Monday, 3 June 2013 2:53 PM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
It was a case of two points dropped as South Melbourne FC was held to a 0-0 draw by a determined 10-man Pascoe Vale at Hosken Reserve on Saturday night. Despite playing with an extra man for 80 minutes, South could not break through a resolute Pascoe Vale defence and in the end had to settle for a point.
Both sides came into the match in winning form from last weekend, with Pascoe Vale having pulled off a stunning 0-2 victory against defending champions Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve and with South having defeated the Oakleigh Cannons 2-1 at Lakeside Stadium. Peter Tsolakis’ side arrived at Hosken Reserve wary of the fact that the newly-promoted Pascoe Vale side was no pushover, having won three of their past four Victorian Premier League matches that included a 2-1 win over traditional powerhouse side Green Gully.
The away side was given an advantage after only ten minutes when Luca Santilli head-butted Brad Norton right in front of the referee and was subsequently sent off, with Norton receiving a yellow card for his involvement. This meant the Pascoe Vale defence had to stand up and be counted and they did just that, with former South goalkeeper Stefaan Sardelic in fine form. South had numerous chances to open the scoring, with opportunities missed by Tyson Holmes and Rhys Meredith. Norton then came close but his shot was well saved by Sardelic.
South’s second half was poor, with Pascoe Vale’s centre-back pairing of Will Abbott and Tom Milardovic comfortably dealing with anything South put into the area. Despite the average performance, South did have more chances to win the match but Sardelic was there to save both Marinos Gasparis and then Joe Keenan’s free kicks. With the game into injury time, the home side could have snatched all three points when Daniel Chaabani caught South on the break and squared the ball for Mark Pistininzi but his shot was well blocked by Peter Gavalas, who had had nothing to do for the whole match. In the end, Pascoe Vale was delighted with the point and South were left ruing the two points dropped.
Tsolakis noted post-match that “we had enough chances to win two games but we just couldn’t put them away tonight.” The result keeps South in third spot on the ladder with a huge derby match coming up in two weeks time against the Melbourne Knights. On a more positive note, Alan Kearney came on as a second-half substitute, having not featured for South since sustaining an injury against Southern Stars on 13 April.
The Victorian Premier League breaks next weekend for the fifth round of the FFV State Knockout Cup, as South Melbourne FC hosts Northcote City at Lakeside Stadium. The match will be played on the Queens Birthday Monday (10 June) at 3PM.
FINAL SCORE: PASCOE VALE 0-0 SOUTH MELBOURNE (HT: 0-0)
Stefaan SARDELIC (GK), Adrian TALARICO, Tom MILARDOVIC, Luca SANTILLI (sent off 10′), Gregory LOMBARDO, Mark PISTININZI, Marco SANTILLI (Daniel CHAABANI 67’), Matthew LAZARIDES (Liam FLYNN 26’ [Rylan SADLER 79’]), Jake VANDERMEY, William ABBOTT, Michael FERRANTE
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 2. Tom MATTHEWS, 7. Joe KEENAN, 9. Trent RIXON, 10. Tyson HOLMES (16. Alan KEARNEY 73′), 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Rhys MEREDITH, 13. Luke BYLES (C), 15. Dimi HATZIMOURATIS (14. Andy VLAHOS 71′), 18. Marinos GASPARIS, 19. Shaun KELLY
SMFC Man of the Match: Luke Byles
Venue: Hosken Reserve
Date: Saturday 1 June 2013