South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Cannons Defeat South in Thriller

Cannons Defeat South in Thriller

Tuesday, 25 April 2006 11:20 AM

By George Kouroumalis

In front of a healthy crowd at Jack Edwards Reserve, the Oakleigh Cannons managed to do the impossible and snatch a win from cross town rivals South Melbourne.
The boys from Lakeside started in the perfect way with captain Vaughan Coveny playing an inviting ball across the box from the right hand side, which caused mayhem in the Oakleigh area.

Despite the best efforts from the Oakleigh defence and goalkeeper Stuart Webster, the ball fell to Andreas Oliviera who slotted the ball into the back of the open net.
With South in front after only two minutes played in the game, the experienced Oakleigh midfield launched an attack almost immediately to try and bring the sides level.
Much maligned midfielder Con Boutsianis, played a ball to Anthony Pelikan who launched a drive from outside the box, which was well saved by South keeper Dean Anastasiadis.
Only 2 minutes later in the 5th minute a cross by Sam Poutakidis was cleared by the South defence, however only to fall into the path of Bill Damianos.
Damianos, who had spent most of his career as a South Melbourne player, saw Anastasiadis off his line and proceeded to launch a 35 yard volley toward the goal.
To the disbelief of the crowd the ball cleared Anastasiadis and found the back of the net.

The rest of the second half proved a tough and uneventful contest between both clubs with no real clear chance falling to either side.
The second half started where the first left off with both sides playing safe and risk free football for the first 15 minutes.
However in the 61st minute, Oakleigh striker Juan Nilo was played behind the South defence by Poutakidis.
To the relief of the traveling fans the shot was strike directly into the arms of the waiting Anastasiadis.
As Oakleigh continued to press, Boutsianis was then released by Damianos and in true Boutsianis fashion launched a cracking drive from thirty five yards, which dipped and curled just wide of the outstretched Anastasiadis and for that matter the goal itself.
One minute later in the 68th minute the lights failed with an explosion occurring in the nearby area most likely the cause of this.

This delayed the game for some 20 minutes with Oakleigh officials and Police frantically trying to find a power source to supply the lights with the necessary power needed to function to an acceptable level.
Once this was achieved, both teams once again came out tentative with no real chance falling until the 74th minute, where South Melbourne’s Tansel Baser was inches wide from blasting his side into the lead.
In the 77th minute a careless back pass by Coveny gifted former teammate in Damianos with possession in his own half, only for Damianos to be fouled just outside the box by Jonas Salley.
As Pelikan and Boutsianis stood over the ball, the South Melbourne faithful who had watched these two stars of the Victorian Football play week in and week out in the NSL knew that they had to deal with two of the best free kick takers in the league.

True to the above description Pelikan stepped up and sent a perfectly placed free kick into the top corner giving Oakleigh the lead for the first time in the match.
Oakleigh nearly sealed the game in both the 85th and 87th minutes with Anastasiadis making two straight forward saves from former NSL player Esala Masi.
In the 91st minute South Melbourne had a final chance to gain a point from the contest through experienced midfielder Baser, who launched a drive from the left hand side of the box.
The shot unfortunately for Baser and South fans’ was only inches wide of finding the target.
Only moments later referee Perry Mur blew his whistle signaling the end of the contest with the Oakleigh Cannons running out 2-1 victors.

Oakleigh who sit clear on top of the table host Richmond on Friday, while South Melbourne who are placed outside the top six host the Bulleen Zebras at Bob Jane Stadium on Sunday night.

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