Fi­nals am­bi­tions dealt blow

The Tatura Guardian - - Sport - By Adem Barolli Con­tin­ued Page 14

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.’’

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