PS4 NPL 2 NSW Men's Round 3 preview

 

Note North Shore Mariners Vs St George FC change of KO times for Snr men's teams

18s 2pm, 20s 4pm, 1sts 6 pm

See preview below from FNSW website

 

Our Match of the Round this week presents us with our first look at one of the A-League youth teams who have entered the competition for the first time.

Our cameras this Saturday takes us to Lambert Park for Sydney FC v Mount Druitt Town Rangers.

Sydney FC v Mount Druitt Town Rangers Saturday 7:45pm Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Sydney FC came through with flying colours last week after a first round loss, and clearly didn’t suffer at the bumpy Christie Park. But a return to the smooth surface of Lambert Park will still be welcomed and now that they have their first win under their belts, the NYL winners should be expected to claim quite a few more wins.

Mount Druitt Town have had a tough schedule, meeting three “new” teams in the first three rounds. This may give a somewhat false impression so early on as surely, the Rangers will soon start to pick up their wins. Whether it comes this weekend remains to be seen, but it won’t be for lack of effort.

Central Coast Mariners v Macarthur Rams Saturday 6:30pm Pluim Park, Lisarow

It was a good win for Central Coast Mariners last weekend, who got off the mark after a first round defeat. They had large periods of possession before their pressure told and a similar performance this weekend will keep Macarthur busy.

The Rams are one of only a handful of clubs still unbeaten, even at this early stage. They knocked in four against Fraser and, allowing for an own goal, have four different goalscorers across their two games so far this season. It has been quite an impressive start for a team with a new coach and largely, a new squad.

Fraser Park v Bankstown Berries Saturday 7pm Fraser Park, Sydenham

Just two games in, and the first coaching casualty of the season has arrived with Wally Savor being relieved of his duties at Bankstown Berries.  A surprise, especially after such an improved 2015 season which saw the respected and likeable coach take the Berries to within a round of the finals.  Robert Harmat, assistant to Savor, takes over in a caretaker role. His first task will be to have the Berries focus on gaining their first win when they travel to Fraser Park on Saturday night.

Fraser Park have suffered two losses on the trot, conceding seven goals in the process. Not the best of starts for sure but perhaps against a Berries side which conceded so easily themselves against Mounties last Sunday, this may provide the opportunity to get on track.

Spirit FC v Mounties Wanderers Saturday 7pm Christie Park, Marsfield

Both Spirit and Mounties have commenced the season with differing fortunes, in a complete reversal to last season. Unfortunately for Spirit, they started the season with fixtures against the two new A-League clubs and have suffered the consequence. Nobody could have predicted such a start but now that they meet what might be called “regular” opponents, they should head into the weekend with somewhat more confidence.

But Mounties, with two wins, will have other ideas. They defeated Sydney FC of course and hurried to a 4-0 lead against the Berries last weekend. It is a different team from last year and there is plenty of quality there to be a force of their own this season. A solid defence led by Patrick Gatt and Wade Oostendorp, a quality attack, and a midfield engineered by Neftali Gonzalez will keep many sides on their toes.  

Western Sydney Wanderers v Northern Tigers Saturday 7pm, Popondetta Park, Emerton

Two of the undefeated sides go head to head on Saturday in a match well worthy to draw a crowd. The Wanderers have started the league like a house on fire, netting eleven times already and sitting atop the rest of the league courtesy of a very healthy goal difference. They haven’t seemed to have had trouble scoring so far but this weekend will see their toughest test yet. They will be back at Popondetta for the second time in a week, aiming for another win.

Northern Tigers excelled at getting the three points at Marconi last round but the competition just doesn’t get any easier. In what will be the Tigers’ third away game in a row, one suspects a point here may satisfy the club, keeping their undefeated start to the season intact before the home games start to come around.

Marconi v Bankstown City Sunday 3pm Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park

This is another eye-catching clash as Marconi attempt to recover from their loss last weekend. But Bankstown City will be just as tough an opponent as the Tigers were, and the Stallions will have little room for error once more.  This will be the third home game on the trot for Marconi, and their aim will be for two wins from three.

Bankstown City has started the season with two victories, and their form is as many expected. They have a raft of quality players within their ranks and a visit to Marconi Stadium should not intimidate. It will be their first time there since 2011 and while a tight fixture is in store, they have the goods to claim the points.

North Shore Mariners v St George Sunday 6pm, Lily Homes Stadium, Seven Hills

Note change of time above

The unavailability of both Northbridge Oval and Valentine Sports Park sees this game played at Lily Homes Stadium on Sunday evening, in the round’s late game. It has been a tough introduction to this league for North Shore, who admittedly have played two of the league’s strongest sides in their opening fixtures.  Despite the losses though, they have put up a fight and another can be expected this weekend.

St George were disappointed not to take something from the game last week against Central Coast. They certainly had their chances, and a draw may have seen a fairer share of the spoils but the league is stronger this year and there will be little or no inch given in the fight for competition points. They will need that clinical finishing against a hardworking North Shore.

Source FNSW -by Peter Rowney, PS4 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men's Reporter