Friday, 31 July 2009 10:31 AM
South Melbourne FC will be looking to get back into winning form when it takes on the Oakleigh Cannons at Jack Edwards Reserve tonight.
After the disappointing home loss against Hume City last Sunday, the away side simply must take all three points against the Cannons if it is to be any chance to finish in the top two come season’s end. This will not be easy however as the Cannons also must win to remain in contention for a finals appearance.
South will go into the game with a similar squad to that of last weekend, when both Rama Tavsancioglu and Gianni De Nittis overcame injuries to play in the 0-1 loss against Hume. Despite the result, captain Rama was a shining light by playing a leading role in defence. He will be joined at the back by Steven O’Dor, who is having an outstanding season.
The key to South winning the game will be how it performs in attack. Over the past few weeks, the side has been guilty of squandering a host of excellent chances in their endeavours to propel themselves up the table. This was also evident last week, with some very poor finishing that got Hume out of trouble and allowed them to keep a clean sheet and take maximum points.
Opposing South tonight will be a hungry and well-rested Oakleigh side, who have not played for two weeks after their ground was deemed unplayable last weekend. Leading the charge for the Cannons will be a trio of former South men in Ricky Diaco, Bill Damianos and Trent Waterson. Damianos will pose a big threat to the South middle third by having the ability to control the game on his own. It is imperative for the away side to negate both Damianos and Waterson in the middle in order to gain control of the match and to provide adequate service to the forwards.
Up front, Oakleigh will rely on the Ricky Diaco and Jerry Karpeh combination to try and unlock the South defence. Since leaving lakeside in the summer, Diaco has had an turbulent year at Oakleigh, however just like Damianos, he is capable of winning games off his own boot. South’s defensive players must be mindful of this and attempt to keep the duo as quiet as possible in order for the away team to win the game.
Kick-off is at 20.30 tonight at Jack Edwards Reserve.