First of all, commiserations to Gwelup Croatia for failing to make all our bitter dreams come true by losing their FFA Cup qualifier against Perth SC 4-3.
Anyway, despite the awful time slot, the 350 people in attendance - including about a dozen or so Bergers and Bentleigh onlookers - were treated to an exciting contest, albeit of an erratic and mostly middling standard of play. Some of the reasons for the game turning out the way it did must go down to our customary lethargic middle portion of the season shenanigans, but also due to Werribee playing a lot higher up the field than I, and I suspect many other had expected them to.
Lest I be accused of being willfully difficult or negative, I will say this: we looked a lot better in this game than we did against Dandenong Thunder the week before. Now the necessary disclaimers to that factoid are that we looked better going forward, while making little to no improvement in our defending, but it was a step in the right direction. It was a pity that we could not have been more clinical with our finishing, with Milos Lujic being the key offender, missing several excellent chances, but on the other hand, Werribee missed a ton of chances themselves, so let's all be grateful that Nick Epifano managed to put his chance away in the first half.
Someone made the point yesterday that Lujic hasn't scored a league goal since Andy Brennan left, which while being a clever and witty observation, was an observation so cynical that even had to baulk at endorsing it. That's right, I've gone soft, but it's only been two league games, and it's not like Lujic didn't have plenty of chances - including another botched penalty attempt - to score a hattrick yesterday. Maybe the A-League recruiting guys were right all along.
Quite why we gave Werribee so much time and space on the ball is anyone's guess, and the less said about our inability to deal with long balls the better. Nikola Roganovic had a blinder in goals - the only way he could endear himself any more to the South fan base would be to somehow get his store's doughnuts on sale at Lakeside. If I had to give a 3-2-1 for this game, it'd be Roganovic three votes for saving our arses repeatedly, Iqi Jawadi two votes for working really hard in the midfield, and Epifano one vote because he scored and seemed to at least cause the opposition problems.
Bentleigh at home on Sunday. Could not imagine a 1st vs 2nd contest with this much disparity in form. This could turn out very good. More likely it could turn out very bad. Here's hoping for very good.
McEpifano/Choose your own adventure
The word on the terraces (via one of the Enosi 59 kids) yesterday was that Nick Epifano will be off to trial with Dundee United, and subsequent discussions seem to say that this is true, and that because of of this he'll miss the Bentleigh game, and I assume also the Heidelberg and Green Gully matches.
If you want the encourage Epifano at all costs (except calling for second efforts) reaction, turn to page 72
If you want the cynical 'fuck the cunt off' reaction, turn to page 43
Oh no he didn't!
Simon Colosimo says 'hi'Presumably for the best hissy fit at own supporters. pic.twitter.com/CuYE5swumB— Ian Syson (@IanSyson) June 21, 2015
A reluctant word about chantingBack to @smfc today. I had the pleasure of being a part of some great moments, memories & achievements that always put a smile on my face.— Simon Colosimo (@Shime04) June 21, 2015
Really discordant for large parts of the game yesterday, with some people going too slow considering that Clarendon Corner tends to go a little quicker, but it mostly sorted itself as the game went on. Not huge numbers by any strange of the imagination, but a good mix of old and new people.
Around the grounds
Gomer Pyle unleashes the full might of Charlene on the enemy
I eschewed a trip out to the Moreland Road derby for Altona East vs Cairnlea, because the food is better at Paisley Park and it was clearly less hassle to get to and from. East scored a penalty early on, received for one of the home team's players having his nose obliterated from his face. Then it was pretty even for a while, and Cairnlea scored from a penalty of their own early in the second half. Then Altona East responded via their forward who looks like Gomer Pyle from Full Metal Jacket, who only has a left foot and no other redeeming qualities (even his nickname of 'Chippy' - because he likes chips - is kinda lame) scored with a well placed shot from the edge of the box (his second goal of the day), and then with the game in the balance, and with his back to goal and with three defenders around him somehow weaseled his way out of that rabbit hole and put in the most delightful cross for 3-1, and then after that it was all a bit of a rout, finishing 5-1.
Our last three league matches have been against North Geelong (14th), Dandenong Thunder (13th) and Werribee City (12th). Next two weeks are Bentleigh (1st) and Heidelberg (3rd). I think we're going to learn a lot about where we're at very quickly.