Wednesday, 9 June 2010 11:47 PM
By John Kyrou – Photo by Cindy Nitsos
It will be crunch time for South Melbourne FC when they travel to Kingston Heath Soccer Complex to face the Bentleigh Greens in a catch-up match this Friday night. The result is crucial for South due to the VPL ladder being so tight currently. A win for South will put the side into sixth position and only one point behind fifth-placed Green Gully, whereas a loss will keep the club only one point off the Melbourne Knights and Heidelberg who are in the relegation zone.
After the highs of the RHB Singapore Cup success, South was quickly brought back to reality last Sunday when Northcote City came from a goal down to win 3-2 at John Cain Memorial Park. Coach Vaughan Coveny was fuming at his side’s defensive lapses and inability to convert many good goal scoring opportunities up forward, and will have drummed this message through to his players at training during this week. Despite the result against Northcote, all is not lost yet as South can still make significant inroads into the top five if the side can win its two catch-up games, beginning with Friday night’s game against Bentleigh.
Bentleigh will be a difficult opponent and have already caused South grief twice so far in 2010. In the Hellenic Cup final in the pre-season, the Greens battled to earn a 0-0 draw with South over 90 minutes plus extra time. In the penalty shoot-out, South had two opportunities to win the Hellenic Cup but Bentleigh’s goalkeeper Peter Gavalas stood firm and the Greens ended up winning the shoot-out. To make matters worse, only weeks later (in round two of the League season) South failed to hold onto a 1-0 lead earned late in the match and as a result the Greens snatched an equalising goal to ensure the match finished in a 1-1 draw.
The match kicks off at 8:30pm this Friday night at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.