Friday, July 31, 2009

Metro should stay top and Taroona second in Division One

Hobart United, the bottom side in the Division One competition, can move off the foot of the ladder by beating second-placed Taroona away at Kelvedon Park on Sunday.

United are a point behind second-last Christian United, who have the bye, and even a point against Taroona will enable them to change places with Christian United.

The return of key central defender Alex Bellini will boost Hobart United’s chances.

He appealed successfully against his suspension after being sent off against Nelson Eastern Suburbs a couple of weeks ago.

“It’ll be nice to have a mature head around the field with the return of Alex Bellini,” said Hobart United coach, Mark Broadbent.

“Nathan Grandin is back from the army and will be in goal, while John and Peter Otto are also available.

“It’s a big game and a huge one for us.”

Taroona coach, Ben Horgan, said last week’s draw against leader Metro had all but ended his side’s title chances.

“We haven’t played Hobart United since round 3 and, apparently, they’ve got a few good players back since then, so we’ll need to be switched on and make sure we show them some respect as they have some very quick and dangerous forwards,” Horgan said.

“Chris Cox came off the bench last week and caused havoc, hitting the back of the net twice, although one goal was ruled offside, so I will have to find room for him in the starting line-up.

“Goalkeeper Tom Shepperd has had stitches in his back and may not be fit by Sunday, in which case Jon Burridge will play.”

Third-placed Beachside host fourth-placed Nelson Eastern Suburbs at Sandown Park on Saturday, while Metro are at home to fifth-ranked Northern Suburbs DOSA at North Chigwell.

Nicholas Roberts returns for Nelson as Robert Brooke is unavailable, and Ben Gibson retains his place in goal while Nic DeCarpentier returns through the reserves.

Oliver Ireland, 15, will be on the bench, together with striker Tom Gordon, who has returned from a European holiday, and Jordan Brighella.

“We have played okay in our last two games and are starting to look like we can play some football, but we'll need to be at a higher level again for Beachside,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“This is our last chance to get a decent result against them this season, so we can’t afford any sloppy mistakes at either end of the field and we’ll need to work hard to get some pressure on them as well over the full 90 minutes.”

Beachside will be without Luke Atkin, who is unavailable, while Sam McDonald returns to the line-up.

“We are looking forward to playing at home again and following up from the six goal victory on Monday night,” said Beachside coach, Nathan Robinson.

“The pitch was in excellent condition during the week and this should help us get back to playing some neat passing football.”

Metro should have no problems in overcoming DOSA.

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