South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Bury Bergers and Smash Record Books

South Bury Bergers and Smash Record Books
Tim Mala and Mathew Theodore celebrate Theodore's goal

South Melbourne FC got off to the perfect start in its opening match of the 2016 PS4 NPL Victoria season by smashing old rivals Heidelberg United 6-0 in a record-breaking evening at Lakeside Stadium. Four goals in the first half, including a hat-trick from Nick Epifano, set up South’s victory as Chris Taylor’s men took the first step in their quest for a third straight NPL Victoria Premiership.

South opened the scoring after just twelve minutes, when Marcus Schroen teed the ball up for the incoming Epifano to put the ball past Heidelberg goalkeeper Chris Theodoridis and send the large Lakeside Stadium crowd into raptures. Despite the set-back, Heidelberg worked hard and enjoyed some positive play but failed to break through Nikola Roganovic or his defence.

The result was never in doubt following a crazy eight minutes before the halftime break that saw South score three more goals and Heidelberg go down to ten men. Lujic made it 2-0 when he tapped the ball home after Theodoridis spilled Schroen’s initial shot into his path, before Epifano scored his second of the afternoon by curling a left-footed effort into the back of the net after Heidelberg’s Andreas Govas failed to clear the ball out of defence.

Shortly before the halftime break, South debutant Matthew Millar was through one-on-one with Theodoridis. The Heidelberg goalkeeper brought Millar down as he dribbled past him and was issued a straight red card by the referee, who judged Theodoridis to have denied Millar a clear goalscoring opportunity. The Bergers sacrificed right-back Josh Wilkins for their reserve goalkeeper Pierce Clark but he was unable to deny Epifano from scoring his spot kick and recording a memorable first half hat-trick.

Halftime substitute Mathew Theodore, playing his 50th league match for South, made the score 5-0 – via a Steven Pace deflection off his shot – just ten minutes after coming on. Just before the end of normal time, Epifano’s excellent through-ball released both Millar and Iqi Jawadi on goal, with the former drawing the reserve goalkeeper Clark before sliding the ball across to the later for an easy tap-in.

Heidelberg substitute Kenny Athiu – who had replaced the injured Govas after 40 minutes – worked hard for the Bergers and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet for the visiting team. Athiu had a great one-on-one opportunity towards the end but Roganovic made an excellent block at his near post to deny him a goal.

The final score of 6-0 confirmed South’s biggest ever winning margin against Heidelberg across all competitions since the two clubs began competing against each other in 1964. South’s previous biggest winning margin was five following a 5-0 win at Middle Park on 17 November 1991.

Taylor’s players fell just a goal short of equalling South’s biggest ever goal haul in a single match against the Bergers, having scored seven goals in a 7-3 win at Middle Park on 2 April 1967. On that day, Ulysses Kokkinos, Boulis Kambouropoulos and Leo Damianakos all scored doubles, with the other goal coming from Jim Pyrgolios.

It was further good news in the Under 20s, with South Melbourne defeating Heidelberg United 4-1 thanks to goals from Charly Layton (23′, 37′), Adrian Kovacevic (43′) and Dean Nicolaidis (80′).

South now begins a run of six consecutive away league matches, with the first of them being against Northcote City at John Cain Reserve next Saturday 27 February. Kick-off is at 5pm.


Goal Scorers:
1-0: Nick Epifano (12′)
2-0: Milos Lujic (37′)
3-0: Nick Epifano (39′)
4-0: Nick Epifano (44’p)
5-0: Mathew Theodore (55′)
6-0: Iqi Jawadi (89′)

South Melbourne FC (4-2-3-1):
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK) / 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 5. Luke ADAMS, 11. Brad NORTON / 23. Matthew FOSCHINI (8. Mathew THEODORE 46′), 99. Iqi JAWADI / 18. Matthew MILLAR, 17. Marcus SCHROEN (77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS 58′), 7. Nick EPIFANO / 9. Milos LUJIC (22. Andy KECOJEVIC 72′).
Unused Subs: 3. Kristian KONSTANTINIDIS, 33. Zaim ZENELI (GK).

Heidelberg United FC:
1. Chris THEODORIDIS (GK) (sent off 43′), 2. Joshua WILKINS (23. Pierce CLARK [GK] 44′), 17. Steven PACE, 13. Luke BYLES (C), 3. Les DOUMBALIS / 14. Harry NOON (6. Lewis HALL 53′), 10. Jack PETRIE, 7. Rueben WAY / 19. Shaun ELLIS, 21. Andreas GOVAS (12. Kenny ATHIU 40′) / 9. Kaine SHEPPARD.
Unused Subs: 15. Milos ILIC, 24. Emmanuel TSAKIRIS.

Melbourne City Toyota Man of the Match: Nick Epifano
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Sunday 21 February 2016

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