Tatura has kept its slim finals aspiration alive after a come-from-behind victory in the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League.
With plenty to play for and the season all but on the line, Brent Mathers’ troops trailed just before half-time, but four unanswered goals ensured the Ibises would claim the important three points, defeating Golden City 4-1.
An inspired substitution in the 67th minute saw the experienced David Turkovic enter the fray and the lumbering striker proved the difference, assisting in three of the Ibises’ four goals on Sunday.
In wet and windy conditions Mathers informed Turkovic at half-time that he would be coming on soon, and as a result, Tristan Zito, Tariq Nikoi-Kotey and the returning Thomas Leech all found the back of the net.
Zito began the spree, slotting home nicely after exploiting space in behind City’s defence, Nikoi-Kotey tapped home from close range before Leech, who was marauding down the left, found the back of the net to give the hosts a 3-1 lead.
With five minutes left to play Nikoi-Kotey stepped up again for the hosts, converting from the spot to claim his second goal and the club’s fourth in 15 minutes.
‘‘Our season was on the line there at half-time, we were on top and the boys’ heads could have dropped, but we created chance after chance and finally got the breakthrough,’’ Mathers said.
‘‘I feel we absolutely dominated the game and now we just have to keep on winning and hope results will go our way, should we play finals.’’
The Ibises now sit seven points adrift of fourth-placed Shepparton United and the two clubs are set to face each other this weekend.
‘‘It is going to be a big game,’’ Mathers said.
‘‘There is a strong history between the two clubs and there is potentially a finals spot on the line.’’
Mason Smith was imperative, pulling the strings in a muddy midfield for the hosts, while Mathers also credited the return of Leech.
‘‘Smith I thought was exceptional, worked hard all day and was able to dictate the play, while it was also good to have Leech running around with us again,’’ Mathers said.
The Ibises have been inconsistent of late, having snared only two wins in the past six weeks, but nothing short of three points in the remaining five games will do for Mathers’ men now.