Ballarat looking to end Sunshine’s hopes

GOAL SCORER: Michael Trigger found the net twice to lead Ballarat City to victory over Nunawading City last weekend.

GOAL SCORER: Michael Trigger found the net twice to lead Ballarat City to victory over Nunawading City last weekend.

Ballarat City can secure its survival in the National Premier Leagues Victoria 2 competition with victory on Saturday afternoon.

It’s a simple scenario for the Ballarat boys, which can break 10 points clear of the relegation zone with three rounds to play if they beat bottom side Sunshine George Cross.

As it stands, Ballarat is second last and holds a seven-point margin on the Sunshine outfit.

“A win for us secures our place with three to play,” Ballarat manager Danny Gnjidic said.

“It’s a must win for them and for us, is it a must win? It’s not because there’s three games to play and worst case scenario is that we are four points clear… even a draw leaves it at seven points, so it’s still all for them to do.”

Gnjidic and his boys will head to Knights Stadium in Sunshine on the back of a 3-1 victory against Nunawading City last weekend.

Michael Trigger scored a brace to help Ballarat secure all three points, but the clash saw Shaun Romein cop another red card. This will see him miss the next three matches and only become available for the final-round clash with North Geelong.

Despite its standing on the table, Gnjidic is open-minded about what the home side will produce.

“Sunshine George Cross is a proud club that has played at the highest level in the old National Soccer League,” he said.

“We go there expecting anything, but at the same time they are now playing out of Knights Stadium so it’s probably not as an intimidating place to go as their previous home.

“We are as well prepared as we can be, both in form and with the way training has gone and things like that. We go there with plenty of confidence.

“The boys know what the circumstances are. There’s no tiptoeing around it. You win and with three games to play you’ve secured your status for next year.”

LADDER

Altona Magic 52 +34

Moreland Zebras 43 +18

St Albans Saints 42 +17

North Geelong Warriors 39 +1

Werribee City 35 +1

Brunswick City 33 -10

Melbourne Victory 31 -4

Whittlesea Ranges 29 -2

Ballarat City 28 -4

Sunshine George Cross 21 -31

ROUND 25

Saturday

Brunswick City v Altona Magic

North Geelong Warriors v Moreland Zebras

Whittlesea Ranges v Werribee City

Sunshine George Cross v Ballarat City

Sunday

St Albans Saints v Melbourne Victory