A RYAN Giles free kick in the last minute of the game has given Albury Hotspurs a rare win against fierce rival Albury United.
On a water-logged Aloysius Park both sides struggled to put meaningful passages of play together before Simon Flower gave United the lead on 63 minutes.
Giles equalised five minutes later and then took the free kick on the edge of the 18-yard box after four minutes of injury time.
“You wouldn’t see a better free kick — he beat the wall and pigeon-holed it into the top corner,” beaten United coach Adam Carty said.
“But the ground wasn’t great for football — we just struggled to move the ball in the mud, over-hit balls we would normally put at feet.
“Spurs just adapted to the conditions better than us and that is the way some games go.”
Hotspurs coach John Irvine said Giles was clearly the man of the match.
“It was a special free kick but his effort throughout the game lifted the entire side,” he said.
“But he had plenty of mates — Tyson Mason was another standout, while Matt Townsend had been sick all week and was still able to get through 75 minutes of football in pretty tough conditions.
“It was a real show of strength to come from one down to equalise and then deliver the knockout blow with the last kick of the game.
“No one at the club can remember the last time we beat United here at home.”
Elsewhere St Pats bowed out of the cup final race when it gave up a 1-0 lead with just a minute of ordinary time to go.
“Realistically we needed the three points to have any chance,” coach Andy Stevens said.
“But the second half we were under siege and Pete Igo in goals really made some great saves, put his body on the line.
“To concede at 89 minutes from a goal mouth scramble was disappointing but then to give another one away in injury time makes it pretty tough.
“We lost regular keeper Scott Mildren after 20 minutes and Pete was great after that, while Chris Mitchell has been crook all week and still got through 75 minutes for us.”
It was Mildren’s brother Matt who helped Boomers to three points across town at Glen Park when they beat Melrose 1-0.
“It was a game where both sides had plenty of chances,” Boomers coach Andrew Grove said.
“Pete caught them on a counter attack to get the goal but then inside the last three minutes Sean Pye volleyed a shot that was headed for the top right corner and somehow Matt threw out a hand to tip it over the bar.”