South has anxious wait

September 12, 2017

Shepparton South co-coach Joel Aitken will have to wait and see if his side has clinched the championship, but it is heading to finals nonetheless.

Fate is now out of Shepparton South’s hands after its draw at the weekend.

With the regular Bendigo Amateur Soccer League season all but done now, South sits one point clear on top, however, second-placed Eaglehawk is yet to play a catch-up game which could all but secure the latter a championship.

The two clubs went head-to-head on Sunday in a season defining clash and they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Willie Sauiluma opened the scoring in the 16th minute to net his third goal in two games

But his strike was cancelled out before the half-time break when Jan Kerr’s 16th goal of the season levelled proceedings.

In a somewhat disappointing result, co-coach Joel Aitken is left to now sit and wait to see whether his side will be crowned champion.

‘‘We have to wait and see now, so who knows we could still have the championship, but that is being optimistic,’’ Aitken said.

‘‘But it seems a certainty that Spring Gully won’t get a result against Eaglehawk.’’

Three points would have clinched the championship on Sunday and Aitken and the remainder of his South crew were left to rue their missed opportunities.

’’It was a pretty fair game, in the end, both teams had their chances, but I am pretty confident in our boys that we can get the job done in finals,’’ Aitken said.

‘‘We played some good football, we played it on the deck for the most part, but I feel they got us with their set-pieces.’’

With a superior goal difference, Eaglehawk will only need a result against Spring Gully on Sunday, but Aitken will not be there to cheer on United.

‘‘I just don’t think it will happen, there is really no chance,’’ Aitken said.

It is the inaugural BASL campaign with the four Goulburn Valley-based clubs in it and despite what happens in the final game, Aitken could not be any prouder of his side and its efforts this season.

‘‘I’m really proud of the boys’ effort and now it’s finals time, we have gotten here and this is what we play football for,’’ Aitken said.

With a finals campaign now on the horizon, Aitken will be now turning his attentions to the League Cup and there will be no time for rest despite the week off.

Tim Lardner is number one candidate to replace suspended goalkeeper Nick Marino.

Marino, who was sent off for a last man tackle in the 86th minute, will miss next week and Lardner, who pulled off a number of late spectacular saves, is a firm favourite to start in goals.

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