There’s little doubt confidence at Lakeside is flying sky-high at the moment after the form team of the competition knocked over NPL league leader Heidelberg United 3-0 at AAMI Park last Sunday evening. A brace of goals to Nick Epifano and a single to striker Milos Lujic made it 10 undefeated league matches for Souths.
The South juggernaut should continue on its merry way in a home league match against St Albans Saints on Sunday before coming up against another major rival, Bentleigh Greens.
Third-placed South will take on second-placed Bentleigh Greens at Jack Edwards Reserve this Thursday in a Dockerty Cup semifinal. Can South’s momentum get them past an opponent who have consistently proven to be very difficult to defeat in recent meetings?
One thing’s for certain, both teams will be fired up for a fixture which never fails to produce considerable feeling between the two. The last meeting in the league a little over a month ago ended in a scoreless draw but not before six yellow cards and two red cards were brandished by the referee. The Greens lost two defenders Archibald and Jankovic to red cards. Greens Coach John Anastasiadis will be urging a more disciplined performance from his team.
In the other midweek Dockerty Cup semifinal, league leader Heidelberg United will meet Hume City at JL Murphy Reserve in Port Melbourne on Wednesday night. The Bergers, who are trophyless in the NPL era, will be keen to make the Dockerty Cup final and will be warm favourites to beat a Hume City side who have only one win in their last eight league matches, although the last meeting in the league between these two resulted in a 1-0 victory to Hume.
But before that game, the Bergers face another tough derby challenge when they host Oakleigh Cannons at Olympic Village this coming Sunday. With the Bergers still smarting from their 3-0 defeat to South, they will be determined to bounce back and not give further ground at the top of the table, against an out of sorts Cannons team who has just one win from their last five matches.
In other NPL 1 matches this weekend, both Kingston City and Port Melbourne Sharks will be looking for points in matches away to Hume City and at home to North Geelong Warriors respectively, in their bids to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle in the run home.
In NPL 2 W action this Saturday, league leader Northcote City host Springvale White Eagles in a cross-conference match. Last week, City’s match away to Ballarat was abandoned due to fog with the visitors leading 2-0. Currently 11 games undefeated, City should be able to extend their unbeaten run to 12 undefeated games against the Eagles.