Crunch time for Western NSW Mariners FC women

WESTERN NSW Mariners FC skipper Teegan Courtney says it is “crunch time” for her side this Sunday as they fight for women’s State League survival against St George.

REPEAT NEEDED: Mariners skipper Teegan Courtney makes an attacking run against St George earlier this season. She and her team-mates must beat the Saints on Sunday to remain in finals contention. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

REPEAT NEEDED: Mariners skipper Teegan Courtney makes an attacking run against St George earlier this season. She and her team-mates must beat the Saints on Sunday to remain in finals contention. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

The match, to be played at Orange’s Jack Brabham Park, is a must win for the Mariners as they have three weeks left to force their way into the top four on the ladder.

Courtney and her team-mates have a three-point gap to make up on University of New South Wales, the side they will play in the final round.

“It’s certainly crunch time now, I want to play more than three games," Courtney said.

“We need to win not just for us, but for the club championships as well. We are sitting in third last at the moment, so we need to win all of our games this weekend from under 17s up.”

St George currently sits in second place on the ladder and with seven wins from its last nine games, is a team in form.

But the Mariners beat the Saints 3-2 at Orange earlier this season and Courtney is planning for a repeat result.

“We are familiar with the type of soccer that they like to play, so hopefully we can shut them down and knock them off this weekend,” she said.

“They’ve got a pretty good midfielder who just sends the ball wherever she wants to … so I guess we have to make sure we shut down her passing game.”

Western heads into the match on the back of a 9-0 win over Parramatta, but the captain said her side must improve on that performance in order to beat the Saints.

“We treated that a bit like a training run, we knew the areas that we needed to work on and we tried to concentrate on those areas. But it was very slow and very sloppy,” she said.

“We missed a lot of goals, we could’ve scored double what we did to be honest, so we worked a lot on shooting drills at training.”

Sunday’s match at Orange’s Jack Brabham Park will kick-off at 3pm.

Meanwhile, the Western NSW Mariners FC men will meet Dulwich Hill FC on Saturday night in the National Premier League’s 3 competition.

Though Dulwich will start as favourite given it is hosting the match at Arlington Oval and currently sit eight spots ahead of the Mariners on the ladder, there is hope for the Western outfit.

Dulwich has not managed a win in its last three outings, while earlier in the season when the pair met, a Jaiden Culbert goal gave the Mariners a 1-0.

Saturday’s match will kick-off at 7pm.