Charlestown are down to just one top-grade defender for their clash at Weston on Sunday after a wild and costly 2-0 defeat against Hamilton at Lisle Carr Oval on Wednesday night.
The Blues will be without Cameron Sullini, who was sent off in the 91st minute for stepping on fallen striker Jed Hornery as Hamilton tried to hold possession and a 1-0 lead. Fellow Charlestown defender Tom Smart earlier copped a fifth yellow card of the season, activating a one-game suspension.
The pair join the injured Daniel Laiman (knee), Zac Lloyd (hamstring), Ljubo Milicevic (knee) and goalkeeper Danny Ireland (thigh) on the sidelines. Laiman and Milicevic’s injuries could be season-ending.
Charlestown coach David Tanchevski said his only available top-grade defender was Kev Davison, who was involved in a late melee on Wednesday night. Scott Smith gave away a 93rd-minute penalty, which Leo Bertos converted, with a foul on Hornery. Davison gained a yellow card for grabbing Hornery in the aftermath.
The defeat left Charlestown fifth on 22 points, behind Maitland on goals difference. Hamilton, who have a game in hand against Valentine, climbed to 19.
Tanchevski, who also has injuries to under-20s defenders, lamented the losses and believed it should take more than five yellows to bring a one-game suspension across a 20-game season.
“We’ve got no luck at the moment,” Tanchevski said.
“If we’d got the win on Wednesday night, we’d be back on track, but we’ve just got to move on and do the job on Sunday.”
Weston (13 points), who are trying to avoid a third consecutive wooden spoon, announced this week the appointment of Kew Jaliens as coach for 2019.
Hamilton, meanwhile, face leaders Edgeworth (30 points) at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday in the highlight of round 17.
Olympic coach Peter McGuinness was proud of the effort against Charlestown and said skipper Kyle Hodges could again be sidelined with a back complaint. Bertos (quadriceps) and Stu Musialik (illness) are other concerns.
“Hopefully we learned a few lessons the other night,” McGuinness said.
“It was a boys to men game. They really got stuck in and were matching what was going on.”
The Eagles, who went top of the table last week with a 4-1 win over Weston, have Daniel McBreen (sick) back but Josh Evans (work) out.
Also Sunday, second-placed Broadmeadow (28) welcome back James Virgili from his Jets trial in China when they host Adamstown, while fourth-placed Maitland take on the Jets Youth.
On Saturday, last-placed Valentine (8) take on third-placed Lambton Jaffas (27) at Edden Oval fresh from news coach Darren Sills will return next season in a joint role.
Sam Griffin, who has been an assistant the past three seasons at Valentine, will become co-coach with Sills at Valentine.
Sillis said Zac Sneddon (quadriceps) and Wilson Edwards (away) would miss the clash with Jaffas.