After midweek matches brought the league ladder back to some degree of normality, the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues NSW 2 competition continues into round sixteen this weekend with Macarthur Rams v Central Coast Mariners our Match of the Round.
Macarthur Rams v Central Coast Mariners Saturday 7pm Lynwood Park, St Helens Park
Macarthur Rams returned home from bottom placed Fraser Park empty handed last weekend, delivering to Fraser only their second win of the season. That is likely to mean that the Rams will be even more determined to account for Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night, wanting to put that result out of the way as quickly as possible. They did retain sixth spot, despite the loss but before the midweek fixtures, and they remain well in the hunt for a finals berth. But losing to teams in the lower part of the table must be causing anguish to all at Lynwood Park, especially with such strong results against those clubs near the top. With Central Coast having dropped to ninth, the Rams have another chance to put that record to rest.
The Mariners have lost three of their past four and find themselves in their lowest position all season. In the midst of a bad trot, they at least know that they defeated Macarthur earlier on the season, and if they can do it once, they can do it twice. But they will need to do so without captain Reece Papadimitrios, sent off against St George last weekend.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Sydney FC Saturday 7pm Popondetta Park, Emerton
After defeating Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend, Mount Druitt Town will be seeking to do the A-League double this Saturday when they tackle Sydney FC. It was an excellent scalp for Rangers who haven’t lost since mid April and, though eighth, are in a pack of clubs separated by just a few points. If they can get even just one point off the new leaders, and why not, they are sure to be more than satisfied.
Sydney FC stayed one point clear after their draw against Mounties Wanderers on Wednesday. But rather than just Western Sydney Wanderers, they now have Bankstown City hot on their heels turning the title challenge into a three horse race, as it currently stands. There is little leeway for error but the trip to Popondetta Park will have its concerns. While Sydney FC won comfortably in round three, Rangers are in good form and should put up a stronger resistance this time.
St George v North Shore Mariners Saturday 7pm St George Stadium, Kyeemagh
After a strong win over Central Coast Mariners last Sunday, the Saints succumbed to what was a killer strike by Ben Vidaic for Fraser Park on Wednesday night. The result kept up an inconsistent record whereby St George are yet to manage consecutive wins this season. Similarly to Macarthur Rams, the Saints have regularly dropped points against teams below but defeated top four clubs, in what must be frustrating for their coaching duo.
North Shore Mariners have suffered two 1-0 defeats over the past fortnight and while close games, the lack of points, and recent goals, might be starting to cause some concern. Their victory over Spirit FC has been their only game in the past seven in which they have scored more than once, their tally of eighteen is only ahead of Spirit, second from bottom. Getting back on the scoresheet will be a prime concern for North Shore, but even so, with the last result between these two finishing 1-1 back in round three, we can expect another close run game here.
Bankstown Berries v Fraser Park Saturday 7pm The Crest Bass Hill
Bankstown Berries welcome Fraser Park to The Crest on Saturday seeking to continue their recent improved results. A win and a draw from their past two with two further consecutive home games to come, could see the Berries draw away from the lower end of the table quite quickly. More than most fixtures, this week’s match against Fraser Park could help define the rest of their season, a win will open up a buffer, but a loss would surely give further impetus to Fraser as the season starts to commence its run home.
Fraser Park have thrown themselves a lifeline in a matter of a week. Seemingly anchored to the bottom of the table just a fortnight ago, six points from six since means that they are now just three points adrift. They will know that there is plenty to play for yet, and they will travel to The Crest with some wind in their sails.
Northern Tigers v Western Sydney Wanderers Saturday 7pm Valentine Park Glenwood
After losing to Marconi last time out, Northern Tigers will want nothing less than a victory when they meet Western Sydney Wanderers. Now fifth, a gap is starting to appear as the top three begin to pull away and if there is a further loss of points this weekend, it is likely that the Tigers will be playing for fourth, at best. They suffered a 2-0 defeat back in round three but will be confident in being able to turn the tables this time around.
Western Sydney Wanderers’ point on Tuesday, coupled with Sydney FC’s draw on Wednesday, means that the Wanderers stay just one point behind the Sky Blues at the head of the table. One point from their past six means that this weekend’s visit to Northern Tigers takes on even greater importance. With Bankstown City ready to take advantage of any further slip, the Wanderers could find themselves falling off the pace with another loss of points here.
Mounties Wanderers v Spirit FC Sunday 3pm Cook Park, Mt Pritchard
Mounties looked to be headed for a win on Wednesday before they conceded twice against Sydney FC to draw 2-2. They will be disappointed to have given up a two goal lead, especially against the leaders, but nonetheless, it was still a point that many other clubs don’t get. The point gained lifts Mounties over Macarthur into sixth and they will look to improve on that position when Spirit FC visit.
Spirit had a very worthy 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday night, the point earned drawing them level with the Berries. And with a win over Marconi under their belts just a fortnight ago, Spirit should travel to Cook Park with increasing confidence. They have found the back of the net in their past six games after an early season goal drought, it might now just be at the other end where they will focus, not having kept a clean sheet since round seven.
Bankstown City v Marconi Sunday 3pm Jensen Park, Sefton
Bankstown City are throwing down a real challenge to the top two and there can be no doubting that the Lions will be thereabouts when it counts at the tailend of the season. Currently third, they have the chance to take themselves eleven points clear of Marconi should they win this, a gap which may well prove difficult for the Stallions to claw back. Bankstown have won their past four and the good times seem to have returned. But they don’t come much tougher than Marconi, who defeated last season’s champions Northern Tigers last weekend. And while Bankstown may have beaten Marconi back in round three, their visitors have found certainly found their feet since that dark opening month.
Marconi had found themselves 4-0 down at home to Bankstown earlier in the season before a late rally brought it back to 4-3, saving some blushes along the way. Things are a lot different now though and in fact, Marconi have lost only the once since round four. They have an extra game to play too, over the top three, so the current gap may be a little misleading. But a loss here won’t do them any favours, so we can expect nothing but an attack minded game come Sunday.
Midweek roundup – Rescheduled Round 14
Tuesday 14 June 2016
Spirit FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
Spirit FC and Western Sydney Wanderers shared the points in a closely fought game on Tuesday night, as the youthful Wanderers, much changed in recent times, finished the match a man short.
After taking a second half lead, courtesy of a Kyle Cimenti penalty, awarded after Tariq Maia was brought down in the box, Spirit equalised almost immediately with a powerful header by Michael Streeter.
It was a mixed night for young Wanderers defender Lachlan Campbell, the 17-year-old making his debut, unfortunately receiving a second yellow minutes from time.
Spirit FC 1 (Michael Streeter) v Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Kyle Cimenti penalty)
Referee: Roberto Mattei
Spirit FC: 1. Murray Nelson 2. Daniel Cunningham 3. Henry Wells 4. Michael Streeter 7. Jacob Harris 10. Kim Changyu 11. David Mavisa 13. Phillip Reilly 19. Tom Lovell 20. Timothy Porter 21. Reuben Agyei-Danso.
Subs not used: 51. David Lowery 9. Luke Maait 16. Stuart Collins 18. Brad Gibson 22. Jaylan Reiher
Western Sydney Wanderers: 18. Matthew Symes 2. Lachlan Roberts 6. Keanu Bacchus 7. Kyle Cimenti 8. Cameron Devlin 12. Lawrence Hanna (33. Moudi Najjar) 15. Ramy Najjarine 16. Jordan Morfitis (10. Tariq Maia) 24. Tacettin Kumsuz 27. Tate Russell 35. Lachlan Campbell.
Subs not used: 1. Nicholas Suman 20. Charles Abou Serhal 25. Michael Trajkovski
Wednesday 15 June 2016
St George v Fraser Park
A wonder strike from Ben Vidaic with fourteen minutes to go helped Fraser Park to their second win in five days, their 2-0 victory lifting Fraser to within three points of both Spirit FC and Bankstown Berries.
Vidaic’s volley, on the turn and connecting first time to a cross from the right, gave George Bouropoulos no chance, as the shot flew into the back of the net with power.
Fraser’s second came with just four minutes left, catching St George on the break, as the Saints looked for an equaliser. Nikola Todoroski found himself in space to strike the sealer.
St George 0 v Fraser Park 2 (Ben Vidaic 76’, Nikola Todoroski 86’)
Referee: Michael Weiner
St George: 1. George Bouropoulos 3. Ali Nasreddine (31. Tayfun Buyukkopru 81’) 4. Johnathan Kontalis 6. Reuben Lagos 7. Stefan de Jesus 8. Tarik Ercan 13. Peter Vassilis (15. Nicholas Perez 81’) 16. Thomas Menton 17. Bruno Pivato 18. Yuta Konagaya 19. Dimitri Zakilas (9. Stevan Ilic 75’).
Subs not used; 11. Wassim Hijazi 50. Mark Stivic
Fraser Park: 1. Wayne Estavao 2. Rocci Gabey 3. Davide Talone 5. Nicholas Dimitropoulos 6. Aleksandar Todoroski 8. Zac Ribeiro 13. Sang Ho Lee (14. Nikola Todoroski 60’) 15. Jordan Simpson (18. Alvaro Malmierca 77’) 16. Ben Vidaic (4. Peter Crevani 87’) 17. Nathan Sansom 20. Jordan Roberts.
Subs not used: 19. Tobias Norval 21. John Dimitrakis
Mounties Wanderers v Sydney FC
After having defeated Sydney FC back in round one, Mounties looked headed for another victory after goals to Mitchell Davidson and Matthew West had given the home side a 2-0 half time lead.
But the league leaders, who only regained the number one spot last weekend, recovered with goals to the competition’s leading scorer, Charles Lokolingoy, and Nikola Kuleski.
Mounties Wanderers 2 (Mitchell Davidson, Matthew West) v Sydney FC 2 (Nicola Kuleski, Charles Lokolingoy)
Referee: Craig Fisher
Mounties: 21. Luke Kairies 5. Patrick Gatt 6. Aleksandar Tomic 7. Neftali Gonzalez 8. Emmanuel Elali 9. Matthew West 11. Mitchell Davidson 13. Pat Cappuccio 17. Milorad Simonovic (32. Tayfun Devrimol) 20. Reid Taylor 29. Jake Ingle (28. George Codrea).
Subs not used: 18. Michael Cklamovski 19. Ben Ansah 23. Abanoub Mickael
Sydney FC: 1. Nicholas Sorras 3. Patrick Flottman 4. George Timotheou 6. Nicola Kuleski 7. Daniel Araujo 9. Bai Antoniou 10. Aaron Avery (13. Matthew Green) 12. Charles Lokolingoy (19. Emmanuel Gonzalez) 14. Cristian Gonzalez 16. William Mutch 17. Chris Zuvela.
Subs not used: 2. Brendan Curtis 8. Juan Zapata 20. Mitchell Evans.
Source FNSW -by Peter Rowney, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 2 Reporter