South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Green Gully v SMFC – Match Preview

Green Gully v SMFC – Match Preview

Thursday, 12 May 2011 3:46 AM

South Melbourne FC travels to Green Gully Reserve on Saturday afternoon attempting to break a 25 year hoodoo at the ground when it takes on Green Gully.

South heads into the game on the back of two 5-0 defeats in its past three Victorian Premier League matches. The most recent of those heavy defeats was at the hands of Northcote City last Sunday afternoon at John Cain Memorial Park. South was always going to struggle with eight senior players sidelined through injury and suspension. However, despite this, the 5-0 defeat was rightly seen as unacceptable by supporters and coaching staff alike.

In positive news for South, forward Jesse Krncevic and centre-half Ljubo Milicevic should re-join the side for the Gully match as both players have served their suspensions. Kliment Taseski and captain Steven O’Dor are both possibilities to play, however, it is more likely that they will both be given an extra week to recover from their injuries. The return of these key players is crucial as South looks to break a run of three consecutive Victorian Premier League matches without scoring whilst at the same time tightening up a defence that has conceded 10 goals in three matches.

Reigning champions Green Gully have had a very slow first round of matches in 2011. However, in recent weeks the Cavaliers have improved their form and head into Saturday’s clash confident of continuing their recent turn of fortunes. A 0-5 win at Springvale and a 6-0 demolition job on the Victorian Training Centre has seen Green Gully go from just outside the relegation zone to eighth spot on the Victorian Premier League ladder, and only being two wins outside the top five. In the opening round of the season, Gully withstood an hour of pressure from South and conceded only one goal in the process before scoring an opportunistic goal from Brent Fisher to leave John Cain Memorial Park with a point.

It is well known that one of South’s bogey grounds is Green Gully Reserve, a venue that South has not tasted victory in since 8 September 1986, when goals from Bobby Russell and Manny Anezakis gave the away side a 0-2 victory. South has not defeated Green Gully at their venue since returning to the Victorian Premier League in 2005. In fact South has only managed two points from a possible 18. In further bad news, South has only scored twice at Green Gully Reserve since that win in 1986. Those goals were from a Fernando De Moraes penalty and a Gianni De Nittis injury-time volley, which enabled South to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw on 18 April 2009. In the corresponding fixture last season, late goals from Steven Burton and Jason Hayne gave Gully a 2-0 victory against South. It will take a monumental effort from the away side to break this horrible drought against the Cavaliers.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 3:00pm at Green Gully Reserve.

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