Friday, 7 June 2013 9:16 AM
Cup football returns to Lakeside Stadium as South Melbourne FC host Northcote City in the fifth round of the State Knockout Cup on Queen’s Birthday Monday.
As the Victorian Premier League sides entered the competition in the previous round, both sides have only registered one victory in the Cup this season. South received a free ride through to the fifth round with a 3-0 victory after the Oakleigh Cannons forfeited the match scheduled at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday 4 May. On the same day, Northcote defeated State League 1 side Moreland Zebras 2-1 at Reddish Reserve to set up Monday’s clash.
Goran Lozanovski’s Northcote is undoubtedly the best side in the Victorian Premier League so far in 2013, having registered seven wins and a draw from their first eight matches to sit outright first on the VPL ladder. South is currently in third place with five wins, a draw and two losses from its first eight matches. Something has to give at Lakeside Stadium on Monday, as South has won all three of their home matches in the League and Cup this season whilst Northcote have won all away matches they have played. In the last two seasons of the FFV State Knockout Cup, South has been bundled out in the fifth round of the competition both times by Port Melbourne (then in State League 1) by the same score line of 2-1. South will want overcome this negative statistic and progress past Northcote to the sixth round, with that round scheduled by Football Federation Victoria to be played either on Wednesday 26 June or Thursday 4 July.
South coach Peter Tsolakis hinted at making some changes to the side that could only draw 0-0 with Pascoe Vale in the Victorian Premier League last Saturday night. Alan Kearney came off the bench to make his first senior appearance since sustaining an injury against Southern Stars on 13 April and may be given a starting berth on Monday to help regain match fitness. Other players that may make an appearance on Monday could include Andy Vlahos (on as a sub against Pascoe Vale), Dimi Tsiaras (unused sub against Pascoe Vale), Rhodri Payne, Fernando De Moraes and Renco Van Eeken. There is also the potential for the reserve goalkeeper Sebastian Mattei to make his debut or for youngsters Phil Petreski, Andrew Cartanos, James Karvelis, Matko Budimir, Baggio Yousif and Anthony Giannopoulos to make the squad for Monday’s match.
The match kicks off at 3pm on Monday 10 June at Lakeside Stadium. South Melbourne FC members are entitled to free entry to the match.