Shepparton News

Footloose and fancy-free


- By Liam Nash

The privilege of playing football during such a perilous time is not lost on Tatura coach Tristan Zito.

His Ibises took down Shepparton South in style on Wednesday night, shooting into second on the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League ladder with a 4-0 win which embodied the freespirit­ed approach his side has adopted of late.

“The character the boys showed was awesome — South put in a really solid performanc­e and they looked dangerous early, but we defended well and took our chances,” Zito said.

“We’re not focusing on too much at the moment other than enjoying our football and enjoying playing together.

“Who knows what the season will bring next, so that’s all you can do; just enjoy being out there playing.”

Thomas Leech took his tally to seven for the season with a set piece clinic, bagging a penalty and freekick in the first half alone.

Tim Lardner then made it 3-0 before the interval and a rare goal for Jordan Leocata rounded out the scoring to hoist the Ibises seven points clear of Rob Harmeston’s Southerner­s, who sit in fourth.

Shepparton South and Tatura earn the weekend off, with Shepparton United making the trek to Strathdale for what is sure to be a mighty test of mettle for the Blues.

Last time the two met it spelt disaster for United.

Despite mixing it with Strathdale in the early exchanges, a second-half capitulati­on had the Blues ship a halfdozen during what turned into a 7-0 rout.

Hussein Sumaili’s men cannot afford any similar lapses during the run into finals should it break into the top four venturing past September.

In the Women’s Championsh­ip, Tatura is hunting back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The Ibises were in the mood last weekend when prising three points away from Golden City and can further close the gap with MoamaEchuc­a Border Raiders by clinching three points against them at Howley Oval.

At McEwen Reserve, Shepparton South’s strikers are eyeing up a field day against a Swan Hill defence which has conceded 114 goals in 13 games, while a win for Shepparton United over Strathdale would work wonders for consolidat­ing the Blues’ finals spot.

 ??  ?? Happy days: Tatura coach Tristan Zito said his side was currently relishing its football.
Happy days: Tatura coach Tristan Zito said his side was currently relishing its football.

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