The wet weather in Sydney has played havoc for the IGA National Premier Leagues NSW Mens 1 competition, with a number of matches rescheduled over the first three-quarters of the season.
The break in the League due to the Waratah Cup Final on Sunday gives the opportunity for two of these matches to be played, and the action starts at Pluim Park on Saturday.
Round 6 catch-up match
Central Coast Mariners Academy v Sydney United 58 FC, Saturday 6th of July, 3:00 pm Pluim Park
Blacktown City FC 3 Central Coast Mariners 5
Sydney United 58 FC 3 APIA-Leichhardt Tigers 1
A big encounter is expected on Saturday afternoon with the red hot Sydney United 58 FC travelling to Pluim Park to face a Mariners side that will be full of confidence following its massive 5-3 win over Blacktown City FC.
The Mariners stunned Blacktown City on Sunday, playing a near perfect match, capitalising on its chances in the front-third.
Coach Mark Jones has worked wanders with his team this season, even though the side has been languishing at the bottom of the ladder. Striker Christopher Payne has been in great touch, assisted immensely by the arrival of Adriano Pellegrino who has been brilliant in midfield.
The win against Blacktown City may well have been the turning point to the Mariners season as the side attempts to finish the campaign on a high.
Sydney United 58 FC have also come good over the past month, with the side appearing to be over the midseason slump that saw Mark Rudan’s men slip away from the top-three.
The return of Luka Glavas has brought about some big confidence to the group, meanwhile the fabulous performances of Glen Trifiro and Yuichi Yamauchi too have gone a long way for the side.
Rudan will need to make do without Ben Jurman who will sit the match out due to suspension, though the Reds coach will be looking for a win on Saturday to close-in further on third spot. The Reds, even after this catch-up match, has one more washed out encounter to play, meaning the side could well be in tune with second-placed Bonnyrigg White Eagles if it continues its recent run of form.
Round 15 catch-up match
Rockdale City Suns v Blacktown Spartans, Saturday 6th of July, 7:00 pm Ilinden Sports Centre
Manly United FC 1 Rockdale City Suns 3
Blacktown Spartans 3 South Coast Wolves 1
Both the Suns and Spartans enter this clash on a high with impressive victories last weekend, both outfits still in good positions to press for a top-five finish.
Branko Culina’s men will start this clash as the outright favourite on their home pitch with the Suns’ boss to place the goal scoring expectations on the in-form Richard Cardozo.
The striker has been touted as a potential A-League signing over the coming months, and the Suns’ number 10 has been in tremendous form this season.
The Suns did suffer a few setbacks with some inconsistent results over the past month, though a win at Manly – one of the most difficult venues to go and collect maximum points – has certainly switched the side back on.
Blacktown Spartans has also enjoyed a successful season to-date, and the side has shown just how much it has grown in personality over the past two seasons; much credit to be given to coach Ben De Haan.
The signing of Phil Makrys brought about the experienced midfielder’s first goals for the club last weekend, and more of the same will be expected over the final weeks of the campaign. Makrys’ ability to create, as well as score goals, is second to none in the league, and the ‘veteran’s’ signing will go a long way in deciding the side’s future this season.
A lot to play for on Saturday evening for both sides, with a win for the Suns to send the side into equal third-spot, meanwhile three-points for the Spartans will see the side catch Marconi Stallions on the ladder and keep it within striking distance of finals football.
-By Joseph Carlucci