South Melbourne FC

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South Edge Spirited Saints

Sunday, 3 April 2011 10:30 PM

SMFC vs Melbourne Knights 2011

By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)

South Melbourne FC is on top of the Victorian Premier League ladder after defeating St Albans 0-2 at Churchill Reserve on Sunday afternoon. Goals from Fernando De Moraes and Kyle Joryeff gave South the three points against a spirited Saints side that were clapped off the field by the home supporters following a difficult week for their club.

Eddie Krncevic’s side travelled to Churchill Reserve for the first time since drawing 2-2 against St Albans on 29 May 2005, the last time St Albans were in the Premier League. The Saints had experienced a disastrous start to 2011, with only two points from their opening six matches. In contrast, South was sitting in second position on the League table following consecutive wins against Oakleigh and the Melbourne Knights. However South went to St Albans missing key players Jesse Krncevic, Steven Topalovic and captain Steven O’Dor. Carl Recchia moved into centre-half next to Ljubo Milicevic to replace O’Dor, whilst Kliment Taseski replaced Topalovic and Joryeff replaced Krncevic.

Fernando De Moraes had been chasing his 50th Premier League goal for South for several weeks and despite having many assists in goals recently, he had been unable to score his half century of League goals for the Club. That was until the 18th minute of Sunday’s match. South won a corner following a curling strike from Joryeff that was tipped over the bar magnificently by Saints goalkeeper Steven Pavlovic. Taseski’s corner could only be cleared by the St Albans defence to De Moraes standing just outside the area. De Moraes cooly chested the ball down before hitting a half-volley that crept into the bottom left corner of Pavlovic’s goal, with the big keeper rooted to the spot. The goal finally gave De Moraes his 50th Premier League goal for South Melbourne FC but more importantly gave the away side the lead.

South’s defence had been under pressure all season and was under even more strain without O’Dor and Topalovic. However, Milicevic and Recchia put in outstanding performances to keep the away side’s one goal lead intact. St Albans nearly scored right on halftime when a free kick played into the area led to an almighty scramble, resulting in Recchia using his face to clear a point-blank volley from the six-yard box out for a corner. Post-match, Recchia claimed that the flag had been raised for offside prior to the shot that hit his face, regardless it was an outstanding save by South’s acting captain.

In the second half, the home side pressed early and put South under pressure, however Milicevic and Recchia stood firm and soaked up the pressure before South killed off the game with a sucker-punch second goal on 73 minutes. Milicevic won the ball in midfield and went on a mazy run that dragged four St Albans defenders out of the contest before he laid the ball off for Joryeff to slot into the far corner for his fourth goal in seven League appearances this season. Despite a few testing moments including a free kick shortly after the 0-2 that narrowly sailed over the crossbar, South was largely untroubled for the remainder of the match and as a result recorded its first clean sheet of 2011. For St Albans the result spelt an end to a difficult week, however the home side can be encouraged with a positive performance against the current League leaders.

In the Under 21s match played prior to the Seniors, South defeated St Albans 2-1.

South Melbourne FC’s next match is at home against the Richmond Eagles next Sunday, with kick-off at 15:00 at John Cain Memorial Park.


Goal Scorers:
0-1: Fernando De Moraes (18′)
0-2: Kyle Joryeff (73′)

St Albans
1. Steven PAVLOVIC, 4. Tomislav USKOK, 6. Alan PALEKA, 7. Goran JOZELJIC (21. Martin HANA 78′), 9. Josip LONCARIC, 14. Maks CUZE (22. Mustafa ALIBEYI 83′), 16. Mark PALEKA, 17. Daniel VISEVIC, 18. Stefan PIORKOWSKI, 19. Michael GRGIC, 23. Tomislav MILARDOVIC

South Melbourne FC
3. Rhodri PAYNE, 5. Daniel VASILEVSKI, 8. Carl RECCHIA, 10. Kliment TASESKI, 13. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 14. Kamal IBRAHIM (24. Nick JACOBS 77′), 15. Fernando DE MORAES, 21. Zaim ZENELI, 23. Sebastian PETROVIC (16. Trent WATERSON 70′), 25. Kyle JORYEFF, 33. Bobby RUSSELL (18. Marinos GASPARIS 25′)

SMFC Man of the Match: Ljubo Milicevic
Venue: Churchill Reserve
Date: Sunday 3 April 2011

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