Thursday, 18 July 2013 4:16 PM
South Melbourne FC hosts the Bentleigh Greens on Sunday afternoon in what is a huge game for the home side. Bentleigh is considered by many as the team to beat in 2013 along with Northcote City and South desperately needs a win to try and keep up with the top five. South has not won a Victorian Premier League match since defeating Oakleigh 2-1 at Lakeside Stadium on 26 May.
South goes into the game on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw against Southern Stars at Lakeside Stadium last Sunday. Alan Kearney opened the scoring for the home side before two quick goals shortly before halftime put the Stars ahead. Substitute Andy Vlahos saved the day for South when he tapped home at the back post from Rhys Meredith’s cross to earn the home side a share of the points. Bentleigh goes into the game having drawn 0-0 against Dandenong Thunder at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex last Friday night. John Anastasiadis’ team had the better of the first half, however Dandenong dominated in the second half and in the end a draw was probably a fair result. Bentleigh’s only loss this season has been against South on 19 April thanks to Renco Van Eeken’s winning goal from a header on 82 minutes.
South’s defensive stocks will be significantly boosted following the signings of Bryan Bran (centre-half) and Tim Mala (right-back) during the week. In further good news, Shaun Kelly is in contention to return to the line-up this weekend following a hamstring injury sustained a few weeks ago. Mala’s arrival also gives Chris Taylor the option of pushing Dimi Hatzimouratis further up the park in a more attacking role that suits him. Youngster James Karvelis has impressed filling in for Dimi Tsiaras and Kelly at centre-half during the past few matches and will also be in contention for a place in the team on Sunday.
In the corresponding fixture played at Lakeside Stadium last season on Sunday 9 September 2012, a heartbreaking 92nd minute goal from Scott Bulloch cancelled out Andy Vlahos’ 78th minute header in a game that South had to win to keep its finals chances alive.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 3PM at Lakeside Stadium.