By Skip Fulton
A goal to Timothy Liokos on the back of a defensive error put South Melbourne U16s in front however missed opportunities meant the team was unable to get the win after Box Hill equalised.
A blustery Albert Park was the venue for the round thirteen match-up between South Melbourne FC and Box Hill United in the NPL U16 East league.
South started the match with positive attacking play through the midfield and had the majority of possession as Box Hill took some time to get into the game.
An attacking move down the right side bought Box Hill goal keeper off his line rushing out to the edge of the area. An error meant the ball wasn’t gathered allowing South to keep possession. A pass was centred to the top of the box where Timothy Liokos was on the end of it. A right foot strike easily found the back of the net in the twenty eighth minute.
The encouraging start and goal was quickly countered by an improving Box Hill and they equalised just three minutes later.
South set about trying to re-establish the lead and in the remainder of the half controlled possession and several times play went into the final third without reward.
Seven minutes after the break South were presented with another opportunity to hit the front. A careless Box Hill challenge inside the area resulted in the whistle going and the referee pointing to the spot. Unfortunately the strike went over the crossbar for a goal kick.
Both teams continued to push for the winning goal until the final whistle. South goal keeper Nicholas Moraitis made a number of great saves include one from a superb Box Hill strike which was just tipped over the crossbar.
The final result was a 1-1 draw leaving the team in fourth on the ladder three points behind Heidelberg United.
South Melbourne U16s coach Davide Bertamini spoke to smfc.com.au after the match saying “the first half was very convincing after a few weeks where we struggled a bit with playing good football. We missed a penalty and a few chances in the second half, that’s football its part of the game.”
Looking at the positives that could be taken away from the game, Bertamini indicated his highlights were “the playing from the back in the first twenty minutes and the organisation that we applied today was very good.”
The ongoing process of South Melbourne developing its teams and players continues all the way through the season right to the end. Bertamini has a number of areas of to consider but he was very clear on one. “Well definitely we missed too many chances. Not just the penalty, it is only one small episode in a game but the fact we create every game seven, eight, ten chances and we convert only a few is the aspect we should work on. We got away with one point today it’s a bit disappointing.”
Match photos: http://on.fb.me/1mLfLbL
Other SMFC Youth Results
U12s lost 0:2
U13s lost 0:4
U14s won 3:0, goals: Tristan Meaker x2 and Matthew Loutrakis
U15s drew 1:1, goal: George Kalas
U18s lost1:3, goal: Nasir Hussaini
South Melbourne FC Youth teams play in the penultimate round of the season this weekend against Dandenong City away at the Frank Holohan Soccer Complex in Dandenong.