South Melbourne FC meets North Geelong at SS Anderson Reserve on Wednesday night in Sixth Round FFA Cup Qualifying, with the winning team to move within one game of qualifying for the Round of 32 proper.
As the designated home team, North Geelong tried to have the lighting at their Elcho Park ground at a satisfactory level in order to host South in this cup tie but had to eventually concede and move the game to SS Anderson Reserve. The draw for the next round of the FFA Cup was held on Monday and both North Geelong and South know that the winner will be travelling to Kingston Heath to play the Bentleigh Greens for a spot in both the FFA Cup Round of 32 proper and the Dockerty Cup semi finals.
Both teams go into the game on the back of derby losses in their respective leagues. North Geelong suffered a 1-2 home defeat in their NPL 2 West derby against the St Albans Saints, whilst South was humiliated 5-0 by Heidelberg United at the Olympic Village on Sunday night. The only consolation for Chris Taylor’s side was the fact that Bentleigh stumbled against Bulleen Lions on Monday night, keeping South ahead of them by point on top of the NPL Victoria ladder.
North Geelong defeated South Shepparton in March (7-1) and FC Clifton Hill in April (5-2) to set up their cup tie against South, who started their cup campaign with a big win against Keysborough in March (10-0) before eventually getting over the line against Altona Magic in April (3-0). North Geelong – like Altona – will also prove to be difficult opposition, with Micky Colina’s side currently in second place on the NPL 2 West ladder and only a point behind leaders Melbourne City. South has struggled to play against the lower-ranked teams in the NPL this season, plus the 3-0 score against Altona Magic in the last round of the cup was not a true reflection of the game itself. Colina and his team will look at that as inspiration to cause an upset on Wednesday night.
South has won the two previous meetings between the sides, with both games played last year when North Geelong were in Victoria’s top flight before eventually being relegated. South won the first meeting at Elcho Park 3-0 (28 February) before enjoying a 7-1 home win at Lakeside Stadium (29 May).
Wednesday night’s cup tie kicks off at 7:30pm at SS Anderson Reserve, Port Melbourne.