Thursday, 30 June 2011

Light towers are go, sorta

I stole this photo off the one they call Bibi, who took this shot while driving around the lake. Why the tower is only half full I don't know, but I assume that it will soon be filled to the brim with the rest of the hopefully state of the art light bulbs that will be required in the making of Lakeside (or the State Athletics Centre as it will be provisionally known unless a major sponsor gets their mitts on naming rights) a first class venue for athletics and a ridiculously overqualified venue for VPL football.

They aren't much to look at, to be perfectly blunt, but I suppose that's the point. If patrons are spending more time looking at light towers than at the contest in front of them, it either means that the towers aren't functioning properly or that the game is dead boring.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Josh Colosimo scores for Hobart Olympia.

Wondered how our two boys (Jake and Josh) have been going over on the Apple Isle? Well, apparently they're part of the reason why Olympia have turned their form around somewhat in the last few weeks, and who've even managed to knock out old foe Tilford Zebras (nee Hobart Juventus I'm guessing) in the state-wide cup competition called the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy, with Josh scoring the winning goal, which is nice to see, even if the defending leaves a lot to be desired on all fronts.

Monday, 27 June 2011

No Heroics This Time Around - Melbourne Knights 1 South Melbourne 0

Another frustrating day out for all concerned. Turning up to watch South is a bit of a lottery this season. You don't know how the team will be set up. You don't know who'll be on the park. You don't know if the team playing in the blue shirts will be the one that creates chances at will, the one that can fightback to overcome an early setback, the one that will roll over without much of a fight, or something we haven't seen yet at all.

Yesterday it was the timid South. The one that was reticent to make a decision, to take a shot, to make a run. The side started somewhat flat, but was at least able to match it with the Knights, and hold them out for awhile. Maybe we should have even taken the lead, after our best move the day, a scything enterprise across the field ended up with a weak header.

South down and out... again. Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
But once the Knights' goal went in, our heads dropped. Some players, even if they weren't doing well, at least seemed to care about the outcome. Stand up Kyle Joryeff, one of my most maligned players last year, who battled hard on the wing. The rest of the team wasn't so flash. Stephen Weir, so good last week, was well covered by the bigger bodies in the Knights defence.

Marinos Gasparis, who's received so many injuries and knocks this season, just hasn't been able to get back his super form of the early part of the season. Carl Recchia played in defense; while still a capable player in that area, his effectiveness is not nearly what it would be if he was in the middle directing traffic.

Fernando De Moraes came off the bench once more, as did Daniel Dragicevic, who received a chorus of boos from the home side. Kliment Taseski obviously has talent, but whether the tenacity is there can be questioned at times. Steven Topalovic is, like the majority of his teammates, at his best when by playing within his limits, not attempting to dribble past opponents.

An anti-FFV banner lasted a whole 3 minutes before being removed.
Photo: Cindy Nitsos
And that was the comment made yesterday from a fellow fan that most resonated with me. At the end of the day, soccer's not a terribly complicated game. Pass and move, pass and move. Yesterday it seemed all about trying to dribble past opponents while other players remained rooted to the spot.

And by the end of the game, both sets of supporters seemed to be in agreement, by chanting anti-Eddie Krncevic chants. And after yesterday's performance, he'll have even fewer friends to turn to.

Next Week
St Albans at our home away from home, where we've only lost to Northcote, the venue's real home side in nearly two seasons. Dinamo's slim hopes of survival were crushed by yesterday's results. Will they be up for it? Will we?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Kiss of Death, round 17, 2011

Scotch Watch
Both teams had wins last week, so the gap remains four points. Bentleigh have improved their goal difference, but time is running out. I had a quick chat with Lucky Chrisomalidis, the other side of this wager, and he told me that allegedly offered to hand over the bottle of scotch to the Kiss of Death a month ago. Was not able to ascertain the accuracy of that before the Kiss of Death handed in their previews for this week.

  • South Melbourne, 3rd place, 31 points, goal difference +4
  • Bentleigh Greens, 6th place, 27 points, goal difference +5

The evidence seems damning, but the lack of a red is standard in the VPL

Oakleigh Cannons vs Heidelberg United
2nd vs 4th. Well, well, well. Looks like the willies are starting to catch up with Oakleigh. After watching more than half of Oakleigh's games this year, I’m happy to say that I was right when saying they are not playing well. They were depending on long balls last weekend in their 1-0 loss to South Melbourne. You do that when you have run out of ideas. How Hatzikostas was not sent off for his elbow to Joryeff's head is beyond belief. Heidelberg had a 3-1 win over Dandenong, who have appointed Chris Taylor as their coach for the remainder of the season, after the departure of Stuart Munro who’s on his way to an A-league assistant's job. I will be at this game on Friday night and look forward to a hack match. Plenty of wild tackles, plenty of showmanship from both coaches, and plenty of goals. Oakleigh Cannons 2 – Heidelberg United 2.

Hume City vs Green Gully Cavaliers
1st vs 5th. Hume the form team, take on Green Gully the yearly finals contender. Hume demolished Northcote City last week 2-4. Green Gully had a 4-2 home win against the lowly Richmond. I expect Hume to race to an early lead at Gully just like they did last week at Northcote. Hume City 3 – Green Gully 0.

Richmond vs Springvale White Eagles
10th vs 12th. Both teams are coming off losses this week. Both teams are in somewhat relegation trouble. Games like this just don’t interest me. Richmond 0 – Springvale White Eagles 2.

Dandenong Thunder vs Northcote City
8th vs 7th. Munro out, Taylor in. A welcome to the blog to Chris Taylor. You don’t know me, but you’re most likely reading this. You have a tough task ahead. Northcote being your first. Your new team lost to Heidelberg last week, and Northcote also lost. I doubt you will be able to beat Northcote, but good luck with your new job. Dandenong Thunder 1 – Northcote City 3.

St. Albans Saints vs Bentleigh Greens
11th vs 6th. A tough task for Bentleigh. A less than convincing 4-0 home win against a 10 man Knights last week is hardly a call for celebration. St. Albans had a win in the Balkan derby last week beating Springvale 0-2. St. Albans will go three in a row when they beat Bentleigh, after their midweek 6-2 win over the little punks at the VTC. Kaman Dinamo. I need this win for my scotch. St. Albans 2 – Bentleigh Greens 0.

The kind of Elbow that this blog's creator prefers to see (and hear).
Melbourne Knights vs South Melbourne
9th vs 3rd. Good to see South beat Oakleigh last week. The midfield is 80% back and we look like we are playing. Good to see the introduction of Fernando last week, but bad to see the injury to Junior who looks like he’s done that muscle just above his ass cheek, the one named after that Roman Emperor Maximus. I can announce that Edvard Krncevic is a reader of this blog. I witnessed for the first time this season Edvard going off from the bench, barking instructions, arguing with the ref, and actively supporting his team like a coach should. Velkom Edvard. The ref last week was woeful. Listen kid, you might think you look like Cristiano Ronaldo with those big cubic zirconias in your ears, but you can’t ref for shit. How the hell did you miss the elbow on Joryeff when you were right in front of it? I heard and saw it from the scoreboard end. This will be no walk in the park for South as Somers Street is always a tough gig, but I think we will have enough to beat the Knights. Melbourne Knights 0 – South Melbourne 3.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A Stay of Execution? South Melbourne 1 Oakleigh Cannons 0

It was a strange day. And somewhere in the middle of it, a somewhat interesting, if a little rough around the edges football match took place.

It was too cold to sit outside and watch the under 21s, so I was sitting in ye olde Northcote clubrooms, and accidentally overheard a conversation conducted by several Oakleigh personnel. A warning to the kids out there - if you're looking to play in Cyprus, think twice - apparently a lot of promises are made over there which are never fulfilled, especially with regards to money.

Their numbers thinned by an exodus of its better players to supposedly greener pastures both here and in Hobart (Vandermey with a 93rd minute equaliser for Olympia against New Town Eagles today), the under 21s struggled to create anything worthwhile up front, and eventually conceded the decisive goals. Will they have enough gas in the tank to finish the season on a high? It will be interesting to see.

Joryeff down and out, while Krncevic models an ascot. Photo: Cindy Nitsos
The field at John Cain Memorial Reserve has deteriorated significantly. Grass is thin on the ground, and if it had rained yesterday it would have been in even worse condition. To be fair, it's done well to hold up as long as it has. The wind also played havoc with the match, but that's not a new thing at VPL level.
Oakleigh sprung the first surprise of the afternoon, by subbing off Frankie Lagana just minutes into the game. Didn't seem injured, so I'm not sure what that's all about. Kyle Joryeff received a serious head wound from a clash of bodies that I'm not sure was entirely legitimate from his Oakleigh opponent, but I'd have to check the replay to make sure. Joryeff should have hit the target early on after Steven Topalovic set him up well.

South were the better team for large swathes of the game, without being able to put the finishing touches on their moves. South also seemed to deal with the conditions better, tending to clear the ball well, resorted to more long balls than is their norm, and were feisty in the pursuit of the ball.

It eventually paid off when Carl Recchia latched onto a loose ball in the box to give us the lead. It was a great finish, and just reward for the pressure we'd been putting on Oakleigh's defence. Things could have been better had we made the most of other opportunities as well, but too often we chose the wrong option, leading to several correct offside calls being made, when had the ball been played to the opposite side, we would have been in a great position to score.

Still, some of the refereeing was a bit mystifying. The worst of the calls was late in the match, where South was called offside despite the offending player still being in his own side of the field. Had he moved back from an offside position? I don't think so. And certainly the Oakleigh players didn't think so either, because they were placing the ball for the free kick inside our half, with the ref insisting that it be taken back to their own side of the halfway line.

Steven O'Dor going beyond a captain's duty. Photo: Cindy Nitsos

I liked Stephen Weir today. A bit on the small side, but he harassed and harried his opponents, and looks a tough nugget to shake off the ball as well. Trent Waterson is gradually winning me over all over again, but this time not with showy antics, but with hard work and pinch-hitting in whatever role he's been asked to play in. Goodness me, we're a different side when Carl Recchia's in midfield. Was also good to see Fernando come on as a sub, albeit in a different numbered shirt than we are used to seeing. Not sure what that was all about. Along with Joryeff's injury, Defender Junior Camargo also hurt himself when attempting a full throttle assault on the ball in the box and falling badly. Will be interesting to see how long if at all either of those two spend on the sidelines.

In terms of the ex-player watch, if it's at all necessary, Peter Zois spent 90 minutes copping a barrage of abuse running the full gamut from the witty to the disgusting to the confusing. But at least this time he seemed to deal with it better than he did the last time these two teams met. He was also captain for the day, which caught the attention of some people, who compared it to the lack of captaincy being held by Ramazan Tavsancioglu, who was I felt, at best ineffective, and at worst, prone to giving the ball away cheaply on several occasions, but he wasn't a lone offender in that regard today.

Towards the end of the match, as the lengthy injury time set in, I saw Oakleigh powerbroker Aki Ionnas trundle past with his posse, but thought little of it. Then at the end of the game, when I went to meet Steve from Broady behind the goals, I find that there's this shouting match going on between Ionnas and Clarendon Corner. Why he decided to place himself in front of Clarendon Corner, I don't know. Nothing serious seemed to come out of it, thankfully.

Next up, the Knights, who are playing OK apparently without being able to put it on the board. Sound familiar? Should be a tough game, with a bit of spice added to it with the recent defection of several Knights players across during the mid-season transfer window. That, and they don't seem to like Eddie Krncevic much. Then again, win, lose or draw, no one seems to like Eddie much.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Kiss of Death, Round 16, 2011

Scotch Watch
Neither side is flying in this comp, but South still hold the lead.
  • South Melbourne, 3rd place, 28 points, goal difference +3
  • Bentleigh Greens 8th place, 24 points, goal difference +1

Bentleigh Greens vs Melbourne Knights
8th v 9th. This will be a closer contest than people think. The Knights have scored nine goals in their last two outings, and conceded zero. Weaker opposition yes, however, a rolling stone gathers no moss. Bentleigh has only had one win since round nine, not including the 3-2 come from behind win against the VTC. They are the draw specialists, and I see this one ending in a pretty exciting draw. Bentleigh Greens 2 – Melbourne Knights 2.

Green Gully vs Richmond
7th v 10th. The time is about right now for Green Gully to begin their charge into the top five. 1 draw and 5 wins in their last 6 games, shows that they are slowly but surely knocking on the door of finals contention. Richmond are pretty much goners if they don’t start winning now. Green Gully 2 – Richmond 1.

Northcote City vs Hume City
5th v 2nd. Northcote are clinging onto fifth spot with Gully, Dandenong and Bentleigh all waiting for them to slip up. Hume has hit their straps and a lot of people will expect them to win this weekend. Northcote however will be slightly better than Hume and beat them on Saturday. Northcote City 3 – Hume City 2.

Heidelberg United vs Dandenong Thunder
4th v 6th. Heidelberg are the form team going into this one. Dandenong is slowly recovering from their belting at the tribunal. I still think this is in the players' minds. Heidelberg have shown that with or without Osagie, they are still a team to be reckoned with. Heidelberg United 2 – Dandenong Thudner 2.

Springvale White Eagles vs St.Albans Saints
11th v 13th. The Balkan derby. Both these teams are currently in the relegation zone and will most likely be relegated. Whoever wins this one, is only giving themselves a sniff of the asses of the teams above them. A dead rubber. Springvale White Eagles 2 – St. Albans Saints 1.

South Melbourne vs Oakleigh Cannons
3rd v 1st. The match of the round. First up at Jack Edwards, South was victorious with a 1-2 away win. Since then, South has had a terrible month of May with injuries and suspensions hitting the club very hard. Oakleigh has been slowly steering the VPL ladder, unconvincingly yet still getting the results. Rumour has it Fernando will be back this weekend, and Weir from Hume will be lining up in place of Jesse. Everyone is complaining about Topalovic. I actually don’t mind Topa, and for those of you who know me, you all know that I’ve got to be the most critical bastard out there. I consider Topa a hard worker, someone who always gets out of trouble, and someone who for once looks up at who he’s passing the ball to. Dragicevic is another one who is copping hell. I actually don’t mind the kid. Another hard worker who is constantly asking for the ball, has great vision, and takes pleasure in taking on his opponent. Maybe I’m watching the wrong game, or maybe the whingers are still dirty on earlier season events. On something I agree with them on, is the performance of El Krncevic. Yes, we are sitting 3rd, but the team has been playing very poor in the last month and half. When a team looks to the coach for guidance and he is sitting there legs and arms crossed, who is steering the ship? A coach is the brain of a body, and the players are the body parts. They do what the brain tells them, and currently he is telling them shit all. Get off you ass and do something before you get shipped out. South Melbourne 3 – Oakleigh Cannons 0 (the upset result of the season).

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Highlights of sorts from the Singapore Cup loss

Reader 'Happy' put us on to this. They miss a few of our chances, and the video's not much chop, but it's better than nothing I suppose.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

South out of 2011 Singapore Cup - Albirex Niigata 3 South Melbourne 0

Everything I am relating is from the info gleaned via the radio broadcast.

South Melbourne fell at the first hurdle of their second Singapore Cup campaign, going down 3-0 to the S-League's Albirex Niigata.

Albirex seemed to control the tempo of the game, and were the better organised throughout the contest, as well as making fewer mistakes. Their superior fitness certainly came across as well.

Albirex took the lead in about the 24th minute, after South had apparently matched it with the White Swans up until that point. Thereafter Albirex seemed to dominate, and it was thanks to Zaim Zeneli in goal that the score didn't blow out earlier than it did.

Despite this, South still had its moments, in the early parts of the game and after withstanding a lengthy bout of pressure in the second half, where Stephen Weir and Jesse Krncevic in particular had chances to score - the latter hitting the post from a corner which would have made the score 1-1.

Eventually, needing to push numbers forward, South was left exposed, and conceded two late goals. It was perhaps no more than Albirex deserved however, and not being able to hurt the home side on the scoreboard meant that increasingly South would be on the backfoot.

For South, Daniel Vasilevski seemed to be controlling the early parts of the game, but then faded out; Jesse Krncevic had his share of chances but couldn't capitalise; Sebastian Petrovich continued his poor run of form; Junior de Carmago also seemed to struggle; Zaim Zeneli seemed to spare our blushes on quite a few occasions; Carl Recchia seemed to be involved in much of the play, though his effectiveness was unclear; while most of the other players seemed to not feature too much either negatively or positively.

After managing to impress last season in both the first round and quarter finals, this was a bad loss, and one that sadly felt inevitable. Partly this was due to our poor domestic form; partly due to being so ill-prepared squad wise; and partly due to running into a better opponent this time around.

Having not won a domestic title since 2006, one wonders if the entire concept of a Singapore trip will be looked at in a lesser light next year. Sure, there was and is a buzz in getting away from our own dead end league and playing in another dead end comp overseas, but if it's come at the expense of local trophies, people will rightly ask if it's worth it. No doubt something to ponder for all concerned.

The promise of a radio broadcast was fulfilled, however there were several issues with that service. It seemed that several people using the live streamed service had that cut out and were unable to regain it. More problematic for those who were able to maintain access was the difficulty in assigning commentary duties.

The press release made the claim that the commentary would be in English, with periodic Greek updates; what actually happened was that the commentary seemed to change every ten to fifteen minutes between an English language commentator (George Triantos), and a Greek language commentator (3XY's Kosta Paterakis).

This came across as just plain confusing to people who could understand both, such as myself, and utterly disorienting to those of our fans who don't understand Greek. Somehow I felt we would have solved these issues by now, but I now realise I've been kidding myself. It was better in the second half, as Triantos did more of the calling duties, but still, Pateraki performed extended bouts of commentary duties.

All in all, a disappointing night, capping off a disappointing week. A huge match coming up against the Oakleigh Cannons at 'home' on Sunday. Despite everything that has happened so far this season, we are somehow still not far behind the VPL leaders. If anything positive is to come out of this disappointing week, it'll be that we have no more distractions and nothing else to aim for but a VPL title.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Josh Colosimo also heads to Olympia

Once again thanks to Walter Pless. Josh will be joining Jake Vandermey, who left a few weeks ago.

Olympia Warriors have signed 19-year-old defender Joshua Colosimo from South Melbourne Hellas.

Colosimo has been cleared and registered and will play against league-leaders South Hobart on Saturday.

He joins another South Melbourne player, Jake Van Der Mey, who was signed several weeks ago.

Both players will play at the back for Olympia and this will shore up a defence that is statistically the worst in the league.

Olympia have conceded 32 goals in 12 games, which is more than any other side.

Olympia moved off the foot of the ladder last weekend when they beat second-last Beachside 3-1 at home at Warriors Park to change places with the visitors.

The club is believed to be pursuing a third South Melbourne player to bolster their attack.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

South announces squad for Singapore Cup trip

Despite hitting a new low, there's little time for recriminations. While most clubs will be enjoying a weekend off, South will be traveling overseas to once again take part in the Singapore Cup.

The club has released details of the squad set to travel to Singapore on Friday. The boys will be playing the J-League club Albirex Niigata's S-League based feeder side. There's no Fernando (hamstring), no Payne (also hamstring) and no O'Dor (final law exams) - and only one goalkeeper. There are also injury concerns over several of the key personnel heading over there.

I'm not sure what to expect to be honest - our form has been poor for a few weeks now, and our opponents are an unknown quantity to me. The boys are apparently raring to go, so hopefully that counts for something. As usual, the entirely foreign weather conditions - a beyond stifling humidity in particular - will be just as big an obstacle to overcome.

The game is on this Sunday at 9:30pm Melbourne time (which is 7:30pm Singapore time), and the club is apparently looking to once more provide a live internet radio broadcast. South of the Border wishes the club and everyone heading over there all the best, and hopefully it's not two cups exited in the space of a week.

And can we at least not humiliate ourselves to a club with a mascot resembling Plucka Duck dressing up as a Japanese schoolgirl? Thanks.

2. Thomas Matthews (Defender)
5. Daniel Vasilevski (Midfielder)
6. Steven Topalovic (Midfielder)
8. Carl Recchia (Midfielder)
10. Kliment Taseski (Forward)
11. Jesse Krncevic (Forward)
14. Steven Weir (Forward)
16. Trent Waterson (Forward)
18. Marinos Gasparis (Midfielder)
20. Daniel Dragicevic (Forward)
21. Zaim Zeneli (Goalkeeper)
23. Sebastian Petrovich (Midfielder)
25. Kyle Joryeff (Forward)
33. Bobby Russell (Midfielder)
80. Meyer Carlos De Camargo Junior (Defender)

Seemingly inevitable - South Melbourne 1 Port Melbourne 2

Might as well keep this short and sweet.

I don't care how many coaching licences one has, nor what the technical pedigree of the players is.

Superstars who only hold that title at training sessions are useless. I'm tired of hearing how sharp they are at training.

I know players don't go out to lose a match. But maybe sometimes they don't really go out to win as hard as they should.

Before one masters the more difficult aspects of the game, one must do the mundane and basic things over and over again.

Correct passing. Correct decision making. Winning the first ball. Failing that, winning the second ball. Filling the spaces, cutting out the angles.

Suffice to say that football isn't much fun at the moment, and I'm not sure that it has been for some time.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Still can't beat them - South Melbourne 0 Heidelberg United 0

At the start of the match, what with all the results going our way more or less, and with the fact that we hadn't beaten this mob during the season since 2006, only a win would have been acceptable. But by the end of the game however, after being reduced to 10 men for the last 30 minutes or so, a draw seemed acceptable, if not exactly palatable. That's football in a nutshell I guess.

The first half was dreadful. Comparatively, Heidelberg were slightly less dreadful than we were. Sure, the wind played havoc with both sides, but there was scarcely anything worth remembering from the first half, which would have been tolerable if it was two sides at the foot of the table, but it was two sides in the top half of the ladder. And I couldn't understand our reluctance to cross or shoot early instead of holding the ball for too long.

The game received a certain jolt of interest when a stray cross which was heading into goal was tipped over the bar by Griffin McMaster. The officials surprised everyone by calling for a goalkick, leading to Jesse Krncevic being sent off for dissent. Now I don't know what he said - he certainly didn't seem to be yelling or remonstrating in any obvious manner - but considering the poor tackles that go unpunished every week in this league, which sees the few genuinely talented players that give us some sort of joy in this cesspool receive no protection, surely cutting down swearing and dissent should be at the the bottom of the list of priorities?

Krncevic sees red; Vasilevski is shocked. Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
Anyway, the game livened up after that and we put in a decent effort, though it was helped by Heidelberg seemingly playing for the draw even more than we were. I felt we looked most dangerous from set piece situations, but a win after Krncevic's dismissal was always going to be a longshot. So while we're still winless against this mob in five years of league action, at least we haven't lost to them this year. It's a very small thing to appreciative of, I know.

Next Game
A tough midweek Mirabella Cup game against Port Melbourne, before we head over to Singapore. Recchia didn't get off the bench yesterday, which may mean we'll only get to see him play a bit part during our midweek cup clash. With Jesse missing for another few weeks, it'll at least mean he's less likely to get injured before Singapore.

Have you seen our dog?
Recent signing Jean Charles Dubois has apparently either done a runner to trial in Thailand and won't be coming back, or he'll be playing for us in the Singapore Cup after said trial. This is the risk you take when you sign up players on amateur contracts, and Knights fans, who were burnt in the same manner by the same player, are justifiably having a good laugh about the situation. Still, apparently we've signed a replacement from Hume, one Stephen Weir, who scored twice against us when we were down to nine men during the recent Anzac Day match. Take that whichever way you will.

Heidelberg Harisimidis (and friends) Watch
No sign of that lunatic running up and down the wing yesterday for some reason, which surprised me. Steve from Broady in particular would have been pleased with his absence, after Heidelberg Harismidis, without invitation, started eating Steve's chips at the Hungry Jack's inside Melbourne Central.

And a big shout out to the Heidelberg fans who tried to get in for free at the back gate. Three of you made it through, but the rest of you who tried didn't have so much luck once George Koukoulas came around and locked the gate. The reason that gate was unlocked in the first place? So stray balls that ended up over the fence could be retrieved. When Heidelberg sent one over during their warm up, the poor lad sent to get it couldn't get through.

Still, we should have had a marshal there in the first place, but it was funny seeing three Bergers fans make their way towards that gate after probably being tipped off about it and having to turn back. That's not to claim some sort of moral high ground - quite a few clubs around the place have supporters who will try and find ways around paying at the gate, ours included. But there was a small measure of justice yesterday.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Kiss of Death, Round 15, 2011

Scotch Watch
Bentleigh's 1-0 win over South last week saw them overtake South on goal difference in this contest, before South's midweek win over the VTC saw the Blues return to a three point lead and also to a positive goal difference. Both teams have now played the VTC and each other twice.

  • South Melbourne, 3rd place, 27 points, goal difference +3
  • Bentleigh Greens, 7th place, 24 points, goal difference +1
Richmond vs Northcote City
9th v 5th. Richmond is coming off a 1-2 surprise win away to Dandenong, while Northcote is coming off a 2-0 home win to lowly St. Albans. In what is shaping up as a tough game, I think Richmond will continue their winning ways and beat a Northcote that will be without influential striker Trent Rixon, who received a red card last weekend. Richmond 2 – Northcote City 0.

Hume City vs Dandenong Thunder
2nd v 6th. Hume are going along just nicely this time of the season. A 0-3 away win at the Bergers last week and they are on a six game unbeaten run. Dandenong is coming off a shock loss to Richmond and a slap in the face from the tribunal midweek. Turns out their initial $8,000 fine and four game lockout suspension was increased by the tribunal to a $20,000 fine and a two game lockout on appeal. Quite frankly, as mentioned previously, it was silly to appeal the tribunal's initial determination. Clubs need to evaluate logically any determinations dished out by the tribunal, before they tackle the charges emotionally. At the end of the day, unless you can find an error in the process, you are wasting your time. Any appeal, even in a court of law, is only heard on new evidence, or on errors by the preceding magistrate. After reading the final determination, none of these were presented by Dandenong Thunder. Correct me if I’m wrong please. Hume City 3 – Dandenong Thunder 1.

'I got kicked in da chest bro!' What odds for wild scenes this week?
Melbourne Knights vs Springvale White Eagles
10th v 11th. Probably the match of the round and a tipper's nightmare. Both these teams have been very disappointing this season. Personally, the progress of the Knights worries me more than Springvales. With the VTC not able to be relegated, one of these teams will go down instead. Whoever loses this match will find it difficult to pick themselves out of the hole they have spent the year digging. Under Bojo, the Eagles have been playing some good football, but will it be enough to beat the Knights at Somers Street? No. Melbourne Knights 3 – Springvale White Eagles 2.

South Melbourne vs Heidelberg United
3rd v 4th. According to the FFV’s Facebook page, “The Greek Derby”. A must win for South. We haven’t beaten the Bergers during the season proper for a while. So long now that I can’t even think of when the last time was. Rumour has it Recchia and Gaspa are nearing full fitness and will come into the starting 11 this weekend, against the Osagie-less Bergers. Ljubo has apparently packed his bags for Europe, and to be honest, this omission will be a breath of fresh air for a team who seemed to be losing it a few weeks back. Hopefully this will allow the creative players like Recchia, Gasaparis and Fernando to breath easier in the midfield. South Melbourne 3 – Heidelberg United 0.

St. Albans Saints vs Green Gully Cavaliers
13th v 8th. If St. Albans can’t win a game this weekend, then they never will in the VPL. A must win game against an up and down Gully. St. Albans 2 – Green Gully 1.

Oakleigh Cannons vs Bentleigh Greens
1st v 7th. This game will not be played this week. It’s been pushed back one week. Oakleigh Cannons 2 – Bentleigh Greens 2.