A LATE strike from playing manager Brian Shelley secured Ballarat Red Devils a 2-1 win over Altona City at Trekardo Park on Saturday.
Shelley’s 85th-minute goal was his first since round one of the 2011 Football Federation Victoria men’s state league two season and helped end the Haymes Red Devils’ run of two-straight defeats. The win leaves the Reds fourth, just two points behind third-placed Brunswick City heading into this weekend’s final-round clash with Preston Lions.
Shelley said it was another tough performance from his charges, who had to battle with just 10 men for about an hour after Liam Harding’s first half red card.
Harding’s dismissal followed a tremendous team goal, finished by Alex Antonelli in the 22nd minute.
Altona City equalised shortly after the re-start, but could not hold out the home side, with Shelley scoring the winner from a rebound, after his initial free kick smashed against the wall. Shelley said the win reinforced what he already knew about the Ballarat squad, and was impressed that his players still gave “110 per cent” with promotion out of reach.
Saturday’s defeat confirmed Altona City’s relegation from state league two, leaving it four points adrift La Trobe University at the bottom of the table with one round to play.