United surge clear of bottom

United coach Greg Valic.

United coach Greg Valic.

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 games to kick clear of the relegation. Picton (nine points) are now almost certain of returning to the District League following a 3-0 loss to Tarrawanna. They trail Woonona by four points.