Shepparton recorded an uplifting victory in Bendigo Amateur Soccer League division one action on Sunday.
The Reds held on to defeat Tatura 3-2, despite playing the final 30 minutes with just 10 men after Jason Italia was shown his second yellow card in the 60th minute.
‘‘It was a fantastic result,’’ coach Dillon Shelley said.
‘‘We showed a lot of grit and determination, I’m very, very proud of the boys.
‘‘We were very undermanned going into the game, so to deliver at the level we did far exceeded my expectations.’’
The away side opened the scoring in just the fourth minute, with Giacomo Alvisi on the end of some great teamwork that began with goalkeeper Lachlan Brett.
‘‘It was probably one of the goals of the season, not through any particular effort from Giacomo, but the play beforehand,’’ Shelley said.
‘‘It was a real team goal, built from the back, and he got on the end of a through ball to beat a defender and the keeper.’’
Tatura hit back through Tristan Zito in the 29th minute before Hayden Dealy (31st) struck truly from the penalty spot to once again give Shepparton the lead.
The match continued to provide twists and turns, with a Troy Kennedy own goal in the 38th minute allowing the Ibises to enter the break on level pegging.
‘‘We were probably fortunate to be two-all at half-time,’’ Tatura coach Brent Mathers said.
‘‘They came out on fire and we didn’t respond, we really didn’t get out of gear.
‘‘It was just one of those days.’’
Dealy once again steeled his nerves at the spot to put the Reds in front in the 54th minute and even being reduced to 10 men was not enough to deny them the three points.
‘‘We probably had more possession in the second half, but we didn’t do much with that possession,’’ Mathers said.
‘‘I thought Shepp were excellent and rose to the occasion and we didn’t.’’
The sides are locked on 18 points apiece in fifth (Tatura) and sixth (Shepparton) on the ladder, with Shelley hoping his team could find more consistency.
‘‘It’s been an up and down month-and-a-half for us, I never feel like we’re out of the woods,’’ he said.
‘‘But I was really rapt with the boys, it was a full on team effort and everyone put in what they needed to put in.’’
●Shepparton South gave up a clean sheet in the 87th minute of its clash with Colts United, but would be more than happy with the overall result.
The third-placed side defeated United 8-1 in a dominant display.
Sean Grant (three goals), Toby Ferguson (two) and co-coach Joel Aitken (two) found the back of the net multiple times in the romp, while striker Jesse Brun also got in on the action in the 86th minute.
●It was an ever bigger result for Shepparton United when it travelled to Deniliquin to take on Moama-Echuca.
The second-placed away side slammed home 11 goals and kept the Border Raiders scoreless to move its goal difference (31) to within one of South’s 32 and with the finish to the season sure to be tight even one goal could make or break a side’s year.
Ruben Goldwater scored four times in the win, while six teammates also struck truly after an own goal from Border Raiders captain James Brown broke the deadlock in the 14th minute.