NPLW R03 – Preview
Bayside United v SMFC – Kingston Heath – Sunday 11 March 2018 at 5:30pm
South Melbourne FC’s senior women’s side go into Sunday evening’s match chasing three straight wins from three NPLW games in 2018. Keen to prevent that are Bayside United, a team that South defeated in all three league encounters in 2017, although the one match that was played at Kingston Heath (Sunday’s venue) was a tight affair. South needed an injury-time winner from Caitlin Greiser to win all three points in that particular meeting last year.
Although South is two wins from two league matches in 2018, they have twice conceded the opening goal to their opponents, and against Box Hill United last weekend actually conceded the opening two goals. Coach Socrates Nicolaidis acknowledges this as an area to be improved within his team, with the high-risk, high-reward tactics he has implemented during his time at the club having paid off so far.
Melina Ayres was the saviour against Box Hill when she came off the bench (in her first appearance of 2018 following a rest post W-League season) in the final half hour to set up a goal and then score the winning goal in injury time. Nicolaidis is excited about her fulltime return to the side, with even more senior players due to return. “I honestly think that with everyone back fit and firing…honestly we’re maybe 4-5 players short of [being a competitive] W-League team.”
Previous Meetings – click individual game for highlights
2017 (R22): SMFC 11-0 Bayside United (Lakeside Stadium)
2017 (R13): SMFC 2-0 Bayside United (Lakeside Stadium)
2017 (R04): Bayside United 2-3 SMFC (Kingston Heath Soccer Complex)
Overall Head to Head:
SMFC Wins: 3
Bayside United Wins: 0