We’ve reached the fork in the road for National Premier Leagues 2 Womens. From here, five teams will continue on into the finals series whilst the other seven end their season, possibly on a high note in our last regular season round of exciting action.
Gladesville Ravens vs Central Coast Mariners, Sunday 5 August, 3pm, Christie Park
Sitting in the catbird seat, Gladesville Ravens welcome Central Coast Mariners knowing their finals fate rests in their own hands this weekend at Christie Park.
The Ravens sit fifth as we soar into the final round courtesy of a hard fought 1-1 draw against APIA Leichhardt Tigers whilst Central Coast flexed their premiership muscles in a 7-2 demolition of UNSW FC at home.
2018 has been a banner year for Gladesville. After their dismal showing in their first season, the Ravens have soared at points this season, with the lethal Emily Diaz up front with the talented Isabella Breukelaar and Carlie Ikonomou behind make them a tough prospect. Also, only a win would guarantee their position.
For the Mariners – they have been a model of consistency through the season, and we’ve almost run out of superlatives for the young squad. Candice Phelan looks set to nab the golden boot but her side will want another complete performance to take into the finals against a tough Ravens side.
Inter Lions SC vs Sydney Olympic FC, Sunday 5 August, 3pm, Concord Oval
Fresh from their first loss of the season, Sydney Olympic FC want to finish their regular season in style as they travel to Concord Oval, to face a slick Inter Lions side on Sunday afternoon.
These two sides head into the weekend in contrasting emotions. Sydney Olympic stung by losing their undefeated streak against the Mariners, scraped past Nepean FC whilst Inter Lions bustled their way past the Western NSW side, 3-nil.
Sydney Olympic FC haven’t been at their fluid best in recent weeks, but bar their loss to Central Coast, they still have been piling in some goals. Lieke De Bever and Danielle Calvi will make it a busy afternoon for Inter keeper Natasha Pentecost as the league’s best attack look to pass the 100-goal mark.
The home side won’t be a pushover though, Inter has rediscovered their mid-season form that had them challenging for the top five. Kirilee Cook has been their talisman with 10 goals and if she fires again, Inter could finish their season with a final scalp in an intriguing match-up.
Western NSW Mariners vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 5 August, 3pm, Glen Willow Stadium
Two sides that won’t feature in the finals but have plenty of pride as Marconi Stallions make the trip out to Mudgee to face Western NSW Mariners in their final bow of the NPL2 womens season.
Following losses from both sides last weekend – Marconi found themselves on the wrong side of a 5-2 score line against SD Raiders whilst Western NSW Mariners second-last home game ended in a 3-nil loss to Inter Lions, the two sides aim to finish on a high.
Marconi Stallions had a rollercoaster 2018. They had patches of good form which saw them briefly sit in the top five, although lately, their three straight losses saw them concede 12 goals. On their day, the Stallions can be a potent attacking force as shown in the five-goal thriller this two played last time out.
Much like the visitors, Western NSW Mariners have had their own bright spots this season, with wins over SD Raiders and Gladesville Ravens, both finals contenders, so the Mariners want to add another victim possibly with a famous name like Marconi headed west.
Southern Branch FC vs Nepean FC, Sunday 5 August, 3pm, South Nowra Football Complex
Nepean FC head down the coast knowing a successful road trip against Southern Branch FC in their final game at South Nowra Football Complex this season might mean finals football.
The ladies from the foot of the mountain are on the outside looking in after their close loss to Premiers Sydney Olympic FC at home whilst Southern Branch FC banked another point in their eventful 2-2 draw against St George FC.
A series of unfortunate efforts cruelled Nepean FC last weekend, and their season has been inconsistent but they’ll need to pull the right rein on Sunday to add another finals appearance. Tasses will be looking to the experience of Stefanie Trovato, Annie Halls and Desiree Vassallo to put them in the right spot regardless of results elsewhere.
St George FC vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 5 August, 3pm, St George Stadium
The Saints look to finish their season on a high, as they host APIA Leichhardt aiming to move themselves into third on an exciting afternoon at St George Stadium.
Both sides come into the contest off draws, APIA Leichhardt were pegged back late by Gladesville Ravens as St George FC showed their character in a pulsating 2-2 result against fellow strugglers Southern Branch FC.
St George has shown some spirit in the second half of the season, picking up some handy results, and boast some talented attackers. Those include Amy Bennett, who netted a double and goal machine Lara Nicholls that could pose some issues for the visiting Tigers.
Regarding the visitors, Matteo Maiorana will want another performance like the second half last week. APIA returned to their slick style, and their barometer of form usually comes through captain Lucy Gilfedder, and she is ticking over, the Tigers can move back into third position.
UNSW FC vs SD Raiders, Sunday 5 August, 3pm, Valentine Sports Park #3
SD Raiders head to Valentine Sports Park aim to consolidate third position as they take on UNSW FC on Sunday afternoon
Much like Sydney buses, SD Raiders goals all came at once, in a 5-2 thrashing of Marconi Stallions that propelled them into third position while UNSW FC wretched run resumed in their 7-2 loss against Central Coast.
Their coach Matt Constantini will look for a similar performance against a students side that has leaked goals like a sieve in the last few weeks. Knowing a big performance will see them face a Mariners side they have beaten twice already this season, will be motivation for the Raiders, a team that thrives on the finals atmosphere.
This weekend is a farewell for UNSW FC’s coach Renato Jelen, who is taking over the head coach role at Fraser Park. Can UNSW FC muster up one big final performance to send off Jelen in style and finish what has been a disappointing season on a high note.
Source FNSW website - By Justin Davies