South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Vs Newcastle – Report

South Vs Newcastle – Report

Sunday, 19 October 2003 12:00 AM

By Michael Tsoukalis

South Melbourne has bounced back emphatically after a last week’s disappointing performance against Brisbane. Led by the ever-inspirational Vaughn Coveny – who bagged a hat-trick – and teenage sensation Kristian Sarkies, South comfortably accounted for Newcastle by 4 goals to 1.

Coach Munro fielded a largely unchanged line-up from last week’s opening home encounter against the Strikers, notable changes were however made in that Mehmet Durakovic made his return to the first 11 in place of Levent Osman and young teenager Kristian Sarkies – a product of the VIS – was given his full NSL debut in place of gun recruit Michael Panopoulos.

South once again started somewhat tentatively, the game took a while to get into gear, with both sides registering notable efforts on goal in the early proceedings. The 5th minute saw Newcastle striker Ryan Griffiths get the better of the Durakovic after the ball was played in over the South defence, fortunately for South Griffiths was well closed down and the ball went out for a corner.

South’s first glorious opportunity arrived in the 13th minute after Sarkies had spotted a Curcija run down the right, Curcija measured his cross and delivered a curling centre that fell to Con Boutsianis who did well to bring the ball down but unfortunately couldn’t keep his volley low and on target.

The 23rd minute saw Boutsianis again waste great work down the right, this time South captain Vaughn Coveny had done exceptionally well to create space for himself and deliver a ball that evaded the United defence, with only United keeper John Perosh to beat, Boutsianis attempted a delicate lob that went wide.

The game was blown wide open in the 29th minute when United custodian Perosh inexplicably sent his clearance straight to Curcija, baring down on goal Curcija attempted to round Perosh and was brought down in the process, a penalty was awarded and Newcastle defender Peter Tsekenis was given his marching orders. Coveny stepped up and converted low to Perosh’s right.

To Newcastle’s credit they hit back almost immediately, the 30th minute saw South momentarily lapse defensively which allowed Newcastle to play in striker Greg Owens, Owens produced a text book finish, striking across Galekovic’s goalmouth to level the ledger at 1 a piece.

South however were determined to make their man advantage count, firmly embedded in the player’s minds from last week was coach Munro’s comments that the crossing lacked the needed quality, the 39th minute saw Simon Storey overlap down the left wing, Storey produced a stinging cross that Coveny did superbly well to rise and head down past a diving Perosh, South had regained the lead and most importantly before half time.

The 2nd stanza saw South further assert their dominance, with Kristian Sarkies pulling the strings in the centre of the park akin to a seasoned pro let alone a first game debutant South always looked dangerous going forward. It was therefore no surprise when Sarkies played a visionary ball over the United defence to an overlapping Sam Poutakidis, whose subsequent low cross – which was aimed near at keeper Perosh – was fumbled by Perosh and eventually trickled over the line to give South a deserved 3-1 lead and “Pouta” his second goal of the season.

Newcastle however failed to give in, the 67th minute saw Boutsianis dispossessed in the centre of the park with United defender Adam Griffiths continuing his run forward, Griffiths was nearly rewarded after being spotted by the Newcastle midfield who played a lovely long ball over the South defence that Griffiths managed to meet, however, fortunately for South Griffiths’s header failed to hit the target.

South wrapped up the game in the 76th minute when Curcija once again found space wide on the right, Curcija took his time and measured his cross inch perfectly for the incoming Coveny to rise above the Newcastle defence and emphatically head home his hat-trick and South’s 4th.

The 78th minute saw South legend Paul Trimboli replace Con Boutsianis to a thunderous applause, Trimboli’s introduction further inspired the relentless South to create 3 further classical chances. First off the 80th minute saw a Coveny header cleared off the line by the United defence. Coveny was involved again in the 82nd minute when his deft touch played in Curcija who unleashed a stinging drive that Perosh did well to save at full stretch.

Finally Curcija was denied a deserved goal when in the 85th minute yet another quality ball from the right, this time from Poutakidis, saw Curcija unmarked with only Perosh to beat, unfortunately for the Lakesiders Curcija’s header went wide.

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