On Monday night South Melbourne travelled to The Grange Reserve to play Kingston City in Round 13 of the National Premier League. Jesse Daley’s inclusion in the starting 11 was the only change Chris Taylor made from last week’s Bentleigh clash, while Stefan Zinni returned from his spell at the Western Sydney Wanderers to take a spot on the bench.
South shot out of the blocks, taking a 1-0 lead in the first minute when a Nick Epifano shot was turned into the back of the net by Milos Luijc for his ninth goal of the year in all competitions. South continued to dominate possession as the first half went on with Kingston getting occasional chances against the run of play.
In the 34th minute Kingston pounced when former South winger Chris Irwin got on the end of a through ball to fire a shot into the bottom left corner and send the teams into the sheds level at half time.
South continued to dominate possession in the second half with great chances falling to Schroen and Luijc to restore South’s advantage, but neither was able to capitalise. The team really lifted when Chris Taylor brought on Stefan Zinni in the 66th minute. Zinni’s bursts of speed down the wings exposed a tired Kingston defence in the later stages of the game.
In the 74th minute some great build up play from South was finished by Matt Millar who received a flick on from Lujic and chipped the advancing keeper to put South back in front with 15 minutes remaining. South controlled play after that coming under no real threat of relinquishing their lead and ran out the game 2-1 victors.
That result sees south complete the first half of the season in 5th position, 3 points behind leaders Heidelberg. South return to lakeside this Sunday to play the Bulleen Lions while Kingston host Oakleigh.
Kingston City 1 (Irwin 34)
South Melbourne 2 (Lujic 1 Millar 74)
The Grange Reserve