Sunday, 10 July 2011 10:50 PM
South Melbourne FC threw away an excellent opportunity to cement a position in the top three on the Victorian Premier League ladder following a 1-0 away loss against Richmond on Saturday afternoon at Kevin Bartlett Reserve. A Ross Antoniadis goal after only five minutes ultimately proved to be the difference between the two sides, with South blowing several opportunities in the second half following a disappointing first half performance.
The away side arrived at Richmond knowing that winning the three points would go a long way to not only cementing a finals position but also in finishing in the top three. However, there was bad news from before kick-off, with captain Steven O’Dor missing from the squad after being hospitalised during the week. The news went from bad to worse when Antoniadis pounced on the loose ball from a set piece and smashed a firm and hard shot across Zaim Zeneli and into the far corner to give the home side the lead. South was very flat in the first half and was fortunate to go into the break only a goal down as Nick Marinos proved difficult for the defence to handle. The away side had a chance to level just before the break but Steven Topalovic hit a weak left-footed shot at goalkeeper Stjepan Gal instead of cutting back for the waiting Steven Weir.
It was no coincidence that South improved dramatically following the introduction of Fernando De Moraes at the start of the second half. The away side dominated possession but could not convert any of it into goals on the scoreboard. Zeneli was kept quiet for most of the second half. At the other end, South had three glorious opportunities to level through Daniel Vasilevski and Carl Recchia. Vasilevski hit two wonderful free kicks from just outside the area, one deflecting off the wall and hitting the crossbar (with Gal beaten) and the other flying just wide of Gal’s goal. In injury time, Recchia missed a wonderful chance to salvage a point for the away side when he skied Daniel Dragicevic’s cut-back ball over the crossbar.
There was more positive news in the Under 21s, with South defeating Richmond 0-3.
The matches get no easier, with South hosting League leaders Hume City at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off is at 3:00pm.
FINAL SCORE: RICHMOND EAGLES 1-0 SOUTH MELBOURNE (HT: 1-0)
1-0: Ross Antoniadis (5′)
1. Stjepan GAL (GK), 2. Andrew VIOLA, 3. Erhan KARAHAN, 4. Ross ANTONIADIS, 5. Mitchell BISSINGER, 7. Timmy PURCELL, 8. Scott MUIRHEAD (11. Mate ETEROVIC 80′), 9. Michael CATALANO (12. Devon BONNE 85′), 10. Nick MARINOS (6. Dimitri TSIARAS 70′), 13. Antun KOVACIC, 18. Michael FERRANTE
South Melbourne FC:
2. Tom MATTHEWS, 5. Daniel VASILEVSKI, 6. Steven TOPALOVIC, 8. Carl RECCHIA, 10. Kliment TASESKI, 14. Rhodri PAYNE, 16. Trent WATERSON (15. Fernando DE MORAES 46′), 17. Steven WEIR, 18. Marinos GASPARIS (25. Kyle JORYEFF 75′), 21. Zaim ZENELI (GK), 23. Sebastian PETROVIC (20. Daniel DRAGICEVIC 83′)
SMFC Man of the Match: Carl Recchia
Venue: Kevin Bartlett Reserve
Date: Saturday 9 July 2011