South Melbourne FC will be looking to continue its excellent start to the 2016 PS4 NPL Victoria season when Chris Taylor’s side faces Northcote City at John Cain Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
South silenced many pre-season critics last Sunday evening at Lakeside Stadium with a thumping record 6-0 hammering of old rivals Heidelberg United. Nick Epifano registered a hat-trick in the first half alone as Milos Lujic, substitute Mathew Theodore and Iqi Jawadi also got on the score sheet.
Matthew Millar had a very solid debut on the right side of midfield for South, having only signed a few days earlier during the final day of the transfer window. Fellow debutant Matthew Foschini also played well but was substituted and sent to hospital for precautionary checks after a head clash in the first half. Thankfully for South, he should be clear to play against Northcote on Saturday.
Alex Gymnopoulos’ Northcote City side opened their 2016 NPL Victoria season with a 1-0 defeat against the Melbourne Victory at Epping Stadium last Saturday afternoon. With a relatively youthful squad and the departures of several experienced players over the summer, many people are predicting Northcote to spend the 2016 season fighting relegation. Despite this, South will expect a tough match due to recent history.
South’s record against Northcote City at John Cain Reserve is very average, with only two hard-fought wins in seven attempts since Northcote joined Victoria’s top flight in 2010. Northcote enjoys a narrow lead over South in head-to-head league meetings between the clubs but South remains undefeated in the last four meetings thanks to three wins and a draw.
Saturday’s match at John Cain Reserve kicks off at 5pm.
SMFC v Northcote City – Head to Head (League & Finals)
Matches Played: 13
Wins (SMFC): 4
Wins (NCFC): 5
First match: Northcote City 3-3 South Melbourne (13 March 2010, John Cain Reserve)
Last match: South Melbourne 3-0 Northcote City (23 August 2015, Lakeside Stadium)
Biggest Winning Margin (SMFC): 3-0 (23 August 2015, Lakeside Stadium)
Biggest Winning Margin (NCFC): 5-0 (08 May 2011, John Cain Reserve / 13 October 2013, Anderson Reserve)
Most Goals in a Match (SMFC): 3 (2010, 2011, 2015)
Most Goals in a Match (NCFC): 5 (2011, 2013)
Biggest Finals Win (SMFC): None
Biggest Finals Win (NCFC): 5-0 (13 October 2013, SS Anderson Reserve)