Shepparton has defeated Shepparton South to secure second place and Reds coach Matt Gray was thrilled by the performances of his young players.By Matthew Galea
Shepparton capped the regular Regional Premier League season in style, earning a 4-1 win over Shepparton South.
The result secured second place for the Reds in windy conditions, but it was the manner of victory that proved most pleasing for suspended coach Matt Gray, whose under-18 contingent delivered yet again.
‘‘We gave Ramah (Taya) another chance to impress and he got another goal,’’ Gray said.
‘‘He had already played under-18s, and then Dyar Dyar came on after playing both under-18s and reserves and got a goal as well, so it all bodes well for them.
‘‘I think a lot of people forget that we’ve had Hussi (Sumaili), Abdullah (Wahidi), Marcus Scott and Carlo Meola involved in the seniors all year, and they’re all under-18s .
Michael Charles provided plenty of ammunition, laying on three goals for his team.
He slipped the ball into Tayah for Shepparton’s first, before finding Paul Middleton, who was hugely impressive according to Gray, at the far post with a splendid ball.
Dyar was the other player to take full advantage of Charles’ good work, applying a nice finish to Charles’ cross.
Adam Scott rounded out the win with a superb finish to a lovely solo run, where he ran down the touchline, before weaving his way down the by-line and finishing from a tight angle.
Josh Quaynor stood out for the Southerners and got a deserved goal after the referee awarded a penalty for handball.
Coach Reno Lia said the Southerners enjoyed a bit of ascendancy in the second half, but were unable to capitalise on it.
‘‘I was disappointed at the end result,’’ Lia said.
‘‘It was really the last seven or eight minutes, they scored two goals and just looked like they were the team that had something to play for.
‘‘Up until that stage, I thought we could get a result.’’
Brendan Barton, Greg Nash and Damian Russo, 14, had good games for South, but, Quaynor aside, there were few other standouts.
Lia said he had seen a bit of progress during the season, but the fact the club’s under-18s were performing well did not necessarily mean everything would be okay in the long run.
‘‘There is still a hell of a lot of work to do,’’ Lia said.
‘‘I think out of any group of players, you might have five good ones, but you might only have one or two of those five that progress.
‘‘There is at least something to work with, though.’’
Flag-winner Shepparton United won the round’s other game, defeating Cobram Victory 3-2.
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