Friday, 31 May 2013 11:10 AM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC travels to Hosken Reserve to play promoted side Pascoe Vale on Saturday evening. It will be the first time that South has played Pascoe Vale in the Victorian Premier League as well as the first time South has played at Hosken Reserve.
South will go into the match on the back of a well deserved 2-1 victory against the Oakleigh Cannons at Lakeside Stadium last Sunday evening. A first half double from Dimi Hatzimouratis proved to be the difference as South won despite Alex Smith’s late consolation goal for the Cannons. South’s winning margin should have been much greater. However, the most important aim was winning the three points to keep the Club in outright third position on the Victorian Premier League ladder. Alan Kearney was close to playing against Oakleigh and must certainly be in contention for the Pascoe Vale match, whilst Renco Van Eeken did not feature against Oakleigh due to early signs of osteitis pubis that needs to be monitored closely.
Pascoe Vale also comes into Saturday night’s match in winning form, having scored a very impressive 0-2 victory against defending Champions Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve last Saturday. They currently have three wins (and nine points) from their opening seven Victorian Premier League matches and are in eighth spot on the ladder, ahead of Green Gully and Oakleigh. This shows that Pascoe Vale is certainly no pushover and will be tough opposition on Saturday night, especially due to the fact they have won three of their last four Victorian Premier League matches including defeating Green Gully at Hosken Reserve on 26 April as well as the victory against Dandenong last weekend. There are a host of former South players at Pascoe Vale, including Stefaan Sardelic, Jake Vandermey, Joseph Youssef and Marco Santilli.
The two clubs have not played each other in the Victorian Premier League proper but they did play each other in a pre-season friendly on 9 March that Pascoe Vale won convincingly 3-0. As a result, South coach Peter Tsolakis is wary of the opposition, noting that “they have a compact little ground, good coaching staff and a tight-knit group of players…it will be difficult but if we can get a win there on Saturday it will really set up our season nicely.” South can end the round in second place on the ladder with victory over Pascoe Vale and will remain in third place even if it loses on Saturday. A win will give South four victories from six away games in the Victorian Premier League this season.
Saturday night’s match kicks off at 7pm at Hosken Reserve.