Finals ambitions dealt blow
It is still possible but very unlikely for Tatura to make the finals after it felt the full wrath of Shepparton United on Sunday.
And Tatura had to do it without star striker Tariq Nikoi-Kotey, who was sensationally handed a one-match suspension on Friday morning by Bendigo Amateur Soccer League.
The Ibises currently sit nine points outside a top-four position with four games to go, but what left coach Brent Mathers most puzzled was the absence of his English striker.
At 10 am on Friday the Ibises received an email from the governing body detailing Nikoi-Kotey’s suspension ahead of their must-win clash, and with little time to respond the club was forced to abide by the sentence.
‘‘It is part of the rules and regulations. I believe that you are not allowed to speak out to the media about certain things and unfortunately we have had to cop the consequences of that,’’ Mathers said.
‘‘It threw everything into disarray for us, we had little time to respond but it is what it is.’’
Both Goulburn Valley-based clubs were involved in a post-match incident the last time they squared off in round seven, but they have since moved on.
‘‘The most disappointing thing is that it came at very short notice, but we move on and I think to Tariq’s credit he handled it well,’’ Mathers said.
‘‘I personally thought that the league would have acted or advised us a little earlier, but we accept the punishment and now hopefully we can prepare to fight for finals.’’