EAGLEHAWK’S push for a third consecutive Bendigo Amateur Soccer League men’s championship title continues to gather momentum.
The Hawks catapulted themselves to the top of the championship ladder with a 2-0 win against Strathdale at Beischer No.1 on Sunday.
It was the Blues’ first defeat in 15 games played this season, but was enough to edge them from top spot for the first time since round one.
The win comes at a handy point of the season for coach Greg Thomas’ Hawks side, with two of their next three games coming against finals aspirants Tatura and Shepparton South.
A dour defensive struggle was broken open when Nathan Hamblin found the back of the net in the 83rd minute.
The Hawks, who lost their earlier season contest to Strathdale 1-0, sealed the win with a second goal from their coach in the 93rd minute
Thomas said a more than handy three points for the win was achieved without any real standout performances.
“It was a real battle and wasn’t a real pretty game, but all 11 guys on the park battled away,” he said.
“It wasn’t a game to play pretty football, being a top of the ladder clash.
“It was a real good club effort. It’s put us back on top, but there’s still a lot of soccer ahead and points to be played for.”
Former Epsom skipper Alex Caldow made his much-anticipated debut for the Hawks and slotted in nicely, according to Thomas.
He said the class midfielder would be an important acquisition as the club sought a championship three-peat.
“Alex contacted us earlier in the year about coming over, but ended up staying, and then contacted us again while overseas and wanted to make the move,” he said.
“I have a lot of time for Alex; he’s a good young player and it was good to get him off to a good start on the weekend.
“He’ll improve each week on from here.”
Strathdale faces another tough game next week against Shepparton United.
The Blues, who have been the competition benchmark this season, would relinquish second spot with a loss to United, who are third but only one point behind.
United warmed up for the clash with a 5-1 win against Moama-Echuca Border Raiders.
Tatura remains in fifth place following a 3-0 win against Epsom, while Shepparton got its third win of the season after a 2-11 triumph against a spirited Golden City.
Spring Gully United joined Colts United on 20 points with a 2-1 win at Stanley Avenue.
It was the fourth win of the season for the Reds, who get a chance to add to that tally next weekend against Golden City.
In youth championship games, Hser Ka Bru Htoo scored a double in top-side Epsom’s 2-0 win against Tatura.
The competition’s leading scorer Ali Hosseini and Mahdi Heidari both finished with a hat-trick of goals in Shepparton South’s big 12-0 win against Swan Hill.
Kyle Nicholls scored two goals for Strathdale in a 6-2 win against Eaglehawk, Mohammed Frahood helped himself to four goals for Shepparton in a 5-3 victory against Golden City, while Moama-Echuca Border Raiders defeated Shepparton United 4-0.