Tuesday, 7 June 2011 11:13 PM
South Melbourne FC resumes its Mirabella Cup campaign on Wednesday night when it faces Port Melbourne at SS Anderson Reserve in what will no doubt be an intriguing Fifth Round match-up. Despite the clubs having never met before in League competition, the match could be classified as a derby due to the close proximity of SS Anderson Reserve to Lakeside Stadium.
One of the attractions of Cup football throughout the world is seeing whether a team from a lower division can defeat a team in a higher division and Wednesday’s game will be no different as State League 1 plays off against the Victorian Premier League. South cruised through the Fourth Round of the Cup thanks to a 14-0 victory over State League 3 opponent Yarraville Glory on 26 April but will without a doubt face a much tougher opponent in Port Melbourne, who may have a slight advantage due to the match being played on their home ground. Despite a 1-1 away draw against Sunshine George Cross on Sunday, Port still remain in second place on the State League 1 ladder and are well on course for promotion into the Victorian Premier League for season 2012. Should that occur, it would be Port’s first season back in Victoria’s top flight since being relegated in 2003. Port comfortably won its Fourth Round match 6-0 against South Yarra on 3 May to set up Wednesday night’s match.
South drew 0-0 against rivals Heidelberg United in its Victorian Premier League match on the weekend and the players will want a win against Port before jetting off to Singapore on Friday to play against Albirex Niigata Singapore FC in the First Round of the RHB Singapore Cup on Sunday night. Despite the hectic schedule (Bentleigh on 27 May, VTC on 31 May, Heidelberg on 5 June, Port on 8 June and Albirex on 12 June), the players are relishing the challenge of playing up to three games a week. With players returning from injury (notably Carl Recchia) and with new signings joining the club in recent weeks (including Steven Weir in the last few days), there should be no excuses for South to not win Wednesday’s match and progress to the next round.
Wednesday night’s match kicks off at 7:30PM at SS Anderson Reserve in Port Melbourne.