Souths United hosted local rivals Rochedale Rovers at Wakerley Park on Saturday night. With the home side just above the relegation spots and Rovers recently winning the minor premiership most experts predicted a comfortable victory for the visitors. Instead Souths were able to inflict the first defeat of the season on Rochedale and continue their good upset record in the local derby in recent years.
In the first minute a surge forward from left back Lee Parker released Nial Stockwell who showed composure to finish from a tight angle, giving Souths a dream start. The game settled quickly into a pattern of Rochedale maintaining the majority of possession but unable to find a way through the Souths defence. The stalemate was broken by a penetrating run from Souths outstanding young striker Rory McAnelly, who was clipped by a defender as he went past. Captain Seamus McAnelly stepped up to calmly slot the ball away and give the home side a 2 nil lead. Seconds before half time Rochedale got one back courtesy of a Souths defensive mix up with Cody Shorter heading the ball past his own advancing keeper and breath life back into Rochedale.
The second half was a very tight affair with Rochedale enjoying the majority of possession but as the half wore on they were becoming more and more frustrated as the resolute Souths defence keep turning them away. As Rochedale threw more and more forward, Souths were able to create a few more opportunities on quick counter attacks through McAnelly.
The final score was 2-1 to Souths, in what is surely the upset of the 2010 Brisbane Premier League season. After the match, Souths Assistant Coach Derek Lennon said, “full credit to the players. They were outstanding in their efforts, turning up again and again to turn Rochedale away. They executed the game plan to perfection and worked so, so hard for each other.”
Souths now look forward to an away trip to Brisbane City next weekend with renewed confidence and team spirit in the fight to maintain their BPL position for 2011.