South Melbourne FC is aiming to snap a two-game losing streak when it hosts Green Gully in PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria action at Lakeside Stadium tonight.
Chris Taylor’s men have suffered consecutive home losses in the past two weeks, firstly to ladder leaders Bentleigh Greens 0-1 on 28 June and then last Friday night’s 1-2 derby loss against Heidelberg United.
Taylor was forced to field a makeshift starting eleven in South’s two defeats due to injuries, suspensions and the unavailability of a number of players.
Left-back Brad Norton returns to the starting eleven for tonight’s match after serving a one game suspension, whilst midfielder Mathew Theodore will also be available for selection after being substituted in the Bentleigh game following concussion and then missing the Heidelberg match.
Star winger Nick Epifano may miss tonight’s match due to a hamstring issue, whilst centre-half Luke Adams is still away on international duty with New Zealand.
Green Gully is currently in eighth position on the PS4 NPL Victoria ladder and come into tonight’s match in sensational form by having won their last three games. They produced one of the results of the season on Saturday when they smashed League leaders Bentleigh 4-0 and subsequently handed the Greens their first League loss in 2015.
Liam Boland scored a brace against Bentleigh and has impressed since joining from Oakleigh during the mid-season transfer window. Fellow Cannons recruit Evan Christodoulou also got on the scoresheet against Bentleigh and will provide a stern test for South’s central midfielders tonight.
Milos Lujic was one of South’s best in the Heidelberg match last Friday night. He scored a trademark header to take his personal goal-scoring tally to 17 goals across all competitions in 2015. The big striker’s impact will again be vital if South are to take all three points against Green Gully in what is a must-win game tonight.
In the earlier meeting between the two sides this year at Green Gully Reserve on Saturday 4 April, two late goals from Lujic (75’, 90+4’) secured a 0-2 victory for South. In the corresponding meeting last year at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday 6 July 2014, Theodore’s headed goal after 12 minutes secured a 1-0 home win for South.
Tonight’s clash between South Melbourne FC and Green Gully kicks off at 8:15pm at Lakeside Stadium. Those unable to make the match can follow proceedings on the club’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, using the handles #SMFC and #PS4NPLVIC.