By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC will be aiming for its tenth straight National Premier League win should it defeat Werribee City at Galvin Park on Sunday afternoon. Three points for Chris Taylor’s men will see it maintain at the very least a six point lead over the second-placed Oakleigh Cannons, a strong position heading into crucial League and Dockerty Cup fixtures over the coming weeks.
South goes into the game having worked hard to defeat Pascoe Vale 1-0 at Lakeside Stadium last Sunday. Mathew Theodore scored the winning goal after 25 minutes but for large periods the home side struggled to break down a resolute and stubborn Pascoe Vale. Nino Ragusa’s Werribee also head into Sunday’s game in winning form, having scored three late goals to record a memorable 0-3 victory against Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve last Sunday evening. Joshua Groenewald, Bobby Vidanoski and Steven Cudrig were the goal scorers for the Bees, who moved up to seventh place on the NPL ladder thanks to that win. Sunday will be the first time that Werribee and South will meet in league competition, following the Bees’ promotion from State League 1 last season.
Captain Michael Eagar missed the Pascoe Vale victory last week after pulling up sore from the Bentleigh game on Sunday 11 May and he may be given another weekend off to be fully fit for the Dockerty Cup match against Dandenong on Wednesday 28 May. He was replaced by Andrew Mullett, who started for the first time in the League this season and did an excellent job at centre-back in Eagar’s absense. Nick Epifano was substituted at halftime against Pascoe Vale after being concussed in the first half but should be available for the trip to Werribee. Leigh Minopoulos returns to Galvin Park after two successful seasons at Werribee and as always will be pushing for a place in the South starting eleven. South signed 19 year old midfielder Dion Kirk from Adelaide United Youth during the week, however it is expected that the youngster will play for the NPL 20s for a few weeks before being considered for senior selection.
Sunday’s match against Werribee City kicks off at 3PM at Galvin Park. Those unable to make the game can follow it with live updates on the South Melbourne FC Facebook page and on the Club’s official Twitter @smfc with the hashtags #NPLVIC and #WCvSM.