South Melbourne FC will look to end a very disappointing week on a high note when it hosts FC Bulleen Lions at Lakeside Stadium in PS4 NPL Victoria action on Sunday afternoon.
Chris Taylor’s side suffered a triple-blow on Tuesday night. South was hammered 4-0 by the Bentleigh Greens and was knocked out of qualifying for both the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 proper and the Dockerty Cup semi finals, with South unable to defend its 2015 Dockerty Cup triumph.
The only consolation from Tuesday’s humiliating defeat is the fact that South can now focus solely on maintaining and strengthening its three-point lead at the top of the PS4 NPL Victoria table. Winning a third straight Premiership will give South the best opportunity to do two things: win the NPL Victoria Championship (via a Grand Final win); and qualify automatically for the 2017 FFA Cup (by winning the Australian NPL Finals Series). This begins with the visit of FC Bulleen Lions on Sunday.
Bulleen have strengthened in the mid-season transfer window, with Andreas Govas (Heidelberg) and Alon Blumgart (Green Gully) the most notable additions to the team. Sami Nour caused South all sorts of problems in the earlier league meeting between the sides in March at Veneto Club and South can expect nothing less than another difficult assignment from Dom Barba’s side on Sunday. Bulleen stormed to a 2-0 lead back in March but South managed to fight back and secure an unlikely 2-2 draw late in the game.
Sunday will only be the second time that South has played against the entity now known as FC Bulleen Lions, however several Italian-backed clubs have merged and de-merged throughout the years to form what is FC Bulleen Lions today. One of those old clubs was Box Hill, a team that kept getting promoted then relegated from the old Victorian State League in the 1960s and 1970s.
Box Hill played ten top-flight league matches against South Melbourne Hellas in 1961, 1969 and from 1971 to 1973. Hellas won 9 of their 10 league meetings, with the biggest win being a 7-0 thumping at Middle Park on 27 May 1972.
South’s senior men’s and women’s teams will be playing on Lakeside Stadium on Sunday in what is only the second double-header in 2016. Socrates Nicolaidis’ women’s side will get proceedings underway at 1:30pm before the senior men kick off at 4pm.
SMFC v Bulleen Lions – Head to Head (League & Finals)
Matches Played: 1
Wins (SMFC): 0
Wins (BLFC): 1
First/Last match: Bulleen Lions 2-2 South Melbourne (14 March 2016, Veneto Club)
Biggest Winning Margin (SMFC): None
Biggest Winning Margin (BLFC): None
Most Goals in a Match (SMFC): 2 (2-2 draw, 14 March 2016, Veneto Club)
Most Goals in a Match (BLFC): 2 (2-2 draw, 14 March 2016, Veneto Club)
Biggest Finals Win (SMFC): None
Biggest Finals Win (BLFC): None