ROUND ten of the Grade 20s takes place this weekend, with three matches on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon as the season nears its halfway point.
The match of the round this weekend sees third-place Sutherland Sharks head to Belmore Sports Ground to face Sydney Olympic FC, with the visitors eager to make up for ground lost in their 2-1 defeat to Marconi Stallions last week.
Match of the Round
Sydney Olympic FC v Sutherland Sharks FC, Sunday 1pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Both Olympic and Sutherland come into their Sunday afternoon clash at Belmore Sports Ground on the back of losses last weekend, to Blacktown City and Marconi Stallions respectively.
The Sharks dropped points in consecutive matches for the first time all season with their loss to Marconi, falling out of the top two as a result, but can put pressure on the Stallions with a victory over Olympic; the home team in indifferent form themselves with eight points from their last five matches. Olympic could go level on points with the Sharks if they win on Sunday, behind only on goal difference.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC v Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC, 5.30pm at Lambert Park
Bottom-of-the-table Bonnyrigg White Eagles face an APIA Leichhardt side fresh from a crushing 5-1 defeat of Parramatta FC last Saturday, in which Marc Warren scored twice.
APIA broke a two-match losing streak against Parramatta and should be confident of carrying their winning form into round 10, and the visit of Bonnyrigg. The visitors will be hoping that APIA’s poor record at Lambert Park will perhaps count in their favour, but should be happy simply to score – Bonnyrigg have managed only four goals in 2015.
Manly United FC v South Coast Wolves FC, 5.30pm at Cromer Park
Manly United sit three points behind South Coast Wolves, with a superior goal difference, heading into their match at Cromer Park, so would send themselves ahead of the visitors – potentially as high as second place – if they win on Saturday afternoon.
The Wolves played out only the second 0-0 draw of the 2015 season last weekend against Rockdale City Suns to move one place behind league leaders Marconi Stallions while in their round nine match Manly United came back from two goals down to earn a point at Sydney United 58.
With only two points from their last four games, the home side will be wary of one of the competition’s most in-form teams in the Wolves, who are unbeaten since March.
Marconi Stallions FC v Sydney United 58 FC, 5.30pm at Marconi Stadium
Marconi Stallions could stretch their winning streak to five matches on Saturday afternoon when they take on seventh-placed Sydney United 58.
The visitors blew a 2-0 lead in the final minutes of their match with Manly United last Sunday to draw 2-2, while Marconi return home after goals from Brandon Vella and Zac Sfiligoi helped them to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Sutherland Sharks to send them five points clear at the top of the table.
Blacktown City FC v Blacktown Spartans FC, 1pm at Lilys Football Centre
Local rivals Blacktown City and Blacktown Spartans face off at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon, with both sides coming to the match on the back of victories last week.
City hit Sydney Olympic for six on Sunday; hattricks from Juan Zapata and Jonathan Grozdanovski helping their side to a 6-3 win, while the Spartans squeezed past last-placed Bonnyrigg White Eagles with a 2-1 win at Blacktown Football Park.
The home side could go as high as second, depending on results elsewhere, if they beat the Spartans, who are yet to win away this season.
Rockdale City Suns FC v Parramatta FC 12pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
While Rockdale ground out a 0-0 draw away to second-placed South Coast Wolves in round nine, their opponents on Sunday, Parramatta FC, were beaten 5-1 by APIA Leichhardt at Melita Stadium.
Rockdale are winless since March, and have only picked up a point at Illinden Sports Centre all season, while Parramatta have won seven points in their four away matches played so far.
– By Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter