South Melbourne FC goes into tonight’s clash with Hume City knowing that, with just two games remaining in their 2015 PS4 NPL Victoria home & away season, they control their own destiny in the race for the Minor Premiership.
After 24 League matches, South sit in second place on the NPL Victoria ladder with 52 points and a goal difference of +30. League leaders Bentleigh Greens are on 55 points but have played an extra match and have a goal difference of +23.
In the highly unlikely event that Bentleigh makes up that seven goal difference between it and South in their final match against Oakleigh on Sunday, the stage is set for South Melbourne to claim the Minor Premiership if Chris Taylor’s side can defeat Hume tonight and then Northcote City on Sunday.
South’s advantageous position comes following the weekend’s 7-0 drubbing of Avondale FC. Milos Lujic lit up Doyle Street with a hat-trick, whilst Nick Epifano, Iqi Jawadi and Andy Kecojevic all got on the scoresheet in one of the biggest away wins in South Melbourne’s long history.
Epifano in particular was superb, with two assists and a goal against Avondale. The speedy winger has been in tremendous form during the second half of this season and now has 12 goals across all competitions in 2015, including three in the last two weeks thanks to his brace against Port Melbourne at Lakeside Stadium on Friday 7 August.
Hume City presents a tough challenge for the defending NPL Victoria Champions, with Lou Avceski’s men sitting in fifth position on the League table after dismantling Heidelberg United 0-2 at the Olympic Village last Sunday evening. South fought hard to break down a very tough Hume side in the earlier meeting between them at AKB Stadium on Saturday 18 April. In a match played in driving rain, Milos Lujic’s first half header proved to be the difference between the two sides.
South Melbourne and Hume City have played against each other on 16 occasions since Hume City returned to the top flight of Victorian football in 2008. South has won 10 matches, Hume has won five and there has been one draw. South’s biggest win was 6-0 on 25 April 2010, whilst Hume’s biggest win was 5-0 on 17 April 2011. Both those matches were played at Broadmeadows Valley Park.
Tonight’s match against Hume City kicks off at 8:30pm at Lakeside Stadium. Those unable to make the match can follow live updates on the Club’s Facebook and Twitter accounts by using the handles #SMFC and #PS4NPLVIC.