Ready up, it’s Round 4 of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Mens!
After being hammered by the rain last weekend, we’ll be hoping for clear skies to set the scene for another enticing round of football. Last round, four sides found themselves with a weekend off, those players will be aching to get back onto the park, will their fresh legs do the trick?
Find out what’s on offer, as we shake ourselves dry and gear up for the weekend!
Match of the Round: GHFA Spirit FC vs. Northern Tigers FC – 7pm Saturday 23rd March, Christie Park
It’s a return to Christie Park and a rekindling of the old North Shore derby, what a time for the sides to clash!
Spirit are running hot and leading the league, winning three from three, whereas Tigers perfect start hit a bump in the road last week when Hills ended their streak. It’s still so early in the season, yet so much is at stake, including the ever-present bragging rights for 2019 up for grabs.
Spirit’s deadly duo of Louis Bozanic and Duncan Stewart have had a sharp eye for goal thus far and aiming to net once again to send their home crowd roaring. Their form and presence on the park will mean Tigers keeper Tonu Liiband has to be at his shot stopping best.
No doubt Tigers will have their sights set to end Spirit’s run and rest assured it will be intense and passionate fixture for the full ninety. It’s all set to excite, let the derby commence!
St George FC vs. Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC – 7pm Saturday 23rd March, Ilinden Sports Centre
It’s yet another big clash on Saturday evening as the two sides meet for the first time this season.
The Saints earned their first three points last week and it has come with impeccable timing. They will be full of confidence and ready to tackle Bonnyrigg, a side still searching for their first points.
Putting on another impressive first half display this Saturday will be the key for Wally Savor and his men as the goal will be to put the game to bed sooner rather than later.
Bonnyrigg sit lowly on the table and still without a win but with a game in hand, yet, they know things will begin to fall into place once they get themselves on the board.
With three home games in a row following this weekend, a win against the Saints will set them up nicely to take aim at racing up the ladder in the coming weeks.
Hills United FC vs. North Shore Mariners FC – 7pm Saturday 23rd March, Lily Homes Stadium
Hills marched home last week with a win against the in-form Tigers and a healthy dose of confidence, an almost perfect way to prepare for this weekend.
For coach Patrick Zwaanswijk it’s all about ensuring his side keeps their momentum through each game, consistently working and earning rewards along the way. You are not likely to see too many changes for this side as recent form suggests they seem to have found the right track.
North Shore faced minimal threat in their match against Macarthur last week, convincingly gaining another three points and keeping a clean sheet. It’s now two out of three for the side that is still roaming on their away stretch.
It’s not likely to be a similar affair this weekend for the visitors as their hosts will be sure to make them work. In recent times, each side has irked others by being stubborn and difficult to face, expect to see another tight match up with some physical play between the sides.
Macarthur Rams FC vs. Western Sydney Wanderers FC – 7pm Saturday 23rd March, Lynwood Park
The Rams will have been looking forward to this fixture as soon as the final whistle blew last week. It was not the greatest performance by the side and the easiest way to fix that is focus on the next task at hand and stick at it.
Western Sydney picked up their second win of the year against Spartans, despite being heavily depleted in troops. They are hoping to have regained one or two players for this week’s fixture, a relief for the players out on the park.
It’s set to be an interesting fixture as the Rams try to reclaim their honour at home with the Wanderers hoping to smash, grab and rise into the top four.
Mounties Wanderers FC vs. Blacktown Spartans FC – 7pm Saturday 23rd March, Sydney United Sports Centre
Come on Mounties, show us what you have got!
After last week’s clash against Bonnyrigg was called off it would have left the player’s in a state of peak anticipation. Spectators too.
There is a lot of promise to what this side is capable of and we are all in waiting to see the full extent of their potential.
Spartans performed brilliantly in Round 1 and currently, have not recaptured the same outcome. There has been plenty of moments for the side to savour, it seems they just need to lock up some errors and away they go.
Coach Paul Hubbard will have his side hard at work in preparation for Mounties whose attacking threat will pose problems and pounce on any chance given.
It’s going to be a tense and competitive clash, each side ready for battle and to get their season on a roll.
St George City FA vs. Canterbury Bankstown FC – 3pm Sunday 24th March, Seymour Shaw
City have a great chance to get themselves on the board this weekend as they play host to the Berries. Sitting bottom of the table is not the fondest sight, yet with a win they could rise towards mid table, without using their game in hand.
It’s a reward worth chasing and with the fresh legs, the objective will be utilising the advantage to edge their opponents out of the game early and keep them on the run.
The gears have not quite clicked yet for the Berries and having lost a couple of players to injury it could mean things only get worse. They were at times picked apart by St George last weekend but their performance in the second half will have given them a glimpse of promise.
If they can begin this fixture how they finished last week, it will place them in a prime position to earn some points and climb up the ladder.
Central Coast Mariners FC vs. Rydalmere Lions FC – 4pm Sunday 24th March, Pluim Park
This clash has us bear witness to two youthful and talented sides, a fantastic way to cap off the weekend.
Mariners were told to pack up and go home last week as their game was postponed, the players will now be rearing to go and fresh from the weekend off. The youngsters are eager to get back onto the pitch and notch up another win in front of the home fans.
Rydalmere have been running a little under the radar and last weekend succumbed to Spirit losing their first match of the season. The young side is playing some fantastic football as of late and their current position on ladder is well deserved. How they cope from the loss last weekend will be the next big hurdle for the Lions.
The Mariners are always difficult to face at home, and the Lions are out to prove their place, we are set for a Sunday evening spectacular!
NPL 2 Chief Writer – Marcus Flottmann
Twitter – @MarcusFlottmann
Source FNSW website