Round 13 Preview – State League Men’s
An Illinden Sports Centre football feast highlights Round 13 of the State League Men’s competition.
Six teams will play at the ground over two days and you better believe that we will be there to see every one of them. So, unless otherwise stated, you know where to be!
Match of the Round: Hurstville City Minotaurs v Nepean FC, Sunday 16th June, 7pm
Where art thou consistency. Two teams desperate to turn around a spotty record meet in our match of the round this week.
Hurstville City Minotaurs are due for a result based on their recent form line of picking up points every second game. To do so, they will have to avoid a reoccurrence of last weekend in which they went down a man within the first five minutes. From there it was pretty much an impossible task against the league leaders Fraser Park. Although a ten-minute period before half time which saw their solidarity goal and a golden opportunity should give them hope.
Well the good news for Nepean FC is that we’re turning up and they’ve got a pretty good record when we do. Nepean will have to exercise some demons on their return to Ilinden Sports Centre as it was the venue for one of their most disappointing defeats this campaign. Back to the present day though, the visitors will be looking to capitalize on their opportunities in front of goal this week as they’ve been punished for not doing so in their last two fixtures.
It’s a bit early to be saying its season over for the loser of this one. However, the mountain gets a little taller to climb for the loser. And with a bit of revenge on their minds, you’d fancy Nepean to come out on top in this one.
Prediction: Nepean FC
UNSW FC v Central Coast United, Saturday 15th June, 7pm
Tenth place hosts second in what should be a straightforward away win right? Yeah well normally yes, but we can’t help but feel this season has a few surprises left yet and is this one of them?
Usually the bye is a dreaded beast for a team. For UNSW FC though, you can’t help but feel that it came as a relief in Round 12. Now hopefully it’s given them a chance to burn the ships which haunted them in the first half of the season and refocus on righting the wrongs which have plagued them. If this is to happen though, a settled side is a must and that’s been a luxury to this point with the club having used a whopping 28 players in their first 10 fixtures.
In contrast, it’s smooth sailing for Central Coast United. Well at least it was before the bye a fortnight ago. Last week it took a whole half of football to shake over their rust. Despite this, United were good enough to overcome Nepean FC courtesy of a long-range strike from captain Daniel Mcfarlane and another Scott Mcginley goal. That makes it five wins on the trot for their first-grade side which is rather ominous for their opposition.
UNSW FC are yet to beat Central Coast United as a club in their previous four clashes over the past two seasons. Will it be 5th time lucky? I wouldn’t bank on it.
Prediction: Central Coast United
Prospect United v Fraser Park, Saturday 15th June, 7pm @ William Lawson Park
It’s a daunting challenge for them this weekend though, in their way is the league leaders Fraser Park. Last week I built up the visitor’s fixture, only for it to disappoint.
That was not the fault of Fraser though, as they found themselves up a man for 85 minutes of the fixture against the Hurstville City Minotaurs.
But credit has to go to our table toppers, they didn’t take their foot of the pedal scoring 5 on the night which makes it 17 goals in 4 fixtures.
All whilst having one of the better defences in the league.
Prediction: Fraser Park
Balmain Tigers v Western Condors, Sunday 16th June, 1pm
Balmain Tigers are a team on the up and Western Condors are a team on the slide. A lot to play for these two in this fixture.
Balmain Tigers extended their run without a loss to three games with a win over Prospect United last weekend. And they will be looking to continue their run in another home game this weekend. Indeed, there has never been a doubt that Balmain Tigers are competitive having never been blown away this season. However, the acquisition of a few new faces including Frank Calcagno who scored a double. They will have to do it without Anthony Villazon and James Duvcevski though.
At least it wasn’t a loss. Western Condors continue to struggle to find maximum points though, having won only one fixture since round five (nearly two months ago). Not helping their confidence is the fact last week they weren’t able to capitalize having held a lead twice over the South Coast Flame. They are another one of the teams benefitting from results around them and a win could indeed change things for the better.
Confidence is building for the Balmain Tigers and as some new faces continue to blend in to the team, you suspect they’ll be in for a much better second half of the season than first.
Prediction: Balmain Tigers
FC Gazy Auburn v South Coast Flame, Sunday 16th June, 3pm @ Progress Park
Another away trip for South Coast Flame awaits them this weekend. Will they be able to solidify third position in this one?
It’s a tricky part of the season for FC Gazy Auburn. Last week they faced Hurstville FC, this weekend they host South Coast Flame, then they travel up to Pluim Park next week. In saying that, it could be looked upon as a good measurement to where they are really at. Last weekend, they certainly weren’t outplayed against Hurstville and on another day would’ve walked away with three points. It would be a mistake to look back at that too much though as another top 5 opposition awaits.
Third placed South Coast Flame, still getting used to saying that. Last week was a good measuring stick to see where they stand going into the second half of the season and it’s fair to say they’ve improved drastically. The Condors have been their bogey opposition this season and add the uncomfortable surroundings of Chopin Park and the Flame had every reason to not burn last weekend. That wasn’t the case though as a Matt Mazevski double highlighted a come from behind sharing of the points.
It’s really tricky to come away with a win at Progress Park, that may be the difference in a clash between two sides with not a lot between them.
Prediction: FC Gazy Auburn
By Justin Smith (@smiththejustin)