Sunday, 20 July 2014

It's not about me and you; it's about us - South Melbourne 4 Melbourne Knights 3

I knew I should have headed out to Jack Edwards Reserves on Friday night, despite the cold and despite being utterly friendless. I'm hardly one for superstitions, but for some reason I thought there was a chance that Hume could do something - which is not far fetched, because any team at any time could do 'something' -  but whether that thing will actually happen is anyone's guess, and besides, Oakleigh have been smashing teams instead of just crawling over the line like we have been doing.

Well, Oakleigh lost 2-1 and I was spewing (metaphorically) that I missed it, in part because of the alleged post match, you wanna fight me cunt antics of the Cannons' keeper, but anyway the stage was set for South to make the most of that slip up or look like fools if we failed. The problem was that we were up against the other form team of the competition in the form of the Melbourne Knights who, if you care about omens - and I don't, honest - had knocked us out of the Dockerty and FFA Cup running in one fell swoop not too long ago, and had not lost to us yet at the redeveloped Lakeside.

But firstly, since no one else is going to comment on the Knights' away strip, it looks like I'm going to be the one who has to say it. Aside from the possible issue of fascist chic, I just reckon that the all black strip just looks stupid. Black is for refs. A city derby, such as the 'original' #melbderby has turned out to be, should be between red vs blue, the iconic intercity rivalry colours, made famous the world over by Bristol Rovers and Bristol City.

Guy Garvey reckons that the birds are the keepers of our
secrets, but I'm not sure he was including seagulls in that.
Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
I'm divulging this advice as a fashion icon in my own right, not out of hate, but because I care - and it's not like I haven't been in full support of your wonderful, crazy, FFA inclusiveness taunting (Inclusive means exclusive? What a country!), new dawner baiting antics with your FFA shirt design. Anyway, Matthew Theodore was on the bench, replaced by Tyson Holmes. No Leigh Minopoulos yet, but soon we hope. Milos Lujic had the first good chance, but Knights keeper Chris May saved well. He's been doing that a lot this season.

Shaun Timmins opened the scoring with the first of several comical goals in this game. A corner which floated to the back post was eventually worked to the to Timmins who cut in and scored with either a really crummy shot, or one that was deflected, or just nice low hard shot, take your pick, as either way it all seemed to happen in slow motion, but they all count the same.

Mark Oliver Everett can't look at the rocket launch, or the
the trophy wives of the astronauts, and he won't listen
to their words, because he likes birds. Strange philosophy.
Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
The Knights equalised thanks to mayhem on our left hand side, and the ball was bundled into the back of the net. While Tim Mala was having the better of our recent nemesis Shayan Alinejad for the first 30 minutes or so, Alinejad soon got on top, including one sequence of play where within the space of about 20 seconds he beat Mala twice on the sideline when there was nowhere for him to go (and while that was later more than matched by fancy foot skills by our own players, it still annoyed the crap out of me that it happened at all). In the second half, where Alinejad was switched over to Timmins' side, he was even more of a nuisance.

But before that we managed to get the lead back almost straight away, when Jason Saldaris or James Musa - and who cares really, they all look the same to me - sent a long ball forward which caught the visitors' defence napping but Jamie Reed well awake, and Reed slotted it home.

The third South goal, which arrived on the stroke of halftime, was even more hideous, when Lujic pounced on a loose ball which came at the end of a series of miscues to take us into the break 3-1 up. If there wasn't so much at stake, I would have been embarrassed to be scoring from those kinds of efforts. No, wait, that's not true. As some wise soul once said - I think it may even have been me, about three paragraphs up - they all count the same.

We went searching for the killer fourth goal after the break, but thanks to poor finishing did not find it. No matter, the two goal buffer should have been enough. Wrong, wrong, wrong, as Knights began exerting control over the game, indeed dominating the last twenty minutes or so where we scarcely had any meaningful possession except for counter attacks, and that jerk Alijenejad pulled it back to 3-2 with about ten minutes to play.

Just how do you commentate when you're in the shot?
It's a post modernist field day, with the host of SMFCTV.
Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
In the 90th minute Lujic made amends for his own wastefulness by finishing off a dead easy chance, and then we thought, cool, that was that, done and dusted, end of the game, let's go home and have a nap.

But as Bob Hale would say, not for long! Because Brad Norton, who came on as a late substitute for Shaun Timmins - and as it turned out, the only substitution South made - slipped over and helped Alinejad get the score back to 4-3, but that was close enough to the last kick of the game. Maybe it'll be a blessing in disguise, not allowing us to rest on our laurels. One can only hope so, because you're not going to get far if you're conceding three goals a game. Still, these things sometimes happen, and on two occasions where we've copped three goals this year we've still won. So maybe I should just shut up and be glad that we're nine points clear with eight games to play. That's just under a third of the season. Long way to go yet.

Now who wants to join my campaign to get the club to express mail copies of our last two games against the Knights to their FFA Cup opponent Brisbane Olympic, if not for the sake of Hellenic pride, than at least for former South player Rhys Meredith who's recently transferred to Olympic. You know it makes sense.

Next game
Northcote away on Saturday afternoon, our first time playing them this year despite it being round 19. That's the FFV's fixturing for ya. The start of a crucial three game away stretch.

Farewell, 112 Tram
For those that use public transport to get to South home games, the end of an era has arrived. From July 27th, the 112 West Preston - St Kilda as we know it will be no more.

Instead, the route to take in order to get to Lakeside will be the newly minted route 12 Victoria Gardens to St Kilda service. I believe that number is what the route used to be before it became the 112, but I didn't know the tram then.

The 112 has ferried me to and from Lakeside ever since my dad, uncle and cousins stopped coming to South games, though at least in my dad's case that's understandable, being a Berger and all.

On at Collins and Spencer, off at those stupid lights at the end of Clarendon Street. And on the way back, depending on the time a game finished, watching the restaurant trams float by, while waiting with assorted people now either too old or too young to drive, or otherwise physically or mentally incapacitated. Hell, some might just even be locals.

There were times, I admit, when I was less than faithful. If there was a drinking session pre-game at the Limerick, or on the rare occasions at the Water Rat, I would sometimes take the No. 1 tram. Sometimes if I missed the 112 on the way back, I would wander up to the 1 and see if that was more convenient than waiting around freezing my arse for no good reason.

But how many times did I miss the tram down to Lakeside because the Werribee train was incredibly mistimed with the 112? I also have my rule of, unless it's a real emergency, then I don't run for no public transport. St Albans station weaned me off running for trains, and the 112 weaned me off from running for trams. Then I just stopped running altogether, and the obesity crisis was all the better for it.

Neverthleless, this writer will miss the old 112, as we had some good times together, aside from the time I got fined because I didn't bother scanning my myki. Bad Paul, how embarrassment.
The crazy thing is, effectively nothing will really change, but that's melodrama for ya, and with three consecutive away games coming up, it'll be a while before we even get to use the new No. 12 for a South match.

Global warming of hearts
Whole driving back from Newport station after the game, or maybe it was on my way to Millers Street Maccas, whatever, I had it on 3XY Radio Hellas just to see what their take on the whole South kicking arse for the time being business was. Well, who should be on as a guest but our loveable larrikin president Leo Athanasakis, fresh back from a seven week holiday to Greece. Of more importance was the almost sickening

One Melbourne Knights mover and shaker I caught up with over the weekend said that South's relationships with its ethnic media was too hostile, which is a view held by some within what's left of our fandom. Still, it was interesting to hear both 3XY and Leo talk up the relationship in an increasingly sickening manner. 3XY extolled the hospitality that South always showed them, which is in huge contrast to the time they complained that they were treated like pariahs at Lakeside. Leo said that there was a new climate of friendship and understanding, or sentiments if not quite words to that effect

Where is the Kiss of Death?
Some of you have been asking about the Kiss of Death's whereabouts over these past few weeks. Well, I share those concerns, because the Kiss of Death has gotten very bad at even answering emails. However, I did manage to run into the Kiss of Death over the weekend, at an undisclosed time and location, and they assure me that once their personal workload eases up, they will be back.

Around the grounds
The more low rent something is, the more chance there is of me liking it 
Had the chance to head out to the state league 1 north-west top of the table clash between Moreland City and Preston, but instead decided to go to the battle at the bottom of the league between Sunbury United and Altona East. Before the game East were 10th of 12 and just outside the relegation zone, and Sunbury were 11th with only goal difference separating the two sides.

Here's a tip in the rare event that you choose to head out to Sunbury's Langama Park via public transport, on a suburban train that feels as if it'll fall apart it's going so fast - if possible, catch the bus from Sunbury station which ends up near the ground. Otherwise be prepared for a 20 minute, calf straining, uphill slog across terrain where often times the footpaths cease to exist. Thank goodness I got a lift back to Sunshine station after the game. The less said about that deathtrap roundabout at Gap Street the better.

Got there in time to watch the entirety of the second half of the reserves, which Altona East lost 3-1. Had myself a little bit of the local fare, in particular a rissole sandwich which was more or less a smallish homemade burger with coleslaw, with the overall effect of the tomato sauce and mayonnaise turning it into some sort of variation of a Hungry Jack's Whopper. Tasty in its own way, but pretty pricey at $6.50, but when a canteen doesn't list prices on its menu bill shock is always a very real possibility.

After channelling my inner George Costanza with a Twix, it was time for the senior game, introduced with 'You'll Never Walk Alone' over the speakers and a minute's silence for the victims of the MH17 disaster, with two of the victims being locals. East were clearly the better team in the first half and went into the break 1-0 up, and perhaps should have been further ahead. But Sunbury came out breathing fire after half time, and scored three times in what seemed like just a matter of minutes. A late own goal completed East's misery. East coach Terry Antoniadis reportedly resigned after the game.

Final thought
Not sure if they were pulling my chain, but was told that a couple of people had tossed around the idea of starting a Melbourne Knights variation of this blog. West of the Quarry? Now that I'd like to see.


  1. Hello All.
    I'm still alive, just busy with all the bitches. The BVA is still partying hard thanks to the world cup. Tanga, Tanga every where. I will be back soon.

  2. Also - check out FFV's rules of competetion 3.5.1.b

    1. Well spotted, Anonymous. Had the ref in red yesterday and the assistants in yellow. Quite absurd.

    2. That's farked. I know state league football is a joke but Knights and Oakleigh take the p!ss with their uniforms.

    3. Was a bit awkward when CC asked the ref "Where's your yellow?" after one of our players had committed a foul. Woops.

  3. The Knights got dispensation from the FFV to wear all black kits, the NPL Rules have been ammended since. Those rules were a near direct copy of the old ones and these havn't been changed on the website yet.
    Referees now have three versions uniforms, light blue, yellow and red.
    Also why did South wear white socks at home for the first time in ages? Taking the piss out of the knights who could have worn their home strip in the end...

    1. South have worn white socks at home all season. Is a great look.

  4. Black kits are great, you all jelly?

    BTW, get rid of those fucking seagulls.


A few notes on comments.

We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

As usual, publication of a comment does not mean endorsement of its content.