This is it, the big dance. For one team, it’s a chance to claim a memorable treble across all three grades. Whilst the other will not be short of motivation given their last meeting and will want a trophy to cap off their season.
The easy way, or is it? If there was any doubt that Central Coast United are the best side in the competition, it was extinguished with a win over this week’s opponents a fortnight ago.
In that game, they were clinical in racking up what ended up like looking a comfortable win. But apart from that fixture, there isn’t much to go off when it comes to the premiers having had the one fixture since round 21 (August 10).
So, will they be fresh? or will a lack of time on the pitch come to cost them in the big game which is the grand final?
The Adam Woodbine show, for the first time all season, Central Coast United had a fully fit talisman leading the line. In the first half alone, he scored both a remarkable goal as well as set up Jarred Steen for the second. Aside from the striker, this game will be decided in the midfield. The largely unheralded but efficient midfield pairing of Yuki Morikawa and Scott Mcginley will have the job of cutting off Fraser Park’s supply line. And if they do so, players like Daniel Mcfarlane and Alex Arbelo just need a moment to create one, two or possibly three opportunities. Sit back and enjoy watching Central Coast United one last time, I’d suggest we won’t see them for awhile in the fourth tier.
They line up against a team who have made it through to grand final day, the hard way. Three finals games in three weeks will see Fraser Park battle hardened for the contest. And lessons have been learnt from their last meeting on the same patch of grass a fortnight ago. Last weekend they took care of South Coast Flame comfortably at home, taking the lead early in the second half and not raising a sweat from that point. This week will also see the return of their leader Christian Soares, a vital clog in their plan to knock off this year’s premiers and take what would be a deserved trophy this season.
As with their opposition, the midfield will prove vital. Last weekend it was Cam Philpot who ran the show, showing awareness to score a spectacular long-range goal. If it’s anything like their last meeting, his late runs into the box will prove vital in creating chances. Up front, pressure will be intensified on Luiz Lobo and Shu Torihara to step up with the absence of top scorer Matthew Nezval. Whilst at the other end, the performances of Eric Tomesak and Dominic Siu in respective wing-back positions will go a long way to deciding where the trophy will head too.
Fittingly it’s Central Coast United v Fraser Park to conclude our season, the two best teams all year. Bring it on!
R6: Fraser Park 1-0 Central Coast United
R17: Central Coast United 0-3 Fraser Park
FW2: Central Coast United 3-0 Fraser Park
Last Words and Prediction:
Since this is the last preview, I’d like to thank all of you who have read one of the previews/reviews, said hello around the grounds or even teased my poor predictions.
With that out of the way, Sunday promises to be another quality exhibition of what this league has to offer, I predict a good game!
By Justin Smith (@smiththejustin)