MetroStars move to cusp of SA Premier League soccer top-two
METROSTARS are hunting double glory as they reel in the SA Premier League soccer top two.
The Klemzig club moved to within one point of second-placed Adelaide Comets after Jonathan Negus’ hat-trick fired it to a 5-0 win over bottom side Cumberland United at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday.
The confidence-boosting victory extended MetroStars’ unbeaten run to five matches ahead of next week’s FFA Cup SA semi-final against West Torrens Birkalla.
Coach Robbie Saraceno said his side, which trailed league-leader Adelaide City by seven points, had the belief and quality to challenge for silverware in both competitions.
“Adelaide City and Comets have been the standouts so far this year and the most consistent,” Saraceno said.
“But our guys have done really well.
“Credit to them for the way they’ve kept going about their business without any fuss.“We are creeping up and hopefully in the next few weeks, with the semi-final of the cup as well, we can keep our good form going.”
MetroStars raced to a 2-0 lead inside the opening four minutes against the Foxes as Negus and defender Cohan Morris were on target early.
Justin Davis all but sealed the result midway through the first half, before Negus scored twice after the break to complete the rout.
“Sometimes in the past we’ve struggled to play against the teams that are down towards the bottom of the table,” Saraceno said.
“But we got off to a really good start on Saturday and actually played a good 90 minutes.
“We had a chat at half-time when it was 3-0 and said ‘don’t worry about the score line too much, just go through the principles of what we need to do and everything else will sort itself out’.
“To the boys’ credit, everyone went through the process and we were rewarded for it.”
Saraceno praised the performance of utility Negus, who took advantage of being deployed in an attacking role.
He said the veteran’s work rate and positive attitude was rubbing off on his teammates.
“He actually hasn’t missed a (training) session this season, so he’s really fit at the moment,” Saraceno said.
“He’s a very versatile player who can play pretty much anywhere on the park.
“He’s doing really well at the moment and while he’s in good form, we’ll take it.”