Almanac Soccer: Recap – South Hold on For Top Spot, Just Barely

Memoir of The Geezer

 

“Winger’s had you on toast all game. Megged you twice and already bagged a brace. You’re blowing with half an hour still to play. No subs either. Big Dave cried off ten minutes before the 10:30 meet. Shithouse. You’re fuming.

A rare bad touch from the winger provides a chance to vent your frustration. Stick one on ‘em. Show some passion. Two footed. Off the ground. Over the ball. It’s a bad’un. Career ender. Nobody wants to see that. Ball gesture with your hands job as you’re getting to your feet. You’re clutching. Straight red. Early shower. 22-man brawl in the middle of the pitch. Well done, dickhead.”

Post by @trekuartista95 via Instagram

Photo via @oshexploration 

 

Photo of The Week

 

Remembering the late former Everton goalkeeper Gordon West who was born OTD (April 24th) in 1943. West played in 2 FA Cup finals for Everton, winning in 1966 but was a runner up in 1968. He died in 2012 aged 69.

Post via Twitter by @FootballArchive

 

 

Recap: South Hold on For Top Spot, Just Barely

Let’s back-track two weeks ago. South travelled to Dandenong Thunder with the knowledge that Avondale had scuppered their chance to be one point behind South Melbourne for top spot by losing to Thunder 2-1, a huge upset. Avondale did everything they could, including throwing the kitchen sink but to no avail after dominating possession and taking their chances for granted. Thunder managed to only create two chances and they both converted into goals.

Thunder’s venue remains to be an unwanted place to be in for away teams as they are met with a hostile crowd all around the fencing by the pitch and the players aren’t afraid to get messy with meaty tackles and cause multiple confrontational flashpoints.

It was a rough affair and South managed to bundle in the ball in the second half to take the lead, only for Thunder to catch them against the run of play and score an equalizer. South just managed to hold on for a point as Thunder were playing for the winner whilst their Albanian contingent roared them on behind the goals. Concerns grew by the travelling fans if the team is dipping in form with minimal chances created in a game in which they expected their team to win.

The following game, South travelled to Jack Edwards Reserve in a Greek derby fixture against Oakleigh Cannons on Easter Monday.

Oakleigh were coming off a 6-2 drubbing over Avondale which shocked the competition. The Cannons continued the trend of being late bloomers in the competition where they start slow with poor results but finish off strongly by the end of the season coming close to clinching the premiership as we witnessed here.

Beaming with confidence, Oakleigh scored first early on but were immediately responded with a Marcus Schroen equalizer which was a low driven shot outside the box and into the bottom left corner.

 

Schroen’s Equalizer

 

Just before halftime Oakleigh went ahead again with an awkward cross into the box that deceived the defenders and tapped in.

The second half was a totally different affair and an absolute snooze fest. Oakleigh lost all momentum to attack and opted for an anti-football approach instead and parked the bus all game. The shithousery worked a treat since South have been struggling with attacking chemistry and figuring out how to create the critical final pass for someone to score, and it was been a growing trend for some time against top opposition. Lots of wayward crosses for the goalkeeper to collect each time and it ended in a 2-1 loss for South.

Unnecessarily, Oakleigh’s manager Christ Taylor was sent off for dissent towards the linesman (or the referee) arguing over something quite stupid as to perhaps who won the throw-in or free kick. Hard to tell from across the ground but it did make the home team’s bench looks totally stupid.

Now the question remained, will South bounce back on ANZAC Day as they play away to Altona Magic?

Well, the question didn’t matter at this point because Jesus Christ I have probably found the best footy snack to date that no souvlaki or cevapi could ever top it.

 

 

I present to you, the beef brisket roll. Slow cooked for 12 hours and provided with a homemade special sauce. One could describe the sauce with a sweet and tangy taste but with a smokey essence hovering in the open air in your mouth, however not too dominant, while you scoff down the ultra soft brisket pieces in a fresh white bread role for only $15. Altona Magic have truly provided something magical.

Oh yeah, so anyway, about the game.

One could say that Altona Magic could have taken away the win so early in the game because of their total control in the midfield and having multiple chances to score. Some were absolute sitters and near misses, but by God, South’s number 1 man on the goal line was a juggernaut.

Javier Lopez producing some amazing saves and channelling his inner Manuel Neuer by reading the play correctly by rushing out of his goal to sweep the ball right before Altona had any breathing space to have a shot. Scores remained 0-0 as South continued to struggle to created any threatening chances themselves.

The second half historically rhymed with what was witnessed with Oakleigh. Altona were on the back burner and allowed South to apply attacking pressure for the majority of the half and just seemed completely burnt out from making any runs down the wing and play for a winner. South’s fullbacks had smartened up and understood their attacking intentions. Altona were just met by a wall of steel to the satisfactory of Lopez who was not required as much to make more crucial saves.

Eventually Marcus Schroen was put through on goal. Altona’s keeper was quick to come out to restrict any space for a shot and dived in to smother the ball, however a tap of the ball to the right and Schroen took the brunt of the force to win a penalty.

Jankovic the designated taker, reliable as ever, piece of cake. South can return back to winning form as the clock ticks down to full time. Nope.

Jankovic shot low and central. The keeper saved with his legs and in the follow up, a defender rushed in to block the second shot and send the ball over the cross bar. Home fans in delirium and the keeper celebrated like he had scored a winner.

A deflated feeling to conceding the fact that tonight may not be the night and the season could fall apart with a poor form of results snowballing.

Corner taken soon after, Sawyer leapt as high as a professional basketballer going in for a dunk, towering over everyone else. Clean header, beaten the keeper, ball hit the woodwork.

You could hear the loud groans of the travelling Hellas supporters.

89th minute, another corner. Schroen whips it in and Sawyer, for the 2nd attempt, manages to head the ball cleanly. Driven low this time, keeper slow to react, and that millisecond pause of silence right at the moment the sound of the net makes, as it bulges outwards by the ball. Huge relief and anxiety gone.

Sawyer won it at the death for South as he runs towards the corner to celebrate with the fans. Full time shortly after.

 

Celebrations by the travelling fans

 

Pass me a cigarette lad, because that came very close to a stressful goalless draw.

South to host Port Melbourne at home, who had been fighting in the top 3 ladder positions and have conceded the least number of goals, but also score some of the least as well. They are going to be an extremely stubborn team to deal with. Game on.

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

 

 

To return to the www.footyalmanac.com.au  home page click HERE

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.

Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE

One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE

Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE

Leave a Comment

*