South Melbourne FC hosts Port Melbourne at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night as Chris Taylor’s side looks to maintain top position on the PS4 NPL Victoria ladder heading into a very busy schedule.
South returned to winning form in the league with a comprehensive 3-1 win against Northcote City at Lakeside Stadium last Sunday. Milos Lujic scored a hat-trick in that game, adding to the goal he scored in the 2-0 win over North Geelong in FFA Cup qualifying four nights earlier and taking his 2016 personal tally to 18 goals in all competitions.
In South’s way on Friday night will be a Port Melbourne side that is sitting exactly in mid-table on the NPL Victoria ladder – in seventh spot out of 14 teams – with 6 wins, 6 losses and 3 draws from their fifteen league matches this season. Port should not be underestimated though as Eric Vassiliadis’ side is still in contention to qualify for the Dockerty Cup semi finals and Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 proper. They come into Friday night’s match with only one win in their last four league games, with that win coming last Sunday against Melbourne Victory’s NPL side.
Tim Mala made a welcome return to South’s defence for the games against North Geelong and Northcote City, taking some of the pressure off his fellow defenders that have had to cover the absence of Luke Adams and Kristian Konstantinidis. Marcus Schroen provided two assists for Lujic against Northcote and Brad Norton had two solid performances in both cup and league games last week, all very positive signs as South enjoys this period of five straight league matches at Lakeside Stadium.
Friday night’s match at Lakeside Stadium kicks off at 8:30pm.
SMFC v Port Melbourne – Head to Head (League & Finals)
Matches Played: 7
Wins (SMFC): 5
Wins (PMFC): 1
First match: South Melbourne 0-1 Port Melbourne (30 June 2013, Lakeside Stadium)
Last match: Port Melbourne 0-2 South Melbourne (4 March 2016, SS Anderson Reserve)
Biggest Winning Margin (SMFC): 4-0 (22 September 2013, Anderson Reserve)
Biggest Winning Margin (PMFC): 1-0 (30 June 2013, Lakeside Stadium)
Most Goals in a Match (SMFC): 4 (2 times – 2013 and 2015)
Most Goals in a Match (PMFC): 2 (3 times – 2014, 2015 x2)
Biggest Finals Win (SMFC): None
Biggest Finals Win (PMFC): None