South Melbourne find form against Oakleigh

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After last week’s shock loss to State League 1 side Port Melbourne in the Mirabella Cup, South Melbourne have bounced back with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Oakleigh Cannons thanks to a second half strike from star Carl Recchia.

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In the opening minutes of the contest the home side had an early chance thanks to a great cross by Topalovic which found Joryeff just inside the sixteen yard box, however his well struck volley was inches wide of the post. The first half did not bring much excitement to the fans, both teams finding the opening period tough causing a lack of creativity in the final third.

Winless in their previous two rounds, South Melbourne did not show enough quality in the first period to see that run end. Neither, however, did Oakleigh Cannons who would return to the top of the VPL standings with a win in this encounter.

After the break both sides came out with an intention of taking control. Two minutes into the half former A-League player James Robinson had an ambitious effort from twenty yards which flew inches over South ‘keeper Zaim Zenelli.

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It was the home side finally that broke the deadlock in the 57th minute. Carl Recchia came off the bench and pounced on a loose ball in the Cannons backline after a scramble in the six yard box which the visitors failed to clear out of danger, ultimately paying the price for their error.

This seemed to spark new life into the match as Oakleigh’s Ricky Diaco did well to shrug of Matthews in the box and have an effort on goal – albeit straight at the ‘keeper. Straight down the other end Vasilevski had an opportunity to double South’s lead as he was brilliantly played through by Weir.

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As good as the pass was Vasilevski failed to find the back of the net thanks to a decent save by Zois .

South kept pressuring in an attempt to put this game beyond Oakleigh’s reach and another chance went begging as Dragisevic was played through nicely by scorer Recchia however he squandered his chance with only the ‘keeper to beat.

South Melbourne hung on for the three points to lift them to third on the table, five points off Oakleigh Cannons in second.

SMFC – Zaim ZENELLI, Tom MATTHEWS, Steven O’DOR, Daniel VASILEVSKI, Steven TOPALOVIC, Kliment TASESKI, Trent WATERSON, Steven WEIR, Marinos GASPARIS ( Carl RECCHIA), Kyle JORYEFF (Daniel DRAGISEVIC) , Meyer DE CAMARGO (Fernando DE MORAES).

Oakleigh – Peter ZOIS, Luke WALKER (Billy DAMIANOS), James CUMMING, James ROBINSON, Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLOU, Ricky DIACO, Shaun ONTONG, Hayden DOYLE, Richard OFFIONG (Joshua GROENEWALD), Anistidis DRAKOS, Steven HATZIKOSTAS.

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