ROUND 23 – NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES 2 NSW MEN’S PREVIEW

It’s not over just yet, the midtable madness has only just begun.

The National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s is back again, and the action will be non-stop from kick-off ‘til full-time.

It’s like a game of snakes and ladders, will your team get lucky when it’s time to roll the dice?

 

Match of the Round: Central Coast Mariners vs. Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC – 4pm Saturday 4thAugust, Pluim Park

As the season heads toward the penultimate round, we are gifted the top of the table clash that we have been waiting for.

The Premiership now looks to be tinged in yellow this season, but whether it’s with a shade of green or navy, this game will surely decide.

But more than the Premiership is at stake in this one.

The glory of the Club Championship is still glimmering within reach for both clubs.

Form would suggest the league leaders are the slight favourites in this one, however, the Mariners with returning players and back at home will be out to prove the old adage “form is temporary, class is permanent”.

 

Blacktown Spartans vs. St George FC – 7pm Saturday 4th August, Blacktown Football Park

Spartans may well have thought they were on the path to stun the North Shore Mariners last week after levelling up the match with a man down. At the end of the day it was a case of you win some, you lose some.

If anything, the result will give them the kick to jump away from last place and taking down 3rd place will be all that sweeter once the final whistle sounds.

Since being stunned by the Rams in Round 19, it has been one-way traffic for the Saints with a run of 3 consecutive wins. When they come marching in to meet the Spartans, the league’s most prolific team will look to exploit the league’s leakiest defence.

Their form has seen them race up to 3rd on the ladder and with a win they have the chance to climb even further up to 2nd this week.

 

GHFA Spirit FC vs. Canterbury Bankstown FC – 7pm Saturday 4th August, Christie Park

Both sides grabbed much needed wins in their late push to make the finals last week and another win for either team would keep the pressure on the heels of those above.

Spirit have been firing on all cylinders in front of goal the last two rounds, netting seven in the process. With Berries tugging on their shirt in the finals race, a return home could give them the edge.

Expect to see a constant presence in the final third from Spirit, lining up to fire dead on target.

Berries put in a hard slog against the Mariners and were well rewarded for their efforts.

With four rounds left some would call it now and cruise towards the end of the season.

Not the Berries.

Ambition is the driving force that has kept them alive and the confidence from a big win last week will have the lads rallied and ready to rumble.

 

 

Macarthur Rams vs. Rydalmere Lions – 7pm Saturday 4th August, Lynwood Park

Talk about dramatic!

The Rams left it to the eleventh hour to save their skins in last week’s episode of the NPL 2 Men’s wooden spoon and relegation battle.

Grabbing a point with a last-minute equaliser, kept them within a whisker of jumping off the bottom of the ladder. If they can take down the ambitious Lions this week, we may finally see another team occupy last place.

In last week’s round, the young Lions displayed an impressive performance well beyond their years of experience. On the road again will be tough this late in the competition when there are battles all over the ladder. Can they build upon an already fantastic season, and make a claim the finals is their destiny?

 

Northern Tigers vs. North Shore Mariners – 7pm Saturday 4th August, North Turramurra Recreation Area

It’s a battle for supremacy on the North Shore when the Tigers take on North Shore Mariners this weekend.

After displaying some great form in the past few matches, the Tigers took a blow on the ladder and in the dressing room in their loss last week. Will losing 2 players to injury in the game against Rangers prove costly or can coach Jason Eagar rally the lads and spur them to victory?

The North Shore Mariners returned to winning ways in impressive fashion netting six goals to cement their spot in 4th on the ladder.

Knowing there is breathing room beneath them, plus their strike force dialled in on goal, they will look to knock off the Tigers and return to 3rd on the ladder.

Be warned though, a wounded Tiger is a dangerous beast.

 

Parramatta FC vs. Western Sydney Wanderers – 3pm Sunday 5th August, Melita Stadium

Who says games at the lower end of the table don’t matter?

Four games left and there is everything to play for, mainly survival!

Parramatta looked to have grabbed a win against the Rams which would have done wonders for them in climbing out of relegation. It was not to be and now they look to take advantage of a Wanderers side that has slipped down the ladder and into the fray of the wooden spoon.

The boys in Red and Black need to get back to winning ways and fast.

Having been well in the contest over the last few matches, they need to convert solid periods of possession play into goals and start taking it to the opposition.

It will require some discipline from the young side to get over the line in this one, but with pressure mounting on Parramatta, they will look to take advantage and spoil the survival hopes of the home side.

 

 

Mounties Wanderers vs. Hills United – 3pm Sunday 5th August, Sydney United Sports Centre

1 point separates the sides as we head into the last 4 matches.

You get the feeling this will be an old arm wrestle.

It will be a hard, fast and physical encounter with neither side willing to give up their chances of grabbing number 6 on the ladder.

Mounties were impressive all over the park in last week’s loss and the key for them in this match will be making sure their shooting boots are laced up. If they continue their great interplay in the final third they will surely be rewarded.

Hills currently occupy the spot above Mounties and could make a return to the top six with a win this weekend.

They may be made to work and a little short-handed with a couple of injuries, however, that won’t stop them from saddling up and looking to trample over their hosts on their way towards the finals.

 

Source FNSW website - BY Marcus Flottman