Shoalhaven football: Manyana and United in match of the round

ON AGAIN: Manyana’s Brandon Perosh and Shoalhaven United’s Matt Fuz go head to head the last time their team’s clashed. Photo: PATRICK FAHY

ON AGAIN: Manyana’s Brandon Perosh and Shoalhaven United’s Matt Fuz go head to head the last time their team’s clashed. Photo: PATRICK FAHY

THE positions on the Shoalhaven Senior football competition table are far from decided even though there are only four rounds remaining. 

Culburra are virtually assured of the top position and are the only team guaranteed of a finals position. 

The Culburra side are now six points in front of their nearest rival due to their 2-nil win over Bomaderry. 

Manyana moved into second position with a 6-1 win over St Georges Basin, while Shoalhaven United moved back in to fourth spot after a solid 2-nil win over Shoalhaven Heads. 

While they have no chance of making the top four, Illaroo had a morale boosting 5-nil win over Huskisson.

THE match of the round is between second placed Manyana and fourth placed Shoalhaven United. 

Manyana moved to second spot courtesy of their win over Basin and United’s win over Shoalhaven Heads. 

At the start of the year most critics would have predicted they would at least finish in the top two and now they are there they will be determined to stay there. 

It is no secret their attacking ability is their strength. 

They have scored 50 goals so far this year and leading the charge in this area are Rohan Daley and Brandon Perosh, who have scored 30 between them. 

Invariably one of these guys score every week and are a danger to even the best defences. 

Even if these two are controlled there is also Billy Zappas and Ben Daley to worry about. 

Defensively they are not as strong, however when you can score an average of three goals a game, the defence can afford to not be at their best all the time.

Shoalhaven United have improved as the year has gone on with their last loss actually being against Manyana the last time they met. 

Despite the loss of Josh Mackaness, Michael Binney and Shane Button for the year coach Trevor Skingle has managed to put a competitive side on the paddock each week. 

Skingle promoted young Zac Gordon from third grade four weeks ago and he has not put a foot wrong despite marking the likes of Corey Ryan and Sam Boardman. 

Taite Arney has been dangerous up front and received support from Billy Wallington, Dean Atkinson, Shaun Aldous and Matt Lewis. 

Manyana won both previous encounters 3-1, and while United have improved, the Manyana side should get the win at home.

ANOTHER great game will be between Shoalhaven Heads and Bomaderry. 

Heads have lost two of their last three games which has seen them fall to third spot after being in the top two since round nine. 

Their game against United was a close encounter and could have gone either way as United only scored their second goal in injury time. 

Heads were also missing the likes of Connor Edenden, Ben Rawlinson, Jared Ryding and Hayden Lavender against United and the inclusion of any of these players could have made the difference. 

Heads coach Ross Tasker knows that all clubs have players unavailable at times and will not being using this as an excuse, however he would like to see some of these players return in the near future. 

Tasker will want good performances from Alex Stokes, Tim White, David Crapp, Brad Page, Roy Miller, Ian Martyn and Jai Findlay.

Bomaderry dropped out of the top four after their loss to Culburra last week however they have been swapping positions with United for several weeks and they are definitely still in the race. 

They are still the only side to defeat Culburra this year and will be keen to get another shot at them. 

Bomaderry coach Doug Foley feels they can beat anyone when they are at their best. 

Foley will be looking for good performances from Brad Bailey, Matt Kellett, David Hampton, Matt Roberts, Michael Hampton, Cameron Nelson, Daniel Frew and Daniel Turner. 

Shoalhaven Heads won the first round 2-1 and the second 3-nil. 

This game is expected to be close with a draw the likely result.

BASIN will host Illaroo in what is expected to be another close match. 

Once again Basin was competitive for parts of their game against Manyana but could not compete for the full 90 minutes. 

As has been previously mentioned the Basin side are probably a few players short of being able to compete against the top teams week in week out. 

They actually have several top class ex players playing at other clubs including Dave Hampton, Blair Sutherland, Corey Ryan, Tim White and Michael Hampton. 

What a difference these players could make if they were still playing at the Basin. 

Coach Scott Aldridge would still be looking to finish the season on a high and to move from the bottom of the table. 

Illaroo were great against Huskisson last week and will be hoping to continue with this form for the remainder of the year. 

Aaron Crittenden scored a hat-trick which more than doubled his goal scoring tally for the year. 

After being in the top 10 goal scorers for the last two years Crittenden had struggled this year, however this could be the confidence he needs for the last four games. 

Illaroo could still have a say in the finishing positions of other teams as they still have to play Heads and United. 

While other coaches note of the unavailability of players, Illaroo coach Andrew Timbs has good reason to. 

He has been without the services of Dan Leedham, Harry Sawkins, Trent Bray, Joe Leedham and himself for the majority of the year. 

This is a significant loss of playing strength. 

Illaroo won the first round 2-nil and the second round 2-1. 

This should be another close game and at home Basin may be able to get a draw.

THE final match in this round is between Culburra and Huskisson. 

Culburra are now six points in front of second placed Manyana and have virtually wrapped up the top spot. 

The competition championship trophy has already been forwarded to the engravers in readiness to engrave Culburra on it for the ninth time. 

The Cougars have done it relatively easy with only the one loss for the year and this was when they were under strength. 

They did have a mid season slump with draws against Illaroo, Bomaderry and Huskisson, however they have now recovered from that and are steaming towards the finals. 

Huskisson have been struggling for players in recent weeks with many having to double up and play both first and second grade. 

This will not be ideal against the strong Culburra side and coach Ian Osterloh will hope to have 11 fresh players for first grade this week. 

If the likes of David Dunlop, Adam Quinn, Josh Fuz, Jayme Delehenty, Sam Boardman, Sam Duffy, Jake Malligan and Brendon Hobbs are all available they will be competitive. 

Culburra won the first round 3-nil while the second encounter was a 2-all draw. Culburra are going too well now though and should win this game quite easily.