- Should've went home after the second minute at the earliest, half time latest.
- You can read previous match reports from last season and change the opposition team name to “Port Melbourne” and it is basically the same thing. This is confirmed by other fans and Dimi Tsiaras.
- Reliving a dreadful defeat and performance to write a match report is suffering.
- A 0-3 defeat away to Northcote City was the start of a turbulent week with Luke Byles, Tom Matthews, Joe Keenan, Seb Mattei, and Rhodri Payne (I find it hard to remember Payne which shows how involved he is during this season and most of the previous) leaving the club.
- The first thing I noticed was Peter Tsolakis with unshaven facial hair and felt something is wrong.
- Gia missed his first penalty since I first saw him play in the U21 game, straight shot towards the keeper who did not move from his line at all.
Because of the removal of several players during the week which includes club captain Luke Byles and vice captain Tom Matthews, there were changes in the starting XI. Dimi Hatzimouratis returned to right back and Dimi Tsiaras moved to centre back. Fernando started his first match this season and was given the captain's armband. Nick Soolsma debuts taking a somewhat central position in the midfield.
Perry Mur was the match referee.
The main question for this match was whether we could bounce back from last week's hammering and player sackings during the week. After two minutes the answer appeared to be no, as Alan Kearney's mistake freed up a Port Melbourne player who dragged Peter Gavalas out of position and put in a cross for two unmarked players in the box. One of them, Honos, gratefully headed the ball in past the despairing Gavalas. 0-1 Port.
The next fifteen minutes were somewhat flat as Port put almost everyone behind the ball and despite a few chances down the right wing from Marinos Gasparis' and Hatzi's crosses, our players could not capitalise on them. Not that they avoided attacking from the left but most of them were running into cul-de-sac situations trying to force their way through players or trying an extra dribble too many.
Port defended well and rarely moved forward, even having their players booked for taking too long for a throw in before the half hour mark, but when they did they looked more threatening than us on the attack, and with less passes needed to break down our defence especially down the flanks as Norton and Hatzi were more attacking and those flanks were exposed every time our attack broke down.
Nearing half time, there was a sense of deja vu as our passes kept creeping backwards, the midfield looking empty, and the passbacks were pumped long by Shaun Kelly for players to chase and hopefully get a header in.
Second half started with an uncomfortable silence that has been there since the start of the game. Port broke once early but hit their shot straight to Gavalas. We are mixing the tried and failed crosses into (made worse by fewer players making runs into the box) with the shoot from range approach from Fernando and Soolsma, basically the two players who looked like they wanted something from the game more than others.
Our closest chance came in the 58th minute when Fernando's free kick hit the woodwork with the goalkeeper beaten to lift the crowd up and subsequently drop them down with the first short corner of the game. There was another free kick chance from Fernando around ten minutes afterwards but the keeper saved the shot. Two Port Melbourne substitutions were made during this period and they broke forward once in a 2 vs 2 situation where a last ditch tackle saved us from going behind even further.
Gus made two substitutions after this rare Port attack, putting on Andrew Cartanos for Gasparis and when Shaun Kelly went down two minutes later with a hamstring injury, James Karvelis for the defender. By this moment though, we have reverted back to last season with purposeless passes, for the sake of passing to someone else, and having the massive gap between defenders and midfielders/forwards made even more obvious by the rugby lines from the midweek game. Fans were also getting restless and started to ask for more urgency, which transfers to rushed passes easily cut and defended by Port players, who sensed that South had few to offer and started getting more adventurous forward getting a couple of runs and corners.
Gus made his final sub six minutes before time, Andy Vlahos on for Tyson Holmes but the change did not matter much as we kept on doing the same thing and when we went close to scoring, the players did not attempt to shoot when an opening appeared, instead trying to pass the ball to goal which made it easier for Port's defence and keeper to clear. Perry Mur looked at his watch thrice during stoppage time, and finally ended the match to start our six home game run on a pathetic defeat.
Fernando was one of the few positives from the game, looked hungry, delivering good passes, and being everywhere including defending during the few Port attacks. Soolsma was not bad on his debut, but faded as the game continues. Results from other matches today means we are now outside the top five with Northcote running away after winning decisively against Hume City 0-5 at Broadmeadows Valley Park and Oakleigh Cannons losing to Melbourne Knights as well as Port overtaking us directly.
- Fans related to other clubs said that their club (Altona East, Box Hill) would have won against the rabble that is today's South Melbourne.
- A player (Dimi Tsiaras) mentioned that the players did not train on Wednesday, obviously after the news broke out.
- Shaun Kelly did his hamstring and will be out for 3-4 weeks.
- The tunnel was pulled very early, before stoppage time but in the end the fans did not bother to abuse the players.
Steve from Broady's under 21s ReportSouth Melbourne's under 21s played Port Melbourne on Sunday at Lakeside Stadium. South coming off a disappointing result last week were looking for a win to fire them up the table. South dominated early in the game and Port found themselves in some trouble in the 10th minute when one of their defenders went down injured forcing Port into an early sub.
South continued to dominate the first half but in the 38th minute they gave the ball away on halfway and Port ran the ball down the other end and crossed it in for Port's big striker whose shot cannoned into the underside of the bar and was ruled to have fully crossed the goal line, 1-0 Port at half time. South had nothing to show for a half of domination.
South come out in the second half as they did in the first dominating the game and in the 77th minute South had a chance to draw level when Baggio Yousif danced his way through the Port defence but got brought down in the area earning South a penalty. Anthony Giannopoolos stepped up to the spot to take the kick with his 100% conversion rate from the spot this season. Giannopoolos went down the middle and the keeper picked it and saved; Giannopoulos ran in for the rebound and shot but the keeper made another save to give Port a 1-0 win.
At the halfway point of the season I think that South is playing below par and need to lift the second half of the season if they want to win the championship. Green Gully at home next week, see ya then.
Steve from Broady's Canteen Report
South Melbourne's food van was in the spotlight this week trying to improve on their previous score of 8.5. Unfortunately they did not deliver, serving me up a pretty average souv, dry meat, stale bread (for the second week in a row ffs). I rate the South food van this week a - average effort South food vendors.
- Pascoe Vale 10/10
- Hume City 8/10
- Bentleigh Greens 7/10
- Northcote City 3.5/10
- Southern Stars 2/10
- Green Gully 1/10
- Dandenong DQ
South food truck
- Week 1, 4.5/10
- Week 2, 7/10
- Week 3, 8.5/10
- Week 4, 5/10
Next game, Green Gully who won against Dandenong Thunder away. Their rise in form always coincides with our mid season slump, and with so many players leaving/injured they will kick us out of the park if we put in youngsters.