Drawing with Suns gives Ibises heart

February 09, 2018

Tatura defender Adrian Corbo gets some air to win this header.

A draw against the Goulburn Valley Suns has shown Tatura Soccer Club is on the right track for this season.

The Ibises had a two-goal advantage in the second half of Monday night’s clash against the more credentialled National Premier League Two side, but coughed up the lead late to finish 3-3.

It was their second fixture in three days, having pummeled Albury Wodonga Football Association side Melrose FC 6-2 on Saturday in Albury.

Beaten 2-4 against the Suns a fortnight earlier, Tatura’s new playing coach Sean Grant was impressed with his side’s improvement.

‘‘I thought the first time we played them, we underachieved,’’ Grant said.

‘‘It was our first time together and after training together for a couple of weeks we worked a lot better, and the side gave them a real fight.

‘‘Our squad is really strong, we’ve got plenty of boys coming off the bench we have confidence in.

‘‘There’s probably 17 strong boys fighting to be in the starting 11, which is a good headache, but also a tough one.’’

Tatura was stung early against the Suns as GV playing coach Craig Carley gave his side the lead before Grant levelled the scores.

An own goal gave the Ibises the advantage and they found a third through an Adrian Corbo free kick, before the Suns’ late double had the friendly end in a draw.

But on Saturday there was no such misfortune as Melrose FC was put to the sword.

Lewis Coyle struck twice to lead the way in the rout against the AWFA’s fifth-placed side last year.

‘‘We played three 30-minute periods in 35-plus degree heat, so you can imagine the first half was pretty cagey,’’ Grant said.

‘‘We scored a couple of early goals and we were able to hold on, it turned into a nice, confident win.’’

Grant said defensive structure was a key area he wanted to improve, but it would take progress right across the field to jump from last season’s sixth-place finish.

‘‘You could see the improvement (defensively), even in two weeks from the first game against GV,’’ he said.

‘‘In the first half defensively we were all over the place and grew into the game, where on Monday we started strong and even going down 1-0, we kept our composure and our shape, and kept plodding along and showed some resilience.

‘‘It’s only a practice match, but it was great to see that fight.’’

The Bendigo Amateur Soccer League season kicks off on April 8.

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