Friday, 6 July 2012 9:48 AM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC has an enormous opportunity to reduce the gap between itself and the top five of the Victorian Premier League when it hosts the Oakleigh Cannons at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening. Oakleigh sits in second spot on the Victorian Premier League ladder, with South languishing in eighth spot; however a victory for the home side will see it close the gap between itself and the Cannons to five points. If other results fall the right way, South could finish the round just a point outside the top five.
South goes into Sunday’s match in reasonable form, having defeated Heidelberg United 2-1 in the derby before coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 against the Moreland Zebras at Epping Stadium last weekend. South had at least four great chances to win the game in injury time alone and would have seen the result as two points dropped as opposed to a point gained. Nevertheless, the performance against the Zebras was positive and coach Peter Tsolakis will be expecting his team to produce the same performance this weekend. South took advantage of the July transfer window to pick up several new signings during the week, with Andy Vlahos re-joining the Club for a second stint. Englishmen Steve Burton (striker) and Shaun Kelly (defender) have also arrived at Lakeside and may be included in the team this weekend.
South’s opponents have been going about their business quietly in 2012 and as a result sit in second spot on the VPL ladder. Oakleigh have won their past two Premier League games (both home wins against Bentleigh Greens and Heidelberg) and will prove to be difficult opponents on Sunday evening. Former South goalkeeper Peter Zois has recently taken over the reigns as coach at Jack Edwards Reserve and has former South players Daniel Dragicevic, Goran Zoric, Jesse Krncevic, Rama Tavsancioglu and Ricky Diaco on his books.
In the corresponding meeting between the two sides last season on Sunday 19 June 2011, Carl Recchia’s 55th minute goal was enough to win the game for South at John Cain Memorial Park.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 5:00PM at Lakeside Stadium.