YOOGALI Soccer Club coach Ryan Spencer said his team shot its finals chance in “both feet” after going down 6-4 to Shepparton Soccer Club at EW Moore Oval yesterday.
After an outstanding first-half effort, which saw the local side lead 2-0 into the break, YSC took their foot off the pedal and allowed Shepparton to score six goals in the second term to take the win.
The loss means Yoogali’s hope of securing a place in the finals is all but destroyed, with the top four edging even further out of reach after this weekend.
Spencer was at a loss for words talking to The Area News after the game as to what happened between the halves.
“I’m speechless,” he said.
“I’m still coming to terms with it. You can’t concede six goals in a game and expect to win.
“The scoreline doesn’t lie, that’s 12 goals we’ve conceded in two games and that’s not finals football.
“We’ve shot ourselves in both feet for our chance at finals.”
The men in blue and yellow looked hungry when they stepped on to the field at the beginning of the match.
Grabbing possession early, the local side threw everything they had at Shepparton’s goal until a brilliant cross by Mitch Bagiante to PA Bruce saw the striker open up YSC’s account three minutes in.
While Shepparton soon took the ball back down the other end, a switched-on Yoogali defence denied them any opportunity of getting a clear shot at goal.
With Shepparton frustrated, Yoogali regained ball control and Chris Angus was able to head in YSC’s second.
“I was delighted with the first half,” Spencer said.
“We did exactly what we wanted and opened them up and created a lot of chances – we should have been up four- or five-nil going into the second half.”
The determination of Yoogali to maintain their lead was clear and Bruce continued to create chances in front of the goal, but couldn’t find the back of the net before the half-time whistle sounded.
But when the second half started a different team walked out of the locker room – all the fire and talk gone from the once-dominant side.
And Shepparton took advantage, scoring two goals in eight minutes to even up the score and destroy all the work YSC had done in the first half.
A Spencer goal got Yoogali back in front but the visitors answered straight back, running it around the goalkeeper after he dived for the save.
Ten minutes later Shepparton took the lead for the first time in the game and while Yoogali’s Stevie Crombie got YSC back on even footing, it wasn’t for long.
A soft goal seven minutes before full-time saw Shepparton in the lead again and even Yoogali’s goalkeeper coming out of the box couldn’t get the score even again.
The visitors were able to score one more time before the final whistle to take the win 6-4.
“The whole team stuffed it up,” Spencer said.
“It was a disgrace for all the players who play for this club.
“I’m fed up conceding six goals, it’s got to stop and there’s going to be some changes made next week.”