South Melbourne FC enjoyed derby success for the second time in 2015 with a come from behind win against the Melbourne Knights at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Milos Lujic and Andy Brennan were enough to record a 2-1 victory that lifted South above their old rivals and into third position on the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria ladder, with a game in hand over the top two teams Heidelberg and Bentleigh.
On a magnificent Melbourne afternoon, the Knights took an early lead through their former captain Ben Surey, who had the ball in the back of the net despite an attempted clearance off the line from a South defender.
Despite the early setback, South had looked dangerous from the offset, especially down the right flank where Andy Brennan was giving his opposite number a torrid time. Time and again the big Tasmanian beat his opponent down the wing and delivered excellent crosses, however in-form striker Milos Lujic was unable to get on the end of the crosses to turn South’s dominance into goals.
Filling in for the suspended Tim Mala at right back, Bonel Obradovic nearly scored an astonishing goal when his volleyed cross-come-shot smacked the crossbar.
It seemed as though South would head into the break with a 0-1 deficit, with the defending NPL Victoria Champions unable to translate their dominance of the game on the scoreboard.
On the stroke of half time, the game really kicked into gear when Iqi Jawadi went down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Lujic coolly converted the penalty with the last kick of the first half, with the goal leading to a scuffle between the two sides en route to the change rooms.
South picked up where they left off in the second half and it wasn’t long before Andy Brennan calmly slotted home the winner after finding himself one-on-one with Knights goalkeeper Chris May. Brennan is making a habit of scoring in the derby, having also scored against Knights in the FFV Community Shield clash in February.
South could have put the game beyond doubt when first Lujic and then David Stirton were denied by some tremendous goalkeeping from May that kept the score at 2-1.
The last twenty minutes gave supporters their first glimpse at star signing Jake Barker-Daish, who got through his first run for South Melbourne without issue.
Despite having to endure some pressure from Knights in the final few minutes, South’s defence held firm to record a second derby victory in 2015.
It was further good news in the Under 20s, as Nashir Hussainey’s goal gave South Melbourne a 1-0 win against the Melbourne Knights.
South next hosts North Sunshine Eagles in the fifth round FFA Cup match, with kick-off at 7:30pm at Lakeside Stadium on Wednesday night.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 2-1 MELBOURNE KNIGHTS (HT: 1-1)
0-1: Ben Surey (13’)
1-1: Milos Lujic (45’p)
2-1: Andy Brennan (54’)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK), 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 5. Luke ADAMS, 6. Bonel OBRADOVIC, 8. Mathew THEODORE (21. Jake BARKER-DAISH 60’), 9. Milos LUJIC, 10. David STIRTON, 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Iqi JAWADI, 13. Dane MILOVANOVIC, 17. Andy BRENNAN (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 86’).
1. Chris MAY (GK), 4. Ben SUREY, 5. Milan BATUR, 6. Tomislav USKOK (C), 11. Anthony COLOSIMO (9. Jacob COLOSIMO 78’), 12. Ivan GRGIC, 15. Alex DAO, 18. Josh BREKALO, 21. Stipo ANDRIJASEVIC, 23. Adrian ZAHRA (7. Christopher TALAJIC 60’), 27. Andrew BARISIC.
SMFC Fix Hellas Beer Man of the Match: Andy Brennan
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Saturday 11 April 2015