South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Oakleigh end South’s record winning run

Oakleigh end South’s record winning run

By John Kyrou (photo by Cindy Nitsos)

The Oakleigh Cannons ended South Melbourne FC’s record-breaking start to the season with a resounding 3-0 victory at Jack Edwards Reserve on Friday night. The result ended South’s 11 match winning run in the National Premier League and 14 match winning run across all competitions (League and Dockerty Cup) in 2014.

South went into the match without Captain Michael Eagar after he got injured at training during the week. James Musa, who scored against Dandenong Thunder after coming off the substitutes’ bench last weekend, started in Eagar’s place and partnered Andrew Mullett at centre-half. Other than that change, the starting XI remained the same as the one that defeated Dandenong Thunder 5-0 last Sunday 1 June.

The first half of Friday night’s match was a rather dull affair, though both sides could have gone into the break with the lead. Andreas Govas hit a vicious free kick that beat Jason Saldaris but not his right post and the ball was eventually cleared by the South defence. South then had the ball in the back of the net when Milos Lujic tapped home Jamie Reed’s low cross, however the goal was disallowed for offside though it appeared that Lujic was onside. Oakleigh had another chance to open the scoring when a mistake in the South defence put Goran Zoric one-on-one with Saldaris but the big South custodian managed to tip Zoric’s goal-bound shot over for a corner.

Miron Bleiberg’s side stamped their authority on the match in the second half with two goals in the opening 15 minutes that effectively sealed the three points for the home side. Evan Christodoulou opened the scoring on 51 minutes when his left-footed strike from distance took a deflection and looped over a stranded Saldaris and into the back of the net. The Cannons had wrestled control in the midfield and they quickly made it 2-0 on the hour mark when Zoric released Nate Foster through on goal and he finished neatly into the bottom corner to double the home side’s advantage. Zoric had been outstanding all evening and it was the former South man himself that completed the scoring ten minutes later by finishing clinically into the bottom corner after being played through by another former South player in Dusan Bosnjak.

Several yellow cards were issued against South in the closing stages of the game, with stand-in Captain Brad Norton receiving a second yellow and subsequently being sent off in the fifth minute of injury time, making the evening one to forget for the away side. Post-match, Taylor noted that “it was going to happen eventually [losing]…perhaps we needed the loss to re-group and re-focus.” Right-back Tim Mala was disappointed that his side couldn’t win in front of a large travelling support base, adding that “I’m gutted because we had such a good turn-out…it’s such a good game to play in and we just couldn’t capitalise. Having said that, I think we will be fine [returning to winning ways] next week.”

It was further bad news in the NPL 20s, as Oakleigh defeated South Melbourne 4-0.

Despite the loss, South remain six points clear of second-placed Oakleigh on top of the NPL Victoria ladder. South’s Dockerty Cup Quarter Final against the Melbourne Knights has been moved from Tuesday 10 June to Wednesday 25 June, meaning that South’s next match is a League meeting against Goulburn Valley at Lakeside Stadium next Sunday 15 June at 5PM.


Goal Scorers:
1-0: Evan Christodoulou (51′)
2-0: Nate Foster (60′)
3-0: Goran Zoric (70′)

Oakleigh Cannons:
1. John HONOS (GK), 2. Thomas LAKIC, 5. Aron WILFORD, 7. Bonel OBRADOVIC (22. George KROMMIDAS 81′), 8. Dusan BOSNJAK, 11. Evan CHRISTODOULOU, 14. Nate FOSTER (17. Dean PIEMONTE 72′), 19. Goran ZORIC, 20. Jordan LOWDON, 21. Andreas GOVAS (16. Ariel RITZ 58′), 23. Dominic D’ANGELO.

South Melbourne FC:
1. Jason SALDARIS (GK), 2. Tim MALA, 3. Andrew MULLETT, 7. Nick EPIFANO (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 62′), 8. Mathew THEODORE, 9. Milos LUJIC, 10. Tyson HOLMES (15. Kobbie BOAHENE 72′), 11. Brad NORTON (C) (sent off 90+5′), 12. Iqi JAWADI (20. Slaven VRANESEVIC 79′), 14. James MUSA, 17. Jamie REED.

SMFC Man of the Match: James Musa
Venue: Jack Edwards Reserve
Date: Friday 6 June 2014

Privacy Preference Center