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.’’
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