A Goulburn Valley Suns goal-feast at Kevin Bartlett Reserve has ended Richmond’s hopes of avoiding National Premier League Two relegation this season.
Cody Sellwood, Jordan Montagner, Stefan Papageorgiou, Jamie England and Rob Hughes all found the back of the net during the 5-3 victory, in which the away side answered every challenge throughout the match.
‘‘It was a difficult game knowing that Richmond had to win the game to stay up,’’ Suns coach Nick Kalafatis said.
‘‘I think we started very well, we played strongly, had composure on the ball and kept our shape very well.
‘‘It’s sad to see a side like Richmond go down, but that’s football.’’
Within 10 minutes the Suns had taken the ascendancy through Sellwood and, despite allowing the home side to draw level, were never in danger of suffering defeat.
‘‘It was a very good goal and a very good combination play, Rob, Craig (Carley) and Cody changed the ball well between them,’’ Kalafatis said.
‘‘Rob found Cody in space one-on-one with the keeper and he put it past his left.
‘‘After that we dropped our momentum and were a little bit casual, but every time they scored we answered and the last 20 minutes were a rollercoaster more than anything but we were happy to get the win.’’
The Suns have had a somewhat indifferent year on the pitch, but the three points garnered on Saturday catapults them into equal-third on the east-division table.
‘‘I’m very happy with the boys and very proud on what we’ve built on the last few years,’’ Kalafatis said.
‘‘If our heads were on a little bit more during some early games we would have been higher.
‘‘But if you look at the last couple of years we’ve always relied on one or two strikers, but this season all of our front end players have scored more than five goals, which is great.’’
As for what the future holds for the club with just a home game against Dandenong City left in this campaign, Kalafatis highlighted the huge ceiling for improvement his squad has.
‘‘I couldn’t have asked for more from the boys, when you’re a young side like ours mistakes will come,’’ he said.
‘‘But you can’t build anything if you don’t make mistakes, and for a club like ours to make so many mistakes and still be equal-third shows that we’re not far from something special here.’’