South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Late Goal Sinks South Melbourne

Late Goal Sinks South Melbourne

Saturday, 3 January 2004 12:00 AM

A LATE header from skipper Peter Grierson kept Brisbane Strikers in the national soccer league finals hunt with an upset 1-0 win against a 10-man South Melbourne at Perry Park tonight.

Grierson’s first goal of the season came in the 79th minute when he smashed a header from a Louis Brain corner to break the deadlock against the league leaders.

The Strikers’ victory maintained their proud unbeaten home record in front of the biggest Perry Park crowd of 3,417 this season and completed the double after beating Souths 1-0 in the first round.

Grierson has been the unsung hero for the Strikers this season with consistent displays as the general in midfield.

South Melbourne, under strong pressure at the top of the table from Perth Gory, showed their class at times but the Strikers’ defence remain rock solid throughout.

South Melbourne clearly dominated a controversial opening half until it lost central defender Steve Laurie who was sent off in the 33rd minute.

Laurie was spotted by Brisbane referee Mark Shield retaliating in back play after a tackle from Strikers dynamo Brain.

Laurie pushed Brain with two hands but instead of receiving a caution was immediately shown the red card.

Shield later infuriated South Melbourne when Strikers’ defender Karl Dodd only received a yellow card after a deliberate hand ball.

South Melbourne’s lethal frontman Michael Curcija had only Dodd to round as the last man in defence before firing in a shot when the rangy Brisbane defender clearly punched the ball from Curcija’s reach.

Curcija showed the visitors were not playing for a draw away from home when he struck a shot just wide of the upright after only five minutes.

Defender Scott Tunbridge gave the visitors another chance in the 13th minute heading an opportunity wide before Brisbane’s Royce Brownlie almost gave the home side a surprise lead midway through the opening period.

Brownlie rose high to head a cross from Brain into the ground and over the cross bar with South’s keeper Eugene Galekovic well beaten.

Galekovic later made amends when he pulled off a finger tip save with his outstretched hand to deny Josh Rose a lifting volley from 25 metres in the 65th minute.


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