In front of a crowd of about 400 (rounded up by our counter), we did the business against a plucky but outclassed Frankston Pines side. The upside of all this is we're into the semi finals of the Dockerty Cup as well as, I suppose more importantly for some, back on the national stage for the first time since the NSL (if one discounts last year's NPL national finals adventure).
The downside of that is that I'm not sure how much further we can go playing the way we're playing at the moment. Now even taking into account such things as only being able to beat the opposition put in front of you, some of our outs with players playing in unusual positions, and the fact that in some ways we're in a transition phase mid-season, we weren't very good. There were players that should have seen this game as an opportunity to really make their mark, but failed to do so - and I'm not counting the junk time last twenty minutes when Pines were more or less dead on their feet.
Conceding that late goal from a corner did no harm within the game, but showed once again that we've got a real problem in defending set pieces. And as one forum scribe noted, playing the way we did in the first 30 minutes against one of our league's better teams will do us no good at all. But climbing back from the ledge for a moment, we know this year's team can play better than they have been in the last couple of weeks, that they have the possibility of lifting a gear when needed, but I suppose the point is you'd rather not have to be in the position where you need to do that.
Anyway, the vibe was good at the game especially after we finally got the first couple of goals, with some good chanting, good humour, and with South fans clapping off Frankston Pines - though I'm not sure what 2-3 of the Enosi boys thought they were doing when they went over to try and taunt some of the women supporting Pines after we scored our first goal. Luckily someone sensible from Clarendon Corner sorted that out; we really don't need that kind of stupidity. Equally stupid were the people that used a back gate or far side gate to get into the ground - were they caught and evicted? I'm not sure. Neither am I sure if they were the same people as those who were later seen hanging about outside the fence on the Clarendon Street end with some sort of banner I think. Some people claimed they were Frankston/Victory fans, but who can tell for sure?
This Sunday at home against Werribee City, at the stupid, stupid, stupid time of 5:00PM. Why not 3:00PM? Are they worried that if we play when it's slightly more pleasant that it may mean 20 more people might turn up?
Dockerty Cup and FFA Cup news
As noted earlier, we're into the semi finals of the Dockerty Cup, but the draw for those games won't happen until next week's other quarter finals are completed. Oakleigh made it through last night, beating South Springvale 2-1. As for the FFA Cup, the draw for the round of 32 will be made on July 1st, once all 32 qualifiers become known.
Yes, I'm aware that on field things could be going much, much worse!