Monday, 4 June 2012 4:10 PM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Anita Milas)
South Melbourne FC suffered another disappointing home defeat after Northcote City triumphed 1-0 at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening. James Kalifatidis was the difference between the two sides, scoring just after the halftime break to make it three home defeats in a row for South, with the Club having only won once in four home matches in 2012.
South went into the game on the back of a solid hard-working 1-1 draw away against League leaders Dandenong Thunder last Saturday. The result was a positive reaction following a 2-1 home loss against the Melbourne Knights the previous weekend, but South needed another positive result against Northcote in order to begin a series of consistent results. The home side were still missing centre-half Luke Byles (broken thumb) and midfield maestro Fernando De Moraes (recently returned from the UAE having represented the Futsalroos in the AFC Championships) but welcomed back captain Steven O’Dor from injury. Northcote came into the match on the back of a 2-0 home victory against Heidelberg United last Sunday afternoon, a result that lifted them to fifth on the League table.
South enjoyed extended periods of possession in the first half and dominated the match everywhere except the scoreboard. The home side created a few good openings and Dimi Hatzimouratis enjoyed the best two chances of the half. His first opportunity arrived after 17 minutes when the ball fell to him in front of goal but his final shot was deflected off Northcote’s desperate defence for a corner. Hatzimouratis’ second chance was a golden opportunity shortly before halftime, when Dimi Tsiaras headed Glen Trifiro’s corner across goal but the young forward couldn’t keep his back-post header under the crossbar. In a massive blow for South, Joe Keenan had to be substituted shortly before the break with what looked to be a recurrence of the injury that caused him to miss many matches at the beginning of the season.
South’s biggest lapses in concentration in home games has been the period around the halftime break and Northcote took full advantage of this at the beginning of the second half to score the winning goal. The ball was played forward and was flicked on to Kalifatidis, who slotted past the advancing Peter Gavalas to give the away side the lead. The home fans were calling for red when Jonathan Voulgaris lunged in for a loose challenge on Swede Filip Jonsson but the Northcote player breathed a sigh of relief when he only received a caution for the tackle. Jonsson was substituted shortly after and was replaced by Tom Matthews who was back for his first game since injuring himself against Richmond on 20 April.
The closest South got to equalising was substitute Gianni De Nittis’ injury time header at the back post that sailed over the crossbar. In the end, Northcote did hold on for a memorable victory and condemned South to more misery at Lakeside Stadium. Northcote continues their dominance over South in League fixtures, having won three of five matches with the other two games ending in 3-3 draws.
It was more positive news for South in the Under-21s, as South defeated Northcote 5-0.
League football stops for a week as South hosts State League One side Port Melbourne in the State Knockout Cup sixth round on Friday 8 June at Lakeside Stadium. Kick-off is at 8:00PM. South fans are reminded that season memberships do not include entry to Cup matches.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 0-1 NORTHCOTE CITY
0-1: James Kalifatidis (47′)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 3. Rhodri PAYNE, 4. Steven O’DOR, 6. Dimi TSIARAS, 7. Joe KEENAN (11. Bradley NORTON 44’), 8. Dimi HATZIMOURATIS (20. Gianni DE NITTIS 72’), 9. Trent RIXON, 10. Glen TRIFIRO, 14. Filip JONSSON (2. Tom MATTHEWS 63’), 18. Marinos GASPARIS, 23. Jason TRIFIRO
2. Adriano CHIAPPETTA, 3. Kristian KONSTANTINIDIS, 5. Brad TRELOAR, 7. Dean PIEMONTE, 8. James KALIFATIDIS, 10. Alex ROJAS, 11 Jonathan VOULGARIS (Ricardo GONZALEZ 80′), 12. Hayden D’AGOSTINO, 16. Paul SAVIO, 20. Parys OKAI (Matthew DEMO 90+1′), 22. Chris PETROPOULOS (GK)
SMFC Man of the Match: Dimi Tsiaras
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Sunday 3 June 2012