Have we got some action for you if you don’t care for election coverage this weekend in the State League Men’s competition.
And unlike our politicians, we’ve got a good record of delivering on promise.
Central Coast United host Hurstville FC in a top 3 clash whilst a couple of mid table and lower table clashes round out Saturday night.
Too cap it off Hurstville City Minotaurs host FC Gazy Auburn in a clash which may or may not overshadow the A-League grand final.
Central Coast United v Hurstville FC, Saturday 18th May, 5pm at Mingara Athletics Centre
Let’s talk about Central Coast United’s record in the bigger matches this season. Loss against Nepean, loss against Fraser Park. Will it be third time lucky against Hurstville FC this week?
Much of the home sides hopes in this one relies on players pulling up well enough. Yes, you’d suggest there will be a fair bit of recovery and rest this week leading up to Saturday afternoon. Last weekend they beat Balmain Tigers on the road.
In that game, they put out one of their strongest line-ups if not the strongest. And it showed with a comfortable away win with Adam Woodbine starring notching up two goals and an assist.
Not many people would have predicted Hurstville FC to be sitting pretty in second place eight rounds in. However, a combination of keeping a consistent backline with an attacking force which guarantees a goal in pretty much every game sees them sitting pretty.
Last weekend, they orchestrated a win against Prospect United highlighted by a defensive performance at the back. Michael Di Meglio has scored in back to back games so he will be the one to watch at the other end.
Prospect United v Western Condors, Saturday 18th May, 7pm at William Lawson Park
These are the games which have a playoff feel even if we are fourteen weeks away from finals football. Fifth placed Prospect United host seventh placed Western Condors on Saturday night.
The question is, which version of the hosts is going to turn up? Form has been sporadic in recent weeks. The game they really should have won against Hurstville FC, they didn’t and the game they shouldn’t have won, they did.
This game does mark just the second time they are due to play at traditional home William Lawson Park and they will be hoping it comes with more consistency around the club.
“And I’m free, free falling”. Western Condors have um fallen off a bit of a cliff in recent weeks going from a top four position to now risking being cut adrift if they lose this game. Football can be cruel aye, last week a cup game took a lot of the gas out of their tank before they lined up against FC Gazy Auburn (the last team you want to face on 72 hours recovery).
If they can take any positives into this one, the lower table teams will be cheering them on to pick up a result in this one.
South Coast Flame v UNSW FC, Saturday 18th May, 7pm at Ian McLennan Park.
Suddenly, South Coast Flame are in fourth place, four points clear of fifth. A win here would be good insurance against what surely is a desperate UNSW FC.
Ah, another example of the new coach bounce. Three games since changing their first-grade coach, South Coast Flame have acquired seven of a possible nine points. Last weekend they beat a depleted Hurstville City Minotaurs on the road in convincing fashion (well at least in parts).
Central to that performance was the efforts of Hiroaki Ushijima who played a part in both goals. This team is starting to settle in, the question is will the bounce wear off?
Well they can’t fall any further, can they? And with the cup distraction out of the way, UNSW now have no excuses to not make a run and revive their season. Last weekend they went down to Fraser Park in a clash where the students struggled to make meaningful chances outside of set pieces.
And when you’ve got a defense which is leaking goals, it’s no surprise the find themselves looking up at this year’s contenders on of which they visit this week.
Balmain Tigers v Nepean FC, Saturday 18th May, 7pm at Leichhardt Oval.
Now for a clash between two sides who had a bit of a rest last weekend. Balmain Tigers host Nepean FC in their return to Leichhardt game this Saturday night.
Has the life been sucked out of Balmain Tigers? Coming into last weekend, there seemed to be a renewed hope for the club after drawing with Hurstville FC on the road. Then old habits struck once again as they went down to Central Coast United.
They went behind to in that one thanks to a bizarre own goal and were caught out three more times during the fixture. At the other end, there was a sign of what some individuals are capable of with Nico Muscio scoring one to remember.
Now they face a side who are coming off a much needed second victory of the season in Nepean FC. In that one, they showed what we have expected from them most weeks in a four-goal victory over Western Condors.
Looking forward to this week, it will be crucial for the visitors not to look beyond Saturday as they host Sydney Olympic next Tuesday night. The bye came at the wrong time for Nepean FC, will that effect the confidence gained last time they were on the pitch, time will tell.
Hurstville City Minotaurs v FC Gazy Auburn, Sunday 19th May, 7pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
There’s a big game scheduled on Sunday night and its clearly Hurstville City Minotaurs against FC Gazy Auburn at Ilinden.
The return of Thiago Rabinovitch? The General and Hurstville City Minotaurs will hope so. Without him, they just haven’t been the same side in going down to Central Coast United and South Coast Flame respectively.
Against the Flame in particular, they missed him! Controlling much of the second half in terms of field position without really threatening the Flame goal. So, you’d hope for them that Rabinovitch and others will soon make a return for the Minotaurs.
They face a tricky task in the sole Sunday fixture. FC Gazy Auburn have truly got going and they will definitely be a hard team to stop now. There’s a mentality in the squad which hasn’t been there in a long time at the club.
As much as that mentality helps, there’s something to be said about consistent goal scorers. Through Esoghume Dominic and Haydar Al-Ameri, they just have that and crucial to stopping this side will be stopping these two.
By Justin Smith (@smiththejustin)