SALE United dealt a massive blow to Fortuna’s Gippsland Soccer League championship title defence.
The 2-1 home win also ended an 18-year hoodoo against the Orangemen.
From the outset the Swans possessed the ball confidently, dominating the engine room, forcing Fortuna into an unfamiliar role of chasing.
A neat build-up stretched the Fortuna defence with the dynamic Tommy Nguyen in perfect position to beat his marker and net the first goal of the game.
The game was played at a frantic pace with both sides creating chances. Sale’s Ray Allred and Dave Myall were proving hard to control, while Josh Tanti and cousin Hayden kept the Orangemen in the game with their workrate.
In the second half Fortuna was on the attack and nearly scored within seconds of the kick-off but Sale goalkeeper Chris Richardson was equal to the challenge.
Sale president and senior playing stalwart Romi Bitar took the Swans to a 2-0 lead with a confident finish.
Fortuna wasn’t about to lie down and was rewarded in the 75th minute with a classy strike from Owen Kelly to set up a grandstand finish to the match.
Fortuna pressed for the equaliser but Sale was resolute in defence and held on for a memorable victory.
Sale United will this Sunday travel to Hazelwood South Reserve to take on ladder leader Churchill United. The Swans will need to be on their game if they are to repeat the dose with the Rams extra difficult to beat on their home patch.
CHURCHILL United continued on its winning way with a 5-1 victory at Tyers.
The Rams midfield was on top with Nathan Lugton, Tim Dawson and Nathan Osborne controlling proceedings.
Tyers goalkeeper Steve Ward saved a bag of goals but the relentless Churchill pressure saw strikers Luke Cheney and Jesse Kennedy both claim doubles after Dawson opened proceedings.
Tyers player Shayne Pavich scored a consolation goal in a rare foray forward for the Lightning.
NEWBOROUGH-Yallourn United claimed its first point of the season with a 0-0 draw at home against the luckless Traralgon Olympians.
MONASH escaped from home home game against fierce cross town rival Moe United with a share of the points after an entertaining 2-2 draw.
THE more experienced Traralgon City prevailed 5-2 over Falcons.
For scores and ladder, read Friday’s Gippsland Times.