|No. 98: Milos Lujic opens the scoring against Bulleen Lions.|
Photo: Cindy Nitsos, who was chuffed that she actually captured the moment
Current Port Melbourne and former Bulleen coach Dom Barba was an interested onlooker - we play Port in the league in a week's time - but I don't think too many other people's minds were on what happened in this game. The mood around the ground seemed jovial enough, but it is at best the calm before the storm. Yes, everyone else already had one eye on this Wednesday's FFA Cup match, but at least the South players were appropriately switched on from the start, and thanks to some dreadful Bulleen errors, this game was sewn up a lot earlier than may have otherwise been the case.
Milos Lujic opened the scoring early on, nodding in a cross from close range. The optical illusion initially made it look to me like he'd missed, but that was not the case. That was goal no. 98 in a South shirt for Milos, though most of us didn't know that at the time. Matthew Millar continued on with his free scoring run, taking advantage of a poor back pass to Bulleen goalkeeper Lewis Italiano to make it 2-0 at the break. Lujic pounced on another stray back pass in the second half, curling it past Italiano for 3-0, and despite having given up a 3-0 lead earlier in the year, there were no serious concerns that the visitors would mount a comeback. That being the case, it was odd to me that Chris Taylor didn't use the lead as an opportunity to rest or protect some of our players.
|Lisa De Vanna came off the bench to score the winner for the NPL women|
against ladder leader Calder.United. South's 2-1 win sees us keep pace
with the top two sides. Photo: Cindy Nitsos.
Bulleen were disappointing all around, offering little in attack, and being flimsy in defense against a South side that was professional in its approach but which did not otherwise break into a serious sweat. Considering the fact that they have a relegation battle on their hands and no other distractions, I expected a little more. There was not much Italiano could have done to prevent the rout.
The win aside, the highlight of the afternoon was Mike Mandalis winning the half time shoot out competition (and collecting a tyre voucher for his troubles). Also we got to boo Dave, who brought shame to Clarendon Corner with his efforts,
FFA Cup against Dandenong City on Wednesday night at Lakeside. Like it or not - and I don't - this match is probably the most important one we'll play all year.
I'm not sure what the ticketing and gate arrangements will be - as usual, check with the club's media channels on that front - except that South Melbourne members and season ticket holders will get free entry to the game.
Mid-season comings and goings
There was confirmation from central defender Carl Piergianni himself that he is heading back to the UK.
This leaves us in a bit of a bind in terms of central defensive options should something happen to Michael Eagar or Luke Adams, what with Kristian Konstantinidis still having several weeks worth of suspension to serve.Having decided to move back to the UK I have left @smfc Thank you to everyone at the club, I wish you all the best for the season— Carl Piergianni (@CarlPidge) May 18, 2017
There is also talk is that Giordano Marafiotti will be upgraded to the senior squad from the under 20s, as well as rumours that we're looking at making a couple of signings in the mid-season transfer window
Around the grounds
I never wanted to be your weekend lover
Since no one at home wanted to watch Purple Rain with me on TV on Friday night, I made my down to Somers Street to see the Marth-less Melbourne Knights play Hume. Hume would have won this game had they been a bit more direct and a lot less cocky - they certainly had more than enough possession to do much more damage on the scoreboard than they did, which incidentally was none at all. Knights struggled to gain possession let alone hold on to it, so when in the second half Elvis Kamsoba put a one on one wide - the best chance of the game up to that point - you felt they would cop it in the end. And it almost happened right away when Atilla Offli pushed an underhit shot straight at Fraser Chalmers. Chalmers released the ball long, a Hume defender made a hash of controlling the ball under very little pressure, and Marjan Cvitkovic jumped on the loose, sauntered towards goal, and gave Knights the lead and eventually their first win for a couple of months or so.
Darkness be my friend
Saturday afternoon was spent at Chaplin Reserve with Joe Gorman. Promotion playoff hopeful Sunshine George Cross were playing runaway NPL2 West leader Northcote City. George Cross missed two great chances within three seconds of each other in the first half, and Northcote hit the crossbar in the second stanza. That was as good as it got on the field, as Northcote in particular sought to kick the crap out of its opponent. The game was scheduled to kickoff at 3:15, as have all George Cross' home games so far this season, which becomes a problem as winter approaches, especially if the game doesn't start on time. Thus the final 15 minutes or so was played in darkness; probably best for all concerned to be honest, this one time.
Was never a big Chris Cornell or Soundgarden fan, but this song always had a certain majesty to it.