Sport

Third, fifth do battle for crucial league points

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August 05, 2017

It will be a battle of third and fifth tomorrow when Shepparton United travels to face Epsom.

Only four points separate the two sides and, with the top four progressing to the competition’s finals, every result is crucial with just six rounds left to play.

Shaholli’s United side has won three of the past five matches, after a slight mid-season form slump saw it drop from the top of the table.

United has overcome arch rivals Shepparton, Colts United and Moama-Echuca Border Raiders in recent weeks, but it is in the next three weeks where it will have to show its might.

United will have to back up from a clash with Epsom, before facing Tatura and second-placed Shepparton South.

United just scraped across the line the last time it faced tomorrow’s opponent, winning a 3-2 thriller at Central Avenue.

Ghulam Hassani and Ermal Marku were the scorers, with the former notching two of his own.

A win could potentially see United close the five-point gap on league leader Eaglehawk, while Epsom also needs the points to remain in the hunt for a finals place.

Despite sitting fifth, Epsom has scored the competition’s third-highest amount of goals, seven more than United.

Cooper Arkinstall has netted 15 of the host’s 65 goals this season, while James Crawley (10) and Josh Dwyer (9) have also chipped in with their fair share.

●Shepparton will also hit the road this weekend, travelling to face Moama-Echuca Border Raiders.

Dillon Shelley’s side has struggled of late and sits 10 points adrift of a finals position in seventh.

The Reds’ last win came more than a month ago when they edged out rival Tatura, and they should be confident if away form is anything to go by.

Four of the Reds’ six wins this season have come on the road and that streak should continue when they face the competition’s cellar dwellers.

The Border Raiders have registered just the one win this season, having shipped 155 goals in just 15 games, the most of any club this season.

Offensively they have also struggled, averaging less than a goal a game.

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