South Melbourne are through to the Semi-Finals of the PS4 National Premier Leagues Final Series, with an early goal through Jamie Reed enough to see them past a gallant South Hobart at Darcy Street in Hobart.
Chris Taylor’s men started brightly away from home, striking an opener in just the sixth minute. Striker Jamie Reed punished South Hobart for failing to clear the danger, acrobatically finishing off with a bicycle kick from close range after a threatening James Musa header rebounded to the forward off the crossbar.South Hobart winger Andy Brennan proved a handful for the South Melbourne defence with his pace posing problems to the Victorian’s defence. He very nearly popped home an equaliser for the Hobartians three minutes after South Melbourne’s opener, firing just across the face of goal to the left from an acute angle on the right. His partner in crime Brayden Mann had a frustrating day at the office, denied a penalty in the 29th minute after he dinked by his marker only to be brought down in the box but to his astonishment play was waved on. Late in the first half the encounter fired up with tempers flaring on both sides, with both Musa and Brennan shown yellow for poor challenges. Brennan continued to loom as South Hobart’s most likely goal threat, but failed to find the back of the net, cannoning wide shots on two occasions in the 58th and 59th minutes. After a great individual opening hour, Stephen Hatzikostas was forced from the pitch through injury after a collision with South Hobart midfielder Hugh Undy saw him helped off the field with a leg injury. In the 72nd minute, it seemed certain the hosts would be reduced to 10 men, with South Hobart ‘keeper Kane Pierce collecting Milos Lujic, after the South Melbourne forward was put in one on one with the keeper. To the bemusement of the crowd and to the delight of South Hobart, Pierce was shown yellow for his last man professional foul, with officiating Referee Brenton Kopra ruling that full back Liam Scott was back in support. Brennan looked likely to add to South Melbourne’s frustrations in the 79th minute but failed to finish, burning off his marker with a wonderful turn of speed the South Hobart spearhead squandered a golden chance, failing to test Chris Maynard, firing well wide of goal. South Melbourne almost increased their advantage a minute later with Lujic forcing a tremendous save out of Pierce, with the gloveman stopping a goal bound shot with an agile effort, denying the Lujic drive with an outstretched boot. Despite South Hobart’s best efforts, the Victorian Champions ran out deserved winners, with Lujic missing a chance to ice the win in the 95th minute, missing a tap in from close range, firing out of play off the crossbar. South Melbourne now proceed to face the winner of Bayswater City and MetroStars, South Melbourne were deserved victors and despite leaving empty handed the Tasmanian Victory League Champions South Hobart were far from disgraced in a close contest between the pair at Darcy Street.
Playstation 4 National Premier Leagues - 2014 Finals Series
South Hobart 0 defeated by
South Melbourne 1 (Jamie Reed 6’)
Darcy Street, South Hobart
Attendance: 800Image Courtesy of Pless Pix