South Melbourne FC recorded a fifth straight win across all competitions thanks to a 1-0 home victory against Pascoe Vale in PlayStation 4 National Premier League Victoria action at Lakeside Stadium last Friday night.
Milos Lujic scored the winning goal five minutes before halftime and has now scored in his last eight matches for South across all competitions.
Although South enjoyed an excellent record against Pascoe Vale from their previous four League meetings (three wins and a draw), Friday’s match was always going to be difficult due to David Stirton’s injury at Hume City the previous Saturday and Nick Epifano’s club-imposed suspension during the week.
Mathew Theodore and Jake Barker-Daish replaced Stirton and Epifano respectively in the starting line-up.
Vitale Ferrante’s Pascoe Vale side came into the match on the back of four successive PS4 NPL Victoria wins. With a host of experienced players such as former South men Joseph Youssef and Carl Recchia, plus others like Jake Nakic, Tomi Milardovic and Michael Ferrante, they were always going to be difficult opponents for South to overcome.
Last season’s corresponding match at Lakeside Stadium (Sunday 18 May 2014) finished 1-0 to South in what was a tight affair.
Before the match started, both teams as well as the match officials paused to mark the occasion of the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day the following day. The Ode of Remembrance was displayed on the electronic scoreboard and spoken, with the last post being played before a minute’s silence was observed.
The first half was a sluggish affair, with both sides having limited goal scoring opportunities. The away side almost took the lead when Jake Nakic went through on goal but shot the ball wide of the far post. Lujic then almost opened the scoring for the home side but his shot went over Alexander Pavlidis’ crossbar.
The centre-forward eventually scored what proved to be the winning goal when he got on the end of a through-ball and tucked the ball past the advancing Pavlidis. The goal was Lujic’s eighth goal in nine League matches and tenth goal in eleven matches across all competitions in 2015.
Lujic has now scored in the last eight matches South has played, beginning with the 5-0 Westfield FFA Cup win at Whittlesea United on Saturday 14 March.
The second half began with an almighty downpour but that didn’t stop South from creating some excellent goal scoring opportunities to try and seal the win. Andy Brennan almost scored with a brilliant scissor kick but was denied by Pavlidis’ excellent save. Lujic then almost scored another goal but his header hit the post and stayed out.
Pascoe Vale’s best chance to level the match fell to Michael Ferrante but his free kick didn’t trouble Nikola Roganovic. South comfortably saw out the remainder of the game and maintained their 100% record in home matches this season.
The Under 20s match was postponed to allow the Lakeside Stadium pitch to recover from maintenance works done in March/April, with the re-scheduled match to be announced in due course.
South Melbourne FC’s next match is away at Port Melbourne this upcoming Friday 1 May. Kick-off is at 8:30pm at SS Anderson Reserve.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 1-0 PASCOE VALE (HT: 1-0)
1-0: Milos Lujic (40′)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK), 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 5. Luke ADAMS, 8. Mathew THEODORE, 9. Milos LUJIC, 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Iqi JAWADI, 13. Dane MILOVANOVIC, 17. Andy BRENNAN (23. Andy KECOJEVIC 87′), 21. Jake BARKER-DAISH (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 71′).
35. Alexander PAVLIDIS (GK), 2. Adrian TALARICO, 3. Nathen MEGIC (11. Connor KASS 86′), 6. Carl RECCHIA (4. Adam NAKIC 45′), 8. Joseph YOUSSEF (C), 9. Jake NAKIC, 15. Mark PISTININZI, 16. Tomi MILARDOVIC, 18. Tom BLACK (12. Matthew CONVERSANO 64′), 21. Michael FERRANTE, 23. Jake HALLIDAY.
SMFC Fix Hellas Beer Man of the Match: Milos Lujic
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Friday 24 April 2015