Revenge sweet for slick Lions

Dandaloo goalie Joel Lockard battles Fernhill’s Matt Keep for a loose ball. Pictures: ANDY ZAKELI Noel Spencer (left) of Dandaloo and Fernhill’s Monty Pfrengil tussle for the ball.
Nanjing Night Net

Dandaloo took a huge step towards clinching the league championship and exacted revenge on Fernhill with a 4-0 demolition at Dandaloo Sports Ground yesterday.Eleven points clear in first place, Dandaloo now need just two points from their final four games to wrap up the title.Fernhill are the only team to have beaten the star-studded Lions side this year, winning 4-0 in round one.Embarrassed at the severity of that loss and upset at some comments by Fernhill players after the season-opener, the Lions made amends with a ruthless performance yesterday.In front of a boisterous home crowd, Dandaloo played tough, uncompromising football and were clinical in front of goal.Ex-New Zealand international Chris Jackson grabbed a double and set up another in a fine display, while Jason Kencevski and Noel Spencer added their names to the scoresheet.Spencer’s goal was a highlight – a curling 30m free kick that left the Foxes’ goalie, Simon Jager, helpless. Injured captain David Kerr, standing in for coach Rob Birkin, said his team wasn’t that concerned with the title chase.But he admitted they wanted to prove a point against Fernhill.”They killed us in the first round, they were saying we’re too old, we’re overpaid etcetera, etcetera – and today we wanted to come out and show them what we can do,” he said.”Our players weren’t happy with what went on. We don’t do that kind of stuff – we do our talking on the field.”As well as Kerr (groin), Dandaloo were missing Steve Laybutt (ankle) and Paul Harries.Dandaloo play in the Bampton Cup final against Picton this weekend, and get the chance to secure the championship at home against Dapto in two weeks.Playing against the competition standard-bearers, Fernhill were wasteful in front of goal and their passing was inaccurate.Andy Paine tried hard and nearly scored with a spectacular long-range free kick, but the Foxes’ coach, Paul Michlmayr, struggled to come up with a positive point from the match.”It sums up the last six weeks – we had a one-on-one in the six-yard box that we put to the outside of the post. “We had limited opportunities, but against Dandaloo you’ve got to take them,” Michlmayr conceded.”They’re a win away from the title so they were extremely motivated, every win’s important for them. They’re a good footy team.”Fernhill were just one point behind Dandaloo after round 10, but since then have only collected three points from their last eight games to be four points outside of the top five. They face a tough – but not impossible – run to the semi-finals, with matches against Bulli, Woonona, Dapto and Wollongong Utd. “My concern now is just making the play-offs,” Michlmayr said, adding that the problems in front of goal needed fixing.”Our problem has been wasteful finishing,” he said. “We just haven’t been clinical and taken our chances in the front third. “Then, as we chase games we open up and concede goals at the back end.”

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