Tigers must see Reds to get the Blues - August 25 2012

Tigers must see Reds to get the Blues

Damen Francis

August 25 2012

Shepparton News

Cobram coach Luke Slater is desperate to get the first crack at Regional Premier League minor premier Shepparton United.

The Tigers are the only club in the league to have avoided defeat against the Blues this season.

But, in order to set-up that match-up, they must first get past Shepparton in tonight’s qualifying final.

‘‘We definitely see this as a really important game, we want to play United next week,’’ Slater said.

‘‘We won’t be leaving anything in the tank.’’

To some extent the Reds have flown under the radar this season, but Slater is under no illusion about the quality they possess.

Spoils have been shared in head-to-head meetings between the pair this season, with Shepparton taking the points in round two and Cobram emerging on top in round 11.

Ladder position establishes Cobram as favourite, but Slater claimed there was nothing between them.

‘‘Really it’s 50-50, they’re stronger than they were at the start of the season and on current form they are (favourites),’’ he said.

‘‘They seem to have good movement in the final third, lots of short, sharp passes and two really good strikers in Daniel Heffernan and Adam Morning.

‘‘We’re very aware of their attacking threat, with their pace and quality . . . on paper they’re a really strong side.’’

While admitting the chance to take on the Blues for a spot in the final was a major lure, Reds coach Tom Radevski said he did not mind how his side got there, as long as it did.

Radevski said Cobram deserved to be favourite tonight, but felt the two sides were evenly matched.

‘‘The first game they had chances to beat us and the second game we could have beaten them,’’ Radevski said.

‘‘The second game they scored some easy goals, so defence is going to be what wins the game. Sean Ellis is always a threat, so we need to stop him getting space with the ball, and Stuart Vance has been scoring with headers, so they have a strong forward line.’’

Both sides will go into the clash at full strength, with Cobram’s Kevin Moffat expected to return at full back following a rest.

The loser of tonight’s match faces the winner of the elimination final between Cobram Victory and Hanwood.


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