Saints keep eye on the finals

WINNERS: Daylesford and Hepburn United Soccer Club's senior division of the Ballarat and District Soccer Association is having a stellar season as it focuses on making it to the top spot on the ladder. Photo: Ivan Carter
WINNERS: Daylesford and Hepburn United Soccer Club's senior division of the Ballarat and District Soccer Association is having a stellar season as it focuses on making it to the top spot on the ladder. Photo: Ivan Carter

Daylesford and Hepburn United’s seniors have kept up their recent good form with a 3-1 win over the much fancied Forest Rangers.

Forest Rangers now sit four points behind Daylesford and Hepburn United in fourth place, leaving the Saints only a win away from moving up to second place on the ladder.

Sean Luduke and Aidan Mayger  were the stars of the show. Luduke opened the game with a formidable goal, leading the Saints to a 2-0 lead by half time after Dragi Koleski scored a second goal with his head. 

Shortly afterwards, the Saints scored their third goal through  Aiden Mayger.

In the final 20 minutes, however, the Forest Rangers hit back, scoring a goal through Philip Le Poidevin. 

The Saints shared the ball around nicely on the counter attack, but never dominated possession, with the Forest Rangers running five players up front and plenty out wide.

Hiroshi Masuda was superb as ever in the middle. Josh Butler was also excellent at the back, as was veteran player Ivan Carter, who intercepted most of the attacks that came through the centre.

Two yellow cards were handed out during the game, with one to the Saints’ Richard Malter and the second to the Forest Ranger’s Patrick Cassidy.

Mayger is really beginning to find form and is looking menacing to most teams in the league as a result of his speed, height and flashy footwork. 

Daylesford and Hepburn United will take on second placed Ballarat Red on Sunday, 12pm at Trekardo Park. The Saints will need to play a flawless game in order to score any points. 

It is a hard ask, with Ballarat Red also running on a winning streak, but a win would catapult the Saints into second place. 

Maverick defenders Francis Comber and Shanka Hackenburger will return to the league next weekend after their recent absents on poker duties. Also returning will be Dylan Nulty, to add some further spice up front. 

LADDER:

Horsham & District 36 pts, 35 gd; Ballarat Red 32, 29; Daylesford and Hepburn United 31, 16, Forest Rangers 27, 13; Bunniyong 24, 9; Sebastopol Vikings 22, 14; Bacchus Marsh 15, -6; Maryborough 15, -10; Creswick 13, -23; Ballarat White 12, -14; Ballarat North United 9, -13; Victoria Park 4, -34