Only two points separate the leading four teams on the ladder as the race for the PlayStation® 4 NPL Capital Football title heats up.
With matches running out none of the leading protagonists can afford to slip up on what promises to be another intriguing weekend of action.
Leaders Tigers FC, top of the pile on goal difference, have the first chance to stake a claim as they face the FFA COE on Saturday afternoon but they will have to do so without suspended striker Daniel Barac, sent off against Canberra Olympic last weekend, as well as Julian Borgna and Alan Gaston, suspended for receiving four yellow cards. And with striker Alex Oloriegbe having transferred to Canberra FC, the onus will be on Nicolas Abot and Stephen Domenici to provide the goals.
The FFA COE meanwhile will be missing their leading scorer John Roberts, also missing out due to a suspension for hitting four yellow cards, and they will look to recover from a disappointing 1-0 loss to Gungahlin United at Nicholls Synthetic on Matchday 12. If FFA COE can rediscover the goal-scoring form that saw them net seven against the Academy and four against Woden-Weston, they could cause problems.
Attention will then switch to McKellar Park where Belconnen United and Canberra Olympic clash in a huge match. Olympic, second on the ladder heading into the weekend, and the Blue Devils both scored impressive results last week with Olympic going to Cooma and ending the Tigers unbeaten league record whilst Belconnen stormed the home of their old rivals Canberra FC.
A win for either side will set them in good stall for the run-in whilst a defeat could ultimately prove disastrous.
Woden-Weston FC and Monaro Panthers will clash for the John Brooks Memorial Shield on Saturday 2nd July coinciding with the first PlayStation® 4 National Premier League first grade match to be played at Duncan Sporting Fields in Googong. Last year the two clubs played off for the John Brooks Memorial Shield at Woden Park in First Grade only.
For 2016, the clubs have agreed and received approval from Judith Brooks, to honour John’s contribution to football by expanding the Shield to cover all PS4 NPL teams on that day, encompassing NPL, NPL20 and NPL18.
Woden-Weston FC are the current holders of the trophy, but Monaro Panthers will be keen to christen their new venue in the suburb of Googong with some silverware. The day is sure to be a great celebration of John, football and the two clubs.
On Sunday title chasing Canberra FC will be out to make sure that they force their way back into contention when they welcome Tuggeranong United to Deakin Stadium. FC, with Oloriegbe back in the ranks and with some of their walking wounded coming back into the fray, will be wary of the Tuggeranong challenge. United haven’t played since 12th June and will be champing at the bit to get back into it.
The final match of the round sees Gungahlin United make the trip to Hawker Football Centre to play the CU Academy. The Gunners, following their 1-0 win over the FFA COE on Matchday 1s, courtesy of a late winner from Christian Junna, will be eyeing that fifth spot on the ladder knowing that the maximum return will keep Tuggeranong and the chasers at arms’ length for another week.
The Academy will be focusing on improving from their narrow loss to Woden-Weston as they attempt to move off the bottom of the ladder.
Round 13 Fixtures
Saturday 2nd July
FFA COE v Tigers FC
Monaro Panthers v Woden-Weston FC
(Duncan Oval, 15:00)
Belconnen United v Canberra Olympic
(McKellar Park, 17:30)
Sunday 3rd July
CU Academy v Gungahlin United
(Hawker Football Centre, 15:00)
Canberra FC v Tuggeranong United
(Deakin Stadium, 15:00)
CLICK HERE to view the ladder and leading scorers.