South Melbourne FC travels to Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Tuesday night to face the Bentleigh Greens in a mouthwatering Seventh Round FFA Cup Qualifying tie. The prize for the winning team is qualification for the 2016 Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 proper and a spot in the Dockerty Cup semi finals.
To get to this point in the competition, Bentleigh defeated Diamond Valley United on 18 March (6-1), Goulburn Valley Suns on 4 May (4-0) and Murray United on 25 May (3-0). South reached this stage of the competition by defeating Keysborough United on 19 March (10-0), Altona Magic on 20 April (3-0) and North Geelong Warriors on 1 June (2-0).
South and Bentleigh have enjoyed a league rivalry in recent seasons but have not met before in Dockerty Cup or FFA Cup competition. Both are in the top two of the NPL Victoria Championship standings, though South enjoys a three-point lead at the top of the ladder. Both teams played their last league match at home on Friday night, with South winning 2-0 against Port Melbourne and Bentleigh drawing 1-1 with Hume City.
Bentleigh goes into Tuesday night’s cup match confident due to its recent excellent record against South at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, having not been defeated by South at the venue since 2013. John Anastasiadis’ side will also feel confident having beaten South in the 2015 NPL Victoria Grand Final (3-1) and the 2016 pre-season FFV Community Shield (3-0), with the later being achieved at Kingston Heath.
South are being classified by some as underdogs for Tuesday night’s match but Chris Taylor’s side will be confident of winning the tie due to the fact that South defeated Bentleigh 2-1 in their most recent meeting in April. South is also on a three-game winning run across all competitions and have a better record than Bentleigh in head-to-head meetings, with seven wins, six losses and three draws in 16 meetings against the Greens.
Tuesday night’s cup tie kicks off at 7:30pm at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.