Blacktown City FC skipper Matt Lewis is expecting another tight elimination battle against Sydney United 58 at Lily Holmes Stadium on Wednesday night.
In Round 1 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Finals Series, Mark Crittenden’s men experienced heartbreak in a crushing 5-3 penalty-shootout defeat at the hands of the APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
However their late-season league form earned City third spot and a second chance, which they are eager to make count.
Despite the eventual outcome, Saturday night saw Blacktown produce a spirited performance that presented its fair share of positives for Lewis and his men.
“It was disappointing to lose on penalties,” the defender reflected.
“I felt like we deserved to win that game in normal time after dominating for most of the game.
“Credit to APIA, they defended really well.
“We didn’t finish our chances and penalties are a lottery.
“From our point of view everyone has now forgotten that game, because it is over.
“If we play the way we did on Saturday or against Wollongong towards the end of the season, I’m very confident we can do a job come Wednesday night.”
Wednesday night will not be the first time in recent memory that the two Western Sydney based clubs meet in a high-stakes affair, with City famously triumphing over United 58 back in the 2016 NPL NSW Grand Final.
While he admits it is likely to be far from straightforward, Lewis assured that his youthful Blacktown outfit have what it takes to book a spot in next weekend’s Preliminary Final.
“We’ve played against them many times and their team hasn’t changed too much from year to year.
“We’re very confident for the game and know what to expect from them.
“They probably know what to expect from us too, and we both played 120 minutes on the weekend so it will be pretty even again.”
By National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Reporter Chris Curulli (Twitter handle @ChrisCurulli)