Richmond Rovers to face big test

RICHMOND Rovers’ hopes of chasing down leader Goonellabah hinge on the most difficult away trip in the league, when the defending premiers travel to Pottsville today for a 5pm showdown with the Panthers in Football FNC premier league soccer.

Pottsville has remained undefeated on home soil and with second place on the ladder at stake, the winner will emerge as the biggest threat to Goonellabah.

The Panthers have been in scintillating form, scoring 22 goals in a six-match undefeated run but with several key players sidelined they face their biggest test of depth all season.

Missing will be defenders Blaze Coles and Jarrad Lee, who have been standouts for Pottsville, along with dangerous striker Josh Boag.

New signing from Tweed Valley Kings Steve Pilcher will come into the backline, while Bryce Kiley will fill Boag’s shoes.

Rovers will also have to shuffle their line up, with the Heffernan brothers, Aaron and Jacob missing, opening the door for Jessie Hartman and Blair Smith to get a start.

Rovers’ traditional strength in defence has come under question this year and against the free-scoring Panthers will need to be at its best in what should be a fast-paced and open match.

“We’ll need to watch their player-coach David Lonie; he drives a lot of their play and their striker Mike Kolovos has been scoring a few goals too so we’ll need to contain him as well,” said Rovers coach Tim Sheridan.

With Rovers also boasting plenty of quality finishers in Sheridan, Jonathan See and Bobby Bugden, it could be a high scoring affair where taking every chance will be vital.

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