United facing a tough run-in

Wollongong United players Joel Taddeo, Rick Goodchild and Marcelo Guerrero train on Thursday night. Albion Park are looking to upset Wollongong’s top-five chances at Terry Reserve today. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI
Nanjing Night Net

Beware the carefree Albion Park: that’s the message from Wollongong United skipper Ricky Goodchild as the White Eagles look to puncture the finals chances of their Bert Bampton Cup nemesis.

Out of contention for the Illawarra Premier League finals, a free-flowing Albion Park delivered a blow to Dapto Dandaloo’s title hopes in an entertaining 2-2 draw last weekend.

Now they have their sights set on wrecking Wollongong United’s post-season plans as the one-time competition leaders cling to a top five berth.

“They’ve got some quality players,” Goodchild said. “At the start of the season I definitely thought they would be top four or five easily.

“When they click they’re going to be very dangerous.

“I watched them against [Dapto] Dandaloo on the weekend and they could have won that game. We have to be on the top of our game to get the points there.”

The trip to Terry Reserve forms part of a testing run-in for Wollongong United, who will play last season’s grand finalists Dapto Dandaloo and Tarrawanna in the final two rounds.

Steve Micevski’s men currently occupy a finals spot – four points ahead of sixth-placed Wollongong Olympic whose finals chances have plummeted in recent weeks.

“We’ve got a little bit of a gap now, but we’ve got a very hard run in with Albion Park, [Dapto] Dandaloo and Tarrawanna,” Goodchild said.

“It’s definitely not sewn up and we just have to go into this weekend looking to get the three points against Albion Park at their home ground.”

Wollongong United snapped a four-match losing streak in the league with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Wollongong Olympic last weekend.

It was a match Goodchild hopes will set a trend defensively for the rest of the season.

“We’ve always scored goals, but as a team defensively we haven’t been at our best and have given away cheap goals,” he said.

“We’ve led games and then we’ve let it slip and lost. That’s probably been our downfall, so it was really good to keep a clean sheet.”

Title contenders Dapto Dandaloo, Bulli and Tarrawanna will also be in action today.

Cringila and Port Kembla kicked off round 20 last night.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.