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Slater dashes Ibises' hopes

Cobram's Luke Slater put his head to good use on Sunday to keep Cobram's finals alive while killing off Tatura's in Regional Premier League.

MATTHEW GALEA August 26, 2014 3:05am

Cobram’s Spiro Vourgaslis did a tremendous job on Tatura coach Tom Black.


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It was not the prettiest display, but Cobram got the job done against a spirited Tatura at Barooga Recreation Reserve on Sunday.

The Tigers knocked the Ibises out of the Regional Premier League finals courtesy of a Luke Slater header midway through the second half to seal a 1-0 win.

Slater played through illness and proved the difference when — despite being perhaps the smallest player in the box — managed to find enough space to head home a beautiful corner from Sean Ellis.

Ellis himself was a late introduction to the game, having struggled through the week’s training with a knee injury.

Tyler Seabrook started in his place and impressed down the right, but the Tigers looked a more confident unit going forward upon Ellis’ introduction after 50 minutes.

Spiro Vourgaslis — a former Ibis himself — was handed the day’s most interesting task with coach Paul Amadei handing the forward a run-with role on Tatura coach Tom Black.

Normally known for his prowess going forward, Vourgaslis was asked to curb his attacking instincts and did a wonderful job limiting the influence of Black.

It was Tiger and reigning league best-and-fairest Jamie England who had the run of the game in the middle of the park.

He struck the post early with a lovely curled effort and tested Ibis keeper Daniel Scaffidi a number of times in the first half with long-range efforts.

Tatura’s offence was quiet, with Jared Cunniff clearly still feeling the effects of a hamstring injury.

Neither side created much in the way of clear chances throughout the game, with most opportunities coming from range or from set pieces.

The defining moment came in the second half when Slater delivered the only goal of the game and while Tatura pushed hard for an equaliser, it never quite looked like happening for Black’s side.

Amadei was delighted with the result, praising his players for getting the job done.

‘‘We were tight and compact at the back and I thought we had some chances in the first half, but Sean changes the game when he comes on,’’ Amadei said.

‘‘He attracts markers from anywhere else, so even if he doesn’t get involved, he makes space for others.

‘‘Luke (Slater) was actually close to coming off at half-time as well because he’s got the man-flu, but he showed the character he’s got, as did all the players. I was very proud of all of them.’’

Black said the pitch — which was not conducive to good soccer — did not help his side and raised questions about the consistency of the refereeing, but said his players gave their all.

‘‘We’ve struggled on this pitch all season, but the boys gave it their all, so there’s not much we can do,’’ Black said.

‘‘Performance-wise, it wasn’t great, but the effort was good.

‘‘It was a bit edgy and I don’t think we’re used to that pressure (of finals) because all our other games we’ve had nothing to lose because we were coming from behind (on the table).’’

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