South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Vs. Marconi – Report

South Vs. Marconi – Report

Sunday, 2 November 2003 12:00 AM

By Michael Tsoukalis

South Melbourne has moved into 3rd and consolidated a position in the top 6 after a comprehensive victory against the Marconi Stallions.

On a typically cold yet rain free Melbournian evening, the Lakesiders managed to shut out the Stallion’s front men and eventually capitalised on their dominance of the general play by knocking in two second half goals.

From the onset it was obvious that Marconi coach Jean Paul De Marigny had instructed his players to focus defensively and to then try and hit South on the counter. South however dominated the midfield play and managed to regularly carve out decent chances.

The 10th minute saw South forward Michael Curcija released with a ball over the top, the ball sat up well and Curcija released a dipping volley from outside the box, Marconi custodian Michael Turnbull was beaten, however, Curcija’s shot went slightly over the bar and nestled on the top of Turnbull’s goal.

South was then desperately unlucky not to go ahead when a superb 13th minute cross – from a Coveny break down the right wing – was met by Curcija on the volley from point blank range, Stallions keeper Turnbull amazingly guessed right from 5 yards out and at full stretch managed to keep South at bay, South then tried to capitalise on the rebound but the ball – from an acute angle – was struck fiercely into Turnbull’s upright and went out for a goal kick.

Marconi then tried to make an impact with ex-Parramatta winger Brendan Renaud getting the better of his man down the right wing and sending in a glorious 15th minute cross which the South defence did well to clear for a corner. Then in the 23rd minute Marconi went close again, Nick Carle found space at the top of the South box, and unleashed a strike that the closing South defence managed to deflect, the 6000-strong South faithful painfully watched as the strike nearly looped over South keeper Eugene Galekovic, fortunately for the Lakesiders the ball nestled on top of Galekovic’s goal.

For the rest of the half South continued to dominate possession and managed to carve out half chances with a 25th minute Boutsianis volley glancing just past Turnbull’s left upright and a Levent Osman overlap down right wing resulting in a dangerous 35th minute cross – from within the Marconi area – that Turnbull did well to save with his feet and send out for a corner.

The second stanza saw Marconi continue to adopt their counter-attack strategy, the 59th minute saw ex-Melbourne Knights striker Joe Spiteri played in over the top, Spiteri cut inside the South defence and released a low yet powerful shot that slammed into Galekovic’s side-netting.

Marconi coach De Marigny was being consistently vocal on the touchline, encouraging his side to maintain focus, the Stallions had looked fired up throughout the encounter and obviously eager to atone for the bad publicity the club had received for the ugly incident involving the missing Brad Maloney in last week’s game against the Parramatta Power.

However, Marconi’s spirit was severely dented when a 62nd minute Con Boutsianis shot/cross somehow managed to deceive everyone – including keeper Turnbull – and trickled into the back of the net to send South ahead, it was the slice of luck the Lakesiders had deserved after consistently applying pressure throughout the game.

The 68th minute saw South ice the game when the influential Boutsianis placed his corner inch-perfect for Captain Vaughn Coveny to rise above the Marconi defence and nod in on the back post, it was the South skipper’s sixth of the season and a goal which ultimately killed off the Stallions.

To Marconi’s credit they still managed to carve out a couple of decent chances deep into the second half, first a 72nd minute Luke Casserly free-kick whipped past Galekovic’s top corner and in the 79th minute lovely interplay between the Stallion’s midfield saw Nick Carle all alone in the South area with only Galekovic to beat, fortunately for South Carle hit his shot on the volley wide.

In the closing stages of the game South’s new recruit Scott Tunbridge nearly opened his account with first a volley in the 90th minute that went straight at Turnbull and then with practically the last kick of the game an unmarked Tunbridge – who was left alone after a superb centre by Boutsianis – was denied by Turnball who managed to fingertip his strike onto the upright.

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