MARTY Chambers is hoping his return for Albury United brings with it the luck of the Irish.
Three days after re-entering the country from an overseas sojourn, the 250-plus game keeper was back into action for the Green Machine last week in a 10-men, backs-to-the-wall 1-1 draw with second-placed Boomers.
It was United’s first points in almost a month of rollercoaster soccer that saw them beaten narrowly by Twin City and Melrose and suffer two shock losses to Albury Hotspurs and St Pats.
Chambers said the signs were positive.
“I went to a mate’s wedding in Ireland, arrived back on the Thursday and was in goals against Boomers on the Sunday,” he said.
“They’re second on the ladder and we probably had the better of the first half and then they threw everything at us when they were down 1-0.
“We ended up with 10 men and still got a point.
“Lapses late in the game has been the issue all year — again last weekend Boomers scored with 15 minutes to go.”
Chambers believes the finals will bring out the best in the team that has dominated the competition in the past decade.
“If we can play out the 90 minutes we will be a real threat in the finals,” he said.
“In the past we have always lifted when faced with what could be your last game.
“We have two tough teams in the final rounds, starting with Myrtleford up there.
“But you want to be playing the best going into finals rather than be in cruise mode ahead of sudden death.”
In the first round Myrtleford came from two goals down to win 4-2 at Jelbart Park.
Captain Elliott Jones is likely to be missing again, while Carty was unsure whether Caleb Martin would be fit.
Simon Flower, who has taken on a leadership role with Jones out, will also miss after being sent off against Boomers.
“We had seven regular senior starters nursing injuries on Tuesday night,” United coach Adam Carty said.
“It was a good effort last week and I think we deserved to get a better result.
“But its Myrtleford’s last home game and that means a decent-sized and parochial crowd, and given the forecast we are packing the gumboots.”