Dominant Southern performance

Southern United captain Conor O'Keeffe scores his first goal for Southern United as he shoots...
Southern United captain Conor O'Keeffe scores his first goal for Southern United as he shoots past Hamilton Wanderers goalkeeper Matt Oliver in his side’s 4-0 win at Logan Park on Saturday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Two goals came early.

The other two came late.

And the bits in the middle were no less dominant.

Southern United delivered an emphatic display to notch a 4-0 victory over Hamilton Wanderers at Logan Park Turf on Saturday.

Its attack was lethal, regularly creating chances and forcing the Hamilton defence to scramble.

But more importantly, its defence was rock-solid a week after conceding four goals.

Only with an 83rd-minute penalty — well saved by Liam Little — did the visiting side create a genuine chance.

The performance left Southern head coach Paul O'Reilly thrilled.

He felt it had been a comprehensive performance in which the team dominated all over.

The defensive effort had been "massively pleasing" last week’s effort.

"Other than the penalty and perhaps one chance from a cross, they didn't threaten our goal at all," he said.

"We've been renowned as a team that's hard to play against and probably lost a bit of that the week before.

"We became a little bit poor in some of those gaps we don't normally have.

"So defensively, very, very good.

"So delighted with the nil, but I thought it was comprehensive.

"It could have been three or four ahead of what it was."

It took just one minute for Abdulla Al-Kalisy to score the first of his two goals.

A mix-up left keeper Matt Oliver's clearance to deflect directly off defender Blake Weston.

That left the chasing Al-Kalisy to finish on a wide open goal.

Captain Conor O'Keeffe doubled the lead 10 minutes later.

He poked home his first goal for Southern, as the Hamilton defence seemingly stopped thinking he was offside.

The referees consulted and awarded the goal, as frustration began to spill over among the Hamilton players.

Southern continued to attack dangerously and went close on several more occasions.

Joel Stevens was a constant threat with the ball at his feet, while Al-Kalisy and Garbhan Coughlan were both dangerous as well.

Defensively Southern remained solid, quelling the threats of Hamilton's dynamic duo Tommy Semmy and Derek Tieku.

The second half followed a similar pattern.

Southern dropped a little deeper, but continued to threaten and Al-Kalisy went close from long range.

It took Hamilton until the final 15 minutes to begin to threaten and eventually it won a penalty.

However, Little came up with a fantastic save to keep the two-goal buffer.

Al-Kalisy put the result beyond doubt with his second late in the game.

Stevens followed with one of his own, a lovely run followed by a 40m screamer which rattled in off the left post.

O'Reilly said it was a great response and a much-needed win following two losses.

"Massive three points. Like I said, it’s going to be a very tight league and our approach will be taking it week by week.

"Two poor results, although they were close enough games at times — the boys have dusted themselves off and all the credit goes to the players.

"We could have felt sorry for ourselves today, but I thought it was a smashing bounce-back performance, and I thought it was comprehensive."

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