This week’s feature in the PS4 NPL NSW Men’s 2 takes us to the local derby at Mills Park for fourth vs first as Northern Tigers tackle Spirit FC.
Northern Tigers v Spirit FC Sunday 3pm Mills Park Asquith
It was a disappointed Northern Tigers who fell against Hakoah Sydney City East last weekend. The Tigers had been on an unbeaten run of seven games prior to last Sunday and after beating Central Coast the week before, things looked good. But the loss has ended any lingering title hopes they may have had, and it is to the top three, and club championship, that the Tigers will continue to focus on.
For that reason, Spirit can expect a rough ride when they visit Mills Park. Spirit were involved in a tough game at St George on Wednesday but the point gained increases their buffer at the top to seven points. They were without Gosue Sama and Lord Darkoh, out suspended against the Saints, but both should return for this clash.
Mounties Wanderers v Sydney University Saturday 7:30pm Cook Park Mt Pritchard
In some way, this is a Grand Final for Mounties. After earning a point against Bankstown City on Wednesday night, the Wanderers take on Sydney University on Saturday with much at stake. With a tough draw in their final three rounds, a sweep of results this Saturday might just give the Mounties the breathing space they need. Anything less, and it could be a nervous last few weeks. They will have to do without Shane Webb though, who was sent off midweek.
After last week’s loss, and Mounties’ two recent draws, Uni are now outright bottom with four games left to play. It was against Mounties that Uni gained their first win of this season, back in round eight, against the equally winless Mounties at the time. Both sides have improved since their poor starts of course, and with not a lot between the two sides, it should be close. Who gets the better of their nerves may decide the outcome.
Macarthur Rams v Hakoah Sydney City East Saturday 7:30pm Lynwood Park St Helens Park
Macarthur are playing for pride now. Only a miraculous turn of results across the league could see the Rams venture past twenty two rounds and not even the most one-eyed fan would be expecting that.
Still, the reigning Champions keep that mantle for another month or two and they will seek to make it as hard as possible before another club takes the crown. A visit by Sydney FC to Campbelltown Stadium on Thursday night, for their now traditional pre-season fixture, will be a welcome change of pace for the Rams.
As it happens, this week’s opponent in Hakoah Sydney City East are one of those clubs in serious contention to take over their Champions crown. Hakoah have had a wonderful month, winning four and defeating Spirit FC, Central Coast and Northern Tigers along the way. It doesn’t get much better than that and with four games to go, and top of the club championship, with a game in hand, Hakoah could hardly have wished for anything better.
St George v Mount Druitt Town Rangers Saturday 7:30pm St George Stadium Kyeemagh
St George finally got off the mark during the week after a well-deserved point against Spirit FC ended their run of outs. It has been a tough period for the Saints but the result against Spirit, and the improved performance on show, may just give them the confidence boost they need. Not too many clubs have taken points off Spirit this season, and St George will now seek to build on Wednesday’s effort this weekend.
Like Macarthur Rams, Mount Druitt Town Rangers have the chance to take on A-league opposition when Western Sydney Wanderers visit Popondetta Park on Thursday for a friendly clash. The change of focus should be a welcome change after five straight league losses have seen the Rangers drop to eighth on the ladder. They aren’t out of calculations just yet, and they do have a game up their sleeve, albeit against Hakoah, so they still have plenty to play for when they visit St George.
Bankstown Berries v Central Coast Saturday 7:30pm The Crest Bass Hill
If the Berries qualify for the finals from here, there can be little doubt that they will have deserved it.
Five wins and a draw from their past six games, they face the top three in their next three games. The last minute winner last week against Uni may prove to be the best thing to have happened when ladder calculations come into play on the final day. The Berries moved into the five last weekend and stayed there, after Bankstown City’s 1-1 draw on Wednesday.
Central Coast are seven points in arrears of Spirit FC after Wednesday night and will find it tough to make up those points with four games left. The Coast had a great day though against Macarthur Rams last Sunday and will be looking for something similar at The Crest this week. If they can come away with the points like they did on the last day last season, at the same venue, they will be more than content.
Bankstown City v Fraser Park Sunday 3pm Jensen Park Sefton
Bankstown City couldn’t get over the line against Mounties Wanderers on Wednesday, and remain in sixth as a result. Not what the doctor ordered with the race for the five featuring so many, but a win against Fraser Park will go some way to easing that pain.
Fraser Park fell from the five after gaining just the point against Mounties and will need a result here to avoid slipping too far off the pace. They have drawn three of their past four and the lack of wins may prove costly in the washup. It certainly won’t be easy at Jensen Park, the Lions starting to hit their straps at last, but with a victory over the Lions not too long ago, Fraser will fancy their chances to win once more.
Wednesday 29 July 2015
St George v Spirit FC
Spirit FC’s lead at the top increased to seven points after a hard fought 1-1 draw with St George on Wednesday night. Spirit took the lead early on when Brad Gibson slotted home the opener, getting on the end of a cross from the right but the Saints pulled level just after half time, Andrija Petkovic let fly from well outside the area to catch David Lowery off guard.
Spirit almost grabbed all the points right at the death, but Daniel Cunningham’s header at the far post flashed past the upright.
St George 1 (Andrija Petkovic 47’) v Spirit FC 1 (Brad Gibson 13’)
St George: 1. Aaron Liddell 3. Emanuel Elali (20. Thomas Menton 66’) 5. Daniell Zeleny 6. Ali
Nasreddine 7. Matt Sadler 8. Tarek Ercan 9. Tom Slater (24. Jacob Sullivan) 13. Lenox Tweneboa 14.
Andrija Petkovic 15. Peter Pelekanos 19. Stevan Ilic (11. Wassim Hijazi 72’).
Subs not used: 17. Thomas Hamilton 10. Michael Yarnold
Spirit FC: 50. David Lowery 2. Daniel Cunningham 3. Henry Wells 4. Nick Trimble 5. Andrew
Robertson 8. Grant Cornwell 10. Ossama Zaki 12. Brad Gibson (9. Tim Simpson 80’) 14. Ryan
Johnstone 19. Tom Lovell 21. Kuag Reec.
Subs not used: 1. Murray Nelson 7. Jake Harris 20. Michael Streeter.
Mounties Wanderers v Bankstown City
Bankstown City missed the chance to jump into the five after taking only one point at Cook Park, to stay sixth behind Bankstown Berries. Despite taking the lead through Todd Halloran, the Lions couldn’t maintain the lead, and while Mounties were reduced to ten when Shane Webb received a second yellow on 69’, the home side managed an equaliser through Mitchell King three minutes later.
Mounties Wanderers 1 (Mitchell King 72’) v Bankstown City 1 (Todd Halloran 61’)
Mounties Wanderers: 30. Ali Akbal 3. Neftali Gonzalez 6. Aleksandar Tomic 15. Shane Webb 18.
Mark D’Alessandro 20. Reid Taylor (20. Jake Ingle) 23. Nathan Attard 26. Jacob Carluccio 27.
Gongjun Lee (24. Mitchell King) 28. Leon Faria 32. James Letta.
Subs not used: 1. James Stojcevski 8. Rory McGeown 10. Daine Merrin.
Bankstown City: 1. Dion Shaw 2. Todd Halloran 3. Grant Lynch 4. Aaron D’Mello 5. Michael
Beauchamp 6. Reuben Lagos (12. Steven Veleski) 9. Chris Gomez (17. Gerard Ouffoue) 10.
Domenic Hudap 11. Huseyin Jasli (7. Brima Kamara) 17. Alvaro Malmierca 22. Ko Kimura.
Subs not used: 30. Nicholas Carosi 77. Brandon Stefanovski.
Source FNSW Website by Peter Rowney, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 2 Reporter