Lee Gaskin July 22, 2012
A DUSTIN WELLS hat-trick has helped Belconnen United take another step to securing the ACT Premier League championship.
The Blue Devils came from a goal down to hammer minnows Monaro Panthers 6-1 at McKellar Park yesterday to move 12 points clear of their closest challenger Canberra FC, which has a game in hand.
But even with just five rounds left in the season, Belconnen coach Steve Forshaw is refusing to believe top spot is in the bag.
''There are too many points to play for and too many tough teams to play, but it's obviously got us in a good position,'' Forshaw said.
''We've asked them to do certain things this year and they've carried out those instructions to the letter. They're playing for a minor premiership at the moment, so they're very focused and motivated.''
The Blue Devils were stunned early when Tyson Cottan put the visitors on the board after just 14 minutes.
That was as good as it got for the Panthers, the Blue Devils grabbing a 2-1 lead at half-time before ramming home their advantage after the break.
''I was a little apprenhensive all week because if you don't turn up in these games it can go horribly awry,'' Forshaw said.
''We started to play after they went 1-0 up and we got back on level terms reasonably quickly.
''I wasn't happy with the first-half performance, but we stepped up a gear and put the game to bed quite early in the piece.''
Wells showed no ill-effects from the knee injury which forced him to miss not only last week's match, but also the ACT Rockets' 9-1 loss to the Newcastle Jets on July 11.
The Rockets will again be in action when they take on the Central Coast Mariners' national youth league team in Canberra on September 12.
Canberra FC can keep its slim chances of securing the league title alive when it hosts Woden Valley at Deakin today.
ACT Premier League: Men: Belconnen United 6 bt Monaro Panthers 1 at McKellar Park yesterday.
Today: Canberra FC v Woden Valley at Deakin Stadium, 3pm; Canberra Olympic v Tuggeranong United at O'Connor Enclosed, 3pm; Canberra City v Cooma Tigers at Hawker Football Centre, 4pm.