ROUND eighteen of the Grade 20s competition will be played out over the weekend, with six matches spread evenly across both Saturday and Sunday afternoon as the regular season enters its final few rounds.
Sydney United 58 travel to Lambert Park on Sunday afternoon in this weekend’s match of the round, where they will face APIA Leichhardt a week after the Tiger’s defeat of premiership contenders Sutherland Sharks.
Match of the Round
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC v Sydney United 58 FC, Sunday 2pm at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt Tigers will look to build on their surprising 2-1 win over Sutherland Sharks at Seymour Shaw last weekend when they take on Sydney United 58 in this week’s match of the round on Sunday afternoon.
United 58 travel to Lambert Park after suffering an unexpected defeat to bottom of the table Bonnyrigg White Eagles in round 17, a result which saw them hold their place in fifth while losing ground on Sydney Olympic ahead. Mark Cindric, Lachlan Roberts and Aaron Fraser scored in United 58’s 3-4 loss to Bonnyrigg, and will need to be on form again to overcome APIA at Lambert Park, where the Tigers have lost four of their eight home matches so far this season.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v South Coast Wolves FC, 5.30pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg moved to within three points of eleventh-placed Rockdale City Suns after their stunning 4-3 win over Sydney United 58 at Sydney United Sports Centre last weekend, and could draw level with the Suns on goal difference – the first time since round 1 that Bonnyrigg wouldn’t be alone at the bottom of the ladder – should they defeat South Coast Wolves at Bonnyrigg Sports Club on Saturday afternoon. Despite the relative rarity of last week’s result, Bonnyrigg should be hopeful of taking points off the eighth-placed Wolves, who followed up their first win in six matches (5-0 v Blacktown Spartans in late June) with a loss to Parramatta FC at Win Stadium on Sunday.
Marconi Stallions FC v Sydney Olympic, 5.30pm at Marconi Stadium
Following their extraordinary 10-3 defeat of Manly United on Sunday afternoon, Sydney Olympic travel to Marconi Stadium next weekend to face Marconi Stallions, who drew 1-1 all to the Blacktown Spartans.
The draw to the Spartans was a missed opportunity for Marconi to take control of the Grade 20s competition, especially after Sutherland Sharks’ loss to APIA earlier in round 17. Despite their respective preparations for this game, Marconi will be confident of taking all three points from Olympic at Marconi Stadium, where they are undefeated since mid-May.
Parramatta FC v Blacktown Spartans FC, 5.30pm at Melita Stadium WASHED OUT
Both Parramatta FC and Blacktown Spartans enjoyed unexpected success at the expense of higher-placed sides last week, recording wins against South Coast Wolves and Marconi Stallions respectively. Parramatta return home on Sunday afternoon after taking three points away from WIN Stadium in their 2-1 defeat of eighth-placed South Coast Wolves, while the Spartans travel to Melita Stadium on the back of a 1-0 win over Marconi, courtesy of a single goal from Kurdvan Abduljabbar. Parramatta could widen the gap between themselves and the Spartans to eight points with a win on Sunday
Manly United FC v Blacktown City FC, 1pm at Cromer Park
Manly United would have been hoping for a more comfortable lead-up to their match against competition leaders Blacktown City this Sunday, but were humiliated by Sydney Olympic at Belmore Sports Ground last weekend, losing 10-3.
While the loss was Manly’s most comprehensive defeat in a winless run stretching back to round 13, Blacktown City arrive at Cromer Park in far higher spirits, having extended their winning streak to five straight games with a routine 3-0 win over Rockdale City Suns to move ahead of Marconi on goal difference at the top of the ladder.
Rockdale City Suns FC v Sutherland Sharks FC, 3pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale City Suns will face one of their toughest opponents in recent weeks when they take on Sutherland Sharks on Sunday afternoon; the visitors eager to make amends for their 2-1 loss to APIA last weekend with a win over Rockdale at Ilinden Sports Centre. Rockdale slipped to a 3-0 defeat to Blacktown City in round 17, their fifth loss this season in which they have been kept scoreless, and will need to make a rapid improvement this weekend to achieve a better result than the last time they played the Sharks, when they lost 3-0 at Seymour Shaw.
– By Max Grieve, PS4 National Premier Leagues Grade 20s Reporter