Rarely does any sort of progress happen in a straight line.
Southern United can vouch for that – especially over the last month – of their quest to qualify for the 2022 Coastal Premier League Men’s finals.
They’ve been up and down and in and out of finals contention – but now they’re back in – following a 1-0 defeat of Northern Storm on Saturday.
Seven days ago they thought their destiny had been taken out of their own hands following a 2-0 loss to Sawtell.
“On Saturday we knew that we had to extract all of the points out of it that we could,” coach Jonathan Newman said.
“The boys made me sweat on it in first grade; I think the winner went in close to the 90th minute.”
They then had to sweat through another 10 minutes of stoppage time before the full-time whistle.
“As far as I can work it out, now our destiny is back in our own hands and we just have to win this weekend,” Newman said.
“If we win, we’ll finish on 35 points and that’s enough to get into the top six.”
Newman admitted the model the Ospreys would hope to use to prolong their season for as long as possible was what they used in the success over the Storm.
“You’ve got to maintain the belief that you’re going to achieve the result that you’re after, even despite what the scoreline might be and despite what’s happening possession wise,” he said.
“Don’t stop believing that you can do it and you’re more than a fair chance of getting what you’re after.”
The Ospreys now only need to take maximum points out of their final-round match against Macleay Valley.
Pending the results of Tuesday night’s catch-up fixtures between Rangers and Sawtell and Port United and Port Saints, Southern will know exactly where they can finish.
“It puts things back in our hands. If we get the job done against MVR we can’t miss out on the finals.”