|You'll miss this backdrop when it's gone.|
Photo: Luke Radziminksi.
It's almost a trick question, because the answer is probably our 5-2 win over Eastern Lions last year, but I tell you what, it did feel like it's been a lot longer than that. When we were 3-1 up midway through the second half, and looking like we were cruising, our local chat turned to reminiscing about Neighbours, late night television hosts, and my flailing attempts to talk about how the best band of the '90s was the one that seemingly cared the least.
Before we got to that point though, we saw what was the most complete performance by a South team for quite some time. Notwithstanding the poor luck which saw us fall behind - seriously, that "shit" was headed for corner flag before it deflected off Lirim Elmazi - almost everything either side of that goal was remarkably not displeasing. Unlike much of this team's timid temperament thus far under Esteban Quintas, on Saturday night the team was assertive in attack to such a degree that it was almost unrecognisable from the previous four rounds.
|Marco Jankovic's shot finds itself just out of|
reach of Altona Magic keeper Chris Oldfield.
Photo: Luke Radziminski.
Like, what year is this even?
We're also becoming a strong, bullying team. Because of the mediocre results and performances, and the way we've gone into a our shell far too often, it's gone largely unremarked that we have some tough players who are willing to put in some hard tackles. Of course that approach comes with collecting yellow cards, and that will become a problem across the season - but if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.
The win leaves the team as still the only undefeated side in the competition, as well as in second place on the ladder behind Melbourne Knights. That little factoid has left people wondering when the last time South and Knights occupied the top two places on the table at the end of a round, with most people's guesses being some point in the mid-1990s; either that, or early 2015. But who's going to put the effort to find out? Not me, that's for sure.
So after several less than inspiring performances and results, everything's good now, right? Well, not quite. A couple of days after the fact, the shine is taken off the win just a smidge because five rounds in, it turns out we've played three of the current bottom four sides. It may well be that 2021 will be one of those very even, perhaps even mediocre years of Victorian soccer. Are we set up for a season ala 2011, where some opportunist team will claim a title because they were the best of a meandering bunch? That could play right into our hands.
Of course, we could just as easily put in a mediocre performance midweek, in which case I'll take back everything good I said about the team here.
Dandenong Thunder at home on Wednesday night. Keep in mind that this match is scheduled to kick off at 7:30PM, and that there will be no reserves curtain raiser.
FFA Cup fixturing news
While no one seems to have come out yet and made an "official" announcement, it appears as if our round 4 FFA Cup match against Werribee City is going to be held this Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm at Grange Reserve, Hoppers Crossing - not at Werribee's normal home ground of Galvin Park.
Some serious issues have emerged with NPL Victoria's livestream service. Poor filming angles due to no elevated camera positions, and light-towers obstructing views are old problems, added to this year by Gardiners Creek Reserve having a whole damn tree in the way. But the real issue is the service cutting out or stalling repeatedly. This seems to a be a weekly occurence now. Plenty of issues emerged with our game last week, as well as in the curtain raiser. Even while I was sitting in the carpark at Sunshine station waiting for a mate, just trying to watch the last ten minutes of Avondale vs Knights, and the whole thing just froze around the 81 minute mark.
Whatever one's opinion on the merits of the livestream, if they're going to have it the least they could do is make sure it works.