South Melbourne FC travels to CB Smith Reserve to play Pascoe Vale on Friday night in yet another must-win game for the club.
Chris Taylor’s side returned to winning ways last Sunday with a 2-1 derby win against the Melbourne Knights at Lakeside Stadium. Matthew Millar scored a late headed goal to give South the three points and take it back into second place on the NPL Victoria ladder.
With two matches remaining before finals, South is in second place with just a slender one-point advantage over Heidelberg. South has two tough matches in Pascoe Vale and Green Gully to conclude the home & away season, whilst Heidelberg has a tough match on Sunday against Oakleigh before a straightforward final game against Melbourne Victory’s NPL side. This makes South’s trip to CB Smith Reserve on Friday a must-win game because three points will take South into the final round of the season with destiny in its own hands.
Captain Michael Eagar will be available for selection again, having served a mandatory one-game suspension against the Knights after accumulating five yellow cards in the league. It will be interesting to see if Taylor keeps his defence unchanged from last Sunday, with Matthew Millar doing an excellent job at right-back, Luke Adams and Kristian Konstantinidis the two centre-halves and Brad Norton in his usual left-back role.
Matthew Foschini was excellent as usual just in front of the defence and Stephen Hatzikostas also had a solid game. Up front, Spanish striker Manolo came off injured and will most likely miss the Pascoe Vale game. Leigh Minopoulos started on the bench against the Knights after suffering gastro during the week but with Manolo’s likely absence, he should start in the Spaniard’s place on Friday night.
Pascoe Vale will be looking to do a league double over South for the first time in their history, following their memorable 0-1 win at Lakeside Stadium back in May. Vitale Ferrate’s side had played the majority of the game with only ten men but Joseph Youssef’s goal on 63 minutes won the three points on the night. Pascoe Vale mathematically cannot make the finals but they will be looking to continue their recent excellent winning form.
South hasn’t scored in three visits to CB Smith Reserve in 2007, 2008 and 2015 – will this continue?
Friday night’s match at CB Smith Reserve kicks off at 8:15pm.
SMFC v Pascoe Vale – Head to Head (League & Finals)
Matches Played: 8
Wins (SMFC): 5
Wins (PVFC): 1
First match: Pascoe Vale 0-0 South Melbourne (1 June 2013, Hosken Reserve)
Last match: South Melbourne 0-1 Pascoe Vale (13 May 2016, Lakeside Stadium)
Biggest Winning Margin (SMFC): 3-0 (1 August 2014, Hosken Reserve)
Biggest Winning Margin (PVFC): 1-0 (13 May 2016, Lakeside Stadium)
Most Goals in a Match (SMFC): 3 (3-0 win) – (1 August 2014, Hosken Reserve)
Most Goals in a Match (PVFC): 2 (2-3 loss) – (25 Aug 2013 / 4 Sep 2015, Lakeside Stadium)
Biggest Finals Win (SMFC): 3-2 (4 September 2015, Lakeside Stadium)
Biggest Finals Win (PVFC): None