Saturday, 9 November 2002 12:00 AM

With Newcastle losing to the Kingz, South Melbourne could have stepped up to outright third position on the NSL table, but fell short of a result at Ballymore Stadium on Saturday night.

Fortunately for the Blue and White’s, Adelaide City, Sydney United and Melbourne Knights were all on the losing end, which enabled South Melbourne to hold onto fourth position.

South Melbourne dominated proceedings as Brisbane played a very defensive game, putting all eleven players behind the ball, trying to catch the away side on the counter attack. South had to be patient with their attacks but fell behind against the run of play early, through a Kris Trajanovski 12th minute goal.

South went into the break a goal down, but hit back in the 53rd minute when Vaughan Coveny struck after good lead up play from Peter Buljan. The game then had all the characteristics for a South Melbourne victory as Danny Wright’s side continued to press forward, creating numerous chances to finish off bottom placed Brisbane.

All of South’s good work came undone in the 80th minute, when Brisbane captain Stuart McLaren scored the winner through a soft goal, after two miss kicks saw the ball cross Galekovic’s goal line.

Danny Wright was disappointed with the loss but was pleased with the way his side played saying it was our best performance for a number of weeks.

“We had possession of the ball for 75 per cent of the time. It was one of our best performances of the season but we conceded two very soft goals from lapses of concentration,” said Wright.

The South coach was also delighted with midfielder Zeljko who played his first match for the season after being cleared to play earlier in the week.

“The other thing was Zeljko Susa. He was playing his first game, he lasted 80 minutes and he was one of the best on the park.

“He was outstanding. He put himself about and he was a class above anyone else.”

Nick Tolios sustained some bruising to his elbow but will be fit for this Sunday’s home match against Kingz FC. Apart from Tolios’ elbow, there were no injuries on the weekend, which is a positive sign, leading into this weekend Round 13 clash.