CHARLESTOWN City coach Mark Wilson is banking on a fresh Mitch Wallace to spark the Blues in their crucial catch-up clash against South Cardiff at Lisle Carr Oval tonight.
Wallace sat out the 5-1 thumping of West Wallsend on Sunday.
Scott Smith scored a hat-trick against the Bluebells but is in Goulburn at the police academy and unavailable tonight.
Aaron Pritchard (ankle) is also sidelined, leaving Wallace and Kane Goodchild to lead the line.
‘‘Scott scored a hat-trick on the weekend but we are getting goals from other areas as well,’’ Wilson said. ‘‘Goody is scoring and Mitch Wallace is getting a couple as well.
‘‘Mitch didn’t get a start on the weekend. He was rested as part of a rotation. He will be fired up for sure.’’
The battle with the Gunners is the Blues’ fourth game in 11 days. They were upset 3-2 by Edgeworth on Thursday night. They played most of the match with 10 men after defender Kyle Hodges was sent off.
‘‘We were down 2-0 at half-time and got back to 2-all but they got a penalty at the end,’’ Wilson said.
The loss was the Blues’ fourth of the season. They sit in fourth place on 27 points, two points behind the Jets youth team and Hamilton Olympic, who play Edgeworth tomorrow night.
‘‘Finishing in the top three is in the back of our minds,’’ Wilson said. ‘‘We can’t afford to lose tomorrow night if we want to achieve that.
‘‘The three above us have a bit of a break.
‘‘A win would also pretty much seal a finals spot. We are not guaranteed one and we have to be up for it tonight.’’
Grand finalists last season, South Cardiff are in fifth on 22 points but are only a win ahead of Edgeworth.
‘‘Piggo [coach Steve Piggott] will be up for it and we are expecting a tough game,’’ Wilson said.
‘‘We haven’t struck them this year, but I watched them against Magic [1-0] on Saturday and thought they were unlucky. They played some really good stuff.
‘‘Jarryd Johnson is a bit of a go-to man up front. In saying that, they had a lot of young kids, a couple I didn’t recognise, who were very mobile and dangerous.’’
Charlestown were sluggish in the first half against relegation favourites West Wallsend on Sunday but powered home to win 5-1.
‘‘First half we were well off,’’ Wilson said. ‘‘I put that down to being tired from Thursday and being on a heavy pitch again.
‘‘The second half was a much improved performance, but we will need to start like that against Southy.’’