With only four rounds remaining, a win this weekend will go a long way to deciding the Nelson Pine Industries first division football title.
The two sides looking ever more likely to challenge for the championship, FC Nelson Sprig & Fern and FC Nelson Fuji Xerox, will lock horns at Guppy Park this Saturday.
FC Nelson Sprig & Fern will be buoyed be an impressive 6-1 thrashing of Queens St Pharmacy Richmond Athletic, now holding an eight goal differential over its inner-club rivals.
Richmond had proven to be a bit of a bogey side for FC Nelson Sprig & Fern, losing twice to the defending champions this year before Saturday’s emphatic win.
Solomon Island international captain Henry Fa’arado proved his quality with a well-taken hat-trick, target man Nigel Hale scored a brace and the always impressive Davi Maciel Gonzalez chipped in on the scoresheet as the side ran out clear winners on the day.
But goal differential is all that separates the two FC Nelson teams, both sides sit equal on 28 competition points. The two have managed to beat each other already this season, also drawing on one other occasion.
FC Nelson Sprig & Fern manager Rick Gower highlighted the x-factor Henry brings to the team and acknowledged that a loss this weekend could see FC Nelson Fuji Xerox put one hand on the trophy.
“It’s quite realistic to think if they get a win and we don’t then it’ll obviously tilt in their favour and the same goes for us,” says Rick.
“I’m pretty confident and the boys are quite confident that they’ll go out there and do their best and get a result.”
FC Nelson Fuji Xerox kept up the pace thanks to a 1-0 victory over AMI Nelson Suburbs first XI. Standout Johnny Gough scored the only goal of the match to ensure three points went to FC Nelson.
Defenders Kerry Eggers and Sam Miller were rock solid at the back while keeper Dean Hill and Derryn French won the praise of their coach Robbie Hansen.
Robbie says the physical nature of the Suburbs match has done the team the world of good ahead of Saturday’s game.
“We’ve had a good run and winning creates confidence. This weekend will go a long way to deciding the title, both teams have the bye coming up and the pressure will go on both teams depending on what happens this weekend,” he says.
The big match is scheduled for a 3pm kick off at Guppy Park.