Almanac Soccer – NPL Round 3: Derby’s Downpour Delight as South Melbourne brush aside Knights

Memoir of The Geezer

 

 

“Everyone’s back defending a corner whilst you provide an outlet upfield. Standing just inside your own half, towards the left wing, you’re anticipating the big hoof forward. The ball in behind. One defender stays close, tracking your every movement. A second sits a few yards in front, uninterested, watching the action on the pitch adjacent. Neither should be a problem, though, if the ball’s right. You’ve pace to burn. And bags of it. Against two dobbers. Piece of piss.

 

After a scramble in the box, a goal line clearance and a swing ‘n’ a miss from Big T, the ball’s eventually cleared up field where you’re ready to pounce. Onside, you time your run to perfection. The ball bounces just over the half way line. You open up your legs. Turn on the afterburners. And pull clear of the two defenders. Only the keeper to beat. But then, disaster.

 

As you reach top speed you feel a sharp, shooting pain. Your right hammy pings. You pull up immediately. Clutching the back of your leg. Proper Michael Owen job. It’s a bad ‘un. You know straight away. There’s no need for the magic sponge. And you’re definitely not running it off. You give the gaffer the signal with your index fingers. Sub. Two teammates help you off the pitch.

 

You’re not coming back from this. Not now you’re close to 30. Pace was your biggest asset. Now it’s gone. You’ll never be the same again. That’s you done. Retire. Hang the boots up.” – @trekuartista95

 

Photo by @sunday_league

 

 

Welloffside’s Photo Of The Week

 

 Roberto Carlos
Pictured here during Le Tournoi de France in 1997.
Photo by Mark Leech

 

 

 

Derby’s Downpour Delight as South Melbourne brush aside Knights

 

After my pita bread conundrum last week, I ordered another Souva as I visited Lakeside Stadium for the first time this season whilst their restaurant in the member’s area was under new management.

 

Curious to see how the quality of the food changed, I saw the dish plonked in front of me and I see another bread roll scandal on my hands. This time it looked more like a subway bread roll that fit in quite the content. The roll was similar of texture to Turkish bread but it was dry and stale.

 

Criminal.

 

The lamb itself was 10/10. Rich in flavour but so soft and light. Stark comparison to the usual overcooked toughened lamb cooked up by the lone Greek or Cypriot senior man at other local grounds.

 

But for the sake of my sanity, wrap your God damn souvas in pita bread.

 

That’s much like how the game felt throughout the night, good content but no overall buzz from the experience. It lacked an element of excitement of match day experience for a derby fixture.

 

The main reason is for some bizarre and unexplainable reason, no Melbourne Knights fans showed up, especially Melbourne Croatia fans who always make a presence and bring in their own noise to support their side.

 

Has the pandemic of bureaucratic overreach with their restrictive powers killed off any enthusiasm of going out of the house? It certainly reflects strongly on the A-League attendance more importantly, it’s an embarrassment for that league to be in that sort of rut as we speak.

 

To report on the game, Knights had simply no attacking creativity up front. There were moments for them to lay off the crucial pass for a goal scoring opportunity but they have either made the wrong critical choice of pass or they have run into a brick wall.

 

Clarendon Corner were in full voice for the majority of the game and delirium ensued as South broke the deadlock late in the first half.

 

A throw-in was required by the corner flag. Mikkola decided to go long, straight from the Stoke City playbook. The infamous Rory Delap long throw-ins into the penalty box had become such a strange phenomenon as it become more probable for goals to be scored than corners for Stoke.

 

The ball floats and travels a lot slower in comparison to whipping it in from a corner, the goalkeeper would be rooted to the spot, shitting his pants, looking on helplessly as his defenders try to tustle with multiple men on the forward line. One small tap on the forehead to the corner of the net and it was in.

 

Same story here. Patrick Langlois headed it in far post whilst fighting off three defenders.

 

1 – 0 at half time.

 

 

South rise for a header [Source: Author]

 

The second half, South continued to focus on their attacking play by playing their wingers out wide and feed it to their towering number 9 but it just did not work out no matter how hard they tried. Ball played to their feet with a hold up play but Knights managed to steal the ball and hoof it down long.

 

Although, the second goal had come from running down the wing. A cut inside but stopped short from their centre back sticking out a foot, bundled the ball to the top of the box for Jai Ingham to pick it up and drive it bottom left corner. Too fast for the keeper and out of reach.

 

South kept a clean sheet and won their third straight contest to cement top spot on the ladder for the week.

 

Next round they travel to St Albans Dinamo who have upset Avondale 1-0 away from home. Avondale were one of the early predictors to finish strong within the top three, whilst St Albans – who have historically been within the revolving door of promotion and relegation – are looking to be an interesting challenger this year.

 

To see Luke’s published album of the game, click HERE

 

 

That winning feeling [Source: Author]

 

 

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Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

 

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