PREVIEW: Southern League games provide chance for Chatham Cup revenge

posted in: News, Southern League

By Logan Smith and Harrison Ryburn

The Southern League has reached its halfway mark, and teams now begin their schedule of reverse fixtures with this weekend’s round 10 games.

Two fixtures also feature a rematch from Chatham Cup fixtures a few weeks ago, allowing a chance for the losers to avenge their exit.

Four of the round’s five matches will be streamed live and free by FIFA+.

Unbeaten league leaders Cashmere Technical kick off the round at 2pm on Saturday, hosting a Dunedin City Royals team who face a steep task to be competitive in this game.

At 2.45pm, UC Football welcome Ferrymead Bays, who have beaten them twice this season by narrow margins, while Nomads United take on Christchurch United with the hope of repeating their cup upset a few weeks back.

Finally, for Saturday, Selwyn United face the difficult task of trying to hold Coastal Spirit at Foster Park, and will at least target a more competitive showing than their 7-0 loss to Spirit in Round 1.

On Sunday, Nelson Suburbs should easily account for pointless FC Twenty 11 at Saxton Fields in Nelson.

Game of the week

It’s been a rough month for champions Christchurch United so far, as a shock loss against Nomads ended their hopes of retaining the Chatham Cup, then defeat to Cashmere Tech saw them drop out of the National League places.

This weekend sees them return to Tulett Park where Nomads stunned them just a few weeks prior, and the home side will now have the confidence to potentially stage another upset.

However, any suggestions of a crisis may be premature, as the Rams still have seven wins from nine league games and are close to Cashmere and Coastal Spirit on the table.

It’s critical that they don’t slip up against Nomads again on Saturday.

Players to watch

Rico Pradhan.

Ferrymead Bays had to deal with awful conditions and a hungry home side as they took on FC Nelson in the Chatham Cup last weekend, but a composed second half saw them run out 3-1 victors to book their place in the last sixteen.

Despite being subbed just before the hour mark, Chilean Joaquín Julve (25) looked dangerous for the visitors, constantly eluding defenders and creating opportunities in a testing first 45 minutes.

In his second season at Bays, he’s one for UC Football to watch out for when they meet at English Park.

— Logan Smith

While Christchurch United’s defence has been circumspect at times this season, Rico Pradhan (17) has continually stood out as a cool and calm figure, already proving to be a key character for the defending champions for whom he has started eight out of nine league games.

He’s also been selected in Chris Greenacre’s New Zealand squad for the upcoming OFC U-19 Championship in Tahiti, the only Southern League player to make the national squad.

Pradhan will be one to watch when they tackle Nomads on Saturday.

— Harrison Ryburn

Bold prediction

It’s been a season of nearly but not quite in many matches for UC Football, including when they played this weekend’s opponents, Ferrymead Bays, and lost 1-0 to them in the reverse fixture and lost 2-1 to Bays in the Chatham Cup.

However, the games may be catching up to Bays, having had to deal with midweek English Cup football and a trip to Nelson in the Chatham Cup.

I’m picking a surprise 2-1 win for the students.

— Logan Smith

Nomads United have won just one of their last four Southern League fixtures, but pushed second-placed Coastal Spirit all the way in a 1-0 defeat last week and have shown they have the ability to mix it with the big boys.

Meanwhile, Christchurch United are having a tough time of it compared to recent campaigns and suffered a big dent to their National League aspirations in their loss to Cashmere Technical.

I’m picking back-to-back defeats for them and a repeat of Nomads’ Chatham Cup heroics a few weeks ago, with another 3-2 scoreline at Tulett Park.

— Harrison Ryburn

Golden Boot

18 — Garbhan Coughlan (Cashmere Technical)
11 — Joel Stevens (Christchurch United), Alejandro Steinwascher (Coastal Spirit)
9 — Lyle Matthysen (Cashmere Technical)
7 — Satsuki Ito (Ferrymead Bays), Spencer Barber (Nelson Suburbs), David Yoo (Christchurch United), Trevin Myers (Nelson Suburbs)
6 — Flynn Holdem (Nomads United), Jack Hallahan (Cashmere Technical)


Games to be played on Saturday June 22, 2024

Cashmere Technical v Dunedin City Royals
Garrick Memorial Park, Christchurch, 2pm

Nomads United v Christchurch United
Tulett Park, Bishopdale, 2.45pm

UC Football v Ferrymeads Bays
English Park, Christchurch, 2.45pm

Selwyn United v Coastal Spirit
Foster Park, Rolleston, 3pm

Games to be played on Sunday June 23, 2024

Nelson Suburbs v FC Twenty 11
Saxton Fields, Nelson, 12.30pm

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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