Saturday, 31 March 2012

Keeping a lid on it - Oakleigh 1 South Melbourne 3

Oakleigh looked the hungrier team, with South struggling to get anything meaningful going at all. Bad tackles or not, they seemed like they really wanted to win this game. When they opened the scoring, it should have set the alarm bells ringing for South, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

The turning point was when Dimi Tsiaras copped an elbow or forearm to the head, leaving him bleeding, but no foul given and play allowed to continue. After that, South started gradually working their way back into the game, earning a few corners and taking some sort of momentum into the break.

An unseen Fernando De Moraes slips the ball past the Oakleigh goalkeeper for the equaliser
Photo: Anita Milas/Victorypix
The second half was a massive improvement from our side. Once the early equaliser went in, the question became when rather if we would score again. As it happened, we added another two for good measure. It was great to see Trent Rixon on the score sheet as well. Get it out of the way nice and early in the season. Seven goals scored so far, with six different scorers.

As good as the second half was from South, it should not have taken 35 minutes and a forearm to the head for them to wake up and start playing some football. That's the one thing I'll pull out of this game as a pointer to the improvement we have left in reserve.

Different coach, same tactics from the home team, and all this despite the field seemingly being in reasonable nick. Bomb it long to the forwards, and hack, hack, hack. Oakleigh have decent talent on their books, and they sell themselves short when they resort to these rubbish tactics.

Of course, one can't let the refs off in this area. In a properly officiated competition, a player like Frankie Lagana would have such a poor repuation, that he wouldn't be able to sneeze oin the field without getting into trouble. But this is the VPL, where foul language is viewed upon as the greater sin compared to a forearm to the head.

Minor Observations
Message to the Oakleigh goalkeeper (who was not Peter Zois, who was absent for whatever reason). When you start time wasting from the first minute of the second half, you know you're in trouble.

I suppose there's so many ex-South boys at Oakleigh, one
can forgive them for reacting to the muscle memory of
running towards South's fans to celebrate a goal.
Photo: Anita Milas/Victorypix
Disappointing crowd. Did anyone cheer when Oakleigh scored? When they scored the poor Oakleigh players felt they had to run towards Clarendon Corner for some reason. South fans should be used to that by now.

The Charles Dickens Tavern is still a nice place for pre-game meetups.

Story time on the train is fun.

Kudos to the FFV for publishing a note on their Facebook page that there were disruptions on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines, with trains only going as far as Oakleigh station. As it turned out, the signalling issues were cleared up well before kickoff, but it was a nice a touch nevertheless.

Under 21s
As I arrived by train with certain other miscreants, I did not get to see almost anything of this match. Turns out we won 4-1. What changed from last week?

Next Game
Now, a week off courtesy of Easter. Then a Saturday afternoon game away at Green Gully. Could we possibly break our drought there? Nah.

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