South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South grind out crucial win at Dandenong

South grind out crucial win at Dandenong

By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)

South Melbourne FC moved one step closer to becoming Champions of National Premier League Victoria after grinding out a 0-1 win against the Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve on Saturday night. Jamie Reed’s goal just shy of the hour mark gave Chris Taylor’s side the three points to temporarily extend their lead at the top of the ladder to ten points, before second-placed Oakleigh Cannons defeated Werribee City 0-1 on Sunday to reduce South’s lead back to seven points.

South began Saturday night’s match in a strong fashion by controlling possession and putting a lot of pressure on the Dandenong defence. Apart from a clearance off the line however, South did not trouble Zaim Zeneli in the Dandenong goal. At the other end, South goalkeeper Chris Maynard – retained by Taylor after keeping a clean sheet in the 4-0 win over Werribee City last week – got in the way of Feston Azizi’s shot after the Dandenong player managed to sneak past the South defence on the right side.

The match was won on 59 minutes when Brad Norton slipped the ball through for Reed to fire past Zeneli at his near post for the striker’s tenth League goal of the season and eleventh across all competitions in 2014. Dean Hennessey’s young Thunder side spent the final half hour of the game putting pressure on South but ultimately did not create a true goal scoring chance, with the closest they got was from a blocked Kieran Dover shot and an Azizi free kick that flew over an untroubled Maynard’s crossbar. The final whistle brought a sigh of relief from the South fans, with South doing it tough but ultimately prevailing 0-1 against the Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve in both the League and the Dockerty Cup this season.

Post-match, a happy Taylor noted how “it was important just to get the three points tonight… (in order to win the Championship) we just have to take it one match at a time and keep trying to chalk up the wins that we need to secure it.”

South Melbourne FC’s next match is against Northcote City at Lakeside Stadium next Sunday 24 August, with kick-off at 5PM. If the Bentleigh Greens defeat Oakleigh Cannons on Friday night and South defeat Northcote on Sunday, South will be the 2014 NPLV Champions.


Goal Scorer:
0-1: Jamie Reed (59′)

Dandenong Thunder:
21. Zaim ZENELI (GK), 2. Jarryd BARNES, 3. Ilir PALI (20. Dillon JAKUPI 78′), 4. Rama TAVSANCIOGLU, 5. Faisal ZADA, 7. Kieran DOVER, 8. Matthew MILLAR, 9. Feston AZIZI, 12. Brendan ELMAZOVSKI, 15. Rees DUNCAN (11. Kris KIOUSSIS 59′), 23. Josh CARUANA.

South Melbourne FC:
21. Chris MAYNARD (GK), 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 7. Nick EPIFANO (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 79′), 9. Milos LUJIC, 10. Tyson HOLMES (25. Shaun TIMMINS 89′), 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Iqi JAWADI, 14. James MUSA, 17. Jamie REED (8. Mathew THEODORE 90+3′), 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS.

SMFC Man of the Match: Stephen Hatzikostas
Venue: George Andrews Reserve
Date: Saturday 16 August 2014

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