With the competition gearing up to sprint to the finish line, every game is must win this weekend in the State League Men’s.

Wagga City Wanderers vs. St. George FA – Saturday 30 July, 3PM at O’Connor Park

St. George FA will be hoping to continue their rampant surge towards the Premiership this weekend, but will face a testing journey south to face the Wagga City Wanderers.

St. George currently sit nine points ahead of second placed Hurstville FC (albeit, having played two more games) and have shown no signs of slowing down.

Last week the league leaders showed great resilience to fight back strongly against Gazy Auburn and claim all three important points. Midweek, they tore apart Prospect United 4-0 thanks to goals from Lawson, Armstrong and a brace from Messam. The score could have been higher, with St. George missing a penalty late on.

St. George coach Manny Spanoudakis admits that they weren’t at their best on Tuesday, despite the result.

“It wasn’t our most polished performance, but I’m happy to pick up another valuable three points. We now get ready for a massive game against Wagga on Saturday.”

There will undoubtedly be tired legs this Saturday, particularly after a long journey to Wagga. The Wanderers will feel confident of their ability to upset the applecart and test St. George’s defence.

They will be without Callum Dunbar, who has succumbed to injury; however, likely welcome the return of Antonio Vastano as well as the introduction of Carlos Alonso into the starting line up.

Coach Andrew Douglas admits, “This will be a very tough game for us… St. George are an extremely good side and their win ratios show that and that’s why they’re on top.”

“We will be hoping to replicate our second half from last week and push St. George for ninety minutes. They gave us a bit of a football lesson last time we played.”

 

Hurstville City Minotaurs vs. Hurstville FC – Sunday 31 July, 3PM at Heffron Park

The stakes are high for Hurstville FC in this weekend’s derby against the Hurstville City Minotaurs, for more than the usual reasons.

Both clubs are extremely proud of their badge and heritage, with the Derby typically an intense and physical affair with everything on the line.

Hurstville FC sit in second place, nine points below St. George – however, with two games in hand. A win this weekend is absolutely crucial, regardless of the opposition.

Despite being in quite a contrasting position on the ladder, the Minotaurs will relish the opportunity to ruin their rival’s Premiership chances this season. During a blue spell earlier in the month, they proved they have what it takes to beat anyone.

Minotaurs coach Peter Sarikakis acknowledges that this weekend’s game will be a very close encounter, perhaps determined by who has the most luck.

“After last week’s disappointing result, we need to get back on track. It won’t be an easy game; the lucky bounce may decide the winner.”

 

-by Daniel Palmer, Football NSW State League Men’s Reporter