The Easter bunny visits this weekend, but will it be glory or despair for teams in National Premier Leagues 2 this weekend.
FNSW reporter Justin Davies runs the rule over the Easter long weekend fixture list to find out.
Match of the Round: Inter Lions vs UNSW FC – Monday 2nd April 2018, 3pm, Mason Park
Rounding off the Easter long weekend is a cracking clash between Inter Lions and UNSW FC that plays out at Mason Park on Monday afternoon.
Inter Lions hasn’t had the ideal start to the season, unable to get on the field consistently with a pair of washouts in the past fortnight leaving Danny Abboud’s side chomping to get back on the pitch.
The students have been solid in their first few steps in the new league. Four points returned is good enough to put them in the mid-table log jam that gives them confidence in remaining in the league.
Renato Jelen has a host of options at his disposal including captain Tara Casserly to control style of play and feed the twin-headed attack upfront against an underdone Inter Lions side.
Although the Lions aren’t toothless themselves, featuring seasoned campaigners in Sarah Mandile and Angela Gardner as they attempt to move off the duck egg after the long weekend.
Southern Branch FC vs Marconi Stallions – Saturday 31st March 2018, 3pm, South Nowra Football Complex
Some rare Saturday afternoon football comes to the NPL2 Womens competition, as Marconi Stallions take the long trip down to Nowra to take on Southern Branch FC.
Marconi continued a frustrating opening to the new season, their clash with Inter Lions SC was washed out while Southern Branch FC were on the end of a 10-nil hammering.
The representative team from the south coast will enjoy home comforts especially as they played out an entertaining 3-3 draw last season in this fixture.
Both teams sit in the lower reaches of the ladder and hope to use this weekend as a springboard, making their move to the top half.
Nepean FC vs Gladesville Ravens – Monday 2nd April 2018, 3pm, Cook Park
After losing their undefeated record against Sydney Olympic FC, Gladesville are back on the road to take on Nepean FC Monday afternoon.
Alan Tasses was disappointed in how his Nepean FC side has started the season. They have fluctuated between superb performances to their dismal 0-0 draw against UNSW FC last week.
After being a defensive side last season, the team from the foot of the mountains has flourished in the trio of Bianca Galayini, Stefanie Trovato and Britney Pelle that will test the Ravens defense.
For the Ravens – they have started brightly with two wins and a loss that has them in a four-way tussle for first place, and with the talent at Albert Disciancio’s disposal makes for a much better season for the north west side.
SD Raiders vs Central Coast Mariners – Monday 2nd April 2018, 3pm, Ernie Smith Reserve
SD Raiders look to move from their first loss of the season, welcoming Central Coast Mariners to Ernie Smith Reserve for a mouth-watering fixture on Monday.
The Mariners were in ruthless form as they put ten past Southern Branch FC while the Raiders rued “three moments of madness” that cost them the three points against APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
While Candice Phelan has stolen the headlines with six goals in three games, the form of Jordan Evans and Jade Mcatamney has helped the Mariners to top position (albeit in a four-way tie).
If they are to remain perfect, they need to be ruthless as the Raiders have a sense for goal.
Striker Cassidy Chidgey made some crucial runs against APIA and the service from the flanks will keep the Mariners on their toes and make for a rip-roaring affair.
Sydney Olympic FC vs St George FC – Monday 2nd April 2018, 3pm, Peter Moore Field
The hits keep coming for Sydney Olympic as they are perched high on the ladder, taking on win-less St George FC in the premier’s first home game of the season.
Olympic were at their devastating best with a four-goal second half against Gladesville Ravens while St George FC played out another high scoring game 4-3 against Western NSW Mariners albeit on the losing end again.
If the Saints are to get on the board for season 2018, they will need a huge game from custodian Selen Santoro to repel the attacking threat from Madelaine Costanzo, Siahn Bozanic and Lieke Bever.
Starting slow has been something that has frustrating Olympic boss Bill Papas after some starts in the opening three rounds where they haven’t found the back of the net in the first half.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs Western NSW Mariners FC – Monday 2nd April 2018, 4:30pm, Lambert Park
Much like a duck to water, APIA Leichhardt Tigers have begun life in NPL2 Womens swimmingly and host Western NSW Mariners in the late kick-off this weekend.
The Tigers were up the proverbial creek without a paddle after ten minutes of last weekend’s Match of the Round but they completed a superb turnaround, thanks to an Ashleigh Palombi brace to win 3-2 and add another chapter to their rivalry with SD Raiders.
It was a delightful weekend for Western NSW Mariners as Teegan Courtney notched a hat-trick in their first victory of the season. After the missed moments of the first two weeks, the win was cathartic for Mariners boss Josh Ward.
Two sides come into this contest with plenty of attacking firepower which will light up the Lambert Park pitch and finish the Easter long weekend on a high note.
Source FNSW -By Justin Davies