South takes bragging rights in fiery original Melbourne derby
By Brandon Galgano (@bgalgano94)
PHOTO: Cindy Nitsos
South Melbourne has secured a vital victory in a fierce edition of the original Melbourne derby against Melbourne Knights at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Knights midfielder Ben Surey opened the scoring with a well taken finish in the opening 15 minutes of the match before a Milos Lujic penalty at half time and an Andy Brennan strike early in the second period secured the three points for the hosts.
It was the visitors though who took the lead early through Surey classy, composed opener.
Following some great work from winger Adrian Zahra, the ball deflected back towards the English midfielder who expertly tucked the ball home into the top corner to make it 1-0.
In a fiery affair that saw both sides shown a number of cautions throughout the match, it was Bonel Obradovic who went closest for the hosts with his cross-come-shot beating Knights goalkeeper Chris May but rattling the crossbar in the 26th minute.
Milos Lujic then had a golden chance to equalise in the 36th minute after some great work from Brennan to bring the ball down, but the big man fired his effort well over the crossbar.
The real moment of controversy came at the end of the first half though as the referee awarded a contentious penalty for the hosts.
Iqbal Jawadi weaved his way into the box before being hauled down with seemingly minimal contact. The referee pointed straight to the spot, much to the disgust of Knights players and fans.
Lujic made no mistake from the spot with the final kick of the first half to take his side into the break on level terms as the sides clashed on their way into the rooms.
Just nine minutes after the restart, South took the lead through Brennan.
The South Melbourne striker found himself one-on-one with May before sliding the ball home past the keeper to give his side the lead.
May then came to the rescue for his side with 20 minutes to play as Lujic and then Stirton were denied on the goal line by May before the ball was cleared.
And despite late pressure from the visitors, who tested Nikola Roganovic with a free kick late in the match, it was South Melbourne who held on for a priceless derby victory.
South Melbourne FC 2 (Lujic 45’ [P], Brennan 54’) defeated Melbourne Knights 1 (Surey 13’) at Lakeside Stadium.
South Melbourne XI: 1 Nikola ROGANOVIC, 4 Michael EAGAR ©, 5 Luke ADAMS, 6 Bonel OBRADOVIC, 8 Matthew THEODORE (21 Jake BARKER-DAISH 60’), 9 Milos LUJIC, 10 David STIRTON, 11 Brad NORTON, 12 Iqbal JAWADI, 13 Dane MILOVANOVIC, 17 Andy BRENNAN (27 Leigh MINOPOULOS 86’)
Unused Substitutes: 7 Nick EPIFANO, 23 Andy KECOJEVIC, 28 Rory BRIAN,
Melbourne Knights XI: 1 Chris MAY, 11 Anthony COLOSIMO (9 Jacob COLOSIMO 78’), 12 Ivan GRGIC, 5 Milan BATUR, 18 Josh BREKALO, 4 Ben SUREY, 6 Tomislav USKOK, 15 Alex DAO, 21 Stipo ANDRIJASEVIC, 23 Adrian ZAHRA (7 Christopher TALAJIC 60’), 21 Andrew BARISIC
Unused Substitutes: 25 Hrvoje CAKARUN, 3 Adrian DEL MONACO, 2 Luke JURCIC