We’ve hit double digit fixtures for the year and mid-season is creeping up.
The National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Mens returns this weekend packed full of fixtures to excite from kick off to the final whistle.
Can your team pick up the victory this weekend and press on?
Match of the Round: St George City vs. Hills United – 3pm Sunday 5th May, Seymour Shaw
On paper it seems the match is in the bag for the high-flying Hills side. Whilst there will be talk of results around the grounds, it’s all on paper and what transpires on the pitch is where it really counts.
Newcomers in the league City have had a difficult beginning to life in the competition, with only two victories and a draw to keep them just off the bottom of the ladder. The side in the past few weeks have challenged some of the traditional heavy hitters and had it been another day, could have snagged some more points.
Unfortunately for City, they need to convert from keeping up with their opponents, to dominating, taking control and putting them to the sword. No doubt it will be a tough task this weekend matching up against a very solid Hills side but no better place to take down a high flyer than at home.
Having recovered players from the past few weeks, Hills look like the side ready to get back to business. That said, their away form has not been the best, yet after picking up another win at home last week it should give them the confidence to fight for another win this weekend.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC vs. Western Sydney Wanderers – 6.30pm Saturday 4th May, Bonnyrigg Sports Club
As expected, Bonnyrigg have begun to find a bit of their old groove and will pleased they sit in sixth spot without having hit peak form yet. With the bulk of the season yet to play it seems the slow beginning will begin to burn bright soon.
You can be sure that the White Eagles will rise for the occasion this weekend as they will be eager to take down the Wanderers in front of the roar of the home crowd. Their defensive resolve will be at stake as the league leading Wanderers seem to be scoring at will. The home side may need to rethink their game plan and throw a little caution to the wind proving to the league their attack is not to be underestimated.
The young lads in Red and Black have gone from strength to strength and signalled their clear intent to the league by smacking Spirit for six last weekend. Breaking through Bonnyrigg’s defensive line has proven difficult this season, but this Wanderers side seems to be capable of hitting the target every time they hit the pitch.
With the side’s A-League campaign finished for the year, the youngsters will be able to maintain their core unit and keep on firing whilst the barrel is hot.
Blacktown Spartans FC vs. Canterbury Bankstown FC – 7pm Saturday 4th May, Blacktown Football Park
Spartans are yet another side they has tallied up even columns on the results sheet and sit only a point shy of the top six. Matching up against a team placed last can seem like a blessing yet there is nothing given for free in this league. Spartans competitive spirit has proved one of the greatest strengths and once again they will want and need to be at their competitive best to pick up the points.
From where Canterbury sit, it is not pretty. The positive is that there is only one way they can go, up.
Whilst warning signs may be beginning to light up, there is still plenty of games in the season to turn things around and as things stand in the ladder, a few wins on the trot has the potential to put pressure on those vying for a top six spot.
GHFA Spirit FC vs. St George FC – 7pm Saturday 4th May, Christie Park
Last week, both sides were involved in matches that produced goals from all over the park. The issue for Spirit was, they were at the mercy of a rampant Wanderers whilst the Saints triumphed in their local derby.
You can say it’s simple to forget the result from the week before and focus on the match ahead but after a heavy defeat it’s going to hang on the mind. For Spirit though, they can use that as energy, and as the once early paces setters return home, you’d expect a push to return to winning ways and keeping it simple.
The Saints big win in the derby last week was only their second for the year and has drawn them further away from gracing last place. This season they have been a far-cry from the rampant goal scoring machine we witnessed at the end of 2018 but the result last week gave us a glimpse of how threatening they can be.
Combine that with the knowledge of Spirit shipping goals in their last match, the Saints will be licking their lips at the chance to take down a top six side.
Mounties Wanderers FC vs. Central Coast Mariners – 7pm Saturday 4th May, Sydney United Sports Centre
These two sides changed exact places at the end of round 9, Mounties jumping into the top six and the Mariners slipping down the pecking order.
A consecutive clean sheet for the hosts may be the beginning of a new found defensive resolve. If they can continue those efforts at the back and combine with the threat up front, Mounties will be on track to return to the winning machine of old.
The Mariners are tied up in a battle for the top six as another one of the three teams with an equal share of the spoils. They couldn’t capitalise on their demolition of the Rams and fell to Hills last week bumping them out of the six. A win on the road could send them back into the top six and switch places, yet again with Mounties.
Rydalmere Lions FC vs. Macarthur Rams FC – 7pm Saturday 4th May, Valentine Sports Park
Rydalmere suffered their first home loss of the season last week in a narrow affair against Mounties. On the stats sheet the Lions seem to be at evens in attack and defence with a matching goals for and against record.
With another home game on the trot, the Lions will be keen to wipe away the trace of last week and notch one more in the ‘W’ column. Should results run their way they could even find themselves sneaking into the top six, a sure fire way to spur them into action and hunting down the pack.
Macarthur picked up their second victory for 2019 in a cagey affair which now clears them two wins from last place. For a side that has often been battered and bruised, a win will do wonders for their confidence and should they claim victory in this encounter, they can level up on points with their hosts.
North Shore Mariners FC vs. Northern Tigers – 4pm Sunday 5th May, Northbridge Oval
Northbridge Oval plays host to another North Shore match up set to see two hotly competitive sides battle it out for the all-important three points.
North Shore’s winning streak came to a halt last week as they were tied up by Bonnyrigg and shared the spoils. The result seems to be a minor blip in their stride as the side has pulled together impressive performances which has positioned them well up in second place as we draw close to mid-season.
After seeming to start the season ready to tear apart the competition, the results have swayed all ways of late for the Tigers. After the first nine rounds they have notched up an even split of wins, losses and draws. Not that they need any more encouragement but a win on Sunday afternoon against a local rival is just another incentive for the lads in stripes.
NPL 2 Chief Writer – Marcus Flottmann
Twitter – @MarcusFlottmann
Source FNSW Website