Headline clashes highlight another fascinating round of National Premier Leagues 2 action. We have the Match of the Round headed out to Christie Park, Sydney Olympic hosting the exciting SD Raiders and seeing if APIA Leichhardt can remain undefeated just to name a few.
Match of the Round: Gladesville Ravens vs UNSW FC, Sunday 22nd April 2018, 6pm, Christie Park #2
This week’s Match of the Round takes us to the newly refurbished Christie Park as fourth placed Gladesville Ravens take on UNSW FC Sunday evening.
Gladesville had their wings clipped in a close loss which dropped them down to fourth, as UNSW FC turned around a 5-1 loss in round 5 to a 5-1-win last weekend against bottom placed Southern Branch FC.
UNSW FC has been proactive both on and off-field with their intent in NPL2. They have tried to play a fluid style which is helped by the signing of Tasmanian marksman Paige Ayton, bolstering a strong attacking core of Amy Altman and Christine Tanaka Lucantonio.
The Ravens have been tough for teams to break down. They take punches like Homer against Tyson and look to land the final blow through Annalise Schiraldi or Eleanor Lidbetter making for a mesmerising contest this weekend.
Sydney Olympic FC vs SD Raiders, Sunday 22nd April 2018, 3pm, Peter Moore Field
The pick of the 3pm kick-offs, Sydney Olympic FC welcome SD Raiders to Peter Moore Field, as the latest challengers to their undefeated streak as Olympic look to be more Goldberg than Asuka.
Olympic FC has been shouting ‘who’s next’ after they swept aside Central Coast Mariners while a disappointed SD Raiders fell to a surprising single goal loss out in the golden west.
Raiders boss Mark Constantini admitted the visitors were disappointing out in Mudgee. The return of Cassidy Chidgey hopefully will help them overall, as they will need goals against an Olympic outfit that has speared the competition.
Last week Lieke Bever took the headlines. The Olympic forward scored a brace and gave the Mariners defense headaches – the combination between her, Bozanic and Costanzo has Olympic streets ahead as favourites this season.
Central Coast Mariners vs Nepean FC, Sunday 22nd April 2018, 3pm, Pluim Park
Two sides firmly in the middle cluster of the table, Sunday’s fixture shapes up to be a vital yardstick for their prospects for the rest of the season.
Both teams come off losses last weekend, Mariners were put to the sword by premiers, Sydney Olympic, as Nepean FC were pipped by a rampaging APIA Leichhardt Tigers side in their first loss of the season.
Despite their loss, Mariners continue to be one of the league’s highest scorers. Candice Phelan stretched her golden boot lead to three, aided by the energiser bunnies that are Jordan Evans and Gabrielle Blanch down the wings make them a tough prospect for defenses.
Nepean FC would’ve had extra finishing practice after it cost them against APIA. Their attack should be fine so it is down the other end starting goalkeeper Danielle Bartels and her defenders will be under pressure against the equal top-scorers of NPL2 Womens.
Western NSW Mariners FC vs Southern Branch FC, Sunday 22nd April 2018, 3pm, Sir Jack Brabham Park
National Premier Leagues 2 Womens has its own version of the Distance derby, as Southern Branch rack up the kilometres, heading to Orange for Sunday’s clash with Western NSW Mariners.
The pain continued for Southern Branch as they succumbed 5-1 to UNSW FC as Western NSW Mariners claimed a big scalp in three points against SD Raiders which gave them space on the bottom two.
Teegan Courtney continues to find the net with her narrow finish last week taking her to six for the season. The Mariners showed impressive work rate through their defensive work marshalled by Chloe Anlezark.
Southern Branch may enjoy getting away from home, as they conceded eight in their last two games. Them and St George FC remain the two win-less teams and victory for either might spark some life going into the rest of the season.
St George FC vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 22nd April 2018, 3pm, St George Stadium
The gap between the top and the bottom is starting to become a chasm. If St George FC aim to soar rather than meet the same fate as Homer Simpson jumping Springfield gorge it starts against Marconi.
Conversely, Marconi has galloped to the front of the pack, sitting third after their 2-1 victory against Gladesville Ravens. St George FC went from Saints to sinners with their 5-3 capitulation against Inter Lions.
St George were left to rue some defensive mistakes that saw them have three points snatched from them but there were some positive signs, Grace Ha and Marissa Nicopolous showed the Saints can compete.
For the Stallions, it is about maintaining their impressive form. Coach Mark Turvey has the side firing that even the defense, through Hannah Voloder is finding the net making a marked improvement from their 2017 first half of the season.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs Inter Lions, Sunday 22nd April 2018, 7pm, Lambert Park
Following their sojourn out west, APIA Leichhardt Tigers head back home to Lambert Park as they take on a revived Inter Lions side Sunday night.
The Lions found their roar against St George FC with an emphatic comeback as they finally turned their potential into points moving off the bottom. APIA continued their perfect start to the season with a tough 2-nil victory over Nepean FC.
Ash Palombi is more efficient than a Sydney train with her strike rate this season – the striker has an impressive nine goals already with the impact of partner Karen Saavedra, it makes for nightmare fuel for opposition teams.
Inter possess some fine attacking threat of their own, in the style that Danny Abboud likes to play the Lions will try to find space for Dominique Caridad and Sarah Mandile to test APIA custodian Courtney Halpin in a contest predicted to have goals!
Source FNSW website - By Justin Davies