Bentleigh Greens progressed to the 2016 Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 and the Dockerty Cup semi finals with an emphatic 4-0 victory over South Melbourne FC at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Tuesday night.
Luke Adams was rushed straight back into South’s starting eleven after returning from a triumphant OFC Nations Cup with New Zealand over the past month and he was one of South’s few shining lights. John Anastasiadis’ side constantly pressed South throughout the whole game and it just seemed a matter of time before goals would arrive. The first goal arrived shortly before halftime via a South own goal, with the ball deflecting off the unfortunate Matthew Foschini and past Nikola Roganovic.
The cup tie was over as a contest by the hour mark, with two more goals to the Greens and with South captain Michael Eagar given his marching orders. Chris Lucas found former South Championship player Tyson Holmes unmarked at the edge of the area and teed him up to fire past Nikola Roganovic to double his side’s lead. Just a few minutes later, Eagar was sent off by referee Shaun Evans after picking up a second yellow card following a handball.
Holmes and Lucas combined again for the third goal a few minutes after Eagar’s dismissal. Holmes cleanly dispossessed Iqi Jawadi in midfield before setting Lucas up with an excellent through-ball for the striker to finish past Roganovic. Things went from bad to worse in the 78th minute when Bentleigh captain Wayne Wallace met an in-swinging corner at the near post to head home the fourth and final goal of the match.
With nothing to lose and with one less player, South threw bodies forward in the final half-hour in search of goals and Adams – playing as a makeshift centre-forward – headed the ball onto the crossbar. Spanish striker Manuel Herrero came off the bench to partner Milos Lujic up front and showed promise but was unable to score. South had left huge gaps in defence as a result of pushing forward and were thankful largely to Roganovic for not conceding even more goals.
Apart from missing out on the FFA Cup Round of 32, Tuesday’s result also means that South cannot defend its 2015 Dockerty Cup triumph, another disappointing blow for the club.
There is still plenty for Chris Taylor’s side to play for in 2016, with the aim now to win a third consecutive NPL Victoria Premiership, win the Victorian Grand Final and then win the National Finals Series, which brings automatic qualification to the 2017 FFA Cup.
South’s immediate attention now turns to the upcoming visit of FC Bulleen Lions to Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off is at 4pm.
FINAL SCORE: BENTLEIGH GREENS 4-0 SOUTH MELBOURNE (HT: 1-0)
1-0: Own Goal (38′)
2-0: Tyson Holmes (53′)
3-0: Chris Lucas (59′)
4-0: Wayne Wallace (78′)
1. Ryan SCOTT (GK), 5. Jack WEBSTER, 8. Wayne WALLACE (C), 9. Chris LUCAS, 10. Tyson HOLMES, 11. Dion KIRK (4. Nick APOSTOLOPOULOS 79′), 15. Ross ARCHIBALD (12. Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH 65′), 16. Troy RUTHVEN, 19. Kieran DOVER, 22. Ryan PACZKOWSKI, 24. Luke PILKINGTON.
Unused Subs: 14. Kamal IBRAHIM, 18. Matthew THURTELL, 21. Daniel NEESHAM (GK).
South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK) / 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR (C) (sent off 57′), 5. Luke ADAMS, 11. Brad NORTON / 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS (17. Marcus SCHROEN 57′), 23. Matthew FOSCHINI / 18. Matthew MILLAR, 99. Iqi JAWADI (15. Manuel HERRERO 60′), 7. Nick EPIFANO / 9. Milos LUJIC.
Unused Subs: 12. Amadu KOROMA, 21. Zaim ZENELI (GK), 22. Andy KECOJEVIC
SMFC Melbourne City Toyota Man of the Match: Luke Adams
Venue: Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
Date: Tuesday 14 June 2016