Epsom dishes out reality check to South

July 18, 2017

Shepparton South's Pratik Sharma uses his pace to bypass his opponent on Sunday.

Nicholas Elder is turned by Epsom's diminutive midfielder on Sunday.

McEwen Reserve hosted a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday, with Epsom too strong for Shepparton South.

The visitors began in scintillating fashion scoring four first half goals, before eventually winning 7-1 in the Youth Championship.

‘‘They were just too good for us, too classy and there is not much you can do about it,’’ South coach Ralph Guiliani said.

‘‘I think they have five or six players who went on to go play seniors later that day and that is a credit to the club.’’

South was on the back foot from the outset with Koray Aktas conceding an own goal inside 10 minutes, while Epsom soon doubled its lead before a quarter of the game had been played.

Cooper Arkinstall, who has scored 14 goals in the seniors, scored his first goal in the 14th minute before going on to complete his hat-trick in the second half.

Adam Dwyer and Caleb Sander went on to complete the first half rout before Guiliani changed his side’s approach after the break.

‘‘We wanted to bypass their midfield, we then played a higher line, played a little more direct and tried to win the second ball,’’ Guiliani said.

‘‘It worked for about 20 to 25 minutes and that was when we were able to score our goal and we probably could have scored another.’’

Willie Sauiluma was jolly on the spot one minute after the restart and the midfielder converted truly after bypassing two opponents to beat Jack Bourke in goal.

Guiliani was optimistic his side could bounce back from the heavy defeat and learn from the competition’s best side.

Epsom sits seven points clear on top of the Youth Championship and South has slipped to third, nine points adrift of Sunday’s opponent.

‘‘We push on from this result, we learn from it and continue to work hard to be in the mix for finals,’’ Guiliani said.

‘‘Once you are in the mix and our kids get a taste for it, anything can happen.’’

South had three weeks off heading into the Epsom clash and the past five weeks have had Guiliani’s side lose its only two games for the season.

In an attempt to get back on the winners list, South will travel to play rivals Tatura on Sunday.

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