Tuesday, 1 September 2015

One match away from the grand final...

We'll be playing Pascoe Vale for a spot in the grand final, after they disposed of Heidelberg via a penalty shoot out. The match is scheduled to be played at Lakeside this Friday, with kickoff at 7:30. Unusually perhaps, I don't have any great moral objection to this, though I am typically troubled by the fact that Bentleigh Greens have managed to also have their semi-final on Friday, despite Hume City playing last Friday as well as having a midweek FFA Cup match on Tuesday. Anyway, your South membership will get you entry into this game - how's that for value? Pretty sweet if you ask me. If you're not a South member, there's always the ticket booth I suppose.

Without wishing to overrate them, Pascoe Vale are a good team, with some good attacking options at their disposal, as well as being a persistent threat at set pieces. Will Milos Lujic actually play in this match? Is Timmy Mala suspended for this game? If so, who will replace him? The tension is almost unbearable.

No (read, some) rest for the wicked
In preparation for this week's game, last Friday our boys had a very low key and probably meant to be closed doors game against North Geelong at Lakeside. North Geelong have to wait something like 4-6 weeks to find out who their opponent will be in the promotion/relegation playoff; meanwhile they have to keep busy somehow. Despite being a closed door game, one of South of the Border's many eyes and ears in the real world managed to get into Lakeside to watch the game. Our agent reckons that we fielded a largely second string squad, and that we won the game 2-1 - provided that there were no goals scored before our agent managed to get to the ground. No idea who scored. Also apparently Dane Milovanovic was spotted having dinner on Clarendon Street afterwards. All other information gleaned on the night will remain in Dyson Heydon's inbox.

Around the grounds
Believe. Fight. Lose.
Given the choice of going to watch Geelong vs Collingwood or heading to Somers Street for Knights vs Hume, I decided that due to South probably being likely to play one of these two teams the following week, I made my way to Knights Stadium. The first half was some of the most awful football I have ever seen, but where was Mark Rudan to see and appreciate any of it? Knights would have been happy to have the game play out this way, especially since they had a 1-0 lead and Hume looked like they were having an off night - the sitter they missed to level the score just before half time being proof positive of that, to the relief of those people who had gone to the canteen early to avoid the half time queue (and in turn becoming the genesis of the halftime line). The second half was much better, because Hume turned up to play, and they duly took the lead after some typical Melbourne Knights 2015 clusterfuck defending at the back and some tidy finishing. Theo Markellis was targeted by one Knights fan, who had moderate success in getting Theo to bite back in response to comments like 'Valencia reject cunt', which while not very creative, at least summed up in three short words how low Markellis has fallen. Knights, looking as if they would bow out in a similar manner to the 2013 finals - a season built in part on a formidable home record, only to cough it up with home losses when it really mattered - managed to get back on level terms, thanks in part to some uncoordinated defending from the Hume defence. But sensing that their chance to self-implode was still there for the taking, they got one of their number sent off and Hume, not willing to put everyone out of their misery as the cold came in during a turgid extra time period, forced everyone to go through the lottery of a penalty shoot out; lottery being the operative word here, as Knights had about as much chance of winning a penalty shoot out as of winning a division 1 jackpot. They managed to have all four of their penalties saved, which I thought was hilarious, with the necessary caveat of 'be careful what you mock, lest you become it'.

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