ILLAROO kept their unbeaten record intact with a scrappy 2-nil victory against St Georges Basin on Saturday afternoon.
A much more determined Basin outfit managed to keep the visitors scoreless in the first half, before they hit back with two goals after the break.
Illaroo coach Andrew Timbs said he was not too concerned with the nil-all half-time score and instructed his team to be patient and take the chances when they came.
Their chance finally came mid-way through the second half when Brendan Thorpe took full advantage after getting the ball from a cross in front of the posts.
A second goal with about 15 minutes remaining all but wrapped things up the visitors.
While Illaroo’s second was officially awarded to Evan Leedham, Timbs had a different view.
“Evan is claiming it, but it was an own goal,” he said.
“It might be an association goal, but it’s not going down as a club goal,” he laughed.
Timbs said he was happy enough with the result, without being over the moon about it.
“It’s a win, but I thought we missed a lot of chances,” he said.
“They defended pretty well, to keep the pressure on us and at one stage they almost went 1-nil up and it was only thanks to a good save from Jarrad [Horton] that they didn’t.
“That could’ve changed the nature of the whole game if they’d gone ahead, but I guess it’s just one of those things and it’s how the game goes.
“In the end, we got the three points out of it and that’s what you play for.”
Basin coach Scott Aldridge couldn’t fault his team’s first half effort and thought they were still every chance going into the break.
Aldridge said they need to able to play more consistently over 90 minutes.
“In the second half, we didn’t start with as much enthusiasm and that resulted in us conceding two easy goals,” he said.
“A win is just around the corner as we’re putting ourselves in the contest for parts of the game.
“Once we can play a consistent 90 minutes of football, we can start picking up points.”
Aldridge named Mark Foggin and Tom Reminis as his best players, while Timbs said Slade Small, Angus Hoskin and Sam Leedham were the best for Illaroo.
Illaroo are back at home against Culburra next week and clearly they haven’t forgotten that they were knocked out of the finals by them last year.
“We want a bit of revenge from last year’s semi,” Timbs said.
“They’re travelling well, so it’s going to be one those very tough, physical games.
“But I’m confident if we can turn up, then we can beat anyone in the competition.”
Basin will continue their search for their first win against Shoalhaven United at Lyrebird Park.