By Chris Curulli
St Augustines’ and Narrabeen enter this weekend’s contest at Narrabeen Sports High School with remarkable similar starts to the season.
In what has been a highly competitive start to the campaign following lockdown, both sides sit level within a congested table on six points apiece.
Saints coach Sam Panetta is expecting a response from his side’s crushing 4-1 defeat to Wakehurst last time out when they tackle another tough away trip on Saturday.
“They (Narrabeen) are a quality side who can score goals so I guess defensively we just need to be switched on, be compact and just work together,” he said.
“We’ve got great attackers in our side as well so I think we can create chances.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty even game and probably the team that takes chances is probably going to be celebrating at the end of the day.
“But I’m looking forward to it being a challenge for the boys, and especially they’ve shown they can bounce back so I’m looking forward to seeing how they react on the weekend.”
It is very much a new-look Saints this year, with the appointment of Panetta who has entered the competition with a youthful squad.
The coach is hoping to establish a sense of consistency as his outfit continue to gel as a unit.
“We’re pretty young team overall so we’re still trying to get our style and with the young guys,” he said.
“You do get that roller coaster when sometimes you can get some great results and sometimes you drop concentration for a little bit and get punished in key moments.
“I guess overall I think the boys have been working hard and if they’re ready to fight I think they can compete with every team.
“Even though last week (versus Wakehurst) we weren’t better in the key moments I think we created more chances than we did the week before when we beat Curly.
“I said to the boys that they need to keep working and they’ll hopefully get more consistency as we progress.”
In other action, table-toppers Pittwater travel to St Matthews Farm to face CC Strikers and Brookvale look to bounce back at home to high-flying Belrose-Terry Hills.
Last weekend’s victors Manly Vale welcome Harbord to David Thomas while Seaforth clash with Curl Curl and Mosman lock horns with Wakehurst.