Dan Heffernan’s goal in the third minute of second half injury time won Heidelberg United the derby against South Melbourne FC at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night.
Heffernan had also scored in the first half, whilst Milos Lujic got on the scoresheet in a thrilling but ultimately disappointing match for South that ended 1-2 to the visiting Bergers side.
Chris Taylor was forced to name a makeshift back four, with vice captain Brad Norton (suspension) and Luke Adams (international duty) both unavailable. Nick Epifano (hamstring) and Mathew Theodore (concussion) were also unavailable, with Taylor handing starts to Stephen Hatzikostas in midfield and Chris Irwin in the unfamiliar position of left back.
Heffernan’s opening goal arrived after seventeen minutes, when the forward headed Kaine Sheppard’s cross over South goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic and into the back of the net. Heidelberg were the deserved leaders at that point in the game, with Rueben Way and Sheppard going close on several occasions in the first twenty minutes.
In an open half of football, South had several chances to score but lacked a precise final ball. On the stroke of half time, the home side received a free kick on the edge of the area after a foul on David Stirton. Jake Barker-Daish’s well-flighted free kick found Milos Lujic, who scored with a trademark diving header into the bottom right hand corner that gave Bergers keeper Griffin McMaster no chance.
The second half was much the same as the first in terms of an open midfield and end-to-end play that characterised the night.
Andy Kecojevic went agonisingly close from two free kicks in the space of five minutes, with the first one seeing his goal-bound shot saved brilliantly by McMaster, before his second free kick hit the post from a near-identical position.
Heidelberg substitute Kenny Athieu might have thought he had scored after 84 minutes, however Tim Mala dramatically cleared his header off the goal line.
With the match into second half injury time, Heffernan finished off a swift counter-attack move from the Bergers and a depleted South side suffered its second straight defeat at home.
In the Under 20s match, South Melbourne and Heidelberg United played out a 0-0 draw.
South only have a few days to regroup before facing Green Gully at Lakeside Stadium on Tuesday night. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:15pm.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 1-2 HEIDELBERG UTD (HT: 1-1)
0-1: Dan Heffernan (18’)
1-1: Milos Lujic (44’)
1-2: Dan Heffernan (90+3’)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK), 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 6. Tom LAKIC, 9. Milos LUJIC, 10. David STIRTON (20. Nick MORTON 80’), 11. Iqi JAWADI, 14. Chris IRWIN, 21. Jake BARKER-DAISH, 23. Andy KECOJEVIC (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 63’) 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS (16. Andy BEVIN 77’)
Unused Subs: 19. Massimo PESCE, 22. Fraser MacLAREN.
23. Griffin McMASTER (GK), 2. Jamie CUMMING, 7. Rueben WAY, 9. Kosta KANAKARIS (12. Kenny ATHIEU 76’), 10. Jack PETRIE, 13. Luke BYLES, 14. Dan HEFFERNAN, 17. Steven PACE, 20. Nejc KOLMAN, 21. Andreas GOVAS (3. Les DOUMBALIS 2′), 22. Kaine SHEPPARD (5. Daniel VASILEVSKI 83’).
Unused Subs: 1. Jason KOUTSODONTIS, 24. Andrew CARTANOS.
SMFC FIX Hellas Beer Man of the Match: Iqi Jawadi
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Friday 3 July 2015