Saturday, 7 August 2010

South breaks five year Jack Edwards drought - Oakleigh 0 South Melbourne 1

Below is the match report I was asked to write for the official site. Not sure when it will go up, or what changes will be made to it, but I feel you should all see this anyway - even if it will be just a change of pace from what will likely be fantastic court based theme week.

Anyway, a whole bunch of other stuff happened apart from the game. I gave a synopsis of the final episode of That's My Bush!, one of the greatest ever series finales. After the game at Huntingdale, where we had a chat with one of Fernando's mates from TAFE, we ended up having an epic duel with the snack vending machine - which with the power of teamwork and persistence we won.

On the Werribee line, some mostly Lebo kids who had been to the footy were being a minor nuisance, ending up accidentally kicking some old aussie bloke. Bloke gets up, looks really fucken pissed off, puts his hand inside his jacket - what he was threatening to pull out of there who knows. I ended up having a very superficial conversation with a couple of the kids about Mish Mish. I suppose you can read the match report now.

South Melbourne has kept its slim finals chances alive with a 1-0 win away to Oakleigh Cannons on Friday night. In wet conditions, Fernando De Moraes’ first half goal saw the visitors take all three points from Jack Edwards Reserve for the first time since 2005, and handed the out of form Cannons their seventh loss in eight matches.

South settled down quickly, and set up several chances in the opening minutes. Joe Keenan on the left, and De Moraes on the right in particular were repeatedly beating their opponents one on one, and sent in several crosses into the area.

Gianni De Nittis had South’s first guilt edge chance, when he ran on to a through ball by De Moraes, rounded the keeper, but ended up being unable to keep the ball in play. Soon after Keenan fired just wide from a free kick.

Ramazan Tavsancioglu ran on to another through ball, this time by Marinos Gasparis, but Oakleigh goalkeeper Griffin McMaster was able to smother the ball. Further dead ball situations had McMaster stopping long range shots and being forced to punch or tip the ball to safety.

Eventually South’s good work paid off in the 30th minute, when De Moraes, finding himself in metres of space on the right hand side after a through ball by defender Eddie Cetkin, slotted a low shot past McMaster to give South the lead.

Oakleigh’s first half attacks were mostly reliant on South’s occasional midfield errors and on rapid counter attacks on the wings. For the most part South’s defence was able to thwart the home side’s advances without too much difficulty, with only Ricky Diaco’s aerial prowess getting the ball through to Peter Zois.

Oakleigh’s best chances in the first half came from ex-South winger Yusuf Yusuf, who sprayed his shot wide after his teammates had provided some neat build up play, and as the half wore on, a passage of play started by a Billy Damianos interception forced Zois to come off his line to clear the ball - with the ball bouncing around dangerously in the box, Steve O’Dor managed to clear it to safety from the goal line.

The second half saw more of the same attacking football from both teams, albeit with a much improved effort from the home side. Diaco looked lively again early in the second half, while De Moraes failed to repeat his goal scoring effort of the first half, shooting across the face of goal and wide from a tight angle. At the other end, Zois was also forced into action, saving a shot resulting from a goalmouth scramble.

The Cannons brought on dangerous but out of form striker Jerry Karpeh midway through the second half, but for the most part South kept Karpeh quiet, by double teaming him and forcing him away from goal. Still, Karpeh was able to create Oakleigh’s best chance of the night, when he latched on to a cross with his head, forcing Zois to dive spectacularly to his left to tip the ball away to safety.

As Oakleigh were forced to press up the field, South turned their attention to absorbing the pressure, and hitting back on the counter. Numerous attempts were foiled by mistimed runs and the linesman’s flagging of offside calls. The best opportunity for South in the second half came when Rhodri Payne ran through clear on goal, where he appeared to be taken down from behind in the 18 yard box - the referee though, waved play on. South though was able to hold on to its lead until the end, and in doing so was able to claim a deserved victory.

With thanks to Andrew Ongkodjojo and John Diegan

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