United strives to get season on track

07/03/2020. SSW/HSW. Sunbury. FFA Cup. Sunbury United v Altona North. Sunbury’s Ashley Webster. (Shawn Smits) 206070_06

By Oliver Lees

Sunbury United Football Club is looking to get its season back on track after a “roller coaster” first seven games in the men’s state league 3 north-west.

Speaking before the club’s game match against Craigieburn City Football Club, Sunbury president Grag Czapnik said it had been an up and down start to the year.

“It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for us, we haven’t properly hit our straps,” Czapnik said.

“Squad wise we’re pleased with who we’ve got ,but with our form it’s really a matter who’s going to turn up on the day.

“One week we played a top side and for 73 minutes we battered them, then made one mistake and they scored.”

Sunbury were off to a similarly good start against Western Eagles Football Club on May 7 after Ashley Webster netted the first goal of the match after just four minutes.

But two yellow cards in quick succession to Akos Surjan saw him sent off the field in the 25th minute.

Czapnik said his side struggled with one less player on the field in the second half despite goalkeeper Rory Curran having a strong game, as they went down 2-1.

“We were on fire for the first 15 minutes, but [after the red card] the game changed and we were chasing shadows,” he said.

Earlier in the season, Sunbury was leading a match at home 3-0 when the lights at the stadium went out.

The game was called off and a decision made by the league that the game would be replayed in the future, which Czapnik said was indicative of their luck so far this season.

“We don’t seem to be able to win a trick,” he said.

After seven rounds Sunbury sat seventh on the ladder, just one point behind Craigieburn.

Sunbury has maintained a positive goal difference despite sitting in the bottom half of the table, with nine goals for and seven against.

Sunbury striker Ashley Webster has done the bulk of the scoring with five goals.

Czapnik said Webster has been a stand out for them so far this season.

“Ashley Webster is a class above,” he said, after praising the forward’s early goal in the match against the Western Eagles.

“In fact I would say he’s the best striker in the league.”

Czapnik added that with plenty of matches left he’s still confident his side can claim one of the two spots that confirms promotion.

“It’s going to be a strange season, we’ve got to create our own luck and hope the ball bounces our way,” he said.

“The next four weeks are critical for all sides, it’s going to shape who’s going to be contenders.”

Update: Sunbury drew with Craigieburn 1 – 1 on the weekend.