SHOALHAVEN Heads are one step closer to a semi finals appearance after picking up a 3-1 win against Huskisson at Huskisson Sporting Fields on Saturday.
Heads had been in a little bit of a slump in recent weeks and their place in the finals appeared to be in jeopardy, but they have now left Bomaderry with a massive job to try and take fourth place.
Huskisson have also had their troubles lately, but finally managed to get 11 fresh players on the field and certainly did not go down without a fight.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock in an evenly-matched first half and they went into the break at nil-all.
But with the resumption of play, Heads soon took advantage when Rafa Lombardi scored their first goal in the 48th minute.
In the words of Heads coach Ross Tasker, Lombardi showed ‘Del Piero’ like skills to cut the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net.
This was soon followed by a goal to Conor Edenden, who later added a second, giving Heads a handy 3-nil lead.
Huskisson did manage to score a consolation goal in the 75th minute through Santino Battagliolo, but were unable to spark a comeback.
Heads coach Ross Tasker said during the first half he thought it could have gone either way, but was relieved to eventually take the three points.
“It was nice to actually win again, because it feels like it’s been a while,” Tasker said.
“This was a pretty important game for us, because we were in danger of slipping out of the top four if we had another loss,” he added.
While their place in the top four is still not guaranteed, it is a big boost to their chances.
But Tasker is not counting his chickens just yet.
“I’d rather be where we are now than where Bomo are, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” he said.
“We could still miss out if we don’t take some points out of our last two games, so I hope we can and don’t need to rely on others to do us favours.
“We had lost a bit of momentum, but it’s nice to get some back and hopefully it can continue.”
Although they had another loss, Huskisson coach Ian Osterloh took a lot more positives from the game than recent weeks.
“I basically tried to get 11 fresh legs out there for a change and at nil-all at half time, I thought we had a chance of causing an upset,” he said.
“Then they scored a couple of pretty soft goals, which was really disappointing.
“They were basically playing for their season, so in the end I guess they had a bit more drive.
“It was like they were playing a finals game and that’s probably what got them over the line.”
Simon Driessen and Rafa Lombardi and their back four were named as the best players by Tasker, while Osterloh said Adam Quinn, Brendan Hiriart and Nathan Cross were the standouts.