Wednesday, 16 August 2006 4:42 PM
By Michael Tsoukalis
South return to Bob Jane Stadium this Sunday evening looking to address a recent dip in results which has seen John Anastasiadis’s men completely dominate their past two encounters but fail to get the deserving win.
South’s opponents are the relegation threatened Frankston Pines who will come to Bob Jane Stadium looking for nothing less than maximum points as a loss for the Pines will virtually ensure that they will be playing State 1 football next season.
This past Monday night saw South concede a stoppage-time equalizer against Bulleen, in the process sacrificing its top-two position and leaving the South faithful disappointed with the team’s inability to find the back of the net and “kill-off” games after such large periods of dominating play.
Coach Anastasiadis must find the necessary ingredient to instill confidence in his attackers who have often lacked the clinical edge and hunger to finish off the many chances the side has managed to produce, in particular over the past month which has seen the Albert Park-based club net only twice in four games.
Anastasiadis may have to look into starting both Oliveira and DeNittis from the onset as whilst Oliveira has battled tirelessly over the past few weeks, clearly the silky attacker doesn’t have the physical “battering ram” qualities to lead the line on his own and would benefit immensely from having an out-and-out strike partner.
South have practically a full squad to choose from excluding the season ending injuries suffered by Arthur Tsonis and Vasilios Natsioulas.
Conversely, Frankston’s playing stocks and on-field fortunes have plummeted since the departure of Oliveira, Djulbic and Naglieri to South. As always, sizeable front-man Nick Waite will provide a dangerous option in attack with the South defence having to cope with a physical presence that few teams in the Vodafone Cup possess.
The service to Waite however will play a large factor in Frankston being able to get the required result and with the Pines having found the net only 21 times this season, the least of any team in the Vodafone Cup, Waite may well indeed find chances few and far between.
Encouraging for South has been the resurgence of its passionate supporter base who against both Oakleigh and in particular Bulleen were in fine voice. The winter season is gradually phasing out and with the weather constantly improving, all South Melbourne supporters are encouraged to unite behind the team and its efforts in obtaining a top-two finish.