South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Match Preview: SMFC v Preston Lions

Match Preview: SMFC v Preston Lions

Thursday, 11 June 2009 2:55 PM

By John Kyrou

South Melbourne FC hosts the Preston Lions on Sunday in what is a must-win match for the home side. South will have to do battle with the Lions without veteran forward Vaughan Coveny, who was sent off against Heidelberg United and subsequently suspended.

South has slipped from second to fourth spot in the league following the unlucky 1-0 away loss to Heidelberg in the previous round. The defeat also broke the ten week unbeaten run enjoyed by Michael Michalakopoulos’ men. The home side will be heartened by the fact that the win over Preston in round three began the unbeaten streak and will be hoping for a similar outcome on Sunday.

Preston has endured what can only be described as a horror season, with only one point from its 13 matches in 2009 and a series of heavy defeats. While relegation has not yet been confirmed, the Lions will surely have to get all three points on Sunday to give itself any chance of staying in the VPL. However Preston can go into the match with some confidence, having defeated South at Bob Jane Stadium twice since the two sides renewed acquaintances in the league in 2005.

Despite Preston’s form in 2009, South will not be taking this match lightly. Recent history between the sides has shown that the underdog has usually taken the honours. In the eight league matches that Preston and South have played since 2005, the away side has won on five occasions (with two draws and a South home win being the other results).

Since meeting for the first time in the old Victorian State League in 1967, South and Preston have played each other on 39 occasions. This includes both in the State Leagues and the old National Soccer League. South has enjoyed 21 wins, Preston 8 and there have been 10 draws.

Sunday’s match kicks off at 3pm at Bob Jane Stadium.

South Melbourne vs Preston Lions – An Overview

First VPL match:

Round 7, 1967
Preston Lions 2-4 South Melbourne
(SMFC Goals: John Bedford, Con Nestorides pen, Leo Damianakos, Ernie Ackerley)
Venue: Olympic Park. Attendance: 11,000

First NSL match:

Round 11, 1981
Preston Lions 1-1 South Melbourne
(SMFC Goal: Branko Buljevic)
Venue: Connor Reserve. Attendance: 6,000

Last NSL match:

Round 17, 1992/93
Preston Lions 0-1 South Melbourne
(SMFC Goal: Francis Awaritefe)Venue: Connor Reserve. Attendance: 3,982

Last VPL match:

Round 3, 2009
Preston Lions 1-7 South Melbourne
(SMFC Goals: Goran Zoric x4, Steve O’Dor, Joseph Youssef, Danni Radojicic)
Venue: Connor Reserve. Attendance: 1,000.


Total Games (League): 39
South Melbourne Wins: 21
Preston Lions Wins: 8
Draws: 10

Highest Aggregate Score:

Round 3, 2009 VPL
Preston Lions 1-7 South Melbourne
(SMFC Goals: Goran Zoric x4, Steve O’Dor, Joseph Youssef, Danni Radojicic)
Venue: Connor Reserve. Attendance: 1,000.

Southern Division Preliminary Final, 1985 NSL
Preston Lions 4-4 South Melbourne
After extra time. Preston through on penalties 5-4.
(SMFC Goals: Charlie Egan x3, Doug Brown)
Venue: Olympic Park. Attendance: 9,000.

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