Round 16 Preview – NPL 2 NSW Men’s

As the temperatures continue to drop, the heat on the field keeps rising. A number of teams have a realistic shot at the Premiership, and the race for the finals is just as intense. Brace yourselves for all the action and unpredictability that has become a trademark of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition.

Match of the Round: Mounties Wanderers vs Bonnyrigg White Eagles, 7pm Saturday 15 June, Cook Park (Mt Pritchard)

Our featured match pits the attacking firepower of Mounties against Bonnyrigg’s defensive steel, and both teams are coming off huge victories over title contenders. Mounties launched a comeback to defeat North Shore Mariners 4-2 last weekend, while Bonnyrigg put in perhaps their best performance of the year to beat Hills United 3-0.

Mounties have now won four on the bounce. Only five points separate them from the top of the table, so Brian Brown’s men have the Premiership firmly in their sights. This run has coincided with the return to form of Sean Rooney, who has four goals in his last three games while former Western Sydney Wanderers legend Mark Bridge’s inclusion into the squad last week has only further strengthened the side.

Meanwhile, Bonnyrigg are ninth, but they have everything to play for as there’s one point between them and the top six. The White Eagles have the joint-best defence in the competition, and will lean on that once again to counter the weapons at Mounties’ disposal. In attack, the likes of Richard Darko and Asmir Kadric could fire Bonnyrigg to victory, and possibly into the finals places.

Blacktown Spartans vs Western Sydney Wanderers, 7pm Saturday 15 June, Blacktown Football Park No. 1

We’re set for an extremely local derby in Rooty Hill, as two clubs with headquarters on Eastern Road meet at Blacktown Football Park. The Wanderers are four places and eight points ahead of the Spartans, however form favours the team in orange after a comprehensive victory over Macarthur last Saturday. Conversely, the Wanderers have not won in four games.

For the Spartans, what can Lachlan Rose do this week? The flying winger put in a performance to match his flowing locks against the Rams, notching two goals and two assists. One of those assists was for Spartans leading scorer Connor Eldridge, helping him end his mini goal drought on the weekend.

Paul Hubbard’s side face a stern test in the Wanderers, who have the most prolific attack in NPL 2. The dynamic duo of Mohamed Adam and Marley Peterson (24 goals between them) combined for another goal in last week’s draw against Central Coast, and Arthur Diles’ young men will not be short of motivation as they look to keep pace with the top two.

Hills United vs Northern Tigers, 7pm Saturday 15 June, Lily Homes Stadium

Ten points separate these clubs going into the weekend, however don’t be fooled – there’s every chance of this being a close contest.

Defeat to Bonnyrigg could have cost Hills top spot, but results elsewhere meant they kept first place. Saturday’s performance was out-of-character for United: not only did it end a run of six games without defeat, it was also only the third time in 2019 that Patrick Zwaanswijk’s side has been kept scoreless. Hills speedster Daniel Fogarty will be keen to make amends for the shutout, and he should be supported well by Jordan Parfait and Nathan Rayner.

On the other hand, Northern Tigers managed to stretch their unbeaten run to eight matches courtesy of a last gasp victory over St George FC. The win showed there is plenty of hope after Joshua Swadling’s move to Hakoah, as Rory Spiers stepped up to nab a crucial late winner. Spiers’ goal was another example of Adam Hett’s team playing for the whole 90 minutes (and beyond) – it was the sixth goal they’ve scored in the 80th minute or later this season.

Canterbury Bankstown FC vs St George FC, 7pm Saturday 15 June, The Crest Athletic Centre

The two bottom sides meet at The Crest, desperate to turn things around and go on a good run as we head towards the end of the campaign.

Canterbury have plenty of new faces, but is there enough time for them to gel so they can catch up to the pack? There is undoubted talent with the likes of Zac Elrich and Aaron D’Mello. Perhaps home field advantage will help Branko Culina’s men, as this is the start of eight home fixtures in the next ten rounds.

St George FC must be sick of the sight of Northern Tigers. The Saints were building some momentum in recent weeks, before the Tigers scored late, just as in Round 2, to condemn them to defeat. However, there are positives at both ends of the field. The defending is much improved (only two goals conceded in the last four games), and Juan Carlos Romero looks to have settled in well on his return from Sutherland Sharks. St George FC made the FFA Cup Round of 32 for the first time last week, so spirits should be high.

Rydalmere Lions vs GHFA Spirit FC, 7pm Saturday 15 June, Valentine Sports Park No. 2

Two clubs with contrasting moods are set to meet at valentine Sports Park. Rydalmere have lost their last four matches, while Spirit FC will be looking to replicate the five star performance against Canterbury on Saturday.

The Lions must be bitterly disappointed after letting a 2-1 lead slip against St George City FA on the weekend. Rydalmere have recently bolstered the attacking stocks with the addition of Sam Perre (from Sydney United) and Garang Awac (from Blacktown Spartans), but 12 goals conceded in the last four games means the defence needs to step up and play its part.

In fourth place and only two points off the lead, Spirit FC are right in the title mix. Louis Bozanic was back amongst the goals against Canterbury, and his double took his tally to eight for the campaign, an impressive haul for a midfielder. More good performances by Bozanic and Travis Cooper (five goals) should help take the attacking pressure off Duncan Stewart.

Central Coast Mariners vs St George City FA, 3pm Sunday 16 June, Pluim Park No. 1

Two teams looking to make a late push for the finals meet at Pluim Park on Sunday, as eighth placed Central Coast Mariners face St George City FA, who currently lie in tenth.

The Mariners have spent the majority of the season either just inside or just outside the finals places, a lack of consistency costing them the chance to mix it with the title contenders. They are winless in three matches, but could have snatched all three points against the Wanderers on Saturday when Alec Vinci’s late header came back off the woodwork. Look to the likes of Dylan Ruiz-Diaz and Jordan Smylie to try and kick start things for Nick Montgomery’s young side.

Meanwhile, things are looking up for St George City FA, who have three wins in their last four matches. City showed great character on the weekend, coming from behind to defeat Rydalmere. That game saw Steve Kuzmanovski end a long scoreless run, and the versatile Matthew Mayora also got on the scoresheet.

North Shore Mariners vs Macarthur Rams, 3pm Sunday 16 June, Valentine Sports Park No. 2

It’s a home fixture (sort of) for North Shore Mariners on Sunday afternoon, as they “host” Macarthur Rams at Valentine Sports Park. On paper, this should be no contest. North Shore have almost double the points of the Rams, and defeated them convincingly back in Round 3. For Claudio Canosa’s team, it’s back to the drawing board after copping six against Blacktown Spartans.

As usual, the two Smiths (Mitchell and Marquin) are expected to lead the way for North Shore. Mitchell is having another excellent season at the head of the North Shore attack, his 12 goal tally bettered only by Western Sydney Wanderers forward Mohamed Adam. Marquin has also found his scoring boots recently, netting six goals in the last four rounds.

However, North Shore showed some defensive frailties on Sunday, conceding four goals in a game for the first time this year. A repeat performance could open things up for the Rams, with tricky winger Clement Ebahece Waoci and crafty midfielder Jamie Dib ready to take advantage.

By Eric Subijano

Twitter – @eric_subijano

Source FNSW website

Round 14 Review – NPL 2 NSW Women’s

There is a new leader at the top of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition. APIA Leichhardt Tigers have usurped Gladesville Ravens from top position in a weekend where the goals flowed, the action was plentiful and the ladder remains constantly evolving. Let’s get onto the review!

Match of the Round: SD Raiders 1 drew with Central Coast Mariners 1

A late strike from Samantha Muscat ensured that SD Raiders shared the points with Central Coast Mariners in a 1-1 draw on Sunday morning at Valentine Sports Park.

The Mariners will rue not taking three precious points, as they controlled much of the contest but as coach Dan Barrett expressed in the post-match “shot when they should’ve passed and vice versa.” Through their frustration, Jade Mcatemney gave them the lead from the spot but the yellow-and-navy were unable to hold on.

For SD Raiders FC, today’s result showed the spirit and determination at the club. Despite going behind, Samantha Muscat produced a moment of magic to bring them back to 1-1. Muscat had a chance for a stoppage time winner but the draw keeps SD Raiders FC in contention for the top five.

Underneath a blazing sun, the contest started at a place which belied the early kick-off. Sarah Mandile flashed an effort across the face of goal in the first 120 seconds of the contest, as an early warning shot.

The Mariners quickly settled into the contest. Their best efforts came down either flank, as Nina Collins cut one back for Danielle Wise to strike low at the keeper, for the Mariners first shot of the contest.

In a tight contest, the game was decided by small moments. A mix-up between the Mariners defender almost allowed Tara Baudana to sneak between them but it was cleared before the net could bulge.

Mariners looked to turn quickly in transition. The movement ended with Iona Snape threaded a pass to Gabrielle Blanch, the striker thrashed her effort wide, as the visitors started to find the upper-hand in the contest.

A pair of superb saves from SD Raiders FC keeper Natasha Pentecost kept the home side locked at 0-0. First, the shotstopper remained big to deny the shot then the follow up from Wise was blocked with a smothering save.

Down the other end, the best chances for SD Raiders FC fell to their two main threats – Mandile and Muscat. The former turned a defender well before a shot deflected out for a corner then later in the first half, Muscat created space but rolled the effort to the keeper.

Buoyed by that double chance, SD Raiders poured downfield again, Baudana was in acres of space, linked with Muscat, who lined up a shot that curled out for a corner. The resulted corner saw Kristi Pavlicevic nod over from close range as the half ended scoreless.

Both sides aimed to make their mark on the second half early doors. Wise swept past a pair of defenders before a shot was comfortably taken by Pentecost then Blanch followed up curving wide. Mariners creating enough chances but lacked the final pass.

SD Raiders FC continued to find their best route came through Muscat. She skipped past a pair of defenders before she shot straight after her strike partner had chipped wide in the 55th minute.

As the clock started to tick into the final quarter, it looked like a set piece might be the best chance to find a goal for Mariners. Mikala Tucker snapped wide from a corner then a Jade Mcatemney free-kick caused chaos but no final touch again.

Mariners need find the opener, coming from the spot. Iona Snape was fouled in the box which saw the referee point to the spot. Mcatemney took the duties, duly slotted home to give Central Coast Mariners a 1-nil lead after 82 minutes.

As quickly as the Mariners snatched the lead, SD Raiders FC countered with the equaliser. Samantha Muscat had the ball break to her in the box, the experienced striker lashed home a strong effort, making it 1-1.

SD Raiders FC coach Terry Gray urged his side forward to find a second goal, and the Raiders had a chance to snatch it late. Muscat rose highest from a corner, got a good connection but the ball struck firstly the post then the back of Rhiannon Hines, the latter gratefully gathered the ball to ensure the draw.

Speaking afterwards, Mariners boss Dan Barrett lamented their lack of polish on the end of their work today as it was two points dropped in their chase for the top five:

“Like the last few weeks, we’ve controlled the play. It was just the final touch let us down tonight. We shot when we should’ve passed and vice versa. Scoring goals hasn’t been a problem lately but it was today for us.” said Barrett.

“When you look at the game, we were good enough for the three but that is two points dropped for us. Credit to SD Raiders though, they showed good spirit, especially in the final fifteen minutes and deserved a point.”finished Barrett.

SD Raiders FC coach Terry Gray praised the spirit and commitment in his side to claw back a point and thought his side could’ve stolen a point late on in the contest:

“We were up against a strong side tonight. I thought we were resilient and in my heart of hearts that is two points dropped for us. If we had a bit more luck it could’ve been a different result. I am pleased with the way we played and the style played today.” said Gray.

On goal scorer Samantha Muscat: “She can bang them in. We just need to support her a bit more and get back in defense but it was a wonderful effort from the girls. I am very proud.” finished Gray.

Match Stats

Sunday 9 June 2019 – Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood

Referee: A. Johnson

Assistant Referees: S. Gregory & N. Libra

SD Raiders FC 1 (Muscat ‘84)

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Mcatemney ‘82)

SD Raiders FC: 1. PENTECOST Natasha, 6. DENNIS Rebecca (13. MATEFFY ‘71), 9. BAUDANA Tara, 10. MCGRATH Christina (12. HANKIN ‘63), 11. COOK Kirilee, 15. PAVLICEVIC Kristi, 16. MANDILE Sarah (26. MURRAY ‘89), 25. CASSAR Rachel (3. SHERMAN ‘83), 27. MUSCAT Samantha, 28. COLEMAN Isabella, 30. VOUSDEN Alexandra

Unused subs: 17. MUSCAT Rhianna

Yellow cards: nil

Red cards: nil

Central Coast Mariners: 1. HINES Rhiannon, 2. BLANCH Gabrielle, 4. SNAPE Iona, 8. WISE Danielle, 10. MCATEMNEY Jade, 11. SHORTER Elizabeth, 12. MURPHY Kaitlin (3. OLIVEIRA ‘45), 14. MILLER Brooke, 21. TUCKER Mikala, 22. COLLINS Nina (6. DUFFY ‘80), 23. DRYSDALE Jordyn

Unused subs: 13. BREWSTER Annalise, 27. AUDDINO Indianna, 40. COYTE Sophie

Yellow cards: nil

Red cards: nil

Western NSW Mariners 0 defeated by Sutherland Shire FA 3

Sutherland Shire FA got themselves a comfortable 3-nil victory against Western NSW Mariners in their trip to Sir Jack Brabham Park this afternoon.

The Sutherland FA side came out on a mission, found an early lead through Brittany Christie, scoring in the opening fifteen minutes of the contest. The visitors added a second in the first 45 through Morgan Maxwell which had them in firm control at 2-nil.

In the second half, Sutherland Shire FA were denied on several occasions from superb work from Mariners keeper Jessica Daymond. Sutherland did find a third goal when Nicole Besz chipped Daymond after a high press forced the ball free.

Today was a result that Sutherland Shire FA needed in their chase for the top two. Taking three points from one of the toughest road trips in the NPL2 NSW Women’s competition will have them ready for the challenges that present themselves later in the season.

Inter Lions 0 defeated by Marconi Stallions 8

The Stallions rebounded in style, as they thrashed Inter Lions 8-nil in a dominant display on Sunday afternoon at Concord Oval.

Playing a deeper role for much of the season, Jessica Beale headlined a second half onslaught from Marconi. The Stallions took a 1-nil advantage into the break, before a glut of goals moved them back into fifth place.

Beale completed her hat-trick alongside efforts from top of the goal charts Jasmin Courtenay, Michelle Dalbon, Nicole Ossio and a maiden goal for Erin Leah Tavares to round off the display. The only sour note for the visitors was a red card to Georgia Usherwood.

Nepean FC 2 defeated Gladesville Ravens 1

Nepean FC made a huge statement in their 2-1 comeback victory against Gladesville Ravens in a top four contest that played out at Cook Park on Sunday afternoon.

Two sides coming into the clash in superb form, it was played in a fantastic rhythm. Gladesville Ravens earnt themselves a first half lead through Kasia Wojtowicz strike. The visitors held off the Nepean FC side to take a slender 1-nil advantage into the break.

Nepean FC took their time to turn over the deficit. Stefanie Trovato equalised to make it 1-1 in the 75th minute. Lauren Gaul sent the Nepean FC crowd into raptures with her third of the season as the faithful clung onto the lead in the final minutes against a tough Ravens side.

Coach Alan Tasses praised his side for a “great performance” that has taken Nepean FC to eleven games unbeaten and gives them some breathing space in fourth position. It is another huge scalp for them after their win against Marconi last weekend which has them ready for the upcoming finals series.

Southern Branch FC 0 defeated by APIA Leichhardt Tigers 10

It was one-way traffic as APIA Leichhardt Tigers put Southern Branch FC to the sword, thumping them 10-nil on a bright afternoon at South Nowra Football Complex.

On her third appearance, Amy Dahdah netted a wonderful hat-trick as her strike partner Georgia Bridges scored a brace alongside Ash Palombi and Nicole Carmichael in a ruthless performance that will help swell the Tiger’s goal difference.

She might not get there very often but defender Jennifer Bissett scored the pick of the APIA goals with her first half strike. It left those wearing APIA colours with their jaws agape as they enjoyed one of the goals of the season in a one-sided contest.

The result had some added icing when confirmed results elsewhere put APIA at the top of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens ladder for the first time this season, edging out Gladesville Ravens and Sutherland Shire FA by a point.

St George FC 2 defeated UNSW FC 1

In the night cap for a fantastic round of football, St George FC triumphed in an action-packed second half at St George stadium tonight.

The first was a tense affair, UNSW FC dominated possession but couldn’t find a way past Saints keeper Lani Dodd, so the game headed to the break 0-0. UNSW FC struck first in the second half through Alexandra O’Rourke’s sixth goal of the season.

From there, the Saints showed a clinical edge that has evaded them all season. Marissa Nicopoulos equalised quickly after O’Rourke’s goal to make it 1-1. Bianca Griffin completed the turnaround with her maiden goal of the season.

The victory shifts the Saints into 10th position, going above Southern Branch FC. For UNSW FC and Alex Nolan, it was another game that got away. That has been the tale of the students season, as it starts to slip away from them.

By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)

Source FNSW website

Round 15 Review – NPL 2 NSW Men’s

The National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Mens had some big matches on offer this week and resulted in some big results.

The league is squeezed tight all the way from top to bottom and winning results is the only way to break free of the stranglehold.

Here is how the action played out!

Match of the Round

Blacktown Spartans v Macarthur Rams

Spartans made their intentions clear that they belong in the race for the final six, whacking six past the Rams in front of the home fans.

Despite the final score line, it was the Rams who were out of the blocks the quickest as a back post cross found Clement Ebahece Waoci who controlled and fired at goal. The low driven shot forced Spartans keeper Michael Figueira to get down quickly to palm the shot before it ricocheted into the post and out.

The following exchanges in the opening minutes were a little frantic at times as each side looked to impose their will in the match early.

It would be the home side who came out on top in the early periods after a corner was cleared to Lachlan Rose, who whipped in a perfect cross to Josh Tanner to head home.

The opening goal did not deter the efforts from the Rams, the next best chance fell to Sam Onana Awono who streaked down the right wing after winning the ball back and rifled a shot at goal. This time beating the keeper and striking the underside of the bar only it rather unbelievably rebounded out.

As the match continued, neither side really maintained a comfortable hold on possession and both were having difficulties building up and breaking down the defence.

That said, Spartans made the most of the few chances created and caught the Rams napping a little at the back on the counter. A deep cross found Lachlan Rose who fired across for Connor Eldridge to tap in from close range.

With minutes to half time the Rams went agonisingly close to pulling a goal back as Sam Onana Awono audacious volley was saved once again by keeper Michael Figueira. Spartans shot stopper then denied Clement Ebahece Waoci effort from inside the box to keep his sheets clean at the break.

Returning from the break, the match continued to be an arm wrestle in midfield, but Spartans knowing they had the lead began to settle and look more composed on the ball.

Again they made the Rams pay for napping at the back as a long clearance played in Lachlan Rose who slid the ball under the keeper and into the net. The goal opened the flood gates and Spartans fired another three goals in ten minutes, obliterating the Rams hopes of a comeback.

Another good counter press saw the home side win the ball back in the opponents half and quickly on the counter fired wide to Lachlan Rose, whose driven shot arrowed into the bottom corner.

That was four and minutes later number five was netted by Finley Hayhurst. Spartans Lachlan Rose once again proving pivotal, spun his defender and his shot forced an impressive save. The men in orange swarmed the rebound and just keeping it in and cutting back to Hayhurst who tapped home.

Number six and the icing on the cake for Spartans was a little fortunate, when a freekick into the box rebounded perfectly for Josh Tanner to fire home from close range.

After the sixth goal it was all smooth sailing for Spartans and the game fell into a contest in the middle of the park with little action at either end of the pitch.

In the dying embers of the game, Rams still searched for a consolation and were almost rewarded, Jamie Dib firing a low driven shot to force a save, but after copping six and out of gas no-one was there to follow up.

Spartans a dominant second half display earning them the three points and creeping towards sixth spot on the ladder.

Match Stats

Blacktown Spartans FC 6 (J. Tanner x 2, Lachlan Rose x 2, Connor Eldridge, Finley Hayhurst)

Macarthur Rams FC 0

Blacktown Spartans FC: D. Akol, H. Brown, C. Eldridge, L. Fraser, F. Hayhurst, M. Ireland, J. Orchard, E. Patramanis, K. Roberge, L. Rose, J. Tanner, N. Tarasenko, S. Tokuno, C. Torrelli, M. Ward, M. Figueira

Macarthur Rams FC: M. Arcosa, J. Dib, C. Ebahece Waoci, L. Fatica, A. Guzman, A. Haddad, J. Hilton, E. Kambisios, D. Lazarevski, J. Madden, Y. Maruyama, S. Onana Awono, C. Sheerin, M. Stojanovski, M. Trotter

Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 3 vs. Hills United FC 0

Bonnyrigg sent out a warning sign to the rest of the league on Saturday evening as they man handled league leaders Hills, claiming a comfortable victory to keep in touch with the top six.

In the opening fifteen minutes the home side piled on the pressure creating numerous chances and were rewarded when some good build up from Richie Darko on the wing led to Jack Armson firing home to open the scoring.

Darko was proving to be the influential figure in the Eagles attack and it was from his free kick that led to Asmir Kadric firing home the hosts second.

The first half honours went to the Eagles and in the second period there was more fight back from Hills yet neither side really could claim periods of dominance.

Reaching the last twenty minutes, substitute Mark Symington completed the scoring after getting onto the end of a through ball before calmly finishing.

St George FC 0 vs. Northern Tigers FC 1

With both sides in need of points, it was another tense game that seemed would end in stalemate until the Tigers struck late to snatch victory on the road

It was a good battle for the full ninety with both sides creating their share of opportunities, Juan Carlos Heras Romero once again dangerous for the Saints. For all the hard work both sides lacked the finishing touch at the last to pull ahead.

Ultimately it was a tactical move that worked in favour of the visitors as they pushed for the winner later in the match. Adding some more pace out wide to get in behind the defence paid off with Rory Spiers notching the sole goal of the match to give the Tigers the win.

GHFA Spirit FC 5 vs. Canterbury Bankstown FC 0

Spirit were back on fire in the front third, smashing five past Canterbury for the second time this season and squeezing more pressure on the top three on the ladder.

The hosts faced what could have been a tricky test against the relegated threatened Canterbury, instead, they nailed two early goals to put them in the box seat for the match.

Two well worked moves from set pieces saw both Louie’s get on the score sheet early for Spirit. Louis Bozanic firing home from a cutback and Louie Zaharopoulos on the end of a rehearsed corner routine.

The remainder of the half was kept evens, however at the return of play the action picked up again.

Canterbury came out with a little more fire to get back into the match, however, against a composed Spirit, they were unable to break through.

Spirit would respond by firing three goals in the space of four minutes midway through the second half that effectively ended the affair.

The home side relished having Louis Bozanic back in the side and he struck again to complete his brace. Shortly after super-sub Travis Cooper fired home and the performance was capped off by a good finish from Christopher Arditti.

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 vs. Central Coast Mariners FC 1

It ended in a tense stalemate in the A-League Academy encounter, neither side willing to relent.

Central Coast began in the ascendancy forcing a couple of early saves before Michael Katsoulis fired home, raising the stakes for the Wanderers.

The home side responding in kind shortly after when their deadly duo connected. Marley Peterson found Mohamed Adam with a through pass and he made no mistake in finding the net.

The match continued to provide entertaining football and both ends of the park there were golden opportunities to take the lead. The Wanderers went within inches on a couple of occasions as shots from Rory Jordan and Mohamed Adam crashed into the post and crossbar respectively.

Not to be outdone, Central Coast had their own close calls, Alec Vinci conjuring up some great chances including cracking one against the post.

Ultimately it would be called evens with neither side able to connect and strike the net once again.

St George City FA 3 vs. Rydalmere Lions FC 2

With both sides in need of points, it was always going to be a long on a Sunday afternoon and the result was up for grabs right until the last.

Rydalmere opened the scoring through a strong header from Abuzar Awar. City responded just on the stroke of half time

Out from the restart, the Lions pulled back in front quickly on the back of some good build up play which ended in Adam Sayour firing a volley into the back of the net.

Shortly after, the hosts were awarded a penalty and converted from the spot to once again level up the scores.

The Lions were influenced by the strong play from Garang Awac, yet the match continued to be a battle between the sides.

Eventually a winner was scored, City netting in the last minute of the match to take all three points and jump the Lions on the ladder.

North Shore Mariners FC 2 vs. Mounties Wanderers FC 4

The arrival of one Mark Bridge certainly did not disappoint and Mounties seemed to step up a gear to battle past North Shore and claim a hard fought victory to cap off the round.

It was a fiery in the opening minutes with a couple of heavy challenges from both sides, trying to assert their physical dominance in the match.

North Shore shortly turned to more finesse and had the lead in the sixth minute when Chris Lindsay delicately curled his free kick over the wall and into the bottom corner.

The home side took charge following the goal, however, Mounties would rally and through strong will and determination, levelled up. Sean Rooney connected a strong header from a corner which was saved off the line, Benjamin Spruce reacted the quickest and launched above the pack to head home the follow up.

The goals kept on coming with North Shore firing the next blow, Rainer Smahel smashing home from a bit of a goal box scramble. Minutes later though, the ball was once again in the back of the net. Sean Rooney taking aim from a free kick and picking out the top corner with precision.

It was a highly entertaining match and more opportunities soon arose as Mitchell Smith went close with a header for North Shore. Up the other end, Mounties had more success, some clever interplay led to a shot which ultimately rebounded up into the air before Tai Smith rose highest and nodding home

From the restart North Shore again were hottest to start and did net another goal, however, it was called back for offside. Mounties though maintain on course and a clever through ball saw Sean Rooney beat the keeper to the ball and nip it past into the net.

The excitement didn’t stop there, Daniel Saric was sent off to make the comeback trail that much more difficult for North Shore. Sean Rooney almost secured his hattrick with another free-kick, keeper Ryan Wood making the save of the day to deny.

Mitchell Smith made every effort to secure something for the home team but his header from the six yard box couldn’t hit the target.

Mounties winning number four on the trot and earning vengeance for their heavy defeat earlier in the season.

A final note – Thank you to Football NSW for the opportunity to cover NPL football, the fans and a big thank you to the players, our stars of the show.

This is goodbye for now, but I am sure I will see you all again on the pitch soon!

Eric Subijano will now take charge till the end of the NPL 2 NSW Men’s season.

NPL 2 Chief Writer – Marcus Flottmann

Twitter – @MarcusFlottmann

Source FNSW Website

Round 14 Review – NPL 2 NSW Men’s

It’s finally Winter!

Despite the drop in temperature, the action on the pitch continued to fire and produced another exciting round of football.

Find out who kicked off their Winter and second half of the season on a high.

Match of the Round

Rydalmere Lions v Hills United FC

Rydalmere found themselves in shock after conceding defeat to Canterbury last week and the result cements them in place. Having met the midpoint and turned a corner, the Lions are sure to be a side ready to pounce.

Hills recovered from an early goal to find their feet and took a typically measured approach to pick apart the Rams and claim victory. They have risen all the way to second on the ladder and are one good result from hitting double digits in the ‘W’ column.

It seems to be a match to favour Hills, yet it is now the task of backing up their first half run and striding home. Rydalmere however will be laying in wait to strike at any misplaced step and are capable of inflicting a deep wound.

Hills United once again worked hard and converted their opportunities to pick up another win, keeping the Lions at bay and beginning the second half of the season in style.

As soon as the ball kicked off the action kicked into overdrive with frantic first few exchanges which saw both sides score within the first five minutes.

A long throw by Alistair McKie was flicked on by Garang Awac which fell to the feet of new recruit Sam Perre who slid it home. Having notched one in the next minute his curling freekick was almost knocked into the back of the net, Shaun Catlin making a fine last ditch save.

Barely a minute later, Hills grabbed one back as Jordan Parfait battled past his defender before playing a perfectly weighted through ball for Daniel Fogarty who raced onto it and cleverly finished past the keeper.

The pace of the game kept up and it had all spectators gripped as the action flew from end to end.

Rydalmere had the next best opportunity after winning the ball back deep in Hills half, Felipe Zapata got around the keeper and slid the ball across the face of goal, with no teammate able to connect, the ball trickled safely into Hills possession.

Goal-scorer Daniel Fogarty was looking sharp and Rydalmere were struggling to contain him, particularly his dangerous darting runs in behind. As the game seemed to begin to settle, Hills struck again. Nathan Rayner’s cross was fumbled and who else but Fogarty was positioned perfectly to poach the ball and fire home.

The goal rattled the Lions and Hills took advantage with their midfielders picking passes out they were unlocking the Rydalmere defence. Both Wade Giovenali and Jacob Basden were influential in midfield for Hills, linking up play all over the park and unleashing attack after attack on the Lions.

Despite the wind being knocked out of them, Rydalmere had not given up and they continued to press on, Alistair McKie their most effective outlet down the right flank during the first half. He battled hard at both ends of the pitch and almost picked up a neat assist as he teed up Luka Zepina, only the front man just fired wide.

Now with both sides creating moments of controlled possession and building up their own attacking efforts, there was bound to be a flash and the game would change once again. Seemingly out of nowhere, Daniel Fogarty was on the ball again and his curling effort had the Lions with hearts in hands. Fortunately for the home side, there was no celebrations as the ball skidded inches wide from the target.

The match continue to excite with the action continuing at a high pace, the half-time seemed it would ring respite for the players. With the break moments away the Lions almost found a way back into the match as Garang Awac curled an effort destined for the back of the net. Hills man between the sticks Shaun Catlin was keen to keep his side’s lead and made another great save.

At the re-commencement of play, the Lions came out with some tactical changes and looked to press men forward and get themselves back in the match with another early goal.

The changes seemed to be working for the first few exchanges in the second period and Rydalmere produced several opportunities that signalled a goal was on the horizon.

Hills had other ideas and continued to maintain course and turned the tide on their opponents yet again. Finding their rhythm and composure yet again, the visitors began to take control in the midfield and it was paying dividends.

Jarrod Dodds was solid at the back and almost found himself on the score sheet with a giant leap to meet a ball from a corner, forcing Lions keeper Luke Cotton to make a finger-tip save over the bar.

With some more space in behind the Lions defence, Hills took aim, the plan working as it would lead to another goal.

A cross that was cleared fell to Daine Merrin whose first shot was deflected, only back into his path. On the second attempt the volley was true and crashed into the post on the way to the back of the net.

The home-side down another goal kept on in the game yet despite all their best efforts, Hills were confident in defence and able to repel anything threatening.

In the final fifteen minute, the action was a contrast to that of the first fifteen in the match as attacks were broken down more frequently and Hills guided the match with the advantage.

Ultimately there would be no more changes to the score-line as Hills picked up win number ten for the season and marched another step toward finals football.

Match Stats

Rydalmere Lions FC 1 (S. Perre)

Hills United FC 3 (D. Fogarty x 2, D. Merrin)

Rydalmere Lions FC: G. Awac, A. Awaz, A. Chiba, R. Coletta, L. Cotton, L. Frasca, M. Gibbs, D. Kahale, A. Mckie, S. Nicholas, C. Nunes, S. Perre, M. Pombart, E. Stewart, F. Zapata, L. Zepina

Hills United FC: J. Basden, J. Dodds, D. Fogarty, W. Giovenali, G. Kelshaw, A. Koudakpo, D. Merrin, J. Parfait, N. Rayner, B. Robertson, K. Sakurai, A. Vlismas, M. Zarantonello, S. Catlin

Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 1 vs. Blacktown Spartans FC 2

Blacktown Spartans have shaken off their recent form and picked up a much needed win, netting the same score line as in their first encounter with Bonnyrigg.

Spartans came into the match with four players returning from injury, a huge boost to the side and it showed as they opened the scoring just shy of fifteen minutes. A corner was whipped in dangerously and not fully cleared, Josh Tanner the man on the spot firing home.

The goal kicked off the action and Bonnyrigg soon responded with a goal of their own. The build-up play for the goal was excellent and after getting behind the lines and cutting back, Richie Darko was on hand to fire home.

It was at times an even contest and the game opened up with each side testing the other’s defensive resolve. Bonnyrigg however, picked up their efforts and were beginning to dominate the affair, just lacking the finishing touch to get them into the lead.

With time running short, Spartans new signing Finley Hayhurst broke through midfield and played in Lachlan Rose who got in on goal and slotted home, securing the win for Spartans.

Macarthur Rams FC 1 vs. Northern Tigers FC 1

It was an even share of the points at Lynwood Park on Saturday evening, a relatively fair result with how the match played out.

Macarthur got straight into the swing of things, Chris Sheerin scoring on the stroke of ten minutes to put the hosts in control during the opening exchanges. In response the Tigers kept about their game plan and worked into the match, having a slight greater share of chances during the remainder of the first half.

In the second period, the match continued with the hosts attempting to repel the visitors advances, time and time again the Tigers pressed and were rewarded with a goal as the game settled after the restart. Alexander Brown notching his name on the score sheet for the travelling team.

The match began to pick up as each side pushed on to find a goal that would give them the lead, opening up spaces on the park it was end to end and exciting for the spectators.

So many matches this year have ended in dramatic fashion, yet, there would be no twist in this tale and the points shared as the game was called to a close.

St George City FA 0 vs. GHFA Spirit FC 2

A second half brace from Duncan Stewart saw Spirit pick up a clean sweep over City for the season and solidify their place in the top four.

Inside the first fifteen minutes it was the hosts who took charge with Geoffry Lino and Steve Kuzmanovksi looking sharp and threatening. Spirit struggling to adjust in the opening exchanges and were delighted to head into the sheds with the scores locked at even zeroes.

A return to the pitch and it would be Spirit who broke the deadlock as the injection of Ahmed Sweedan did the trick, firing a ball across the face of goal to Duncan Stewart to finish.

From there the visitors maintained composure and sealed the deal in injury time, Lewis Beuime this time firing across for Duncan Stewart who netted to cap off a good performance.

Mounties Wanderers FC 1 vs. Canterbury Bankstown FC 0

Noah Chianese sole goal with less than fifteen to go, secured the win for Mounties in a stark contrast to the crazy 5-5 draw this fixture produced earlier in the season.

The match had a little bit of hype with the fans eager to see more goals on show similar to the last encounter, however, each side had other ideas and intended to assert a dominant defensive display.

Evident as the sole goal in the match came late on as the clock ticked toward the final ten minutes. Mounties victory has them maintain their spot in fifth on the ladder whilst Canterbury continue on as favourites for the wooden spoon.

Central Coast Mariners FC 1 vs. St George FC 1

It was a close and tense match up the coast on Sunday afternoon and a share of the spoils at the end of the ninety.

Each team knocked on the opponents door during the first stanza, asking questions and seeking to break the deadlock. The close game was gripping and despite each sides best efforts, the first period ended nil-nil.

Out from the sheds the tides turned in the Mariners favour as St George were reduced to ten men, Aleksander Lekoski sent off with plenty of the second half to play.

The hosts would eventually capitalise having the extra man as they were awarded a penalty midway through the second half. Kyle Johnson keeping composure and tucking away to give the hosts a huge boost heading into the final stages of the match.

St George had other ideas and whilst the Mariners gave every effort to repel the visitors, the Saints sunk a dagger into the hosts hopes of another win. In the final ten minutes Juan Carlos Heras Romero was once again the hero and scored to level up the tie and ensure the Saints earned a point for their efforts.

North Shore Mariners FC 2 vs. Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2

A cracker match to cap off the round pitted the top two sides going into the fixture and the action did not disappoint.

Whilst North Shore had claim to the majority of chances in the first period from Mitchell Smith and Chris Lindsay, it was Western Sydney who broke the deadlock. Snapping up the ball off a defensive error, the ball was played into none other than Mohamed Adam who calmly slotted home.

The hosts continued to hunt down a goal and were threatening from any set piece whether long throw or corner, Wanderers keeper Jack Greenwood though up to the challenge making numerous saves.

From the restart it seemed the switch was flipped and the Wanderers were more dominant, able to break and run free through the lines of North Shore. That would soon be short lived as out of nothing Marquin Smith popped up to fire on the turn on the edge of the box, levelling up the scores.

The front man soon had his name in highlights again as he cracked an incredible volley from the edge of the box to propel the momentum in favour of the hosts. North Shore then went about doing their job to ensure they maintained a lead and the Wanderers rose to the occasion pushing hard back.

It was an entertaining last quarter of an hour with some end to end action and the youngsters in red and black did not relent in searching for the equaliser. With time still spare, they made the most of some good fortune in a bit of scramble in the box, Jarrod Carluccio in the right place to tap home.

The goal set up a frantic finish as the game opened up and each side looking to grab the winner. There were some nervy moments at both ends of the field however, time, would be the first to the finish line as the points were shared.

NPL 2 Chief Writer – Marcus Flottmann

Twitter – @MarcusFlottmann

Source FNSW website

Round 13 Review – NPL 2 NSW Women’s

The National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition continues to be harder to pick than a broken nose between the top half.

This weekend brought some fantastic contests which helped to shake up the ladder and set us up for a wonderful second half of the season.

Let’s get onto the review!

Match of the Round: Marconi Stallions 2 defeated by Nepean FC 3

Nepean FC edged out Marconi Stallions in a close contest between top five rivals, 3-2, on a crisp afternoon at Marconi Stadium on Sunday.

The visitors were on the backfoot early but a pair of strikes from youngster Imogen Lane turned around the contest, making it 2-1 at the break. Madison Mccomasky thrashed home another highlight reel goal as Nepean FC moved into equal third positon.

For Marconi, they were disappointed in their performance after such an encouraging run of form recently. Striker Jasmin Courtenay gave them the perfect start with a 3rd minute goal but until a late strike from substitute Sarah Polinsky gave them late hope, the contest fell by the wayside. Due to the result, Marconi fell to sixth on the ladder compounding their loss.

Today loomed as a huge contest for two sides that are battling for spots in the finals come the backend of the season. Both Marconi and Nepean FC were on substantial win streaks added some extra spice to the contest.

Marconi settled first and promptly troubled the scoreboard attendant. Ceyda Cambaz started the move with some strong work down the flank before the ball broke kindly for sharpshooter Jasmin Courtenay. The Golden Boot nominee thrashed the ball home for 1-nil.

Trying to respond immediately, Nepean FC leant on the combination between Stefanie Trovato and Imogen Lane. Trovato was central to the best chances for the visitors, as she released both Britney Pelle and Bianca Galayini for chances that were spurned.

The pressure that Nepean FC enforced created their opener. Trovato sprung Lane free down the centre of the pitch with a slide ball, the youngster strode confidently into the box, slotted the ball underneath the goalkeeper making it 1-1.

Nepean started to feel comfortable in the contest. Their shape was making life difficult for the home side, and Trovato almost picked out Lane again with a release ball but Stallions keeper Chloe Carmichael made a superb stop.

Both Demelza Howard and Cambaz tried to wrestle control back for Marconi. Howard worked herself into the area before arrowing wide then Cambaz’s snapshot was saved just before the break.

The visitors completed the turnaround in the 28th minute. Lane was involved heavily again, as the youngster has burst into form in recent weeks. When you’re in form, bounces fall for you, and Lane’s shot took a deflection as it flew into the net. 2-1 Nepean.

Coming back for the restart, Marconi tried to reassert themselves. Cambaz tried to place a shot that needed some diving intervention from Nepean keeper Narmin Malas then a sweeping move just before the hour mark ended with Michelle Dalbon piloting over.

Not content to sit on their goal advantage, Nepean FC swept forward when they could. The work from Madison Mccomasky in the midfield showed her class, as she almost made it three with a solid connection from a corner.

She didn’t need a second invitation, and settled the contest with a fantastic volley. Mccomasky introduced herself with a thunderous effort last weekend and repeated the dose today. She uncorked one just outside the box, made it 3-1 and brought the traveling support to their feet.

Matt Turvey wrung the changes, trying to get Marconi back into the contest but they were blunted by the defensive structure of Nepean FC. Cambaz continued to threaten as she curved over then produced a moment that gave them hope.

Breaking quickly after Lauren Connell had the chance to finish the game for Nepean, Cambaz held the ball until the perfect moment, slipped it into the path of Sarah Polinsky. The substitute swept home to make it 3-2.

That brought some urgency to the Stallions work, as they raged against the fading light at Marconi Stadium to snatch a point. Deep in injury time, Jessica Beale was presented the chance after Dalbon opened up space but snapped her effort wide and Nepean FC held on for three precious points.

Speaking afterwards, Nepean FC coach Alan Tasses was impressed with the character in his side to overcome the early setback and take control of the contest, continuing on their streak:

“Once we settled, I think we were the more dominant side. Earlier this week in training, we talked about what to shut down and they caught us about three minutes there. This result gives us a both a gap in the table and also in the Club Championship, which is pleasing.”

Speaking on his goal scorers today: “Imogen has started to find some form. It is hard when dealing with youngsters to remain positive but she is starting to turn the corner. Madison [Mccomasky] is quality. She scored another quality goal and brings some calm to our side.” finished Tasses.

For Marconi Stallions coach, Matt Turvey whilst he was disappointed with today’s performance, the Stallions boss knows his side will finish the season strongly and figure in the top five:

“I don’t think we were anything near our best today. Nepean executed their game plan well. It wasn’t the prettiest but it was effective. We’ll be stronger for the run home, as we bring in a few players and I’m sure we’ll on the right-side next weekend.” said Turvey.

Match Stats

Sunday June 2 2019

Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park

Referee: G. Roberts

Assistant Referees: P. Brown & N. Libri

Marconi Stallions 2 (Courtenay ‘3, Polinsky ‘87)

Nepean FC 3 (Lane ‘17, ‘28, Mccomasky ‘77)

Marconi Stallions: 1. CARMICHAEL Chloe, 3. FEATHERSTONE Lauren, 4. CONNERS Mia, 7. COURTENAY Jasmin, 8. CAMBAZ Ceyda, 9. HOWARD Demelza (22. POLINSKY ‘45), 10. VOLODER Emma, 11. DALBON Michelle, 13. BEALE Jessica, 24. BOLZAN Montana (16. OSSIO ‘83), 31. BUCHANAN Tasmin (18. MANNA ‘77)

Unused subs: 21. RACZ Emma, 23. TAVARES Erin

Yellow cards: nil

Red cards: nil

Nepean FC: 3. DAVIDSON Aisling, 5. HANSEN Janie, 7. TROVATO Stefanie (4. ELLIOT ‘72), 8. LANE Imogen (2. JACKSON ‘87), 9. PELLE Britney (12. WADDELL ‘65), 10. GALAYINI Bianca (14. CONNELL ‘77), 13. VASSALLO Desiree, 15. WHEELER Cassandra, 20. MALAS Narmin, 25. MCCOMASKY Madison, 26. HALLS Annie

Unused subs: 16. BRIEN Bridget

Yellow cards: nil

Red cards: nil

Western NSW Mariners 0 defeated by UNSW FC 1

Back-to-back delights for UNSW FC after they traveled out to Mudgee then returned with all three points after a tense 1-nil success in the early kick-off on Sunday.

The difference from their last trip to the Central West was marked for UNSW FC coach Alex Nolan. His side approached the game in a professional manner, showed the hunger for victory and promptly came away with the three points to move onto eleven points.

Captain Hayley Marshall was the lone goal scorer in the contest with her first-half strike. Nolan wanted to praise the performances of Darcey Read and Saskia Reisin in the midfield, particularly, holding up the ball to distribute to their strikers.

That result marked back-to-back victories for the first time this season at UNSW FC. Nolan has started to shape the side much more in his image, and they could play spoiler for the bigger sides in the last part of this season.

Inter Lions 0 defeated by SD Raiders FC 4

SD Raiders FC continue to keep themselves in the top five race, after a solid 4-nil victory against a stubborn Inter Lions side this afternoon at Concord Oval.

It was a performance that served as a reminder of the SD Raiders FC quality, as they dealt with a stubborn Inter Lions side in comfortable fashion. Samantha Muscat got the visitors rolling with a thunderous volley for the first goal.

From there, it was one-way traffic. A pair of well-placed efforts of Sarah Mandile and Kirilee Cook showed that SD Raiders are dangerous from anywhere near the 18-yard box. Kristi Pavlicevic thumped home a strong header from a set piece to get herself on the scoresheet in the win.

Speaking afterwards, SD Raiders FC coach Terry Gray praised the “composed and cohesive performance from his side today. The girls were positive, had the courage to risk going for efforts on goal which made me quite happy.” SD Raiders might remain in seventh but the gap continues to narrow between the top five and the middle of the pack.

Central Coast Mariners 6 defeated St George FC 1

The ship sails into the top five for Central Coast Mariners. Their 6-1 romp against St George FC this afternoon at Pluim Park, moved them into fifth spot to end the weekend.

Five is the number of the weekend for the Mariners. That is their fifth result in a row, moved into fifth on the ladder and lastly, there was five different scorers this afternoon. Much of the damage was done in the first half as they raced out to a 4-nil lead.

The first half saw Danielle Wise fire home a brace alongside strikes from Mikala Tucker and midfielder Jade Mcatemney. St George goalkeeper Lani Dodd pulled off some superb saves across the contest to keep the result in single figures against a rampant Mariners.

Captain Gabrielle Blanch got herself in on the act in the second half, as youngster Nina Collins also added her name to the scorers list. Afterwards Mariners boss Dan Barrett enjoyed the victory but kept his eyes focused on a huge contest against SD Raiders FC next weekend.

Southern Branch FC 0 defeated by Gladesville Ravens 5

Gladesville Ravens remain at the summit of the NPLNSW 2 Womens ladder after they strolled to a 5-nil victory against Southern Branch FC today in Nowra.

The Ravens were made to work in the first half, missing a few of their key regulars including prolific striker Emily Diaz, the visitors were 1-nil up at the break. After last weekend’s fiery encounter, the Ravens were in control throughout.

Amelia Vitek headlined the five-star performance with a brace that takes her tally to six goals for the season. Kasia Wojtowicz and Alanna Fisher chipped in with a goal each, the latter her first of the season along with an own goal from the hosts to round off a bright afternoon on the south coast for the leaders.

APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 defeated Sutherland Shire FA 1

APIA Leichhardt Tigers kept the run going, moving into second position after their 3-1 success against a downbeat Sutherland Shire FA side tonight at Lambert Park.

The result makes it a formidable 12 games unbeaten for the Tigers. Coach Matt Constantini praised the response of his side after last weekend, as they were much more solid in their defensive structure. Speaking of last weekend, APIA started off the contest on fire again. Logan Garard opened the scoring with a trick shot, the attacker curled the ball in direct from a corner.

From there, it was the Amy Dahdah show. In her second game for APIA, she scored her second and third goals for the club. The first one was a sublime individual effort into the roof of the net quickly followed by an assist from Ash Palombi, the attacker was involved in everything and put the ball on a plate for Dahdah to fire home.

It has been a tough few weeks for Sutherland Shire FA. Back-to-back losses has dropped them into third position, equal with Nepean FC now. Sutherland FA did claw one back through Georiga Manos in the first half to make it 2-1. The shire side start to search for momentum to kickstart their season again.

By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)

Source FNSW website

Round 12 Review – NPL 2 NSW Women’s

National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens Review – Round 12

The National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition continues to throw up surprises, shocks and importantly, goals as the final unbeaten side fell. It was an important week for the rest of the top five, as the fight for positions intensified and sides position themselves for the run home. Let’s get onto the review!

Match of the Round: Gladesville Ravens 3 drew with APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3

Forget the action happening at Vivid this month, yesterday’s contest between Gladesville Ravens and APIA Leichhardt Tigers had all the action you needed in a 3-3 draw at Christie Park.

The first half might have been APIA’s best of the season. They settled into their fluid, passing football quickly with striker Georgia Bridges put them ahead twice with a pair of fierce strikes. Amy Dahdah added a third in the 61st minute as the Tigers were sailing to three points but three mistakes saw them share the points.

Gladesville underlined in permanent marker the spirit in the side. The Ravens pulled it back to 1-1 in the first half through Zoe Zaczek. A pair of wonder strikes from Carlie Ikonomou in a fiercely contested second half helped them remain level with Sutherland Shire FA at the top.

APIA Leichhardt Tigers settled into their task early in the contest. Logan Garard caused havoc down both flanks, taking on defenders and linking with Georgia Bridges, as the Tigers were on a mission tonight.

Ravens worked their way into the contest with some slick one-two action between Emily Diaz and Kasia Wojtowicz with the former taking the chance, but it flew well wide of the net.

Sensing space to roam, defender Jennifer Bissett worked an opening with swift feet before she slashed over. Next, Ashleigh Palombi unveiled a trick shot free-kick that new signing Amy Dahdah couldn’t control.

After all their slick work, APIA’s opener came from a more direct route. Keeper Courtney Halpin sent a directional ball into the path of Georgia Bridges, the English striker took the ball in her stride before she lashed it home for 1-nil.

Ravens almost had an instant response through their main strike weapon. Emily Diaz got into the clear but slashed the effort wide. They did find an equaliser when Zoe Zaczek arrowed home after some neat work for 1-1.

The joy of the Christie Park faithful was short-lived. Bridges again put the ball in the back of the net. It was a superb dinked finish that made it 2-1 to APIA Leichhardt Tigers, as their bench erupted in celebration.

Ash Palombi had a pair of chances to give APIA some insurance on their lead. Firstly, she was found with a slide rule ball from Bisset but cannoned the shot into Ravens keeper Eri Arikawa. Her second was a curler that flew past the right post, as the half ended 2-1.

The home side tried to find a response in the opening stages of the first half, Jade Pond broke into the box, bent her effort wide of the post.

After her positive work in the first half, Palombi did get herself on the scoresheet on the hour mark. She produced a pinpoint finish that was enjoyed by the traveling APIA supporters, as they were up 3-1, against one of the top sides of the competition.

The third goal didn’t dampen Gladesvilles spirit, they pushed forward to find a route back into the contest. Wojtwowicz flayed wide in the 65th before a moment of magic brought the crowd right into the final quarter of the contest.

It fell to Carlie Ikonomou for Gladesville. The midfielder got into a pocket of space on the left side, opened up for a chip shot that nestled into the bottom right corner of the goal, making it 3-2.

That goal ramped up the intensity of the contest, as the crowd got involved and the two sides fed off the energy produced. Garard almost turned assist-maker when she clipped a ball onto the head of Bridges, the striker couldn’t crane her neck enough for the hat-trick.

Once again, Ikonomou proved herself a woman for the big moments. From a central free-kick, she wound her wand of a foot to produce a John Arne Riise styled set piece that sent the home fans into raptures, 3-3.

Both sides tried for another push to find the late winner that such a contest deserved but neither side were budging, so it was a point shared between two rivals that might have a repeat performance later in the season.

Speaking afterwards, Ravens coach Alex Disciascio heralded the spirit in his side to produce the comeback against APIA and thought his side finished better:

“It was a tough ask. APIA were playing well, had the better of us but credit to us, we finished well. I thought we were finishing the better and could’ve overran them in the end. I thought our midfielders were superb tonight especially [Carlie] Ikonomou with a wonderful finish as they helped out the strikers.” said the Ravens coach.

“The competition has become wide open with the recent results. Now, we’ll see if things continue this way or whether there will be a breakaway from the top few sides.” finished Disciascio.

For Matthew Constantini, the APIA coach, the draw was a bitter pill to swallow after his side had produced a fabulous display but they dust themselves off for another big contest:

“I thought we got it tactically spot on tonight. It is hard to play against a direct side that doesn’t play much football. Credit to them, they battled hard and it took two world class strikes to beat [Courtney] Halpin tonight. I was happy with how we played.”

“Football is an unforgiving game though. It is two points lost, I know the character is our side is that the girls won’t feel sorry for themselves, and now, will move onto a big contest against Sutherland Shire FA next weekend.” finished Constantini.

Match Stats

Sunday 26 May 2019

Christie Park, Macquarie Park

Referee: Peter Smith

Assistant Referees: A. Drummond & A. Galic

Gladesville Ravens 3 (Ikonomou ‘69, ‘77, Zaczek ‘23)

APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 (Bridges ‘21, ‘27, Palombi ‘61)

Gladesville Ravens: 1. ARIKAWA Eri, 3. SMITH Ashleigh, 4. LIDBETTER Eleanor 5. FISHER Alanna, 6. IKONOMOU Carlie, 7. DIAZ Emily (13. VITEK ‘55), 8. ZACZEK Zoe, 10. KASHIMA Yume, 11. WOJTOWICZ Kasia, 23. GESTIER Hannah, 26. POND Jade

Unused subs: 14. KINCHINGTON Annabelle, 19. GOLDSMITH Chloe, 24. SEETO Anja

Yellow cards: Zaczek

Red cards: nil

APIA Leichhardt Tigers: 1. HALPIN Courtney, 2. BENNETT Jennifer, 3. BISSETT Jennifer, 6. GILFEDDER Lucy, 9. GARARD Logan, 11. PALOMBI Ashleigh (19. OSMAN ‘84), 13. URQUHART Sarah (7. CANINI ‘80), 14. WATTS Rebecca, 18. FALLAH Jessica (15. CARMICHAEL ‘54), 20. DAHDAH Amy, 24. BRIDGES Georgia

Unused subs: 5. CICCO Olivia, 10. URKANCI Filiz

Yellow cards: nil

Red cards: nil

Western NSW Mariners 2 defeated by Central Coast Mariners 6

In the battle of the Mariners, it was Central Coast that took bragging rights against Western NSW with a 6-2 success at Sir Jack Brabham Park in the early kick-off this weekend.

The Central Coast side were made to work for the points though. Western NSW Mariners had a lead at the half-time break with a brace of goals to Poorsha Mcphillamy while Gabrielle Blanch pulled one back for the visitors.

In the second half, it was one-way traffic. Danielle Wise continued her good scoring form with a hat-trick alongside goals from midfielder Jade Mcatemney and youngster Mikala Tucker to round off their fourth straight victory.

UNSW FC 6 defeated Inter Lions 1

The sweet taste of victory has returned to UNSW FC. The Students recorded a 6-1 thumping of Inter Lions this afternoon at Seymour Shaw.

Ironically, the last time UNSW FC had success was against Inter Lions on the opening day of the season. The Students were confident and piled on the goals. Alexandra O’Rourke took her tally to five for the current season with her hat-trick.

Captain Hayley Marshall, Tahlia Hanslow and Amy Altman added the three other scores on an afternoon that UNSW FC coach Alex Nolan enjoyed much more. Nolan said it “felt much more like the side from the opening month of the season, as he started to regain some of the injured brigade back.”

For Inter Lions, their high from their maiden victory only lasted a week. They were unable to repeat the dose against one of their foes at the bottom of the ladder. Inter did find a consolation goal which made it six straight games they have found the back of the net.

Sutherland Shire FA 3 defeated by Marconi Stallions 4

The last undefeated side falls. Sutherland Shire FA were on the losing side of a seven-goal contest, 4-3, against Marconi Stallions at Harrie Denning Centre today.

Whilst their undefeated streak is now snapped, Sutherland Shire FA went down swinging. Sutherland FA trailed 2-nil at the break, thanks to Stallions two goalscoring aces – Ceyda Cambaz and Jasmin Courtenay but fought back in a huge second half.

The second half featured five goals where Courtenay completed her brace and Tasmin Buchanan scored Marconi’s fourth goal. Sutherland FA found the net through Nicole Besz, Morgan Maxwell and Maddison Farmer in a wild half that left those at Harrie Denning Centre breathless.

Marconi Stallions needed to find a scalp to cement themselves right in the fight for the silverware later in the season. Today was that, Matt Turvey’s side kept their wonderful run alive and brought the circle of parity to completion for National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens.

Southern Branch FC 1 defeated by SD Raiders FC 2

SD Raiders FC got themselves back on track, taking three points back from Nowra in a 2-1 result against a gallant Southern Branch FC side this afternoon.

Southern Branch FC showed they weren’t going to be pushed around by the finals chasing side, the home side opened up the scoring in the 3rd minute to get the crowd into the contest early. That was an advantage Southern Branch would hold into the half-time break.

The Raiders showed the famed spirit that saw them overhaul sides last season, came to the fore. The visitors struck twice in the second half to secure a much-needed three points, that keeps them within touching distance of the top five.

St George FC 0 defeated by Nepean FC 4

Nepean FC kept on their winning ways as they traveled down to St George stadium, returned with points after they knocked off St George FC, 4-nil on Sunday night.

The fifth placed side made light work of a St George FC side that has troubled sides in recent weeks. Coach Alan Tasses gave appearances to both new signings – Annie Halls and Madison McComasky – the latter introduced herself in style with a 35-yard bomb.

Tasses was much more pleased with the side’s performance with Halls controlling the middle of the field. On the scoresheet, Stefanie Trovato remained a regular fixture with her goal, as winger Brittany Pelle and Alix Waddell rounded off the result.

That result keeps Nepean FC tied in fourth with Marconi, with four straight victories. The draws that plagued them earlier this season have turned into victories and Nepean FC are a dark horse for the top five.

By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)

Source FNSW website

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