Friday, 7 September 2012 12:03 PM
By John Kyrou
It is another do-or-die match for South Melbourne FC when the side hosts the Bentleigh Greens at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. South needs maximum points against the Greens in order to continue its last-minute push for a finals spot in 2012. Incredibly, South can finish the round in fifth place should it defeat Bentleigh and results in other matches favour them.
South go into the game on the back of a hard-fought 0-1 victory against Northcote at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday 26 August. Steve Burton was the scorer of that vital goal that kept South just two points behind Northcote in fifth spot with only two rounds remaining. A loss for Northcote against Oakleigh this Friday night, Hume not defeating Southern Stars on Saturday night and a South win on Sunday afternoon will see the Blues end the round in fifth spot. However that task will not be easy against a Bentleigh side eager to consolidate their position in the top three standings.
John Anastasiadis’ Bentleigh side go into Sunday’s game on the back of a 3-0 win over Heidelberg on Friday 24 August. Bentleigh has not been defeated in the League for over two months, having last lost 0-1 at home against Richmond on Friday 6 July. The Greens also have the wood on South this season having defeated the Blues 1-0 thanks to a late penalty back on Friday 15 June. A victory for Bentleigh could see them end the round in second spot, a big incentive for the Greens heading into Sunday’s game. In the corresponding fixture last season on Sunday 6 March 2011, a header by Sebastian Petrovic (2’) and a wonder goal by Kyle Joryeff (38’) was enough to cancel out Sean McIlroy’s goal on the half hour as South won 2-1.
South should have a full-strength team to choose from, with the exception of striker Trent Rixon who has one more game to serve through suspension. Shaun Kelly is still 50-50 having rolled an ankle against Northcote two weeks ago, whilst captain Steven O’Dor should be available.
Sunday’s game kicks off at 5:00PM at Lakeside Stadium.