Friday night clash leads off important round of Southern League fixtures

posted in: News, Southern League

By Logan Smith

The Southern League’s top two teams, Cashmere Technical and Christchurch United, are threatening to run away again in the race for National League qualification, while their closest chasers face off in Dunedin this weekend.

Elsewhere, a cellar dweller showdown could prove pivotal in the relegation battle.

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Selwyn United kick off the round on Friday night, hosting a red-hot Christchurch United at Foster Park.

Selwyn have been decent so far, with two wins from three, but this will be a real challenge.

Saturday kicks off with two Dunedin-based fixtures. Dunedin City Royals host Ferrymead Bays, and as the closest challengers to the top two, it’s a critical game for the ambitions of both sides. Nelson Suburbs make the longest journey in the National League Regional Phase to take on Green Island at Sunnyvale Park.

Later at Tulett Park, Nomads host FC Twenty 11 in what may be an early relegation six-pointer, with both sides yet to pick up a point so far.

Finally, on Sunday, Coastal Spirit welcome leaders Cashmere Tech to Linfield Park on Sunday, hoping to back up their first win against a formidable opponent that cannot stop scoring goals.

Game of the week

The nerves of a relegation battle may already be settling in for Nomads United and FC Twenty 11, because both sides have suffered three straight losses to date.

Nomads come in with the worst defensive record in the division, letting in 12 goals in three games, but their opponents FC Twenty 11 are yet to even find the back of the net.

At home and having played tougher opponents than FC Twenty 11, Nomads appear as favourites to win, but it is one that both clubs sorely need.

Bold prediction

Cashmere Tech and Christchurch United look really on song so far, but I think both may have their closest games yet this weekend.

Selwyn pushed United close on a similar weeknight fixture in 2022, and barring a disaster ten minutes against the Royals, have actually looked decent defensively this season.

Coastal are also off the back of a clean sheet and tend to have well-contested games against Cashmere, so could also surprise in giving their visitors a test.

Player to watch

Versatile attacker Connor Neil has netted in every game so far for Dunedin City Royals and has been an ever-present figure in the Royals side in the Southern League over the years.

He’ll make his 100th appearance for the club should he take the field against Ferrymead Bays and could be in to continue his strong form for a Royals team that is scoring plenty.

One more thing …

Here are the leading goalscorers in the Southern League so far:

10 — Garbhan Coughlan (Cashmere Technical)

7 — Sam Philip (Christchurch United)

4 — Connor Neil (Dunedin City Royals)

3 — Benjamin Stanley (Dunedin City Royals)

2 — Zander Edwards (Cashmere Technical), Declan Hickford (Nomads United), Harrison McLean (Green Island), Ollie Petersen (Dunedin City Royals), Cameron Rean (Ferrymead Bays), Alex Risdale (Nelson Suburbs), Eoghan Stokes (Christchurch United), Declan Tyndall (Cashmere Technical).


Game to be played on Friday April 14, 2023

Selwyn United v Christchurch United
Foster Park, Rolleston, 7pm

Games to be played on Saturday April 15, 2023

Dunedin City Royals v Ferrymead Bays
Dunedin Artificial Turf, Dunedin, 12pm

Green Island v Nelson Suburbs
Sunnyvale Park, Green Island, 12.30pm

Nomads United v FC Twenty 11
Tulett Park, Bishopdale, 2.45pm

Game to be played on Sunday April 16, 2023

Coastal Spirit v Cashmere Technical
Linfield Park, Bromley, 12pm


Logan Smith

Logan Smith is a passionate football fan and volunteer, based in Dunedin, covering the Southern League.

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