Monday, 25 November 2002 12:00 AM
On a muggy Melbourne day, South secured three vital points against Marconi Stallions with a tough one nil victory. In front of a crowd of 5,000 spectators, the man of the moment was once again Bill Damianos, as he stepped up to score his second consecutive goal in as many weeks.
Damianos’ fine 1st half goal lifts South back into the top six and within striking distance of last years finalists, Olympic Sharks and Perth Glory.
The match didn’t have the flair and excitement of the previous 2 weeks encounters, as the goals didn’t flow as frequently as what the crowd would have liked. Without the services of Peter Buljan and Michael Baird, South Melbourne struggled to penetrate the Stallions defence, whilst Marconi lacked firepower upfront without the injured Joe Spiteri.
In total contrast to the Olympic and Knights games, both teams settled in their own half and were reluctant to push men forward.
The first half chance of the game fell to South Melbourne in the 36th minute. Bill Damianos was the beneficiary of some fine individual skill from captain Paul Trimboli, who controlled the ball gently on his chest and turned quickly to slot the ball into the path of Damianos, who smashed the ball into the back of the net from 20 yards.
The one nil lead to South was almost instantly cancelled out by Alex Brosque. Brosque made his way past two defenders and found himself in a one on one situation with Eugene Galekovic. Galekovic was able to preserve South’s lead after making a world class save.
Vince Lia almost extended South Melbourne’s lead in the 45th minute when he cut in from the right hand side and smashed a left foot rocket into the post. This would be the last effort of the first half and South Melbourne would take a one nil lead into the break.
After half time, it was Marconi who could have equalised, as midfielder Grant Last skied a guilt-edge chance over the bar from 10 metres out. There were no other major opportunities for either team to score and South was able to hang on and record its 4th victory of the season.
Danny Wright had praise for his defence and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic, who continued his good form. “Probably the most pleasing thing was that we were able to keep a clean sheet and the best three players on the park were our back three and our goalkeeper.”
South Melbourne will be looking to continue their recent good run of form in Round 11 against Parramatta Power.
Sunday 24th November 2002, Round 10 NSL – 2002/2003, Bob Jane Stadium
South Melbourne 1 ( B. Damianos 36’ )
Marconi Stallions 0