Pegasus escapes relegation

It took until the last game of the season, but Morwell Pegasus has avoided relegation after a 3-1 win over Berwick City on Saturday.

The State League Division One South-East game was a virtual final for the two sides, with 11th-placed Pegasus sitting second from the bottom on 15 points and Berwick just one point ahead in ninth position.

The win sent the Horsemen out of the relegation zone and into ninth place, while Mooroolbark’s 1-1 draw against Warragul means Berwick will make the drop.

Pegasus president Tom Thompson said he “couldn’t be happier” with the result.

“It was the perfect result as far as we were concerned,” Thompson said.

“We knew if we went in and did what we had to do, which was win, we would guarantee that we would not be relegated.”

Pegs received some breathing space early on when Chris Wynne scored his third goal of the season in the 17th minute.

But Berwick managed to fight back and equalised early in the second half.

“Then the game became bogged down and neither team was prepared to concede, because both teams were defending in numbers,” Thompson said.

“When we lost possession we tried to make sure they didn’t get a goal out of it.

“We continued to play up the flanks and in doing so we caused more trouble for them than they did us.”

Stefan Ciccarelli scored in the 55th minute to put the Horsemen back in the lead, before Mat Luak found the back of the net two minutes later to put his side in a dominant position.

Berwick looked to have dragged one back late in the half, only to have it ruled offside.

Thompson said news filtering through that Warragul and Mooroolbark had appeared to have drawn, affected Berwick’s morale.

“When that came through they dropped their heads a bit and the game ran itself out,” he said.

The Horsemen’s bid to stay in the top flight received a major setback when coach Ivan Bajo quit after Pegs’ 20 August loss to Mooroolbark.

Club stalwarts Hayden Ross-Schultz and Steve Maselli stepped into the coaching void left by Bajo’s departure and have done enough to save the club from relegation.

The club will now begin the process of finding a new coach after Ross-Schultz and Maselli told the club they wanted to concentrate on playing.

“We have spoken to both of them briefly and they haven’t indicated they want to continue in the role – what they have indicated is they want to play,” Thompson said.

“We’ll sit down maybe next week some time and have a bit of a talk about the coaching position.

“I’ll run the rule over the people around the area who have coached before to see if we can get someone interested.”

He said the club’s priority was to appoint a local coach, but said it would look further if a suitable candidate could not be found.