Stallions v Souths

Playoff report by Paul Jefferies
Marconi-Fairfield v South Melbourne

South Melbourne was hoping a reversal in their poor form would help them take something away from the first leg of the elimination final against Marconi.

Both teams started a little edgy, and this despite Marconi winning their last four matches. Marconi's first chance came in the ninth minute when a good cross found Alex Brosque at the near post, only for his header to go just wide. In the 14th minute Marconi had another chance with Joe Spiteri shooting straight at the keeper.

From the first 15 minutes of the first half Marconi slowly got more of the ball in the midfield with Brosque causing the majority of the problems. Once again in the 24th minute the Marconi midfield came close to opening up the South Melbourne defence but for a last gasp tackle from a Melbourne defender.

Then just shortly after that South Melbourne earned a corner that was whipped in by Panopoulos, only for the ball to just fly across the Marconi defence - the first clear chance for the visitors from Melbourne.

Against the run of play in the 40th minute Simon Storey broke down the Marconi left hand side, beat two defenders, but a poor shot on goal just about reached a much-relieved Marconi keeper. The first half was a story of missed chances from Marconi, and Stuart Munro, the South Melbourne coach, would have be the happier of the two. At the start of the second half the South Melbourne striker Vaughan Coveny carried the ball directly from the kick off and shot from 25 yards out, for the ball to only just reach the keeper.

Both teams came out at the start of the second half with the intention to try and go for goals. With an hour gone in the match South Melbourne will be the much happier with their performance in this second half, then in the 61st minute Joe Spiteri shoots from just outside the box but unfortunately for Marconi his shot went just wide.

Con Boutsianis (who came on as a sub for Melbourne just before half time) has had a big influence on the match since he came on the park. In the 62nd minute Brosque broke with the ball towards the South Melbourne defence for his shot that again did not trouble the South Melbourne Keeper. More good work by Alex Brosque from just outside the South Melbourne box almost brought the breakthrough goal but again the chance went begging - however it was more outstanding play by Brosque.

The second half had been dominated by both sets of midfield players and fortunately for the goalkeepers they had not been tested too much. Going into the last 15 minutes of the match Marconi should be looking for the goal to take to South Melbourne next week, but South looked as though they were more likely to score. Against the run of play Marconi went close with a shot for Nick Carle from just outside the box but as before it went wide.

A final score of 0-0 would make Stuart Munro the happier of the two coach's at the end of this match, and there is all to play for at Bob Jane Stadium next Sunday in front of a very vocal crowd.