Tuesday, 15 July 2014

To put it briefly - South Melbourne 2 Hume City 0

Arriving back in Melbourne at just after midday after having attended an academic conference in Sydney, and having seen the family - or at least portions thereof - I was pleased to be able to be able to get to Lakeside in the evening to see my one day a week family. Too bad not many of them were there, a pretty low crowd emphasised by one South fan tapping me on the shoulder at halftime I think it was, in order to point out that he'd counted the crowd, and that it was not good.

Maybe these five o'clock starts are getting to people? I used to be of the firm opinion that it didn't really bother me which of Friday night, Saturday or any of the possible Sunday times we played it, but I'm over the 5:00pm kickoff time. The weather is crappier, the crowd less enthusiastic, and by the time I get home it gets late for dinner.

While we shouldn't kid ourselves with hyperbolic statements, such as we got better crowds in previous recent seasons - we didn't, really - or that the lack of a social club is keeping people away - it's a disincentive, but it's not like people were super keen on the old social club, especially after a loss, and before the games, forget about it.

The game itself saw another week in which we stuttered around at the beginning, before eventually working our way into a position where we looked good going forward, and not reliant on minimal chances to score. We had nine corners alone in the first half which is a great sign, even if we regressed to short corners. Jamie Reed had our best chance, when a cross fell to him at the back post, but he seemed surprised by that fact and his first touch was atrocious, going straight to the goalkeeper.

At the other end of the field it wasn't quite as pretty. Hume hit the woodwork twice and our defence, under instruction to hold on to the ball, didn't always look comfortable doing it. In my opinion, Michael Eagar in particular looks wonky when doing this, though James Musa and Shaun Timmins aren't that far behind. Tim Mala on the other is playing with real confidence even managing to get some overlapping runs going.

In the first half we were helped by Hume's players getting an injury or two, especially probably their best player after the already out for the season Nick Hegarty, that being Shane Rexhepi. Hume's keeper Oldfield also did his best to help is out, by cleaning up his teammates on several occasions when he came out for the ball.

For awhile there it didn't look like we'd score, but one must never forget the poor finisher's friend, the own goal. We got one of those against the Bergers not too far back to settle the nerves, and it happened again here, a cross bundled into his own net by Erdogan this time.

Epifano's goal to seal it was much better as several people have already noted. Coming from the best move of the game, with some nice one-two work and a beautiful finish into the top corner, it just about iced the game, and kept the chasing pack at arms length for another week.

So, still six points ahead of Oakleigh who are habitually crushing teams now, making goal difference a real problem for us. Not that anyone should dare to get ahead of themselves, but there's nine games to go, so the finish line is starting to get within sight. Just got this niggling feeling that we'll get overrun, but with a bit of luck and skill, hopefully we can get over the line.

Next game
The obviously much improved Melbourne Knights, in the last of our extended stretch of home games. After that, Northcote, Bentleigh and Pascoe Vale away. Not getting any easier.

What happened to the clock continuing on into injury after the ninety minutes? It just stopped at 90:00 like it usually does. Please bring the injury time count back.

Shoot Farken world cup reports
Pleased to say that I made it to the end in one piece.
Thanks to everyone who has shared those pieces, and especially to Engel Schmidl and Athas Zafiris at Shoot Farken for publishing them.

Final thought
It's good to be back in a town with an ugly bridge and a port full of red cranes.


  1. Should've been 10 first half corners, but the referee somehow missed the goalkeeper pull of a great save to plam the ball over the bar.

    1. What was unusual about that was the delayed outrage from the crowd, because the referee pointed for a goalkick straight away.

    2. Seemed like delayed outrage from the players too.
      I think everyone at Lakeside was just set for another corner, not needing to refer to the referee's signal.

      That 'keeper had to be gutted too. His best save of the day never existed.


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