Monday, 8 July 2013 7:11 PM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC suffered a third consecutive defeat when it was beaten 1-3 by Green Gully at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Goals from Osagie Ederaro, Jason Hayne and Daniel Jones won the three points for the away side even though Andy Vlahos did equalise for South in the first half with a fantastic free kick.
The clash against Green Gully marked the first match for Chris Taylor as Head Coach since taking over late last week. Ironically, Taylor ’s final game in charge of the Thunder last weekend was a home game against Green Gully that Gully won 0-2. Taylor’s first match as South manager was always going to be difficult, as he only had one training session with the squad on the Friday night ahead of the match on Sunday.
To make matters worse for the home side, centre-half Shaun Kelly was missing after picking up a hamstring injury against Port Melbourne the week before. Dimi Hatzimouratis and Brad Norton (the captain against Green Gully) maintained their positions at right and left fullbacks respectively whilst youngster James Karvelis played his first full match for the Club, alongside Dimi Tsiaras at centre-half. Andy Vlahos was in the starting eleven for the first time this season, having come off the bench in every other match.
South began on a mission and should have opened the scoring in the first minute but for Gully goalkeeper Kieran Gonzalez making two excellent blocks to deny Vlahos and Marinos Gasparis. Green Gully – as it has typically done against South in the past – was always going to make South pay for not scoring early and they did so by taking the lead against the run of play after 15 minutes. Jason Hayne broke down the right hand side and crossed to an unmarked Ederaro at the back post to head past Peter Gavalas. South nearly responded shortly after when Daniel Jones slipped in the wet, allowing Nick Soolsma through one-on-one with Gonzalez, however Jones recovered well and saved the day for the away side by forcing Soolsma wide of the goal. Vlahos leveled the game for South on the half-hour after firing a vicious left-footed shot into the top left corner of Gonzalez’s goal from a free kick just outside the area. Vlahos then missed a great opportunity to put the home side into the lead but his header at the near post from Gasparis’ corner flew over the crossbar.
Hamid Basma replaced Brent Fisher at halftime and it was the former South player that played a key role in Green Gully’s second goal after putting Hayne through on goal to fire past Gavalas. This led to Taylor bringing on the experienced Fernando De Moraes to try and salvage something from the game. South suffered a further blow only minutes later when Tsiaras went down with a bad hamstring injury and had to be replaced by youngster Erdem Ozcagli, meaning that South’s two centre-backs were two Under-21s players. Another Under-21s player in Baggio Youssif replaced Vlahos as quite a youthful South side set about trying to salvage something from the match. However, Green Gully ended the contest with a third goal only a minute after Youssif’s introduction, when Jones out jumped his markers to head past Gavalas from a free kick from the right hand side.
Taylor was naturally disappointed post-match, adding that “we had plenty of chances but we didn’t put them away and you’re always going to get punished if you don’t put away your chances…the goals we conceded were quite sloppy defending.”
It was further bad news in the Under-21s as Green Gully defeated South 0-1.
South will look to turn its season around next weekend when it hosts bottom side Southern Stars next Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Stadium. Kick-off is at 3pm.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 1-3 GREEN GULLY (HT: 1-1)
0-1: Osagie Ederaro (15′)
1-1: Andy Vlahos (31′)
1-2: Jason Hayne (62′)
1-3: Daniel Jones (71′)
Key Stats (courtesy of Steven Orchard):
Shots: South Melbourne (14) – Green Gully (8)
Saves: South Melbourne (3) – Green Gully (6)
Balls in Area: South Melbourne (32) – Green Gully (24)
Shots Blocked: South Melbourne (4) – Green Gully (1)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 6. Dimi TSIARAS (5. Erdem OZCAGLI 67′), 10. Tyson HOLMES, 11. Brad NORTON (C), 12. Rhys MEREDITH, 14. Andy VLAHOS (26. Baggio YOUSSIF 70′), 15. Dimi HATZIMOURATIS, 16. Alan KEARNEY , 17. Nick SOOLSMA, 18. Marinos GASPARIS (8. Fernando DE MORAES 64′), 22. James KARVELIS
1. Kieran GONZALEZ (GK), 2. Daniel JONES, 5. Roddy VARGAS, 7. Jeffrey FLEMING, 8. Jason HAYNE, 12. Matthew SANDERS, 13. Brent FISHER (15. Hamid BASMA 45′), 16. Sean HARDING, 17. Andy VARGAS, 20. Osagie EDERARO, 21. Brian VANEGA (6. Stephen DOWNES 61′)
SMFC Man of the Match: James Karvelis
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Sunday 7 July 2013