Shepparton South was on the front foot on Saturday with an attacking display of soccer to trump reigning premier Shepparton United in Regional Premier League.MATTHEW GALEA June 17, 2014 3:15am
McEwen Reserve had lights beaming down on the pitch for Saturday night’s Regional Premier League clash between Shepparton South and Shepparton United, but it was South that really lit up the night.
The Southerners’ bright and incisive attacking play led to a 4-1 win against the reigning premier.
‘‘They now realise that whenever they play us, they’re going to have a game on their hands,’’ Shepparton South coach Reno Lia said.
The top-of-the-table clash became a one-sided affair early on and, while the Blues battled well in the second half, the damage was done in the first half.
Shaun Kane had the Southerners 1-0 up from the penalty spot inside the first 10 minutes when he wriggled clear of the United defence and found himself one-on-one with Shaun Pearson in the Blues’ goal.
Kane showed fantastic footwork to get around Pearson, who brought Kane down as the last man, but avoided a red card.
Barely two minutes later, the Southerners doubled their advantage with an Adam Scott strike.
The score could easily have been 3-0 shortly after, but Pearson produced a fantastic string of saves to keep the Blues in it.
The Southerners got their third goal in the second half against an improved United side — which missed a fantastic chance through Carl Lamb early in the second half — through Greg Nash when he arrived late at the back post to tuck home a lovely cross.
Adam Burchell then struck from the spot shortly after.
Shepparton South goalkeeper Lee Allen played a great game and pulled off a number of good saves, but his clean sheet was denied when Kelvin Trippier slotted away a penalty of his own.
Lia was delighted with the way his side played despite the late concession, but doesn’t believe the win makes his side premiership favourite.
‘‘I don’t believe we are, I’ve been around long enough to see teams go undefeated for long periods of time and get knocked over, because everyone that plays you, wants to beat you,’’ Lia said.
‘‘We love to go forward and we believe we have the calibre of player to go forward, but I was really pleased with Jordan Montagner — he was strong as an ox.’’
Shepparton United coach Nick Kalafatis was deflated after the game and rued a slow start, but issued a strong warning to South.
‘‘You need lessons and we got a lot out of this. I thought maybe the guys sat on their good performance last week,’’ Kalafatis said.
‘‘I think the flag is gone, but now we play without pressure and get ready for finals and last I checked we had the cup, so they’ve got to get it off us.’’
Elsewhere, Cobram won the local derby, defeating Cobram Victory 3-0.
Shepparton Swans and Benalla both had altered coaching panels for the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final rematch on Saturday.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
As part of Lyme Disease Awareness Month in May, the Riverine Herald will shed light on the debilitating, yet controversial, illness through the eyes of those fighting it.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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