A well organised South Melbourne outfit did just enough to grind out a win against an out of sorts Melbourne Knights outfit which only woke up and began putting some real pressure on the opposition goal in the last 15 minutes.
The match opened up with some very free play from both teams, although South Melbourne did look to have some luck on their side with many stray passes finding their man, while the Knights had the bad luck of having the same sorts of passes being turned over – turning attack into defence. South Melbourne’s first chance came in the 27th minute with new signing Joe Keenan cutting into the box around Daniel Rocco and curling the ball past an outstretched Ante Loncaric. It was as this stage that South Melbourne sat back and soaked up pressure from the Knights link up play between Ben Surey and Kevin Townson who beat South captain Ramazan Tavsancioglou on numerous occasions but his crosses to the lone Jean-Charles Dubois were cleared with ease. Dubois was cleverly shut out of the game being double marked, while the usually potent Josip Magdic looked out of sorts going forward.
Half time came with the score locked at 0-1 to South and the Knights would really need to lift their game to get back into and on top of the contest.
Coach Ivan Duzel made a double substitution at the 65th minute, taking off Jacob Colosimo for brother Anthony and the injured Liam Cannell for Gazmend Ajdini. The game from this point took a turn for the better for the Knights who stepped up a gear but just couldn’t find a way past the South defence which was bogged down for much of the game – although their quick counter attacks were very dangerous with the Knights defence caught out with four attackers onto duo Tomislav Skara and Daniel Rocco – some bad luck for South and their inability to exploit their numerical superiority key to the Knights keeping the score at 0-1.
The pendulum had swung in favour of the Knights with Gazmend Ajdini having a golden opportunity to equalise in the 80th minute, his lob beat keeper Peter Zois but not the crossbar.
Bryan Bran had a golden opportunity minutes later as a corner dropped in front of him, but his toe poke went just wide.
It just wasn’t to be for the Knights who looked like they just didn’t click. An important win for South in the bag while the Knights travel to Paisley Park to take on Altona and get the season back on track – an hopefully begin the climb up the table.
Antony Loncaric, Ben Surey, Anthony Bran, Daniel Rocco, Liam Cannell (Gazmend Ajdinl 65’), Josip Magdic, Kevin Townson, Adrian Zahra (Joseph Franjic 88’), Thomas Skara, Jean Dubois, Jacob Colosimo (Anthony Colosimo 65’)
Peter Zois, Steve O’Dor, Eddie Cetkin, Rama Tavsancioglu, Sam Torrens (Marinos Gasparis 77’), Daniel Vasilevski, Carl Recchia, Fernando De Moraes (Joseph Youssef 72’), Sebastian Petrovic, Gianni De Nittis (Yusuf Yusuf 86’), Joey Keenan
Venue: Knights Stadium
Date: Sunday 18th April 2010