Time is the enemy for all of the top four teams in PlayStation 4 NPL Capital Football with just four rounds remaining until the league champion is crowned.
With four teams chasing the silverware, none can afford a slip-up between now and the conclusion of the campaign if they wish to take the ACT place in the PS4 NPL Finals series for 2016.
Third placed Belconnen United are first in action when they take to the field at McKellar Park to tackle Woden-Weston FC on Saturday evening. The Blue Devils squeezed past Tuggeranong United on Matchday 14 to keep within four points of leaders Tigers FC and with Woden-Weston FC yet to win away this season, Belconnen will be confident of a win. When the teams met earlier in the season the Blue Devils romped to a 5-0 success and, with the best goal difference of the title chasers, they will be hoping for a repeat.
Canberra Olympic, who sat out last weekend and thus have a game in hand, will face a stern test off fast improving Tuggeranong United at O’Connor Enclosed on Sunday. United were unlucky to only draw with Canberra FC and lose narrowly to Belconnen in recent weeks and have proved to be a tough opposition all season. Olympic have plenty of depth to ensure they get the result they need, but a maximum return is surely a must if they are to harbour hopes of catching Tigers FC.
As for Tigers FC, they travel to Queanbeyan to take on Monaro Panthers at the Riverside Stadium. The Tigers showed their championship class last weekend edging a thriller against the CU Academy, winning in a manner that titles are made of by snatching a dramatic late effort from the spot. In 18-goal Stephen Domenici they have the most prolific forward in the competition and the Panthers, without suspended midfielder Sam Roestbakken, will need to be wary of the all-round threat posed by the leaders.
Canberra FC, who start the weekend in fourth, behind Belconnen United on goal difference alone, are another who simply cannot afford anything but a win when Gungahlin United visit Deakin Stadium on Sunday. FC put the Gunners to the sword in the pre-season Charity Shield at Gungahlin Enclosed and were narrow 1-0 winners in Round 6. Thomas James, with 11 goals, is their main threat, but with players coming back from injury, Canberra FC are looming dangerously.
Wednesday 20th July
CU Academy v Woden-Weston FC
(Hawker Football Centre, 20:00)
Saturday 23rd July
Belconnen United v Woden-Weston FC
(McKellar Park, 17:30)
Sunday 24th July
Canberra Olympic v Tuggeranong United
(O’Connor Enclosed, 15:00)
Canberra FC v Gungahlin United
(Deakin Stadium, 15:00)
Monaro Panthers v Tigers FC
(Riverside Stadium, 15:00)