Monday, 10 September 2007 11:56 AM
By George Kouroumalis
South Melbourne has ended a disappointing season with a solid home win against the already relegated Kingston City at Bob Jane Stadium on Sunday.
South, who could not make the top six, started with a relatively young line-up that was missing several experienced campaigners such as captain Tansel Baser, Ricky Diaco, Trent Waterson, Arthur Tsonis and Fernando De Moraes.
The game started off in an explosive manner, with Nathan Caldwell gathering possession from the kick-off and storming his way past the stagnant Kingston defence, before slotting a left foot shot into the back of the net, giving his side the early advantage.
South continued the early dominance and almost doubled their advantage in the 8th minute, when some good interplay by Caldwell and Yusef Yusef saw the former Heidelberg winger taking a stinging shot on goal.
Fortunately for Kingston side the ball fell into the arms of the keeper, who held onto the shot without any trouble.
Kingston responded by launching their first attack of the game.
On this occasion a long ball by ex-South player Nick Tolios fell into the path of Antun Vulic, who after taking a touch, hit a drive into the arms of the waiting Mitchell Langerak.
The 30th minute saw Kingston have yet another opportunity on target, through Fergal O’Colmain, who took a long range effort into the arms of Langerak after a neat one-two with Vulic.
The second half started in the same manner as the first, with South coming extremely close to scoring just moments after the kick-off after a powerful Frank Drakopoulos header was superbly saved by Barry Andrews in the Kingston goal.
South didn’t have to wait long for that elusive second goal, when it doubled their advantage in the 64th minute after a brilliant run by Ramazan Tavsancioglu, saw the impressive winger burn his way past the Kingston defence before playing in an inch perfect ball into Gianni De Nittis.
De Nittis, who had suffered injuries for the most part of the year, calmly took his chance by knocking the ball into the open net.
As the game and season in general for both clubs were coming to a close, Kingston found an extra gear, seemingly keen to finish their tenure in the Foxtel Cup on a positive note.
In the 74th minute, some poor marking by the South defence saw Christopher Greechen in space just inside the area, allowing him to look up and hit a firm shot on target, which was parried back into the field of play by Langerak
Greechen latched onto the rebound and hit yet another cracking shot onto the target, which this time was thwarted by the cross bar.
In the final moments of the content, Kingston had their final chance to get on the scoreboard for the match via a free kick outside the box.
Kingston veteran Jim Latinopoulos then stepped up and hit a curling strike into the cross bar once more, to the disbelief of the small Kingston contingent.
With that came the final whistle, ending a disappointing season for both clubs, with Kingston needing come to terms with playing State League 1 football, while South will be watching the finals next week, knowing that they cannot defend their crown that they bravely captured last season.