South Melbourne FC face Heidelberg United in a mouth-watering Dockerty Cup semi-final derby at Jack Edwards Reserve tonight.
Heidelberg defeated South in the League recently on Friday 3 July and Chris Taylor’s side will be out to avenge that loss by knocking their oldest rival out of contention for an early piece of silverware.
It has been a difficult month of football for a South side hit with a combination of injuries, suspensions and unavailability at the same time as a tough run of fixtures. This has resulted in League losses to Bentleigh (28 June), Heidelberg (3 July) and Melbourne Knights (12 July). Sandwiched in between was an epic 3-2 win against Green Gully (7 July).
Mathew Theodore scored an impressive goal against the Knights last weekend and the diminutive playmaker looms as a key man for South should he play tonight. Chris Irwin has impressed as a makeshift left back over the last few weeks, however he is Cup-tied and cannot play tonight.
Brad Norton has been filling in at the centre of defence for Luke Adams during the big Kiwi’s absence for international duty with New Zealand. With Adams back, the defence can now resume normality, with Norton at left back, Adams and Michael Eagar at centre back and Tim Mala at right back.
Perhaps the most important man on the pitch for South tonight will be striker Milos Lujic, who always seems to find his best right when his team needs it most.
The danger men for Heidelberg are Kaine Sheppard and Dan Heffernan, with the latter scoring two goals to beat South in Heidelberg’s League win at Lakeside Stadium on 3 July.
The winner of tonight’s match plays the winner of the other semi final (between the Oakleigh Cannons and Hume City) in the Dockerty Cup final at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday 2 August. Oakleigh and Hume do battle at the Olympic Village tomorrow night.
The Heidelberg and South Melbourne derby kicks off at 7:30pm at Jack Edwards Reserve tonight and will be decided via extra time or penalties if the match is drawn.
If you are unable to make the game you can also follow all the live updates by following the club’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, using the hashtags #SMFC and #Dockerty Cup.
Heidelberg United – Road to the Dockerty Cup Semi Final
Round 4 (Saturday 14 March): 7-0 v Truganina Hornets (Arndell Park Reserve)
Round 5 (Wednesday 22 April): 5-2 v Langwarrin (George Andrews Reserve)
Round 6 (Friday 5 June): 5-0 v Caulfield United Cobras (Olympic Village)
Round 7 (Tuesday 23 June): 5-1 v Goulburn Valley Suns (Olympic Village)
South Melbourne FC – Road to the Dockerty Cup Semi Final
Round 4 (Saturday 14 March): 5-0 v Whittlesea United (Thomas Street Reserve)
Round 5 (Wednesday 15 April): 8-0 v North Sunshine Eagles (Lakeside Stadium)
Round 6 (Friday 5 June): 3-1 v Melbourne Knights (Lakeside Stadium)
Round 7 (Wednesday 17 June): 6-1 v Frankston Pines (Lakeside Stadium)