Round 20 – National Premier Leagues 2 Womens Preview

Points are valuable in all forms of our lives. National Premier Leagues 2 Womens is no different with three sides separated by only a single point, whilst slim margins may decide the rest of the top five with three rounds to go.

So we’re set to go for another thrilling round of NPL2 Womens action! Let’s get into the review!

 

Gladesville Ravens vs St George FC, Sunday 22 July, 3pm, Christie Park

Getting to the crunch fixtures, Gladesville needs to keep winning and welcome a tricky opponent in St George FC, to Christie Park on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams come into the contest in form. Gladesville Ravens have rebounded well in their success over Southern Branch FC, while St George FC showed their character in a superb comeback against UNSW FC to register their tenth point.

The key for St George’s resurrection has been their industrious attitude. They have taken it to their much more heralded opponents, then turning their chances into goals through Lara Nicholls and Grace Ha. This will definitely have the Ravens on edge.

One is the loneliest number. It is also the lead the Ravens have over the chasing Stallions and Nepean FC, so they will need their stars to fly high. Emily Diaz has taken the headlines in recent weeks with a hat-trick and some late heroics, so if she can continue her purple patch we’re in for an exciting clash in the north of Sydney.

Inter Lions vs SD Raiders, Sunday 22 July, 3pm, Concord Oval

Momentum can be a strange concept. Through the season both these sides have had it, now SD Raiders head to Concord Oval, in search of it before the finals, as time starts to run out.

Inter Lions had some momentum through the middle of the season, although it has evaporated with their heavy loss to title contenders, Central Coast. For SD Raiders it was another vital point in a finals-like affair with Nepean FC.

SD Raiders do have 30+ goals on the bench but their coach, Matt Constantini is confident in the replacements including Kiara Coscia who scored her first senior goal alongside livewire forward Logan Garard and Kasia Wojtowicz will keep Lions keeper Natasha Pentecost busy on Sunday afternoon.

Much like it was regaining that winning feeling for UNSW FC a few weeks back, Inter Lions need to get themselves back in the win column. These two played a cagey affair last time out, so expect similar as both scratch and claw for points in the run home.

Western NSW Mariners vs Nepean FC, Sunday 22 July, 3pm, Glen Willow Stadium

Buoyed by matching the competition leaders, Western NSW Mariners welcome Nepean FC out to Mudgee, looking to play spoiler once again, in the final three weeks.

The Mariners who have run hot and cold this season, were red hot against Olympic FC, and a late Lieke De Bever penalty cruelled them of a heroic draw. Similar can be said for a Nepean FC side with more draws than Mr Squiggle after they let a late lead slip against SD Raiders.

That result left Nepean FC on the outside looking in. The women from the foot of the mountains have mirrors the 90s cult classic song as they keep getting knocked down but get up again. Through the toughest part of their schedule, Tasses will want Stefanie Trovato, Bianca Galayini and co to fire to take them back into the top five.

For Western NSW, it is about finishing strongly. Their last three games are at home, against Nepean FC and Marconi means they could possibly shape how the final five might end up. With their defense being hard to break down, Sunday could come down to whether Nepean FC bring their shooting boots.

Marconi Stallions vs Central Coast Mariners, Sunday 22 July, 3pm, Marconi Stadium

Sunday looms as a huge afternoon for the Stallions, as they face the Mariners at home.

With the Stallions finals hope on the line, Marconi need three points to stay alive.

The home side have found themselves in this position courtesy of a 3-1 loss to APIA on Sunday night, that puts them seventh.

In the case of so close yet so far, the Marconi Stallions are just a single point away from fifth according to the current competition standings

For the Mariners, it is all systems go as they swept aside Inter Lions.

Marconi have had a rollercoaster second season in NPL2 Womens, but they remain in the hunt. A finals appearance could add some gloss to that season, also the form of Jess Beale and Demelza Howard could take them to the promised land. They were blanked last time against the yellow and navy, meaning finding the back of the net will be crucial for the team.

Central Coast have their finals spot secured, but just like the Raiders, they’ll want to take momentum into the knockout rounds. Another handy weapon for them has 35 goals and comes in the form of Candice Phelan. The golden boot prospect will be hoping to secure her chances of the converted award.

The Mariners offensive talent will take them a long way this season, so we could be in for a shootout at the Marconi corrall.

Sydney Olympic FC vs Southern Branch FC, Sunday 22 July, 3pm, Peter Moore Field

Ten clear at the top, Sydney Olympic FC have their eye on the prize, looking to finish the season undefeated, starting by taking on the bottom side, Southern Branch FC, this weekend at Peter Moore Field.

It was a scratchy performance but it was another three points banked for Olympic FC as they took down Western NSW in Bathurst. Southern Branch were game but fell victim to Gladesville Ravens 4-1 in the first of their last two away trips for the season.

The biggest chase left for Sydney Olympic is the race between Lieke De Bever and Candice Phelan for the golden boot trophy. Since De Bever moved upfront, the striker has flourished and sits six behind the Mariners marksman, meaning she will be primed to bag a huge haul against a side that has conceded 95 goals this season.

UNSW FC vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 22 July, 6pm, Heffron Synthetic Field

This weekend’s night cap takes us to Maroubra, the students host APIA Leichhardt at Heffron Synthetic Field, with the visitors aiming to confirm their finals spot.

Frustration once again reared it’s head for UNSW FC, they followed up their impressive thrashing with a 3-1 surrender against lowly St George FC. The visitors rediscovered their form with back-to-back victories, they also won 3-1, against Marconi.

When these two bumped heads UNSW gave the Tigers trouble in the first half before APIA showed heart in turning it around 2-1 with Christina Ferreyra and Nicole Carmichael with the two second half strikes. As mentioned earlier, a similar result Sunday night confirms finals football for the Tigers.

APIA have managed to incorporate some of their young stars including Hannah Macri and Alina Stojcevski to aide their firepower upfront led by Ash Palombi, who has had a powerful debut season, making this a tough test for the students.

Renato Jelen hopes that the UNSW side that piled in the goals against Gladesville show up, not the side that lost the previous ten outings. For their cause, Amy Altman remains a threat in front of goal with nine for the season, so we’re set for a brilliant finish to a thrilling weekend of action.

 

Source FNSW website  By Justin Davies