Monday, 2 May 2011 10:18 AM
By John Kyrou
A very youthful South Melbourne FC grounded out a 0-0 result against high-flying Dandenong Thunder at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon. The result was excellent for a South side that had as much as half its preferred starting 11 missing through suspension or injury. In fact, South was missing the services of Carl Recchia, Ljubo Milicevic, Steven O’Dor, Sebastian Petrovich, Kliment Taseski, and Jesse Krncevic.
South went into the match on the back of a 5-0 thumping by Hume City in its last Victorian Premier League match the previous Sunday, however, the side had hit winning form by defeating State League 3 side Yarraville Glory 14-0 in the Fourth Round of the Mirabella Cup on Tuesday afternoon. Dandenong entered the match on a two-game unbeaten run in the Victorian Premier League as well as a 2-0 win over South Springvale in the Mirabella Cup Fourth Round, and the Thunder were keen to continue that form.
The away side began the match brightly and had several chances to score in the first half, however debuting South goalkeeper Abdelhadi Deroune commanded his area brilliantly and made several excellent saves. On the one occasion that Deroune was beaten, Steven Topalovic was in the way to make a goal-line clearance and keep the score at 0-0.
In the second half, South went out of its conservative shell and stepped up the tempo in an attempt to snatch an unlikely and surprising three points. Fernando De Moraes had been the stand-in captain and he had a glorious chance to snatch the goal South were after, however he unfortunately skied his shot over the bar. De Moraes almost turned provider a few minutes later when he put Marinos Gasparis into space with a wonderful ball, however, once more the move amounted to nothing on the scoreboard as Gasparis put his shot over the bar. South did not create many chances but the ones that they did create were some of the best of the whole game.
Despite a few nervous moments, the South defence held firm throughout the second half and grounded out a clean sheet largely thanks to the efforts of Deroune, Topalovic and young debutant Jake Vandermey, who had featured in South’s pre-season Cup tournaments before making his League debut against Dandenong. The final 0-0 result was a credit to South’s resilience and even more pleasing was that coach Eddie Krncevic had faith to give game time and valuable senior match experience to young players such as Vandermey, Nick Jacobs, Bobby Russell, Kamal Ibrahim and Leigh Minopoulos.
South Melbourne FC’s next match is on Sunday 8 May against sister club Northcote City. The match kicks off at 15:00 at John Cain Memorial Park.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 0-0 DANDENONG THUNDER (HT: 0-0)
1. Abdelhadi DEROUNE, 3. Rhodri PAYNE, 5. Daniel VASILEVSKI, 6. Steven TOPALOVIC, 9. Gianni DE NITTIS (25. Kyle JORYEFF 60′), 15. Fernando DE MORAES, 18. Marinos GASPARIS (19. Leigh MINOPOULOS 81′), 16. Trent WATERSON, 17. Jake VANDERMEY, 24. Nick JACOBS, 33. Bobby RUSSELL (14. Kamal IBRAHIM 70′)
1. Stuart WEBSTER, 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Ben HARRISON, 5. Steven GRAY, 6. Agim TOMIC, 8. Matthew THEODORE (16. Jarryd BARNES 80′), 9. Veton KORCARI (14. Stephen COOK 60′), 13. Shane REXEPI, 17. Liam KEARNEY, 20. Luke SHERBON, 23. Chris TAYLOR
SMFC Man of the Match: Abdelhadi Deroune
Venue: John Cain Memorial Park
Date: Sunday 1 May 2011