It’s Round 6 of the NPL 2 NSW Men’s competition and the league is being lit up by some true superstars.
Can Daniel Fogarty, Juan Carlos Heras Romero, Alex Vlismas, and Lachlan Scott fire their respective teams further up the table or will their party be spoiled by teams desperate to get their season back on tracks?
Match of the Round:
GHFA Spirit FC vs Central Coast Mariners – Saturday 7th April – 7pm – Christie Park
Can Spirit FC end the unbeaten run of their top 6 rival, Central Coast Mariners, in our match of the round for game week 6 of the NPL 2 NSW Men’s competition?
Despite their undefeated start to the season, the Mariners come into this clash behind Spirit FC on the table, due to the Central Coast side’s surprise dropped points against the likes of Macarthur Rams and Rydalmere Lions.
To make matters worse (or better, depending on who you ask) for the Mariners, star player Jordan Smylie has been called up to the A-League squad and his availability for the NPL 2 side is in doubt.
The young side will be hoping the likes of Quentin Cheng, Kyle Johnson and Amer Abdullah step up in the absence of the ‘smyling’ assassin.
Spirit FC have made a strong start to the season, but concerns remain over their ability to beat a genuine premiership contender.
Wins over Blacktown Spartans, Rydalmere Lions and Hills United come almost expectedly.
But their two defeats of the season have come at the hands of Northern Tigers and Mounties Wanderers – two teams vying for a finals’ place.
So the question remains unanswered, do Spirit have what it takes to beat a genuine premiership rival?
It’s one we need answered and one we will have answered in Football NSW’s match of the round in the NPL 2 NSW Men’s competition.
Macarthur Rams vs St George FC – Saturday 7th April – 7pm – Lynwood Park
It’s been a slow start, but at least the ram is out of the gate.
Macarthur finally picked up their first point of the season last weekend in a spirited draw away to Central Coast Mariners.
But they stand on perilous ground, waving a bright red flag in front of Spain’s charging bull.
Juan Carlos Heras Romero has scored 9 goals in 5 games this season – a total of 4 goals more than Macarthur have managed as a team all season.
Stopping this raging bull will take more than a nimble matador escape route, but it’s an essential ingredient needed to beat St George.
The only game of the season in which Romero failed to score was, interestingly, the only game of the season St George lost.
You stop the bull, you win the fight.
Do the Rams have what it takes?
Mt Druitt Town Rangers vs Rydalmere Lions – Saturday 7th April – 7pm – Popondetta Park
Everyone wants to beat the team at the top.
And after just 5 rounds, Mt Druitt are sitting pretty at the top of the tree.
But the chasing pack have their targets set and will be doing all they can to knock the Rangers from their perch, causing them to fall all the way back down again.
Rydalmere are a side that thrive off emotion. Their derby demolition of Parramatta FC was a great example of that. When the stakes are high, Rydalmere rise to the challenge.
And the stakes don’t get any higher than versing the current best team in the competition.
Mt Druitt favour a fast-paced, high tempo game. But this plays right into the hands of Rydalmere who boast blistering pace across the park and are ferocious in challenges.
Have a look at the weather forecast for Saturday night, it looks like there could be an upset in the air.
North Shore Mariners vs Hills United FC – Saturday 7th April – 7pm – Sydney United Sports Centre
A resurgent Hills United travel to the Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday night, looking to continue their unbeaten streak after the opening weekend of the season.
What’s been most impressive about the Brumbies undefeated streak, is their ability to score late goals.
Two late goals secured a draw, and almost a win, against Mt Druitt last week, and a late goal against Western Sydney Wanderers earned them all three points.
These goal scoring feats of Hills will be troubling news for the North Shore Mariners who have conceded the most goals of any team in the top 8.
Their defensive woes will be troubling the Mariners’ coaching staff who will be wondering what exactly has changed since last season, where the North Shore Mariners conceded the fewest goals of anyone in the league – besides champions Marconi.
But whilst the Mariners will be concerned over their defensive frailty; it will be music to the ears of another.
The wizard winger who has scored 4 goals in 5 games and has been an instrumental part of Hills’ success thus far in 2018.
If Hills are to continue their undefeated streak and pile on the misery for a feeble back-line, expect Fogarty to have a big say in proceedings on Saturday night.
Canterbury Bankstown FC vs Mounties Wanderers FC – Saturday 7th April – 7pm – The Crest Athletic Centre
What Mounties Wanderers team will turn up this week?
Will it be the commanding, enthusiastic side who have demolished Parramatta FC and Spirit FC so far this season?
Or will it be the tired, dull and debilitated team we have seen against Western Sydney Wanderers and Central Coast Mariners?
At their best, Mounties can beat anyone in the league.
But their best has been too few and far between this season to mount a series premiership claim.
‘Premiership claim’ is not a phrased uttered at Canterbury Bankstown these days.
Their sentences are filled with words like, ‘survival, desperate, relegation’, and, ‘oh, not again’.
But Branko Culina is slowly changing the vocabulary of the club and their performances as a team are improving.
However, solid performances for 75 minutes are being undone by lapses in concentration and defensive mistakes, costing the Berries points from games they arguably deserve.
With Macarthur picking up their first points of the season last round, the Berries are all alone at the foot of the ladder. They cannot afford to see Macarthur slip out of touch and will be hoping to catch Mounties on a bad night on Saturday.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Blacktown Spartans FC – Sunday 8th April – 3pm – Sydney United Sports Centre
Two teams whose runs in form couldn’t be of greater contrast.
Blacktown Spartans began the season with a solid 2-1 win over Macarthur Rams.
But since that match, they haven’t gained a single point, nor scored a single goal.
For Western Sydney Wanderers, their beginning to the season was woeful, losing their first three games.
But since that match, they have won two games in a row, most recently a comprehensive 3-0 win over Mounties Wanderers.
With Spartans on the slide and the Wanderers on the rise, there seems to be only one winner in this match.
But stranger things have happened in football and the young Spartans side will stubbornly believe they have the quality to overcome the Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.
Parramatta FC vs Northern Tigers FC – Sunday 8th April – 7pm – Melita Stadium
This year was meant to be different.
The struggles of 2017 were meant to be a distant, yet painful memory.
But it seems the hosts of last year has followed you here.
Five games in and still no win.
Melita Stadium no more like a colosseum than a school-yard playground.
When will this form end? When will the home fans hear the team song again?
Football fans in the NPL 2 NSW Men’s.
It’s been a difficult start to life in the NPL 2 competition for Parramatta and it doesn’t get any easier in this clash against league powerhouse, Northern Tigers.
The Tigers reclaimed their bite with an impressive 2-1 victory over Spirit FC last round and are looking determined to keep pace with Mt Druitt and St George at the top of the table.
The test doesn’t get much tougher for Parramatta than this. But their fans are growing impatient and with the teams above them beginning to streak away, they cannot afford to throw away points any longer.
Don’t miss this exciting cherry on the cake of football in Round 6 of the NPL 2 NSW Men’s competition.
= Mt Druitt (D,W,W)
↑ Hills United (D,W,W)
↑ Central Coast Mariners (D,W,W)
↑ St George (W,L,W)
↑ Northern Tigers (W,L,W)
↑ Rydalmere Lions (W,L,W)
↓ Spirit FC (L,W,W)
↓ Mounties Wanderers (L,W,W)
↓ North Shore Mariners (L,W,L)
↓ Blacktown Spartans (D,L,L)
= Parramatta FC (D,L,L)
= Macarthur Rams (D,L,L)
= Bankstown Berries (L,L,L)
Source FNSW Website-By Ryan Latty