Super South puts seven past North Geelong
By James Manton
A devastating second half from South Melbourne has led it to a 7-1 thrashing of cellar dweller North Geelong on Friday night.
Despite the absence of talismanic striker Milos Lujic, South suffered no problems as it thrashed the hapless Warriors to move top of the ladder.
The hosts managed the best possible start as within three minutes the ball was in the Warriors' net after a Nicholas Epifano shot took a wicked deflection off Michael Grgic to wrongfoot Daniel Zilic in goals.
South Melbourne nearly doubled its lead just a minute later after Leigh Minopoulos' cross found Andy Brennan in the box, whose shot was kept out by Zilic.
South controlled the possession and opportunities throughout the rest of the first half, but Zilic made a number of imperious saves to keeper the visitors in the match going into the break.
The flood gates were well and truly opened in the second half, as Minopoulos began the rout with a tap-in after an Epifano run and cross across goal.
Epifano once again proved the playmaker for the hosts as not long after setting up Minopoulos he put Brennan through clear on goal, with the attacker calmly finishing past the onrushing Zilic.
Two assists in 10 minutes wasn't enough for Epifano as once again his passing split the Warriors' backs, allowing for Andy Kecojevic to round the onrushing keeper and score in an empty net.
Epifano nearly had a goal himself after a quick break led to he and Minopoulos two-on-one with Zilic, but he somehow found himself offside after Minopoulos unselfishly passed him the ball inside the box which would have led to a tap-in into an open net.
However it wasn't long until South Melbourne righted that mistake as this time Minopoulos turned creator, playing Chris Irwin into the box who duly slid the ball for South's fifth and his first for the club.
The goals still did not abate as Minopoulos doubled his tally for the evening with just minutes left in the regular time as a cross from the right flank found him with an acre of space on the far post, with the striker bundling the ball into the back of the net.
Even North Geelong had its chance to get on the scoresheet after Gareth Richards was bundled over in the box and the penalty was given.
Matthew Townley duly stepped up to the spot and gave the visitors a consolation goal as his shot ricocheted off the inside of the post and into the net.
The final kick of the night was appropriately another goal to South Melbourne, as Iqbal Jawadi picked up the ball on the edge of the area with his left-footed shot blindsighting Zilic and creeping into the far corner to rapturous applause from the crowd.
South Melbourne 7 (Grgic (OG) 3', Minopoulos 52' 86', Brennan 58', Kecojevic 62', Jawadi 90+2') defeated North Geelong Warriors 1 (Towney 87')
South Melbourne: 1. Nicola ROGANOVIC, 2. Shpetim MALA, 5. Luke ADAMS, 6. Thomas LAKIC, 7. Nicholas EPIFANO, 8. Mathew THEODORE (23. Andy KECOJEVIC 60'), 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Iqbal JAWADI, 17. Andy Brennan (14. Christopher IRWIN 59'), 21. Jake BARKER-DAISH (20. Nick MORTON 72'), 27. Leigh MINOPOULOS
Unused substitutes: 19. Massimo PESCE, 22. Fraser MACLAREN
Yellow card(s): Barker-Daish 70'
Red card(s): Nil
North Geelong Warriors: 1. Daniel ZILIC, 17. Nicholas JURCIC, 16. Michael GRGIC (6. Josh PUGH 80'), 3. Matthew TOWNLEY, 2. Darren LEWIS, 8. Vito CICHELLO, 18. Stipe TRBUHOVIC (7. Reardo LUKA 80'), 10. Yusuf YUSUF, 9. Ridvan SAGLAM (14. Gareth EDWARDS 58'), 23. Michael ANDERSON, 11. Juso JULARDZILA
Unused substitutes: 5. Anthony BANOVAC, 31. Hamish FLAVELL
Yellow card(s): Townley 72'
Red card(s): Nil