Another massive round of League Three Men’s competition is set to take place, with some massive matches as the season end etches closer.
To begin the round, a double of Friday night matches will take place, as UNSW FC and Nepean FC host Fraser Park and Newcastle Jets respectively.
On Saturday evening, Parramatta FC will take on Prospect United, while later in the night, Western Rage will come up against Camden Tigers.
To conclude the round, Hawkesbury City will play Hurstville FC in a crucial top of the table clash.
UNSW FC vs Fraser Park – Friday 8pm, Hensley Athletic Field
To jointly-begin round 16 of League Three Men’s action, UNSW FC will take on Fraser Park on Friday at Hensley Athletic Field.
UNSW is coming off an impressive 6-2 victory against Newcastle Jets, as they became the first side to beat the Novacastrian team this season.
The home side for this match is unbeaten in eight games, with their last loss coming on the 16th of April, and have won three out of their last five matches in the League Three Men’s competition.
They’ll be looking to continue their winning run with a victory over Fraser Park this Friday, as they look to further push the top three sides on the table.
Fraser Park, meanwhile, has dropped off in form following their 2-0 victory over Parramatta FC four games ago.
Their last three matches have all resulted in defeats, and they’ll be looking to find some form towards the end of the campaign with a statement win over UNSW.
Nepean FC vs Newcastle Jets – Friday 8pm, Cook Park
Nepean FC will take on Newcastle Jets in a crucial clash for both the top four and finals race in the other Friday night match to kick off the round.
The home side for this game had their last match against Prospect United abandoned by the referee halfway through the second half, meaning their last recorded game came as a 2-1 loss to league leaders Hawkesbury FC.
Nepean currently sits three points out of the top four with a game in hand on fourth-placed UNSW, while with two wins or a win or draw (depending on goal difference) could also overtake current second-placed Hurstville FC, who are four points above them but having played two more matches.
However, they’ll be coming up against a hungry Newcastle Jets side that remains fighting for the top of the table, with every point from here on in a necessity if they want to catch up to Hawkesbury City.
The league leaders Hawkesbury are currently eight points ahead of Newcastle, but the Jets have three games in hand.
This means that wins in all three catch-up games would theoretically put Newcastle on top, however, they will stray out across multiple midweeks as we wait to see how the ladder is decided.
In the meantime, Newcastle must defeat Nepean to remain comfortably in the running, while their opponents will be looking for a victory of their own to remain conveniently in the race for the top four.
Parramatta FC vs Prospect United – Saturday 5pm, Melita Stadium Main
Parramatta FC will come up against Prospect United in the first Saturday game of the round at Melita Stadium at 5pm.
Parramatta ended their three-game losing streak with an impressive draw against Camden Tigers – their last win came five games ago when playing Western Rage.
The home side for this match currently sits 10th on the league table but with three matches in hand on ninth-placed Western Rage and a win against Prospect could move them up the ladder as they look to find form towards the end of the campaign.
Prospect United have gone through a form drop of their own, winning just one of their last five games after opening the season with seven matches unbeaten.
A win would keep them in the race for finals football and is therefore vital as the season enters its climax.
Western Rage vs Camden Tigers – Saturday 7pm, Blacktown City Sports Centre
Two flying sides in Western Rage and Camden Tigers will take each other on at Blacktown City Sports Centre on Saturday night in an intriguing clash.
Rage and Camden are currently on the best form of any of the sides in the bottom half of the ladder, with Camden Tigers unbeaten in four matches and Western Rage having won three of their last four games.
Western Rage’s three wins in their last four have spelled their first victories of the season, making their sudden upturn of form even more impressive as they’ve moved up to ninth on the ladder.
Their last game came in the form of a dramatic win over second-placed Hurstville FC, with a last-minute goal to Julian Stojcevski securing them an invaluable three points.
Prior to that, they defeated Prospect United and South Coast Flame both by the score of 3-1, with their loss in between coming narrowly to league leaders Hawkesbury FC.
Camden, on the other hand, has found similar success in their last four matches, with draws to Hurstville and Parramatta FC coming on either side of victories over Prospect United and Fraser Park.
Both sides will be looking to continue and build on their rich runs of form with six rounds now left in the League Three Men’s competition.
Hawkesbury City vs Hurstville FC – Saturday 7:30pm, Valentine Sports Centre
The round will conclude with another highly meaningful fixture, as Hawkesbury City take on Hurstville FC in a top-of-the-table clash.
Hawkesbury have their last three matches in League Three Men’s and are currently seven points clear of second-placed Hurstville race now seemingly coming down to them and Newcastle unless circumstances dramatically change.
The home side for this game will be looking to continue their crucial run of winning form to extend the gap as far as possible from the Jets, to prevent them from flying past when making up their games in hand.
Hurstville FC, meanwhile, saw their run of three consecutive draws end in the wrong way from their point of view, as they were downed by a last-minute goal against Western Rage.
Their run of draws has hampered their title hopes, and they will now look to remain in the top four with the gap between them and fifth place just four points, with all sides able to jump ahead if winning their games in hand.
A win for both sides this weekend is a necessity for different reasons, and it’s set to be a brilliant matchup to conclude the round of League Three Men’s action.
By Football NSW League 3 Men’s Reporter, Jack George (@JackGeorge0004)