Eight points separate Blacktown City from their nearest challengers on the 2019 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 20s table, and it seems unlikely that the gap will narrow any time soon.
The leaders face Hakoah Sydney City East in Round 11 as they look to extend their unbeaten run to eight games, while elsewhere, second-placed Rockdale City Suns travel to Seymour Shaw to take on Sutherland Sharks. APIA Leichhardt Tigers and Sydney Olympic sit level on points with Rockdale, and play Mt Druitt and Sydney FC respectively as they look to avoid falling further behind the team at the top.
Match of the Round: Sydney Olympic FC v Sydney FC, 6pm Friday at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic are in desperate need of a win to stop their slide down the table and keep within touching distance of Blacktown City.
Olympic haven’t won a match since mid-April, and will be especially keen to fight for a result after two losses in their last three games.
This weekend they’ll turn their attentions to Sydney FC, who arrive at Belmore Sports Ground on the back of a 1-1 draw with Sutherland Sharks in Round 90; a goal from Jake Hollman earning the Sky Blues a point on the road at Seymour Shaw.
Olympic were defeated 3-0 by Sydney United 58 last week as they fell into fourth place, eight points behind the leaders.
Sutherland Sharks v Rockdale City Suns, 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland were held to a 1-1 draw by Sydney FC in Round 10; James Temelkovski’s goal helping keep the Sharks in fifth place ahead of an important clash with Rockdale City Suns on Saturday afternoon.
Rockdale sit in second, eight points behind Blacktown City and only two in front of their opponents this weekend.
Noah Botic and Jake Trajkovski scored to earn Rockdale a 2-0 win at Wollongong Wolves last week; their first win in four matches – that run including a disappointing defeat to Manly United in Round 9, and a credible 1-1 draw with Blacktown City the week before.
Marconi Stallions v Wollongong Wolves, 5pm at Marconi Stadium
Marconi Stallions went ahead at Blacktown City in Round 10, but Andreas Sepping’s first half goal was wiped out as the competition leaders put four past Aiden Kenny after the break.
Marconi continue to leak goals, having conceded nine in their last three games. The Stallions sit in eleventh place ahead of this weekend’s match against Wollongong Wolves, but could yet overtake their opponents with a win on Saturday afternoon.
Wolves are eighth, three points ahead of Marconi but with a marginally worse goal difference.
They were defeated 2-0 by Rockdale in Round 10; their second defeat in as many weeks following two wins in a row.
Manly United v Sydney United 58, 1pm at Cromer Park
Manly United return to Cromer Park after a 2-0 defeat to APIA Leichhardt Tigers last Saturday; powerless as Michael Trajkovski and Zeke Prisuda condemned them to their fifth defeat of the season.
United still sit in seventh place ahead of their Round 11 fixture against the competition’s bottom team, and could find themselves on the edge of the five should they beat Sydney United 58 this weekend.
Despite sitting two points adrift of their nearest opponent in twelfth place, Sydney United travel to Cromer Park in curious form after beating Sydney Olympic 3-0 in Round 10, with goals from Sam Perre and Ivan Bratjanscak.
Blacktown City v Hakoah Sydney City East, 1pm at Lily Homes Stadium
Blacktown City went into the halftime break 1-0 down against Marconi Stallions last weekend, but returned from the sheds to score four goals in a bruising second half.
Carlos De Oliviera hit a spectacular equaliser from outside the box before Josh Bartolotto, Connor Rose and Suley Bangura completed the comeback in style, giving Blacktown their sixth win in seven matches.
They head into Round 11 a full eight points in front of their nearest challenger, but will come up against a Hakoah Sydney City East side full of belief after stringing together consecutive wins in the past two weeks – their only victories of the season to date.
Steven Chester, Harry Jones, Peter Turrall and Hesan Soufi were all on target as Hakoah beat Mt Druitt 4-2 last Sunday, taking their side up to tenth place ahead of their clash with the competition leaders.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers v Mt Druitt Town Rangers, 1.15pm at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt continue to struggle for consistency but still come into their Round 11 match against Mt Druitt Town Rangers in third place; level on points with Rockdale City Suns and Sydney Olympic.
The Tigers beat Manly United 2-0 in Round 10, with Michael Trajkovski and Zeke Prisuda on hand to ensure APIA keep pace with the top five for at least another week.
Mt Druitt travel to Lambert Park after a 4-2 defeat to Hakoah Sydney City East; goals from Christian Long and Alvin Singh not enough to prevent their side from slipping to their third defeat in as many matches.
Mt Druitt sit ninth at the start of Round 11, but could rocket up the table should they manage to snag a result against APIA on Sunday.