A LATE hattrick from Simon Murphy inspired the Ballarat Red Devils to a comprehensive 5-1 annihilation of rivals Bendigo City Football Club in their National Premier Leagues 2 West Vic clash in Bendigo on Saturday night.
After a swath of early chances the Reds managed to capitalise through Dom Swinton and headed into the change with just a single score to separate the sides despite the visitor’s possession dominance.
Soon after the beginning of half time the home side found a way to equalise via Goodwill Basha. Some late substitutions from the Reds’ bench would prove to be the catalyst for the impending flood of goals, as Josh Romein entered the fray soon followed by Murphy with 25 minutes remaining.
In less-than 10 minutes Murphy found an avenue to goal, with Nelson Salvatore’s effective disposal again proving the difference. Just moments later Murphy was again causing headaches for City, after a deflected strike from Swinton fell to the feet of the fresh-legged striker.
With the scoreline at 3-1 the McDonald’s Reds showed no mercy as a poor back pass from the rattled City was intercepted by Micheal Trigger who passed off to Swinton for his second.
The visitors proceeded to rub salt in the home side’s wounds when Murphy completed his trifecta with just minutes remaining.
Reds coach James Robinson said he was particularly pleased with the effectiveness of the substitutes who were able to influence the contest late in the match.
“It’s about utilising the whole squad because we play a high intensity game,” Robinson said.
“We knew Bendigo were going to be very disciplined in their approach and give us less time on the ball...but credit to our boys in the second half as we were a lot more precise with our passes. “
The Red’s also had success in the day’s earlier clashes, with the under-20 side cruising past City 7-3. The win will likely push the Reds up into fifth place on the ladder, with their win-loss record now in the black for the first time this season at five wins and four losses.
"It’s about utilising the whole squad because we play a high intensity game."- James Robinson - Red Devils coach
The Reds’ next assignment will involve another road trip when they meet Goulburn Valley Suns FC next Sunday in Shepparton. Robinson said choosing a starting 11 would prove difficult with the entire squad performing across the weekend.
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