The Central Coast Mariners Foxtel Y-League side are back in action tonight, taking on fellow Conference leaders Sydney FC in a late night battle.
Both teams sit on top of Conference B, tied on 11 points and undefeated through five of their eight matches and having played out a thrilling 3-3 draw the last time they met.
The Mariners come in off the back of a clean sheet victory over Canberra United last week despite missing some key names, while the Sky Blues thrashed Newcastle 5-3 in a goal-fest.
With only two games each left following this clash, there’s every chance this meeting could decide the Conference B winner, but Head Coach Nick Montgomery would not be drawn on it ahead of the game.
“As we have with every game in a short season, we treat this one as another cup final,” he said on Saturday.
“We will be going there to get a result against a very good Sydney, we know what they bring to the table from our game earlier in the season and it should be a cracking match.”
Kick-off will be at 9pm at the back end of a Sydney FC triple-header at Kogarah, a new experience for many of the players to be kicking off so late.
After missing key players last weekend in the win over Sydney Montgomery should have close to a full-strength side to pick from, but reinforced the notion that the battle for places continues to be a trend of the season.
“We might have one or two guys back this week, but the competition for places has been excellent this season and it means that most spots are up for grabs at times.”
“It’s a shame we can’t have a bigger bench because there’s a lot of boys who shouldn’t miss out on a game like this.”
“The late kick-off time will be a test, but we’ve done some later training sessions to try and acclimatise the boys so I think they’ll be ready to go.”
Match Details |
Foxtel Y-League Round 7
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
Nestrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah