by John Fotinos
Two clubs rich in history and pedigree – with neither backwards in coming forward to remind their arch rival of the state of play.
It’s on again at the Olympic Village this Sunday for the latest instalment of a Greek Derby that spans nearly six decades. Alexander v Hellas first happened back in 1964, with the clubs having met 108 times in all competitions. Hellas holds the advantage with 50 wins, 21 draws and 37 wins to Alexandros.
High-flying South Melbourne top the table at the half way point of the 2022 season, having dropped just five points in 13 matches. The confidence levels will be high following a remarkable 4-3 win over Avondale last round – recovering from a 3-0 deficit in just the first quarter hour of play, to overwhelm the visitors and take all three points in arguably the best game of the NPL season so far.
Heidelberg United’s indifferent home form continues to be an impediment to its top six aspirations, with the ‘Bergers forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against the bottom placed Eastern Lions last round. Despite the frustration, striker Kaine Sheppard continued his run of goal scoring touch, netting his 14th goal in 16 matches in 2022.
From facing the bottom side at home to hosting the top side in successive weeks will give the ‘Bergers a stern test of where the season is heading. The team has shown glimpses of form that suggest its best is right up there with the top sides, only to mix in with that some inconsistencies that have been costly.
Coach George Katsakis will have his charges all fired up for a typically tough Greek Derby, desperate to ignite a second half of the season surge up the ladder, as well as atone for the 3-1 loss in Round 1 of this season.
The match kicks off at 3:00pm this Sunday, May 22, at the Olympic Village. The match will be broadcast live on the Heidelberg United FC Facebook site.
*** Patrons are advised to avoid congestion at the Catalina St entrance, with only limited car parking, the Southern Road entrance turnstile will be open for this match, with ample parking available at the Northland Shopping complex.