South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Maintain Three-Point Lead

South Maintain Three-Point Lead
Manuel Herrero v Bulleen Lions (1-0)

South Melbourne FC returned to winning form with a 1-0 home win over FC Bulleen Lions at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening. An early goal from Marcus Schroen proved the difference as Chris Taylor’s side maintained its three-point lead at the top of the PS4 NPL Victoria ladder.

South came into Sunday’s game on the back of an embarrassing performance against the Bentleigh Greens in FFA Cup qualifying. There were two forced changes as captain Michael Eagar and Matthew Foschini were both suspended (Eager for his red card against Bentleigh and Foschini for accruing five yellow cards in the league). Tim Mala partnered Luke Adams at centre-back, whilst Amadu Koroma, Andy Kecojevic and Marcus Schroen all made starts. Under 20s right-back Joshua Hodes and forward Brandon Jansz were both promoted to the First Team bench but neither was able to get onto the pitch.

The home side began the game well as it sought to make amends from last Tuesday night’s match. Milos Lujic had an early chance but fired his shot over the crossbar in a sign of intent. On 16 minutes, Schroen popped up to score what was the winning goal. Matthew Millar’s header off Nick Epifano’s corner fell to Schroen, who prodded the ball past Griffin McMaster on the second attempt after defender Bhardi Hysolli’s initial block on the line. Bulleen had a couple of chances to level proceedings but Nikola Roganovic made two excellent saves. The first save denied Ersin Kaya after he was put through by captain Matteo Ballan and the second was a fingertip save to deny Felix Rosman from scoring via a header.

Two substitutes almost got on the scoresheet for their sides in the second half. Former South player Andrew Cartanos – who had recently transferred to Bulleen from Heidelberg – curled a shot wide of Roganovic’s far post. Manuel Herrero – or Manolo as he is simply known – replaced Schroen on 67 minutes and produced an excellent run and shot that was well saved by McMaster, denying the Spaniard an excellent goal on his league debut for South.

The full-time whistle confirmed a 1-0 win to South in a scrappy match. Importantly, Taylor’s side returned to winning ways in the league and maintained their three-point advantage over the Bentleigh Greens on top of the ladder. Other promising signs included South’s defence keeping a clean sheet without its captain Eagar and the influential Foschini at defensive midfield. Both players will be available for selection for the upcoming game against Richmond, giving Taylor the opportunity to further strengthen his team.

South’s Senior Women were on show before the Senior Men and they recorded a 3-0 victory over the Melbourne Knights thanks to goals from Renee Laszczak, Caitlin Greiser and Sara Alberici. The Women’s Reserves lost 2-4 against the Knights with Lauren Boyd scoring both of South’s goals. The Men’s Under 20s game against FC Bulleen Lions was postponed and will be played at a later date.


Goal Scorer:
1-0: Marcus Schroen (16′)

South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK) / 12. Amadu KOROMA, 2. Tim MALA, 5. Luke ADAMS, 11. Brad NORTON (C) / 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS / 17. Marcus SCHROEN (15. Manuel HERRERO 67′), 18. Matthew MILLAR, 22. Andy KECOJEVIC, 7. Nick EPIFANO (14. Chris IRWIN 88′) / 9. Milos LUJIC.
Unused Subs: 21. Zaim ZENELI (GK), 25. Brandon JANSZ, 28. Joshua HODES.

FC Bulleen Lions:
1. Griffin McMASTER (GK), 3. Will ABBOTT, 4. Samual BORGHESI, 5. Alon BLUMGART (2. Andreas GOVAS 56′), 6. Bardhi HYSOLLI, 8. Matteo BALLAN (C), 9. Michael DISASI (33. Davide CARDAMONE 80′), 12. Christian CAVALLO (11. Andrew CARTANOS 65′), 18. Felix ROSMAN, 20. Andrew MULLETT, 23. Ersin KAYA.
Unused Subs: 16. Nathan TIDMARSH, 21. Tom BANFIELD (GK).

SMFC Melbourne City Toyota Man of the Match: Tim Mala
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Sunday 19 June 2016

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