Manly United come into tonight’s FFA Cup with Bonnyrigg White Eagles as favourites. Manly’s favouritism is based on their superior PS4 NPL form. The FFA Cup has already provided some shocks, think Green Gully’s win over the A-League’s Central Coast or unfancied Northern NSW outfit Edgeworth trouncing leading Queensland NPL club FNQ Heat. Tonight Bonnyrigg have the home ground advantage and virtually nothing to lose, maybe it’s their turn.
It’s Bonnyrigg’s first outing in the FFA Cup’s Final Stages, but for a club with that won the PS4 NPLNSW Championship Final of 2015, their is an expectation for further progress. For Bonnyrigg to win tonight though, there will have to be a massive form reversal.
The western Sydney club are currently four points adrift of the finals position (PS4 NPLNSW website) and in the midst of a shocking form slump. Bonnyrigg have gone 8 matches without a win. Over the weekend the home side were demolished 4-1 by local rivals and NPL leaders Sydney United. The goals have dried up for Bonnyrigg over the last two months.
Interestingly, Bonnyrigg’s NPL slump coincide’s with the approximate time of their FFA Cup Round of 32 qualification. The club qualified with a win over Parramatta FC on 18th May. Their last win was a fortnight later against Blacktown Spartans on 4th June. It’s a long time between drinks for Bonnyrigg but if ever their was reason to rise for a game it’s the Westfield FFA Cup.
If Bonnyrigg are to do the unthinkable, it will most likely be 30 year old striker Robbie Younis. Younis has ten goals this NPL season and poignantly picked up a double in Bonnyrigg’s 3-3 draw with Manly on 19th June. Manager Bryan Brown will look to left sided midfielder Yuta Kokada to step up also.
Manly United will have to deal with inclement conditions and a muddy clogged up pitch at Bonnyrigg Sports Club. But their form suggests they’re the NPL’s most dangerous club. Manly are unbeaten in 9 matches and have scored an intimidating 32 goals in that time. Watch out for Manly’s star youngster Dejan Pandurevic. The 19 year old spent time at the Central Coast Mariners and in Australia’s Young Socceroos team. This season he has scored 12 goals and will be looking to make every post a winner on the national stage tonight.
Kick off is 7:30pm AEST at Bonnyrigg Sports Club, Bonnyrigg. If you can’t get to the ground, do your best to access FoxSports’s painful livestream.