Friday, 28 April 2017

Four-Six-Zero - South Melbourne 2 Box Hill United 1

If you wanted to take a glimpse into what it would be like to watch South Melbourne 2017 (or 2016, or 2015) sans its only two forwards of any note, this was the game to be at.

There was no Milos Lujic (death in the family), no Leigh Minopoulos (injury/soreness) and thus there were no recognised strikers on the field for us. I guess you could say Marcus Schroen and the bullocking Matthew Millar were as close as we got on that front. Liam McCormick got a start; Matthew Foschini played at right back instead of Tim Mala; Jesse Daley got a start, as did Luke Pavlou. Carl Piergianni replaced Luke Adams.

Who am I to judge someone's reasons for being on Twitter?
So while we were in some ways undermanned, we were not so drastically undermanned as to be able to use it as an excuse had we lost. After all, Box Hill is bottom of their division, haven't won a league game for ages and is struggling to score goals. But as is the nature of the cup, they came out to play, and did about as well as you could have expected them to have done.

That didn't mean we didn't have a bucket load of chances to score, in a game where if nothing else the lack of usual and very traditional target man meant that our attacks were more ground based and variable in direction, and dare I say it, even a bit faster than usual.

The finishing let us down, but that wasn't necessarily down to the people taking the shots not being forwards - any forward or midfielder should have done better from many of those situations. One sequence of play saw players line up across the six yard box and repeatedly knock the ball across instead of shooting. Matthew Millar shot when he should have passed and passed when he should have shot. Jesse Daley kept lining up the keeper with timid shots.

In that sense it would be misleading to see Nick Epifano's goal as unjust, even if it was unorthodox and unexpected - an over-hit in-swinging cross from out wide over the top of the keeper. Even Marcus Schroen's winner, while well taken, depended on the goalkeeper going to ground instead of holding his position.

Box Hill's goal depended on a quarter-arsed effort in midifield from the People's Champ, some tidy work up the line from the visitors, and abysmal marking in the six yard box. A near miss from a free kick fooled quite a few people - both South and non-South. And we were lucky that Nikola Roganovic remained alert, as he pulled off a good diving save to keep the game from going to extra time.

But that shot was from range, and while we can give credit to Box Hill for fighting until the end, there was a clear difference in class between the two sides and in the overall calibre of the chances created. Many of us wondered why coach Taylor did not make any more subs than he did, especially in injury time - and where did the ref find four minutes of injury time in this game? - if not for tactical reasons than to at least waste time. Perhaps we'll never know.

Nevertheless, when all is said and done it could have ended up a lot worse, as it did for certain other NPL teams on the night. Melbourne Knights lost to Dandenong City (not so much an upset, but still funny because it wasn't us) and Oakleigh being humiliated 4-2 by a Moreland City containing that lovable cripple Trent Rixon, who managed to score a double and do that stupid fish flop celebration.

Just be glad that we got through, unimpressive as it was in times. Be glad that we can disappoint again, perhaps more certainly, in the next round, when we'll probably and belatedly get matched up against a team of merit.

Next game
At home to Pascoe Vale (currently a game ahead of us) on Sunday arvo. It's another double header, with our third placed women's team who are playing the ladder leading Geelong.

Sing us a song, you're a Hellas fan
Some new chants made the rounds, one to the tune of Billy Joel's 'Piano Man', the other pleading for Taylor to make a sub to the tune of B52s' 'Love Shack'. I didn't mind either of them. Disappointing that the rendition of the Chariots of Fire theme didn't take off as much as it should have.

Midweek social club musings
More changes to the menu. Open souvs, a reduction in the range of burgers, and more of a Greek flavour to parts of the menu. I have the feeling that we're close to a more final version of the menu.

Back on the horse (match programmes and such)
Many promises have been made by me on this front, almost all of them broken. But we are trying to make amends.
There's much more stuff to come. Thanks to The Agitator, Todd Giles and Marl Boric.

Final thought
There was no good reason for this coming out this delayed.


  1. Got to applaud the club for providing live streams where possible, especially those of us overseas

    1. This week the women's game is being streamed.

    2. Its good for when you go into the social club for some food during the game as well, watch on the big screens while you order. One downside, its on delay, so youll hear the crowd before you see it on the screen

  2. CHIP HIM!


    1. Ha, that seems to be the call now for any South player within 30-40 metres of goal.

  3. Terrible terrible terrible match. Thankfully we got the all important win and we progress to the last eight of the Dockerty Cup, and one win from the FFA Cup.

    These mid week games are very welcome now that we have a social club. Grab a meal and watch the game !

    1. I didn't think it was that bad. I've seen many worse this year.

  4. Paul, I dont know if this is common knowledge but im curious, why is the trumpet no longer with the guys in Clarendon Corner? Has it been confiscated from them? It created a decent atmosphere when they had it...

    1. The trumpet being played within Clarendon Corner depends on two things. The first is the availability of Bruno, the current trumpet player. The second is whether a particular match is considered by Bruno and people within Clarendon Corner as being of momentous enough occasion to bring the trumpet out. In situations where it isn't, CC tends to get a bloke named Stathi to do a vocalised version.


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