Chipping away at Diamond Valley

MORWELL Pegasus further distanced itself from the State League division two south-east bottom sides, both on the ladder and in terms of quality, with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Diamond Valley at home on Saturday.

The reinvigorated side ran rampant at Ronald Reserve, creating a plethora of opportunities in 90 ruthless minutes of attacking football that could easily have yielded another 10 goals for the home team.

Although pleased with the three competition points, coach Dale White said it could have been a “cricket score” by the final whistle based on the run of play.

“It was probably the most one-sided game I’ve seen at this level,” White said.

“This is not being disrespectful, it could have been 13… I felt for them because they’re usually very competitive and I just thought they were awful at the weekend.”

Missing a string of chances was of little concern to White, who said it was to be expected at State League level.

“It’s not a real concern because I know the quality I’ve got, and sometimes you’ve got to wonder why these players are playing at this level and that’s the reason I always put it down to,” he said.

“If they were putting all their chances away… they’d be playing in the A-League.”

Steve Maselli set the tone for Pegasus with a goal 30 seconds in to the contest and his side continued in the same vein throughout the first half.

Unable to capitalise on a spate of excellent opportunities, Morwell conceded on the stroke of half-time to go to the break on level terms, despite its overwhelming control of the fixture.

“We just battered their goal and honestly at half-time it should have been about seven-nil,” White said.

“I was fuming at half-time because the game should have been over.”

Star strikers Max Etheridge and Jamie Prictor tormented Diamond Valley’s defensive unit after the break without scoring, before Rob Ruffell volleyed home to give Pegasus the advantage.

A “world-class” finish from Chris Wynne, who skinned four opponents in the build up, sealed the 3-1 victory, moving Pegasus to within a point of the “safety zone” on 19.

“I guess we’ve got some momentum now. We’ve certainly improved out of sight, defensively we’re still a little bit frail but at the weekend I thought we defended reasonably well and going forward… we’ve got so many goals in us, we’re such a threat going forward,” White said.

Despite its recent run of success Pegasus finds itself in an awkward predicament.

The club is in spectacular form on the pitch and boasts some great talent, but promotion is off the table and key players will be tough to retain for 2014.

“That’s what comes with Morwell Pegs; it’s a unique job and it’s the hardest job. The personnel changes at this club every year… we’re under no illusions that we’ll probably lose Max (Etheridge), Jamie Prictor and Marquin Smith; we’ll probably lose the three best players and you’ve got to rebuild again,” White said.

“It’s a very frustrating process because everybody at the club in the last probably three weeks has said ‘imagine if we had this squad at the start of the season’. There’s no doubt, with a bit of luck, we could have been up challenging for promotion at this point.

“There’s no answer because if you want to be competitive you’ve got to get imports. Unfortunately in Gippsland there’s not a lot of quality for this level.”

Pegasus could be without Smith this week, after picking up a fifth yellow card, but should continue its run of results against bottom side Doveton.