PREVIEW: Pressure goes on Southern League’s leading pair

posted in: News, Southern League

By Logan Smith and Harrison Ryburn

With Coastal Spirit breathing down their necks and likely to ease past FC Twenty 11, the pressure is on Christchurch United and Cashmere Technical this weekend.

They host Nelson Suburbs and travel to Ferrymead Bays, respectively.

Both are fancied to win, but will need to navigate competitive fixtures with a crunch clash coming up between them next round.

Dunedin City Royals are again in action in the earliest game of the round, welcoming Selwyn United to Tahuna Park and hoping to make it three home wins on the bounce.

Later on Saturday, at 2pm, current champions Christchurch United take on Nelson Suburbs at United Sports Centre, with both off the back of impressive wins.

Struggling FC Twenty 11 — still without a league point — host unbeaten Coastal Spirit.

Ferrymead Bays will look to test Cashmere Technical at Ferrymead Park, and UC Football will take on Nomads United.

Game of the week

Christchurch United and Nelson Suburbs both love to attack and entertain their supporters, as evidenced by their latest wins, where United thrashed Selwyn 5-1, and Nelson defeated Ferrymead Bays 4-2.

United risk dropping out of the National League places if they fail to win, but Suburbs could reignite their fleeting hopes if they can pull off an unlikely victory.

Jacob Killick.

Can they upset the hosts?

Probably not, but we should see a few goals or so.

Players to watch

After a frustrating start to the season, UC Football turned on the style last weekend against FC Twenty 11, and one particular player who alleviated such frustration was youngster Jacob Killick (19), with a cooly taken hat-trick marking his first three goals of the season.

This weekend, should he be deployed as a centre forward again. He’s one to keep an eye on, as UC host his former club Nomads, and they’ll target back-to-back wins.

— Logan Smith

South African defensive midfielder Travis Graham (30) is the latest to join Ryan Edwards’s Christchurch United side, having played professionally as recently as last June with Maritzburg United and previously Ajax Cape Town in the South African Premier Division.

Graham made his debut against Selwyn United last weekend, making an instant impact in a big 5-1 win, and will be one to watch against Nelson Suburbs this Saturday.

— Harrison Ryburn

Bold predictions

After some minor improvements, it’s back to the drawing board for FC Twenty 11 after a 6-1 humiliation at home to UC Football in what was supposed to be a close relegation battle clash.

Off that, it’s probably not ideal that their next task is to face in-form Coastal Spirit and their dangerous  goalscorer Alexander Steinwascher.

Spirit know the National League places could come down to goal difference, so I’m picking them to run riot and hit double digits with a 10-0 win here.

— Logan Smith

Cashmere Technical remain one of only two unbeaten Southern League sides, and appear to be hitting their straps with three consecutive clean sheets and 37 goals in their last five games in all competitions.

That doesn’t bode well for a Bays team who are three league games without a clean sheet, but they’ve been competitive this season and should ask a few questions before falling to a 3-1 defeat to the competition leaders.

— Harrison Ryburn

Golden Boot

18 — Garbhan Coughlan (Cashmere Technical)
10 — Joel Stevens (Christchurch United)
9 — Alejandro Steinwascher (Coastal Spirit), Lyle Matthysen (Cashmere Technical)
7 — Satsuki Ito (Ferrymead Bays), Spencer Barber (Nelson Suburbs)
5 — David Yoo (Christchurch United), Trevin Myers (Nelson Suburbs)


Games to be played on Saturday May 25, 2024

Dunedin City Royals v Selwyn United
Tahuna Park, Dunedin, 12.30pm

Christchurch United v Nelson Suburbs
United Sports Complex, Christchurch, 2pm

Ferrymead Bays v Cashmere Technical
Ferrymead Park, Ferrymead, 2.45pm

FC Twenty 11 v Coastal Spirit
Avonhead Park, Christchurch, 2.45pm

UC Football v Nomads United
English Park, Christchurch, 2.45pm

Logan Smith

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

Harrison Ryburn

Harrison Ryburn is a Canterbury-based football writer.

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