Shepparton South, thanks largely to Adam Scott's hat-trick of goals, defeated South Melbourne in a pre-season fixture between the clubs at McEwen Reserve on Sunday.MATTHEW GALEA February 25, 2014 4:05am
A first-half Adam Scott hat-trick went a long way to helping Shepparton South secure victory over the famous South Melbourne.
The Southerners took out a 4-3 win in a pulsating pre-season fixture, with the match secured by a well-taken Craig Carley winner.
The senior match proved a fine way to cap off a big day of action at McEwen Reserve, with the clubs also contesting games in the under-12s, 14s and 16s.
South Melbourne got the better of the junior affairs, winning the under-12s 4-2 and the under-16s 3-1.
The under-14s played out a 3-3 draw.
In the seniors, South Melbourne failed to bring most of its big guns, instead using the hit-out to test a number of its under-20s players, with four spots in the club’s senior National Premier Leagues Victoria squad still up for grabs, according to senior coach Chris Taylor.
‘‘It was a great hit out for us, it helps our preparation,’’ Taylor said.
‘‘Most of those guys were our under-20s and we had a couple of boys who are still training with the first team, so it was good for them to play against men.’’
Shepparton South took a 3-2 lead into the half-time break, with Scott’s explosive pace down the right wing causing problems for the South Melbourne defence all day, and his three goals were just reward.
Scott is a new signing at South, having joined from Shepparton.
Two of Scott’s first-half goals were cancelled out by Juan Sebastian Igic and Ryan Babare, and midway through the second half Angel Tivellio levelled the scores at 3-3 with a stunning strike.
Carley secured victory 10 minutes from time with a well-taken finish after breaking the last line of defence and slotting the ball coolly beyond the South Melbourne keeper.
Southerners senior coach Reno Lia was disappointed his former club did not bring out the likes of Milos Lujic and captain Bradley Norton, but was pleased with what he saw from his side, particularly given three players had yet to play a pre-season game.
‘‘We took a long time to get a hold of the ball and when we did at certain stages, just about every time we tried to play through the middle and push it out wide, something came out of it,’’ Lia said.
‘‘We just had to do that more, so it tells me that the more we can do that, the more we will score, which is what we are after.’’
Lia said he was also impressed with how competitive Shepparton South’s junior teams were in their fixtures against South Melbourne.
‘‘Every boy that comes here is proud to play for (Shepparton) South,’’ Lia said.
‘‘There was an eagerness from the boys and I think the quality of coaches we have at a junior level showed today, and it shows how eager we are to move this club forward.’’
Shepparton South named ex-Shepparton player Rob Watkins in its side for the friendly, which took the number of visa players involved to five with Scott, Billy Marshall, Paul Middleton and new signing Lee Allen in the team as well.
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