at least we finished our season on the best possible note.”
Culburra coach Steve Melocco said despite the score, they did not play too badly.
“Actually the team’s performance wasn’t too bad,” Melocco said.
“It was a bit of an arm wrestle in the first half and at 1-all I was very confident at half time.
“I suppose just a lapse of about 10 minutes, where we played poorly was very costly.”
Melocco admitted their form in recent weeks has been patchy, but still has a fairly positive outlook for the semi finals.
They need only to beat Milton next week to guarantee their place in the finals.
“With all due respect to Milton, if we can’t win that game, then we don’t deserve to be there,” Melocco said.
“One thing I am certain of is that there is plenty of spirit in this team, so we’ll just wait and see how we go.”