South Coast United all but sealed their place in the Illawarra Premier League for another season following a shock 1-0 victory over Wollongong United at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
Teenager Ivan Bratjanscak scored the decisive goal as South Coast moved six points clear of last-placed Picton Rangers.
United’s 14-goal superior goal difference to the Rangers means only a unfathomable collapse would prevent them from returning to the top tier in 2019. It’s been a remarkable recovery from Greg Valic’s side, who have won four of their past five matches to kick clear of the relegation axe.
Picton (nine points) are now almost certain of returning to the District League following a 3-0 loss to Tarrawanna Blueys. They trail Woonona Sharks by four points on the ladder.
The Sharks (13 points) missed the chance to join South Coast (15 points) after twice blowing an advantage in a 3-3 draw with Corrimal Rangers on Sunday.