“It was fantastic for the boys to come out and deal with the setback and take the points.”- James Robinson - Red Devils coach
THE Ballarat Red Devils have managed to hold off a determined Moreland City outfit to register their first win in eight weeks.
In the battle between sixth and seventh on the National Premier Leagues Two West ladder, both sides were looking to remain relevant in the final third of the season.
While the hosts had the lion’s share of the chances in the opening minutes, it was the Reds who managed to draw first blood in the 19th when dangerman Michael Trigger found the back of the net in clinical fashion after a string of passes.
Trigger continued to cause headaches for Moreland City early in the second half, doubling the visitors lead in the 52nd minute.
With the Reds looking in control, youngster Jake Francis joined in on the action, capitalising on a Moreland City defensive error to slot Ballarat’s third goal with 20 minutes remaining.
However Moreland City refused to go away, registering their first score in the 74th minute via a cross.
As the end of the 90 minutes approached, the Reds were left stunned when Moreland City scored in unsportsmanlike fashion, with the Ballarat side expecting the ball back after a free kick. Despite the controversy, the Reds were able to hold off the home side’s late surge to return to the winners list.
Reds coach James Robinson said he was particularly pleased with the outcome given the nature of Moreland City’s second goal.
“It was fantastic for the boys to come out and deal with the setback and take the points,” Robinson said. “(Moreland City’s second goal) says a lot about them but the result said a lot about us.”
The win will help to steady the ship at Morshead Park as the Red Devils look to make a charge up the table in the remaining nine games of the season.
While Whittlesea Ranges sit comfortably atop the NPL2W ladder, just two games separate second and sixth place.
While the Reds will be happy to have regained some winning form, they will face a huge challenge next weekend when they take on the St Albans Saints on Saturday night. Playing at home for the first time in a month, a win over the second placed Saints will be a prerequisite for a possible tilt at promotion.
“Anybody can beat anybody on their day in this league,” Robinson said.
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