By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
The Fifth Round of the Dockerty Cup was played overnight as South Melbourne FC defeated Berwick City 1-4 at Jack Thomas Reserve to progress through to the next round. Goals from Milos Lujic, Slaven Vranesevic, Leigh Minopoulos and Kobbie Boahene saw South comfortably progress to the Sixth Round and make it nine wins from nine matches across all competitions in 2014.
As promised, South Coach Chris Taylor made six changes to the starting line-up, as goalkeeper Chris Maynard made his first appearance in 2014 whilst Andrew Mullett, Dimi Tsiaras, Boahene, Vranesevic and Minopoulos all started as well. It was important that Taylor rotated his squad for the Cup match to allow the fringe players the chance to show their worth and at the same time give other players the chance to rest ahead of the important National Premier League match against Bentleigh Greens on Sunday. Jason Saldaris, Nick Epifano, Jamie Reed, Tyson Holmes and Brad Norton were all on the substitutes’ bench whilst Mathew Theodore was left out of the squad altogether.
South opened the scoring after only two minutes when Minopoulos’ shot could only be parried by Berwick’s goalkeeper and Lujic got to the ball first before tapping home. South were 0-2 ahead just after the quarter-hour mark when Vranesevic got past his marker before firing a low left-footed drive into the bottom right corner of the goal from outside the box. The away side were in cruise control after 24 minutes when Lujic held off his marker before flicking the ball into the path of the incoming Minopoulos to pick his spot before curling the ball into the top corner of the goal. With the game effectively wrapped up, South switched off shortly before halftime and allowed Ashley Savanah to powerfully head a consolation goal for Berwick City following an excellent cross from the left side. Boahene completed the scoring after 70 minutes when he took on and beat his marker on the right side of the box before firing a shot across the goalkeeper and into the bottom left corner of the net.
Football Federation Victoria have advised that the draw for the Sixth Round of the Dockerty Cup will be made on Monday 12 May, with the ties to be played midweek on either Tuesday 27 May or Wednesday 28 May. Following the Sixth Round will be the Quarter Final stage and then the Semi Finals, with the four Semi Finalists qualifying for the FFA Cup that will be played later this year.
South returns to League action this weekend as it hosts the Bentleigh Greens at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening. Kick-off is at 5PM.
FINAL SCORE: BERWICK CITY 1-4 SOUTH MELBOURNE (HT: 1-3)
0-1: Milos Lujic (2’)
0-2: Slaven Vranesevic (17’)
0-3: Leigh Minopoulos (24’)
1-3: Ashley Savanah (42’)
1-4: Kobbie Boahene (70’)
South Melbourne FC:
21. Chris MAYNARD (GK), 2. Tim MALA (7. Nick EPIFANO 73’), 3. Andrew MULLETT, 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 6. Dimi TSIARAS, 9. Milos LUJIC (17. Jamie REED 64’), 12. Iqi JAWADI (10. Tyson HOLMES 71’), 14. James MUSA (11. Brad NORTON 73’), 15. Kobbie BOAHENE, 20. Slaven VRANESEVIC, 27. Leigh MINOPOULOS.
SMFC Man of the Match: Slaven Vranesevic
Venue: Jack Thomas Reserve
Date: Wednesday 7 May 2014