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Southern United’s hopes of securing back-to-back wins for the second time this season vanished with an 85th-minute penalty.
Canterbury captain Gary Ogilvie stepped up and slotted what proved to be the winner, sealing a 2-1 victory at English Park and three competition points for his side. Southern was targeting a top-six finish in the national league this season but the loss has further dented its prospects.
It is in eighth spot with three wins, six draws and five losses, while Canterbury cemented its spot in the top half of the standings.
Southern made a promising start with a beautiful ball forward to Omar Guardiola. But Canterbury was able to clear when he got in a muddle.
Southern keeper Liam Little was in the action moments later, required to save a shot from Stephen Hoyle.
The visitors seemed content to sit back and hack the ball up field. It was the Dragons making most of the play which eventually led to the opening goal.
Cory Mitchell drilled the ball low into the right corner to give the home side the lead in the 21st minute.
Canterbury perhaps should have scored another goal 10min later, when Hoyle took the ball forward on a promising counterattack.
He found Futa Nakamura but his pass back to Hoyle went astray and Southern got a boot to it.
Having spent most of the half defending, Southern won a corner. There was a scramble and a Southern player went down.
The referee awarded a penalty and Danny Furlong, who was under an injury cloud heading into the game, converted.
Canterbury lit up the second half in the 72nd minute with an attack which took the home side from one end of the field to the other. It had a five on two advantage but the shot went wide and Southern breathed a sigh of relief.
But the defining moment came with six minutes of regulation time remaining. Nakamura went down in the box after a tangle with a defender. Ogilvie sent the keeper the wrong way to put his side back in front.
The Dragons had an opportunity to stretch the lead in the 89th minute, when a nice ball forward found Nakamura. He off-loaded to Hoyle, who laid it back to Sebastian Schacht.
Schacht’s shot was on target but Little came up with the save.
Southern had a corner in the dying moments of extra time but could not find the equaliser.
Canterbury v Southern
Canterbury United 2
Cory Mitchell 21’, Gary Ogilvie 85’
Southern United 1
Danny Furlong 43’