ROUND 19 – NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES 2 NSW WOMENS PREVIEW

Madonna had only four minutes to save the world, thankfully National Premier League 2 Womens sides have four weeks to either save, improve or maintain their seasons. With another exciting weekend of action forthcoming, let’s get into the preview.

St George FC vs UNSW FC, Sunday 15 July, 3pm, St George Stadium

Down where the city meets the sea, UNSW FC and St George FC will come together at St George Stadium, looking to continue their recent purple patch of form.

The students aced their test at Valentine Sports Park last week, UNSW went on a scoring spree as they blasted eight goals past finals hopeful, Gladesville Ravens. For St George FC, they came up against a raging Stallions side and conceded five in their loss.

Whilst both these teams are out of the finals contention, there is still pride and points to play for as the teams aim to finish the season with the trademark momentum. UNSW FC will be looking to make it a season double over the hosts as they triumphed 3-nil back in Round eight.

Renato Jelen will want his side to continue to play their style of football with striker Amy Altman being the vocal point for their attack. The pacey striker netted a hat-trick last weekend and might have an eye for a similar haul against the Saints.

For St George FC goals have been a feature of all their contests this season. Whether it has been going into their net or the opponents, we are guaranteed entertainment. Grace Ha and Marissa Nicopoulos have been standouts for the home side and will play vital roles in trying to secure three points in a tight contest.

Western NSW Mariners vs Sydney Olympic FC, Sunday 15 July, 3pm, Majorie Jackson Field

Following their detour to Nowra last weekend, Western NSW Mariners return home to the mammoth task of breaking Sydney Olympic FC’s undefeated streak, at Majorie Jackson Field in Lithgow.

Powered by donuts, Sydney Olympic FC dispatched SD Raiders, one of their possible finals challengers 4-1 to move a step closer to promotion whilst Western NSW squeaked past Southern Branch in a high tempo encounter.

Two figures will be central to Western NSW causing the upset. Jess Daymond between the sticks needing to quell an Olympic side that has scored in all 17 of their games thus far. Second is Poorsha Mcphillamy in marshaling the defense to not allow the broken pieces of play that allow the premiers to thrive.

For the blue and white, they just need to keep doing what they have been. Tireless work from their defense and midfield find room for lethal marksmen Lieke De Bever and Madelaine Costanzo, if the former can find the net again, it might be a long afternoon for the Mariners.

Gladesville Ravens vs Southern Branch FC, Sunday 15 July, 3pm, Christie Park

In the unfamiliar seventh place, Gladesville Ravens want to soar back into the finals calculations as they host last place, Southern Branch, Sunday afternoon at the pristine Christie Park.

Once Gladesville has got over the horror show that was their heavy defeat to UNSW FC which took a mallet to their goal difference, they to re-find their defensive structures led by central figure Alex Beattie, that helped them into this position. If they get that right, and find Emily Diaz on the counter it might turn their nightmare into a sweet dream.

Southern Branch has shown that on their day, the team from the south coast has the energy to surprise any side, and if they can spoil the Ravens finals aspiration, with a repeat of the performance against UNSW FC in their sole win of the campaign.

Central Coast Mariners vs Inter Lions, Sunday 15 July, 3pm, IFS

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Mariners, as they come back to IFS looking to re-establish second position against eight placed Inter Lions on a wonderful coastal Sunday afternoon.

After their dominant start to the season, a pair of losses to Nepean FC and SD Raiders with a Mariners derby success sandwiched between, has the Mariners only two points ahead of the Raiders in second making for a tense run home.

Further to this, the Mariners were kept scoreless for the first time all season against Nepean. Candice Phelan is being closed in for the top-scorer by De Bever. These two played out a tense clash last time out but if the Mariners can fix their finishing, they can rebound successfully.

Inter Lion’s upswing might have been a false dawn. Three victories were followed by the same amount of defeats, and now, finals football might be out of reach. The Lions have the talent led by Natasha Pentecost and Kirilee Cook to possibly pile onto the Mariners misery.

SD Raiders vs Nepean FC, Sunday 15 July, 6pm, Ernie Smith Reserve

For our first night time kick-off, we have a tasty encounter between two electric sides as SD Raiders host Nepean FC, at Ernie Smith Reserve on Sunday night.

Nepean FC produced probably the shock of the season, as they edged past Central Coast, 1-nil off the back of Desiree Vassallo whilst SD Raiders put up a strong effort but were swept aside by Sydney Olympic 4-1 in last weekend’s Match of the Round.

Being able to be at home in successive weeks must be a refresh for SD Raiders. After their hectic travel over the last month, across NSW, the Raiders can freshen up their side, as they continue life without their star striker. Although Kasia Wojtowicz and Hannah-Rose Davey have filled in valiently but will be tested against a stoic Nepean FC side.

Alan Tasses will be pleased with the return of four points against APIA and Mariners. Nepean FC seem to have found their consistency at the right time of year, Stefanie Trovato has started to bang in goals again and their defensive solidity can lead them back into the top five on the home straight.

APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 15 July, 7pm, Lambert Park

Finishing off a marvelous round of action, is a mouth-watering clash between two historic names in football – APIA Leichhardt Tigers hosting Marconi Stallions underneath Lambert Park lights.

Coming into the weekend – both teams were victorious in their last outings; APIA Leichhardt 3-1 over Inter Lions while Marconi turned on their scoring boots as they put five goals away against St George FC to move back into fifth.

Marconi Stallions need all that attacking talent to fire once again, to halt a vibrant APIA Leichhardt side. Jess Beale has led the way up front with her 10 goals ably assisted by Demelza Howard and a fluid structure has the Stallions prone to attack from any angle.

For APIA, they need to get their side healthy for the run-in. Hopefully they may get some of the seven missing starters from last weekend. Whilst there is an Ash Palombi, there is a way. Palombi scored the winner last time they met and if she repeats that feat, the Tigers will go close in what will be a tense night at Lambert Park.

Source FNSW Website - By Justin Davies