By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Goulburn Valley Suns at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Both sides suffered defeats in the National Premier League last weekend and will be looking to win the three points on Sunday albeit for contrasting reasons.
South’s 14 match winning streak across both League and Dockerty Cup was finally broken when Oakleigh defeated Chris Taylor’s side 3-0 at Jack Edwards Reserve last Friday 6 June. The result reduced South’s lead at the top of the NPL Victoria ladder to six points ahead of second-placed Oakleigh heading to the halfway point of the season. Goulburn Valley also suffered a big loss when it was defeated 0-4 at home by Dandenong Thunder last Saturday 7 June, making it three losses in a row for Peter Zois’ side and keeping them six points adrift of the second-last placed Ballarat Red Devils at the bottom of the NPL Victoria ladder.
It is expected that Captain Michael Eagar will return to the line-up on Sunday and partner James Musa at centre-half. With Brad Norton suspended following his red card in the dying stages of the Oakleigh game, Taylor will probably shift Andrew Mullett from centre-half into Norton’s left-back spot. Despite their lowly position on the ladder, the Suns have experienced former National Soccer League players on their books in Naum Sekulovski and former South man Kristian Sarkies. They also have an experienced VPL/NPL player in Frankie Lagana and the goal scoring touch of Craig Carley, who has scored eight of the Suns’ 13 League goals this season and will be one player for the South defence to watch out for.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 5PM at Lakeside Stadium and is the first ever meeting between the two sides. 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 #SMvGVS.