Monday, 22 July 2013

Hasa Diga Eebowai - South Melbourne 1 Bentleigh Greens 4

Our social club is an empty shell!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!
And we're still living in VPHell!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!

All our new players are cup tied!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!
And all our goalies have gone and died!
Hasa Diga Eebowai!

When all the refs just hate your guts,
And there's nobody else to blame (Way oh!).
Raise your middle finger to the sky,
And curse his rotten name

If you don't like what we say ,
Try watching a couple of games.
Watch all your finals dreams just die,
Hasa Diga Eebowai!


Now, maybe when the replay comes out it will make us all look like idiots. Maybe? Probably, perhaps. But on the face of it, that was some of the more dire officiating you'll see for some time, with Brenton Hayward putting himself right in contention for public enemy number one at Lakeside, at least in the referee category.

After we took a very early lead courtesy of Epifano popping up at the back post, the game looked set up to mirror perhaps the classic contest between the two sides earlier this season. As Bentleigh sought to get back into the game, one of their shots flew high over the crossbar, and Peter Gavalas collided with the Bentleigh player who had taken that shot.

Was it a two-footed challenge? Can you concede a penalty when the ball is no longer in play? Do any of these things matter? I'm not a ref, so I can't really say for sure. What I can say is that there was a palpable level of surprise at both the decision to award a penalty and to send Gavalas off. On the face of it, it seemed like one of those incidents that happen on a weekly basis. Only the footage will perhaps provide any clearer answers.

To add insult to injury, last week the Southern Stars keeper kicked one of our players, and nothing happened. Not during the game, not after.

So Epifano was sacrificed, and on came young goalkeeper Lajos Hun for his senior debut. The penalty in question was tucked away into the bottom corner, but then came another twist. Encroachment! The re-taken penalty was gently placed toward the middle of the goal, and Hun manged to catch the ball easily for the save. How about that.

Even with 10 men, we looked the better team in the first half, even with a crippled Rixon getting another start. The boys showed a fair bit of heart, and we went into the halftime break 1-0 up.  Quite how long anyone expected that lead to last is anyone's guess. I don't think there was anyone foolhardy enough to suggest that we'd keep a clean sheet for the rest of the game. In the end, it took until the 64th minute for the visitors to finally equalise with a wonderful long range shot which left the keeper rooted to the spot.

And then came the collapse. Iqi Jawadi was sent off, I think for a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. Our fans didn't seem happy with that, with the general reaction being that it was hardly a foul in the first place, and that in any case he had kicked the ball away about .2 of second after the whistle went. Even worse, Hun injured one of his arms and played the last half hour or so injured.

To be fair, Bentleigh probably did miss out on a legit penalty for handball in the second half, and got a few yellows as well, but they dodged the bullet on several occasions when I was left scratching my head as to how they got away with some of their tackles, as well as their kicking the ball away - assuming this is what Jawadi got his second yellow for.

The match ended with our supporters waiting near the players race for the referee to come down. The South players went through first, cheered off the ground. Then then Bentleigh players followed. The officials hung around in the middle of the pitch for awhile. Here was a point docking and fine waiting to happen. But the South supporters shouted their abuse, and then moved on. Almost exactly a year on from this game.

Hayward's Law is like Hayward's love: hard and fast. Photo: Cindy Nitsos
Now I know bagging the board, the coach, the players and the bloke who cleans the jerseys has been a longstanding tradition at South, even when we're winning. But it was still disappointing to see the usual grumble-bum collective hanging outside the gates going on about this stuff when the events in the match didn't justify it  - this time.

I mean, it was 9 against 12, or 14 or if you're in a really foul mood. What can anyone realistically do in those situations? There's the whole rest of the season and the off-season - oh goodness, won't that be fun! - to push whatever barrows we have. Couldn't we let it go for just one day, and turn our collective hatred away from ourselves and towards everyone else?

Steve From Broady's Under 21s Report
South Melbourne's under 21s took on Bentleigh Greens at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday. South, coming off a good 4-2 win against southern Stars, were looking to make it two wins in a row. South's under 21s had had a reshuffle in their squad with players leaving the club, such as Anthony Giannopoulos and some youngsters coming back down from the senior squad.

South kicked off and were applying all the early pressure, creating some good chances. In the 13th minute Solano played Baggio through the Greens defence - the opportunity looked to be gone, but Baggio took a massive crack from the byline and somehow he managed to squeeze the ball between the post and the keeper and into the back of the net to give South a 1-0 lead.

South kept the majority of possession for the rest of the first half and in the 37th minute Solano received the ball from Baggio. turned and fired the ball into the top corner to give South a 2-0 lead just before half time. Four minutes after South scored Bentleigh ran the ball down the other end of the park and caught the South defence napping when a Greens striker was played through and finished cooly to get a goal back just before half time. 2-1 to south was the score as the teams went into the sheds at half time.

Bentleigh came out in the second half in convincing fashion, creating some early chances, but that only lasted 10 minutes as South took back control and Baggio found himself through on goal once again from a defensive mix up from the Greens captain. Baggio finished with ease to pick up his second of the game and to give South a 3-1 lead.

In the 72nd minute Bentleigh beat South's offside trap and the Greens number 10 placed the ball beautifully into the bottom left corner to bring the score back to 3-2 and to give the greens a sniff. But Baggio ended that hope three minutes later when he completed his second hat-trick in two weeks giving South a 4-2 lead. The Greens scored a consolation goal in the final minute of the game, but South had done enough to come out 4-3 victors and to get their second win in a row.

South play Dandenong next week and it will be interesting to see if they can go three wins in a row. This squad has a new lease of life about them and played their best game of the season so far, and if they keep up the good work now look ready to run up the ladder and seriously challenge for the championship against Northcote. Until next week have a good week and enjoy the FFV cup quarter finals.

Steve From Broady's Canteen Report
South Melbourne's canteen was on show for a fourth week in a row. Getting sick of souvs and kranskies, I wandered over to our other canteen and had a pie - it was nothing and more nothing less than a solid meet pie. I give South's canteen this week a solid 6 out of 10.

  1. Pascoe Vale 10/10
  2. Hume City 8/10
  3. Bentleigh Greens 7/10
  4. Northcote City 3.5/10
  5. Southern Stars 2/10
  6. Green Gully 1/10
  7. Dandenong DQ 
South food truck
  • Week 1 - 4.5/10
  • Week 2 - 7/10
  • Week 3 - 8.5/10
  • Week 4 - 5/10
  • Week 5 - 5.5/10
  • Week 6 - 9/10
  • Week 7 - 6/10

Renco Van Eeken Fruit Watch
One of the more bizarre things ever to come up in an smfcboard discussion, was the attention being paid this week to what injured striker Renco Van Eeken has been eating at games over the past two months. There has been disagreement about whether it has been apples or bananas, with the likely answer being he's probably had both over the course of his injury layoff.

More bizarrely, there are even people who are angry at him for some reason for eating fruit. In these difficult times, any and all targets are fair game, I suppose. Still, are they expecting him to put away a dozen dim sims instead? For the record, according to the person I assigned to keep an eye on this matter, he had one banana yesterday. Perhaps we should get Steve From Broady to include it in his stats from now on.

For The Greek Speakers Out There
Do consider giving the 3XY sport show another go. They've apparently moved the old guys on and brought some fresh blood into the picture. Can't say that I agree with their opinions, and I don't expect South's treatment to get much better on that show, but they seem to be a lot more professional than the old crew. They even called themselves journalists, and the prospect of more regular talkback could be fun as well. You may even get to hear some familiar voices on said talkback.

Reform FFV

Next Game
Dockerty Cup quarter final against Preston, tomorrow evening. If you do not have a ticket, don't bother coming. I wonder how many of our new players are cup tied? And not forgetting that Alan Kearney needs to serve his suspension from the previous cup match against Northcote. And will we even have a keeper? Hopefully you all have your memberships and tickets. If not... well, why not?

Final Thought
Hasa Diga Eebowai


  1. Maybe the board should consider bringing in a 'let's do it for Greece membership' option. Gets you entry for any game with a chance of some fasaries, but doesn't get you in to the 99% of games where nothing happens.

  2. Who were the old and who were the new guys on 3XY?


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