Natimuk United v Edenhope-Apsley
Ground: Horsham City Oval, Saturday, 6.30pm.
Umpires: C. Pickering and G. White.
Last time they met: Round 17, 2013. Edenhope-Apsley 33.11 (209) d Natimuk 7.5 (47).
HORSHAM City Oval will light up on Saturday for the first ever night match played at the ground for Horsham District Football Netball League points.
Natimuk United will host Edenhope-Apsley for the clash, which will begin at 6.30pm.
It is an historic match for the Rams in more ways than one, marking their first home game since the merger between Natimuk and the Horsham RSL Diggers.
The team faces a daunting task against Edenhope-Apsley.
The Saints were in fine form at the weekend, smashing Noradjuha-Quantong behind a strong midfield performance and 12 goals from guest player and former AFL star Brendan Fevola.
Natimuk United coach Tim Friend said his team needed to be mentally prepared after a sluggish first quarter against Swifts at the weekend.
“We didn’t really turn up prepared last week, and we weren’t switched on from the get-go,” he said.
“Our tackling was pretty poor, so we don’t want to let that happen again.
“Last year, a lot of sides didn’t like playing against us because of our pressure and tackling, so we’ve got to get back to playing that sort of footy.”
Saints coach Grant Coxon said his side would not change its approach in the absence of Fevola.
Edenhope-Apsley was well on top in the inside-50 count by the end of its match against the Bombers.
Coxon said a similar midfield performance would be the focus on Saturday night.
“Guys like Tom Clissold and Cameron Domaschenz will step up and have more footy kicked to them than what they did on Saturday, so we’ve still got plenty of options,” he said.
“We had a couple of real purple patches in the middle which was good.
“Fev didn’t really get 30 metres past the goal square, so to get the footy down there enough for him to kick 12 goals means we’re getting a lot of the footy.”
Sam McClure missed at the weekend with concussion, but could play for the Saints if he is not selected by the North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup.
Coxon said his players were excited at the prospect of playing a night match.