Our feature game in the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 2 competition this week takes in the clash at St George Stadium where we get the chance to pass the eye over St George and Fraser Park, for the first time this year.
St George v Fraser Park, Saturday 7:30pm, St George Stadium, Kyeemagh
St George will be looking for nothing less than a win on Saturday when they meet local neighbours Fraser Park. The Saints, who lost midweek at Spirit, sit tenth on the ladder with just two wins to their name so far. Their display on Tuesday showed a lot of promise despite the result, with Anthony Abi-Arrage particularly showing good form after a long time off with injury. A win will see St George just stay in touch with most of those above but anything less than three points would really see the gap extend. With a strong ex-Fraser Park contingent at St George, there should be plenty keen to get one over their former club.
Fraser Park would have been ecstatic with their win over Bankstown City last weekend. Finally getting to play on their own ground after such a long time away would also be giving the club a significant boost. Having played only six games so far, the least amount amongst all clubs, Fraser Park could rise rapidly with a couple of further results like last Sunday’s.
Mounties Wanderers v Central Coast, Saturday 7:30pm, Cook Park, Mt Pritchard
After conceding a last minute goal last Saturday to Sydney University, and remaining as the last team yet to claim a victory as a result, it doesn’t get any easier for Mounties Wanderers when Central Coast travel to Cook Park this weekend. It can be nothing less than a shock to see Mounties where they are currently, as they were surely expected to be a finals team at the very least. It is possible that their fortunes will turn, but whether that will be against the high flying Coast remains to be seen.
Central Coast now sit three points off Spirit. They have progressed nicely this year, losing only to their nearest challengers in Spirit and Northern Tigers but comfortably winning all other matches. They won’t want to drop their guard this weekend, a wounded Mounties can still do damage.
Bankstown Berries v Hakoah Sydney City East, Saturday 7:30pm, The Crest, Bass Hill
Fourth placed Hakoah Sydney City East face a tough trip to The Crest, where they meet the Bankstown Berries. Minus a number of first teamers last week against the Rams, Hakoah did well gaining a point considering their reduced squad, but they will hopefully be welcoming back one or more this Saturday. They will want to be at full strength, or as close to as possible, as the Berries are a tough nut to crack, especially at Bass Hill.
The Berries would have been disappointed with their loss up the Coast, coming not long after a reverse at St George and will need to string a few wins together to maintain pace with the top.
Macarthur Rams v Spirit FC, Saturday 7:30pm, Lynwood Park, St Helens Park
Six wins from seven games sees Spirit top of the ladder with a three point buffer. Add on the best defence in the league and a goal difference in double figures and you can see why they are the dominant club in the standings. And only Central Coast have scored more, so there seems little to worry about up front either. But while the good times may be rolling, you can be sure that the experienced John McLafferty won’t be letting heads get too big. There is plenty of game time to be played yet, including a tough visit to Lynwood Park this Saturday.
Macarthur Rams may have started slower than they normally do, currently in eighth, but two wins and a draw in their past three games gives an idea that they may be starting to hit their straps. It is a big next few weeks, with the Rams playing four of the current top five in the next fortnight. After Spirit this Saturday, the Rams welcome Central Coast next Wednesday, travel to Mount Druitt next weekend and then entertain Northern Tigers in round eleven. How the Rams fare in these matches will play a large part in determining their season.
Bankstown City v Sydney University, Sunday 3pm, Jensen Park, Sefton
After last week’s late win, Sydney University will head to Jensen Park with some renewed vigour. Finally getting off the mark with that win, they will no doubt be looking forward to further good results, and while they will be without striker Gavin Forbes this week, captain Nathan Sansom has proved himself to be more than capable up front.
The Lions were caught out by Fraser Park last weekend and will be wary of there being a repeat of that scoreline. The loss means that they are now seven points off top so there is not much room for error.
Northern Tigers v Mount Druitt Town Rangers, Sunday, 3pm, Mills Park, Asquith
The last remaining Men’s 2 club in the FFA Cup were unfortunately bundled out on Wednesday night when they went down 6-0 against Blacktown City. While that result will be a bitter pill to swallow, the Tigers still have plenty going for them this season. Not least of all their concerted attempt on the Premiership and Championship and while the Tigers would have loved to get to the Westfield FFA Cup proper, the main aim is the title. Two straight losses, three including the cup, suggest a bit of a downturn at the moment, a surprise after their good win at Hakoah just over a week ago.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers are already having one of their best seasons at this level. Having gained the wooden spoon for the past two years, they sit inside the top five with a healthy four wins from seven. They will look for a hatrick of wins at Mills Park, a tough venue at the best of times but just perhaps, after the Tigers exertions in the Cup, the Rangers may be visiting at just the right time.
Spirit FC v St George
Leaders Spirit FC moved three points clear of the chasing pack with a 3-1 win over St George in their rearranged round six clash on Tuesday night, although it was a lot closer than the scoreline may suggest.
St George had the better of the opening period but found themselves behind after the speedy Kuag Reec was brought down inside the box, allowing captain Daniel Cunningham to put away the spotkick, despite Saints keeper David Hamilton guessing the right way and getting a touch to the ball.
After going a goal down, the visitors kept to the task, dominating possession for large parts but finding it difficult to make headway against a solid Spirit defence. A freekick by Stefan Ilic was on target but saved by David Lowery, but real chances were few.
A second penalty by Cunningham with just over ten minutes to go made it more comfortable for Spirit, who almost grabbed a third two minutes later when Reec skipped clear but Hamilton did well to save.
Abraham Majok did drag the scoreline out to 3-0 in time added on, turning well to shoot under Hamilton, before St George pulled one back with the final kick of the match, David Wilson scoring from the spot after Johnathan Kontalis was upended.
Spirit FC 3 (Daniel Cunningham 24’ pen, 78’ pen, Abraham Majok 90 + 2’) v St George 1 (David Wilson 90+3’ pen)
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
at Christie Park, Marsfield
Referee: Katie Paterson
Assts: Matt Riedy and Keith Yau
Spirit FC: 41. David Lowery 2. Daniel Cunningham (c) 4. Nick Trimble 8. Grant Cornwell 10. Ossama Zaki (6. Ross Kethel 69’) 13. Lord Darkoh 14. Ryan Johnstone 17. Adam Savetta (11. Abraham Majok 60’) 19. Tom Lovell 21. Kuag Reec (3. Henry Wells 85’) 22. Gosue Sama.
Subs not used: 50. Corey Finch 5. Andrew Robertson
Yellow Cards: Gosue Sama 75’
Coach: John McLafferty
St George: 17. David Hamilton 3. Emanuel Elali (20. David Wilson 62’) 5. Daniell Zeleny 6. Ali Nasreddine 8. Tarek Ercan 10. Michael Yarnold (c) (Johnathan Kontalis 82’) 11. Wassim Hijazi (19. Stefan Ilic 64’) 13. Lenox Tweneboa 14. Andrija Petkovic 15. Peter Pelekanos 18. Anthony Abi-Arrage.
Subs not used: 16. Joseph D’Elia 21. Lachlan Kerr
Yellow Cards: Nil
Coach: David Perkovic
Source FNSW Website - by Peter Rowney, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 2 Reporter