ROUND 5 PREVIEW – NPL 2 NSW WOMEN’S

Now the Easter long weekend is done, teams will get back down to business with some exciting match-ups to fill out Round 5 of the National Premier Leagues 2 Womens competition.

Match of the Round: St George FC vs Nepean FC

The Match of the Round heads down south for the first time this season, as St George FC tries to get their maiden victory against Nepean FC.

It has been a torrid start for St George FC. In four games they have conceded 20 goals including eight to Sydney Olympic last week while Nepean FC continue to do their best Art Attack impression with all the drawing.

Nepean FC are more frustrating than IKEA instructions with their inability to convert their chances into points. They do welcome back Stefanie Trovato this weekend to hopefully turn those misses into goals against the Saints.

Finding the net hasn’t been a problem for the Saints. They have found the auld onion bag seven times thus far and the attacking talent available to Mark Cuppit makes for an intriguing contest on Sunday afternoon.

SD Raiders vs Southern Branch FC, Sunday 8th April 2018, Ernie Smith Reserve, 3pm

SD Raiders look to spring into the top four as they host the lowly Southern Branch FC at Ernie Smith Reserve this weekend.

Coming off a tough 2-1 victory against Central Coast, the Raiders can build momentum against a side that conceded 18 goals in the last fortnight.

Step forward, the attacking talent up front for the Raiders, headlined by Cassidy Chidgey and Logan Garard. The pair will look to add to their tallies and create a healthy goal difference for the Raiders.

For Southern Branch, they will want to show a better version of themselves this weekend, with the talent in their side, they are capable of finding some form again.

Central Coast Mariners vs Western NSW Mariners FC, Sunday 8th April 2018, 3pm, Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah

It’s the Mariners derby to kick us off on Sunday afternoon. Western NSW Mariners take the trip to the coast to take on an enthusiastic Central Coast team for a vital three points.

Both Mariners teams were lost at sea last weekend, losing to APIA Leichhardt and SD Raiders respectively, which snapped the Central Coasts undefeated start to the season.

Candice Phelan has half a dozen goals thus far this season and the striker isn’t slowing down. Her combination with Jordan Evans has fired Central Coast to fourth position. This start has pleased coach  Dan Barrett, the boss admitted the side would gather momentum throughout the season.

For the ladies from the west, it has been an inconsistent start to the season. They haven’t done anything by halves, either taking three points or none, which means manager Josh Ward will lean on the experienced heads in the squad to balance out their results.

Marconi Stallions vs UNSW FC, Sunday 8th April 2018, 3pm, Marconi Stadium

The Stallions form reads like a binary code. Back at home they look to crack the code against an energetic UNSW FC side this weekend.

Marconi got their first victory in style. They thumped Southern Branch FC 8-1 as UNSW FC were forced to share the points in their 1-1 draw with Inter Lions.

After a slow start, the Stallions attack has clicked into gear. Jess Beale, Demelza Howard and Summar Richardson all found their shooting boots which sounds a clear message to the rest of the league of their intent.

The students missed their chances late against Inter, so Renato Jelen hopes that Amy Altman or Harley Johnson can rectify this against the Stallions.

Gladesville Ravens vs Inter Lions SC, Sunday 8th April 2018, 4pm, Christie Park #2

Third place Gladesville Ravens look to grab maximum points to maintain their position as they host Inter Lions SC at Christie Park #2 on Sunday afternoon.

Inter Lions registered their first points of the season in their 1-1 draw against UNSW FC as Gladesville Ravens also couldn’t take the chocolates against Nepean FC during the Easter long weekend.

Despite having the greater share of chances and possession in both games this season, Inter Lions hope that isn’t a sign of a frustrating season. They do have the quality in Sarah Mandile and Dominique Caridad to pick up points in bunches across the season.

Gladesville Ravens have equaled their 2017 total, and now, look to climb their next hill which may include a finals spot for the season, starting with their home game this weekend.

APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs Sydney Olympic FC, Sunday 8th April 2018, 7pm, Lambert Park

Two undefeated streaks head into the contest on Sunday night, only one can survive. Sydney Olympic FC take on upstart APIA Leichhardt in the final kick-off of Round 5.

Both sides come into the weekend off impressive victories – Olympic romped home against St George FC while the Tigers took care of Western NSW Mariners 3-1.

In a contest filled with stars across the park, it may come down to the ladies between the sticks – Courtney Halpin for APIA and Grace Watson-Carr for Olympic that may steal the show on Sunday night.

Otherwise for the Tigers, Matteo Maiorana has already mentioned using this game as a measuring stick to see where the promoted side are while Olympic FC want to sit alone at the top of the mountain.

Source FNSW website -By Justin Davies