One day they will make it easier to cross from the north side of Barry road to the south side, maybe even place a footpath on the south side, but until that time at least once a year I will be taking my life into my hands hoping a car doesn't floor me as it comes around the bend. An outstanding defensive display helped South Melbourne FC defeat Hume City 0-1 at ABD Stadium on Saturday night. The weather was calm, even pleasant during the under 20s game, which I think we won. Five minutes before the seniors kickoff though the wind picked up and all of a sudden watching the planes fly low overhead as they descended towards Tullamarine wasn't as fun as it had been up until that point. On a treacherous night in Broadmeadows, Milos Lujic’s first half header was enough to secure the points in a game that was far from pretty but considerably entertaining nonetheless. Some of the people who had got there early complained about the long lines to get food and drink in the Hume City social club, but I had little issue getting a can of Turkish gazoza. The win extended South’s unbeaten start to the season to eight games in the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria and ten games across all competitions. South won the first eleven League matches of the 2014 season before going on to win the title. I was impressed with Broadmeadows Valley Park has come along; last year the stand, this year adequate if not spectacular lighting, and a very good scoreboard. of course it was hard to see what was going for much of this game, as the rain started coming down, and standing huddled eight people to one umbrella at the northern end of the ground, it was difficult to tell what was going on. That, and because I had a beanie instead of a hat, my glasses got wet and my vision even blurrier than usual. And where was the little shed that they used to have behind those goals? It might have been a different story had Hume City captain Nick Hegarty found the back of the net in the eighth minute of the game. Hegarty’s header struck the underside of the crossbar, bouncing back out into the field of play before eventually being cleared by Brad Norton. For those of us behind the goal, it was one of those games where the chatter devolved into the absurd. A 'Frozen' (the kids movie, not the Madonna song) inspired chant; Pokemon; meteorologists; what Christi Malthouse is doing with herself these days. South was forced to withstand some heavy pressure from the home side early in the match, before Lujic’s ninth goal of the season gave the defending NPL Victoria Champions the lead after 26 minutes. Nick Epifano delivered a delightful ball to the near post, with Lujic finding the back of the net with a characteristically powerful header. Prior to the game, Steve from Broady had considered the merits of going home - he lives very near to the ground - and getting a jumper or jacket. Having decided against this, and being unable to squeeze under Gains' umbrellas, he gets absolutely soaked. The lead gave Chris Taylor’s men more control over proceedings, with Epifano and Andy Brennan constantly threatening on each flank. One of the kids behind the goals, a possible affiliate of the new 'ultras' group that seems to have coalesced at South, has that group's apparent ringleader on speakerphone, in a discussion hat lasts for a huge portion of the game. Just before half-time a surging run from Brennan resulted in a free-kick on the edge of the area. After initially slipping in his run-up, Dane Milovanovic drove a powerful shot underneath the wall which forced Hume goalkeeper Chris Oldfield into a terrific diving save. Fan loyalty, being hardcore, the self-esteem derived from being a part of a downtrodden brotherhood - at some point you realise it's all a crock, perhaps 65 minutes into a game where you sense that the 1-0 lead you're desperately clinging onto will be erased by an injury time equaliser The nobility of work is a sham, a lie. A combination of shocking conditions and some excellent defending from both sides meant that chances were few and far between in the second half. Photographer Cindy Nitsos' camera lens is streaked with water. Pleas for some tissues to clean it up mean that some are found, and delivered by one of the home team's ground marshals. Tim Mala was particularly outstanding at the right side of defence, nailing a series of important slide tackles and successfully nullifying star Hume attacker Jai Ingham.At one stage David Stirton is running into open space at the edge of the box, but goes down like he's been shot. Is it the groin issue that's been troubling him? As he comes around behind the southern goals where we're standing after having been subbed off, he says it's a corky. Somebody tells him to use up all the hot water in the shower. Someone else says make sure Epa doesn't get any. The game came to life in the final ten minutes when Hume had a big chance to level the scores, only for Calvin Mbarga’s header to sail over the crossbar. Hume's goalkeeper Chris Oldfield went in hard for a punched clearance, and it looks like he's hurt his arm. All our pleas to the team though to take advantage of his bung arm go unheeded however. Moments later Andy Brennan skipped down the field after a slip from a Hume defender, however the big Tasmanian’s shot went just wide of the post. It mattered little, with the final whistle sounding a few moments later to give South a sixth League win in 2015 with Taylor’s side still unbeaten in ten matches across all competitions this season. Someone makes a quip to Andy Brennan that he should be playing well in this weather, because it's quite Tasmanian in character. Captain Michael Eagar commended the resilience of his squad after three wins in seven days during the past week. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy tonight but we knuckled down, did the hard yards and got the deserved three points. We had a tough derby match last Saturday, then the midweek Cup game and then another tough game tonight. It’s been a great effort by everyone in the squad. Everyone has done their job when called upon.” I'm happy that we've won the game, but I'm cold and wet and hungry and I just want to make as uick an exit from here as possible. Fix Hellas Beer Man of the Match Tim Mala was also quick to sing the praises of the defence and striker Milos Lujic. “Millsy is the sort of guy that if you give him half a metre he’s so dangerous that he makes you pay and that’s what he did tonight. It was a good effort by everyone really, we had to grind it out but we got the win and you can see that we’re buzzing now.” In the stand after the game, I spot soccer academic Les Street and newly elected FFV boardmember Nicholas Tsiaras, who is kind enough to give me and Gains a lift to Batman Station. During the trip, we discuss the convoluted and closer than many think election race. There was further good news in the Under 20s as Nashir Hussainy’s second half goal gave South Melbourne a 0-1 win over Hume City. After having some KFC (Korean fried chicken) for dinner in the city, I make my way to Spencer Street, where I get asked by two people what North did tonight, which I don't mind this time, because they were playing a match at Docklands that had just finished. On the train replacement bus back to Sunshine, there's a woman who's half Courtney Cox, half Alice Cooper, holding a large bottle of San Pellegrino mineral water. South Melbourne FC’s next match is at home against Pascoe Vale at Lakeside Stadium on Friday 24 April. Kick-off is at 8:15pm.
Dockerty Cup news
We've been drawn to play the Knights at home. While the game will be played over the Queen's Birthday weekend, no time or date has been selected yet.
Andy Brennan on trial
News from the South Hobart site is that he's been called up for a trial this week with Newcastle Jets, but that he will be back for Friday's game against Pascoe Vale.
The continuing adventures of Nick Epifano (featuring Cliff)
Another week, another social media related storm, this time with Epifano suspended indefinitely from football activity, and with a fan also being banned from games indefinitely. This comes on the back of certain events which occurred yesterday on smfcboard, where South fan (and former contributor to this blog) 'Cliff' posted screenshots of correspondence between himself and Nick Epifano. It just so happens that I did not get to see any of the correspondence before it was deleted from the forum. My understanding is that it did not provide a complete picture of the exchange between Epifano and Cliff. What a mess.
I'm not a trained monkey!
@PaulMavroudis give us a wave. #PS4NPLVIC pic.twitter.com/McKUN1TVXKFinal thought
— Les Street (@official_lesdog) April 18, 2015
“I stand by my ethnic slur.” pic.twitter.com/TKy40yp2Pe
— SimpsonsQOTD (@SimpsonsQOTD) April 19, 2015