Round 9 – National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Women’s Preview

Sydney Olympic FC are the sole undefeated side, the Premiers remain the standard bearers in NPL2 Womens, as the top three break away from the pack. This weekend promises another buffet of exciting football and close results as teams enter mid-season form.

Match of the Round: SD Raiders vs Inter Lions

The Match of the Round this weekend heads to South-West Sydney. SD Raiders sit in sixth as they look to move right into the mix, starting Sunday against tenth placed Inter Lions.

While they sit outside the finals, SD Raiders only two points away from clipping the Ravens wings, if they can put some consecutive results together. For Inter Lions they have started to click, although they went down 1-nil to Central Coast.

Danny Abboud may have been humming “always look on the bright side of life” as the veteran coach has remained optimistic about the Lions, their game is slowly coming together. On their day, they can take it to the top sides and if Georgia Bourbous and Dominique Caridad find space, it usually results in goals.

For Matt Constantini on the Raiders bench, his young side has stood tall against more experienced teams, Inter Lions are another of those sides, so the old adage, “you can’t win with kids” is put to the test in an exciting contest.

Central Coast Mariners vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 6th May, 3pm, Pluim Park

Looking down the fixture list for this weekend, this game definitely stands out. Third takes on fifth as the Stallions try to bring the Mariners back to earth on Sunday afternoon.

The Mariners have created a five-point gap on fourth placed Gladesville Ravens, after their 3-2 success Wednesday night. For the visitors, they were unlucky to take nothing from their clash in last weekend’s Match of the Round.

Marconi Stallions certainly found their groove. Striker Jessica Beale has led from the front, her combination with Hannah Voloder and Demelza Howard, shelled a stout APIA defense so if they can put those chances away it is set up for a goalfest at Pluim Park.

It seems the Stallions will need to find the net as well, as the Mariners attack continues to fire on all cylinders. Candice Phelan made it sweet sixteen on Thursday, as Jordan Evans remains an able deputy that the Stallions have to track in a season-defining contest.

Western NSW Mariners vs Nepean FC, Sunday 6th May, 3pm, Sir Jack Brabham Park

Noisy neighbours on the table, sitting seventh and eighth, both Western NSW and Nepean want to start making some movements starting Sunday afternoon in Orange.

Alan Tasses cursed his Nepean FC’s sides luck after their close loss to SD Raiders, as it has started to become a frustrating season for the team from the foot of the mountains. Mistakes and the bounce of the ball, has them staring down the barrel of missing the finals.

The Mariners were also on the wrong side of the scoresheet against premiers Sydney Olympic, although they remain upbeat as it was one of the side’s better performances in a four-goal loss.

Sunday may shape up as the battle of the two strikers, as Teegan Courtney for Western NSW and Stefanie Trovato, for Nepean hold the key for a vital three points.

Southern Branch FC vs Sydney Olympic FC, Sunday 6th May, 3pm, South Nowra Football Complex

Competition leaders Sydney Olympic, take their turn with the long road trip down the south coast, as they take on bottom of the table, Southern Branch FC.

Olympic remain the only undefeated side in the league now, after APIA’s loss and their comfortable 4-nil success against Western NSW Mariners, while the home side were beaten 5-1 by Gladesville Ravens.

The visitors have a three-point cushion on the chasing pack, and they don’t look like slowing down anytime soon. Olympic has potted 16 goals in their last four victories – off season recruits, Kristy Rohrer and Lieke Bever has made them an all-round outfit.

It might be another long afternoon for Southern Branch keeper, Carly Regan, although an upset would send shockwaves through the National Premier Leagues 2 Womens competition.

St George FC vs Gladesville Ravens, Sunday 6th May, 3pm, St George Stadium

The Saints look to home comforts as they roll out the welcome mat for fourth placed Gladesville Ravens this weekend at St George Stadium.

After eight rounds, the ladder has started to form into four segments. The Ravens head the second segment of the chasing pack, as they hold onto fourth by a point, thanks to their recent haul of points as the Saints continue to search for their elusive win.

Gladesville’s resurgence this season after finishing at the bottom last year, started with the form of Annalise Schiraldi. The striker has been ably supported by set piece wizard Eleanor Lidbetter and Emma Douglas-Oliveira, as they found their scoring boots last weekend making this a tough fixture for the home side.

APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs UNSW FC, Sunday 6th May, 7pm, Lambert Park

APIA will look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season, as they host firmly in midtable, UNSW FC in the final kick-off of round nine, under lights.

In some mid-week action, the Tigers conceded twice up on the coast as the Mariners won 3-2 while UNSW FC battled to a three-nil over lowly St George FC.

Usually, most of the praise for APIA’s impressive start to the season, is attributed to their attack but their defense, orchestrated by Samantha Scarlato and Lucy Gildfedder has seen them the only side still in single figures for goals conceded.

That sets a huge challenge for the students, on an upswing lately, need to use their pace up top through Amy Altman and Paige Ayton, if they want to pile on the misery for the Tigers this weekend.

Source FNSW website- By Justin Davies