|Candidate for photo of the year already. Photo: Kevin Juggins.|
(possibly rose tinted reminiscence) How good did we look, destroying Bentleigh out wide, getting into many good positions, winning several corners? We looked like the real deal.
(hackneyed comic attempt at mock relief) Thank goodness then that the dual-action remedy was close at hand - first, the fast acting patented not scoring, and second, the long lasting patented letting the other team back into the game and being outplayed for the next...
(runs out of fingers to count on) up until the 80th minute or so, maybe a bit more.
(mandatory footy reference) Oh, we kept fighting. Prototypical utility player Liam McCormick barreled through an opponent and a teammate at the same time with a reckless challenge, one reminiscent of Cameron Venables cleaning up Gavin Brown at a pre-season intra-club match in 1999 - and didn't Venables' career just take off after that?
(irony and/or coincidence) We finally found ourselves 1-0 down after the bloke we'd been promoting online for his ability to score from headers slipped over and left the rest of the defense stranded
(accusation of obvious corruption) And yet considering their utter dominance of our alternately meek and non-existent midfield, Bentleigh took their sweet time in actually finishing us off. That it had to happen after we had a goal disallowed from what looked like the worst offside call
(haughty derision) Phooey. As if we could somehow come back from 2-0.
(but here's the twist) We did actually make a game of it, when Milos Lujic managed to pull a goal back with five minutes of regulation time to go. Then some of our players and some of their players started punching on, wasting much valuable time and eventually delaying the finish long enough that I would end up missing the first available train back to civilisation. The People's Champ was in the thick of it, there were yellow cards bandied about it seemed mostly out of a sense of duty rather than a sense of the officials actually knowing what had happened and how to deal with the situation, and eventually the game resumed.
(premature disappointment) Leigh Minopoulos caused some problems as a substitute, and may have deserved a penalty when one on one with the goalkeeper and looking to level the scores. In the end, there was no penalty, no equalising goal, and no chance for us to lose in a penalty shootout. That in itself was bit of a letdown.
(leaving off on a positive) Michael Eagar looked quite good, and Marcus Schroen is playing like he is about to have a monster season. Something to look forward to, if you're the kind of person that needs something to look forward to. Like the promise of a new day, the ordeal itself is enough motivation for me to turn up.
Other things worth noting
The bus stop for the 828 across from Cheltenham station has a new and improved shelter.
Kingston Heath's surface was in excellent condition,
Bentleigh were missing Stipo Andrijasevic (injury) and Andy Brennan (Thailand?).
All things considered, the standard in the first half was actually quite pleasing. It felt like a real game, or very close to it.
This part of the south-east has the strangest try-hard homeboys I've ever come across.
Next game - update
Before our round 1 fixture eventually arrives against Bulleen on Monday week, we'll be playing Mornington away at Dallas Brooks Park on Monday February 6th, kickoff at 7:00PM.
Arrivals and departures (sometimes in that order)
Well, we finally have some closure on who is in the squad, and who is not. There were some surprises and left turns. Stephen Hatzikostas' time at South is over - absent for most of the -pre-season, he's found a new home at Green Gully. Francesco Stella, after being let go 'by mutual agreement', has ended up at Port Melbourne. Stefan Zinni has also been signed up Western Sydney Wanderers for the rest of this A-League season.
Meanwhile, the services of Andy Kecojevic have also been retained for 2017.
As per last time, the following players are known to be contracted for next season and the one after.
- Luke Adams (signed until the end of 2017)
- Michael Eagar (signed until the end of 2017)
- Nick Epifano (signed until the end of 2017)
- Ajdin Fetahagic (signed until the end of 2017)
- Joshua Hodes (signed until the end of 2017)
- Andy Kecojevic (signed until the end of 2017 one assumes)
- Kristian Konstantinidis (signed until the end of 2017)
- Gavin De Niese (signed until the end of 2017)
- Tim Mala (signed until the end of 2017)
- Giordano Marafioti (signed until the end of 2017)
- Liam McCormick (signed until the end of 2017)
- Matthew Millar (signed until end of 2017)
- Brad Norton (signed until end of 2017)
- Luke Pavlou (signed until end of 2017)
- Carl Piergianni (signed until the end of 2017)
- Nikola Roganovic (signed until the end of 2017)
- Marcus Schroen (signed until the end of 2017)
- Zaim Zeneli (signed until the end of 2017)
- Jesse Daley (signed until end of 2018)
- Matthew Foschini (signed until the end of 2018)
- Milos Lujic (signed until end of 2018)
- Stephen Hatzikostas, Green Gully
- Manuel Padilla Herero, loan ended
- Chris Irwin to Kingston City.
- Iqi Jawadi, to Oakleigh Cannons.
- Amadu Koroma, to Altona Magic
- Francesco Stella, Port Melbourne
- Mathew Theodore, sabbatical
- Stefan Zinni (to Western Sydney Wanderers for remainder of A-League season)
— Tony Margaritis (@sthmel) January 31, 2017And one from where the pro-shop will be.
But also this!
You may remember that in my AGM summary late last year I made a note of the Swans moving their Melbourne offices into Lakeside. Here's a vague article about that,
At least the woman working the counter at the bakery across from Cheltenham station threw in a free donut with my order. At least I think it was free.