Nick Epifano’s first goal in Friday night’s FFA Cup match against Melbourne Knights is one that will live long in the memory of all South Melbourne supporters.
Having trailed for the entire night, Epifano’s looping, dipping shot that found the top right hand corner put South ahead with seven minutes remaining, and was the sort of magical moment the FFA Cup is becoming
Epifano produced the best performance of his South career to date against the club’s great rivals, scoring a late brace to lift South to a sensational 3-1 victory.
The win exorcized demons of the corresponding fixture last season, where Knights upset a highly fancied South side to advance to the FFA Cup finals.
Stand in captain Brad Norton hailed the enigmatic 20 year old’s performance, reserving special praise for THAT goal.
“Once you saw him pick it up you thought he was going to score it.” Norton told SMFC TV post match. He cut down the wing and when he hit it, man I was having heart palpitations. Epa has worked hard the last few weeks on and off the park, he’s been scoring goals for us lately. Tonight was a big game for him, and a big game for the club, and he stepped up for us.”
After a rocky start to the season, both individual and team seem to have clicked in recent weeks.
Head coach Chris Taylor, a close mentor of Epifano, applauded both the goal and the player.
“It was one of those ones that hung there for a while, but it went in and it was a great goal to win the game on. Full credit to the boy. He’s been a match-winner tonight and since some well publicised problems at the start of the year it is extremely pleasing to see the work he is putting in is starting to be rewarded”
The man himself, Nick Epifano was also quite pleased with the effort, the win and the progress he has made on and of the park since the start of the season. “The start of the year was quite tough for me personally and i’m sorry about how some things happened. While I can’t change that, i can work hard to make sure I play well for the team and for the supporters. Its great that the boys got the win and for me to finally hit the back of the net. I want to be scoring more and giving the everyone at the club more to get excited about, so i’m very happy tonight and can’t wait to our next match against Dandy”.
The draw for the next round of the FFA Cup will be held on Tuesday.