Clinical South gatecrashes Warriors' party
A clinical South Melbourne has gatecrashed North Geelong Warriors’ party and left with all three points, as it outclassed the newly-promote side to win 3-0 at Elcho Park on Saturday evening.
In front of one of the biggest home crowds in recent years, the reigning champs capitalised on their chances to score twice in the first half, through David Stirton and Milos Lujic, to spoil the home team’s return to the Victorian top flight after 18 long years.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t all one-way traffic in the first half, as the Warriors had two golden chances to score within the opening ten minutes; striker Juso Julardzija’s goalpost grazing effort in the second minute almost giving the home side a remarkable lead.
But it wasn’t to be, as South opened the scoring on 31 minutes through David Stirton, whose header on the end of the cross found the back of the net.
Less than nine minutes later, Milos Lujic slammed a loose ball past goalkeeper Daniel Zilic to double his team’s lead.
After the recess, North had the bulk of the possession in the opening 15 minutes, but couldn’t capitalise.
The visitors took their foot off the pedal for most of the second half, yet still managed to net their third in the 83rd minute through sub Andy Brennan.
Despite the loss, the Warriors put up a gutsy effort and unearthed a star of the future, in 17-year-old Nikola Jurkovic who played the entire game and was undoubtedly the Warriors’ on the pitch.
After the game, North coach Micky Colina was pleased with the effort from his troops.
“I can’t fault the players’ effort today. There is no question about their desire out there, they’re just a little naïve at times,” Colina said.
“The 3-0 scoreline was not a true indication of the game. In the end, we created many chances and didn’t capitalise, they created a few and did exactly that.
“That all comes down to experience.”
North Geelong 0 lost to South Melbourne 3 (D. Stirton 31’, M. Lujic 40’, A. Brennan 83’) at Elcho Park.
North Geelong: 1 Daniel ZILIC, 2 Darren LEWIS, 3 Matthew TOWNLEY, 4 Nikola JURKOVIC, 6 Josh PUGH, 8 Vito CICHELLO (17 Nicholas JURCIC 65’), 10 Rob ZADWORNY, 14 Mark PALEKA, 23, Michael ANDERSON (21 Matija DRAGOVIC 46’), 77 Juso JULARDZIJA, 99 Nathan LONG.
Unused subs: 5 Anthony BANOVAC, 19 Milan SEKULIC, 31 Antonio BARESIC.
Yellow cards: Pugh 34’, Jurkovic 37’.
Red cards: None.
South Melbourne: 1 Nikola ROGANOVIC, 2 Sheptim MALA, 3 Kristian KONSTANTINIDIS, 4 Michael EAGER, 5 Luke ADAMS, 6 Bomel OBRADOVIC (13 Dane MILOVANOVIC 75’), 7 Nicholas EPIFANO, 9 Milos LUJIC (15 Cody MARTINDALE 86’), 10 David STIRTON (17 Andy BRENNAN 78’), 11 Bradley NORTON, 12 Icbal JAWADI.
Unused subs: 28 Rory BRIAN, 27 Leigh MINOPOULOS.
Yellow cards: Obradovic 18’, Mala 55’.
Red cards: None
PHOTO: Cindy Nitsos