Spoils shared in The Original Melbourne Derby

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In the NPL VIC today, South Melbourne were unable to exact revenge on their bitter rivals Melbourne Knights, after the Knights eliminated South from the FFA Cup only last month. The third battle this season between the two sides ended 1-1 on Sunday afternoon, with both sides toughing the conditions in what was an extremely entertaining match.

Knights hadn’t even touched the ball before South Melbourne had it in the back of the net, scoring straight from kick-off after only 16 seconds played.

Playmaker Gerrie Sylaidos put South up early, getting on the end of a Guiseppe Marafioti cross, driving the ball low across the box to beat Knight’s keeper Jordan Gifkins, scoring his 4th goal of the season.

It only took 10 minutes for the Knights to hit back through Mohamed Awad. A cross drifted in by Atilla Ofli found Hamish Watson, who was able to bring the ball down cleanly and pass to the edge of the box, where a waiting Awad was allowed time to side foot the ball past a motionless Josh Dorren.

South had only themselves to blame for not ending the second half with daylight between them and their opponents, as their dominance in on the field lead to nothing due to wasteful finishing and errant passing in the midfield.

Knight’s were also unable to take advantage of their own dominance in the second half, with conditions playing their part in hampering both teams going forward, with Gian Albano the culprit for missing Knight’s best chance of the second half.

Both teams had the ball in the back of the net late in the second half, with Knights goal ruled out for offside, and South’s being ruled as crossing the line and going out of play before Marafioti put it in the net.

The draw doesn’t help either side in their push for finals, with South sitting in 9th place, on 28 points, still 3 points off 6th place Oakleigh Cannons, who also have a game in hand. Whilst Knights sit only one place below South on 27 points, but taking solace in an upcoming Dockerty Cup final, and an FFA Cup round of 32 match-up against A-League side, Adelaide United.

Written by Lachlan Spiteri