Cup Round Preview
April 25th at 2:45, Round 3 of the SAASL Challenge Cup kicks off. The Match to keep an eye on takes place at Lockley’s oval where Division 1’s WEST BEACH FC host Sunday Division 3 team Rowe Park United
THE GREAT DIVIDE
This tasty match up sees the largest divide out of all the cup fixtures this week. Promoted to Division 1 in 2019, West Beach had a very decent 2020, finishing runner up on goal difference in the Palm Mckay Shield. This was followed by a notable run to the Presidents Cup quarter-finals. Rowe Park are no strangers to West Beach, having been relegated to Div 3 in 2019. They lost both their encounters with Beach that year, an eventful round 4 clash where they went down 6-4, and a 1-0 loss in round 13.
West Beach are known for their organised defence – conceding only 9 goals in the Palm/McKay shield in 2020. However, life in Div 1 has started quite differently from how they would have liked, mustering only 1 point from the first two rounds. Beach were desperately close to being 0-2 last weekend, if not for a peach of a free-kick from Connor McManus in the 90th minute to scrape a draw against Parra Hills West.
In entirely contrasting fashion Rowe Park have launched their 2021 Div 3 promotion campaign in frightening fashion scoring 2 big wins against Maiwand and Macedonia and racking up an enormous +13 goal difference. Rowe Parks emphatic form has followed on from a similarly positive 2020 season where they won the Iain Gossland shield, beating out Metrostars by 4 points and finishing with a staggering +25 goal difference. They also had a run to the quarter-finals of the presidents’ cup, scoring against Div 1 side Ingle Farm on the way out.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
James Rolston earned himself a red card early in the first half against Parra Hills West, for dissent, so expect to see him, munging on the local grub as his gaffer gives him daggers…
Aganze Ngashalume managed only 2 goals from his 7 games for Rowe Park last season, however, he has as many in 2 games in 2021. Alongside Eddie Prom and Rian Dorrian, Rowe Park have a dangerous attacking unit – that will actively take the game to West Beach. If Rowe Park are to win expect to see Ngashalume on the score sheet.
WHO’S GOT THE EDGE?
West Beach will be desperate to get a win on the board and get their season started, a cup round presents their best chance to get a W on the board. They’ve had two tight games against tough opposition and this could kick start their season with a kinder fixture in round 3. Rowe Park look a class above in Division 3, and they will be licking their lips at an opportunity for a ‘giant killing’. West Beach will score in this match but expect goals from a Rowe Park outfit high on confidence. These two are no strangers to high scoring affairs having played out a 10 goal thriller back in round 3 2019. Will we get a similar result on Sunday?