Clashes between rivals Shepparton South and Shepparton United highlight any round of Bendigo Amateur Soccer League action.
The pair was back on the field at McEwen Reserve on Sunday with South taking the spoils this time with a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
With the pair closely situated on the ladder, the first half proved a tense struggle as neither side could make a breakthrough.
But once both sides emerged from the half-time break, it was clear who would dominate the final 45 minutes of the game.
A Shepparton South player seemed to be in the way of any Blues pass with their pressure immense.
Sean Grant scored the sole goal in the 61st minute, as the striker continued his superb form this season having scored in all bar one match he has played in.
Shepparton South co-coach Joel Aitken was again impressed by Grant.
‘‘It was a great goal, a great header to the back post,’’ he said.
‘‘He’s been very important and scoring a lot of goals recently, but we’ve got a lot of players that can score for us.’’
Importantly the win has sealed a second-placed finish for South, although Aitken is keen to pip Eaglehawk for the number one position.
‘‘We’ve guaranteed a top-two finish which is very important for the double chance, but we want to push Eaglehawk for the top spot, but other teams have to do us a favour and we have to do us a favour,’’ he said.
‘‘If we want to finish top we have to treat every game like a final and we’ll give ourselves every chance if we win every game.’’
Captain Tim Lardner and Kieryn McKemmish were impressive in the win, as Shepparton United cult hero Reza Karimi returned to the field.
The goal keeper was pivotal in the Blues’ grand final win over South last year and coach Roven Shaholli said it was fantastic to have him back on the pitch.
‘‘Reza was fantastic, he’s just finding it hard this year with commitments to find time for training, but on the park he gives it his all,’’ he said.
While Shaholli said the second half was disappointing, he was already looking at what to change up following his side’s bye.
‘‘We’ve got to pick up on the mistakes me as a coach and players as players made and everyone knows what’s going on, so we must fix it,’’ he said.
‘‘Credit to Shepp South, they outplayed us this time.’’