After the euphoria of the Lakeside lease announcement earlier in the day, this result was a massive let down. Full credit to Bentleigh though, who deserved their win last night.
Having said that, we started like the proverbial house on fire. Aside from James Musa's speculative shot which hit the crossbar, Tyson Holmes probably should have done better with his headed effort, but also should have been awarded a penalty after being tripped by the home team's goalkeeper. I could not tell why the ref did not award the penalty, though after speaking with others later on it appears the ref may have paid the advantage. If so, then I don't think any South fan thought there was any advantage to be taken in that situation.
Anyway, after we had the upper hand for the best part of 30 minutes, Bentleigh worked their way into the match, and scored the opening goal which really messed us up. Now I don't know what Jason Saldaris and the defence were doing for that goal, but what I did see was that at the beginning of that sequence of play, Matthew Theodore chasing a player towards the middle of the field, only for the ball to head back out wide to a loose man, from whence the Greens launched their successful attack.
The second goal early in the second half was the killer. From that point onward, we got progressively worse, to the point where we became inept, looking like the worst of the Gus Tsolakis coached sides before Chris Taylor took over. Our structure collapsed, in particular the midfield; the crossing, especially from corners, deteriorated exponentially; any semblance of a game plan other than bombing it long to Milos Lujic went out the window. When Holmes ended up actually scoring our one goal right at the death, it stung even more for the fact that it all looked so easy, and that perhaps we didn't have to reinvent the wheel.
With Oakleigh's round 20 match against Melbourne Knights postponed until early September, we're still seven points ahead, though now we only have five games left to play, while Oakleigh have six. The equation remains the same though - win four of those remaining five games, and we're home.
The relegation threatened - whatever that means these days, what with increasing internet pundit speculation that FFV will find a way to save the regional teams any which way - Werribee City at home on Sunday.
A passing thought on making a house a home
I'm sure I've mentioned this somewhere else, and to be fair, it's not only been said by me - but now that our long term tenure at Lakeside has been secured, it's time to claim a bit of ownership over the venue. The return of the social club will be a huge part of that, of course, but there's opportunities outside of that to also make our mark. For starters, there's scope for getting together with the athletics people, and working with them to get the each of the gates and the stands named after respected personalities from the respective sports. I reckon it'd be great if Theo Marmaras had 'our' stand named after him, even if it was called the Marmaras-Papasavvas Stand, as it was reputedly called by some ancient South AGM. Likewise, boring old 'gate 2' could become the Jimmy Armstrong Gate, in recognition of the man's long service to South in many capacities, but also as a reminder of the old side gate/player's entrance before the Lakeside remodeling took place. And hopw about naming the proposed futsal court which is being built as part of our complex after Fernando De Moraes, contemporary South legend but also a futsal player of some note by this country's standards, and the closest thing we've had to a regular national team player for years.
Hmm. Our Pascoe Vale match report from last week received a surly sort of response from one reader, going by the name 'James', who claimed, among other things, that I was biased, that I should open my eyes next time I watch a game, and that I would have no idea what it takes to be successful in competitive sport, having never played it. Unlike those seeking to defend me on these matters in the relevant comments section, I would like to agree with James on all those points. Biased? Absolutely. Opening my eyes? One of my eyes is a complete write off, and the other one is this close to seeing me (rofl) not being allowed to drive anywhere, so close enough. Never played a competitive sport? Well, apart from some hard fought CC Blue vs CC White battles a few years ago, the last remotely competitive game of anything I participated in was probably a primary school (Which primary school you ask? It no longer exists) Aussie rules lightning premiership tournament played out at Point Gellibrand back in 1995, where I even got pinged for a throw in one of the games. Therefore the evidence should be clear to all that if you want fair and unbiased match reports, from someone who can actually tell what's going on, and who has some first hand knowledge of the stresses undertaken by the semi-professional Victorian soccer player, you're probably not going to get that at South of the Border. I'm sorry if you were lead to believe otherwise.
On the plus side, at least this whole thing managed to get someone to bust out the word 'crunts' again. That takes me back.
There have been a couple.
I beat the vending machine at Cheltenham station after the game, but I still lost my bonus king size Snickers to my brother who just assumed that because it was in the fridge, it belonged to him. No one to blame for myself, I suppose.