Round 9 Preview – NPL 2 NSW Women’s

It’s round 9 and some sides are feeling fine – Gladesville Ravens and Sutherland Shire FA to be exact – with the chasing pack aiming to make their move in another exciting installment of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition.

Round 9 is filled with contests to whet the whistle of fans across the league.

Match of the Round: APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs Central Coast Mariners, Sunday 5 May, 7p, Lambert Park

This week’s Match of the Round takes in a blockbuster. APIA Leichhardt Tigers host Central Coast Mariners in a rematch of last year’s epic semi-final Sunday night at Lambert Park.

These two sides played out three cracking contests in 2018. Central Coast Mariners took the spoils in the semi-final, 3-2 with a late winner after taking both regular season contests as well. APIA will be looking for revenge, in their current guise, where they come into the game seven games unbeaten.

APIA Leichhardt come into the game full of form in front of goal as well. 7,4 and 6 might look like the middle of a phone number but it is the goals they have netted in their last three victories. While their coach, Matt Constantini, says they are operating at 50%, Ash Palombi and Georgia Bridges are 100% sharp in front of the net.

For the Mariners, they got a much-needed victory in their 5-3 success against Southern Branch FC. Last year’s beaten Grand Finalists have their own sharpshooters in Danielle Wise and Gabrielle Blanch. We’re set up for a massive encounter between two sides that know how to put on a show. Come down and enjoy the show.

SD Raiders vs Western NSW Mariners, Sunday 5 May, 3pm, Ernie Smith Reserve

Fifth takes on seventh as SD Raiders FC trot back onto fortress Ernie Smith against surprise packet Western NSW Mariners on Sunday afternoon.

SD Raiders FC might have had their four-game win streak snapped in a 2-nil loss to table-toppers Gladesville Ravens but they are sitting pretty in fifth. Western NSW Mariners tumbled to seventh after their 5-1 loss to Marconi, now head onto the road to try and work their way back in.

Trying to take points from Ernie Smith Reserve has been a task bigger than catching a train in Sydney’s peak hour – neither Inter or UNSW FC could – to win there. Mariners need their talisman Anna Hunt on fire, to leave the Raiders defense terrified and get back into the chase for finals football.

For SD Raiders FC, it’s time to get back in the win column. Coach Terry Gray has them humming along nicely, sat in fifth and with a swag of home games to round off the season, it is set up well for the second half of the season. This weekend is a vital contest to keep that momentum rolling against a finals rival.

Sutherland Shire FA vs Inter Lions, Sunday 5 May, 3pm, Harrie Denning Centre

Shire FA look to keep their unbeaten streak alive as they welcome the twelfth placed Inter Lions to Harrie Denning Centre on Sunday afternoon in one of the 3pm kick-offs.

The home side have kept pace with Gladesville Ravens thus far this season, only trailing because of their extra draw in the column. Putting nine past UNSW FC was the tonic they needed and now look to do similar against Inter Lions FC coming off a 2-1 loss.

Injuries might have soured their superb start to the season, but with Jordan Baker and Brittany Christie upfront with handy goals from Raegan Deeley and Isabella Georgievski make Shire FA a feared attack for any defense, let alone a porous one.

Inter Lions remain the only side without points, but from little things, big things grow as Paul Kelly crooned, as they take a lot of heart from their Nepean FC performance. Natasha Camporeale is their consistent goal threat and if she fires alongside a compact defense – there is always a chance.

Southern Branch FC vs Nepean FC, Sunday 5 May, 3pm, South Nowra Football Complex

Southern Branch FC head back home to Nowra taking on Nepean FC at their home ground South Nowra Football Complex in the final of the 3pm Sunday kick-offs.

The home side were on the wrong side of an eight-goal thriller against Central Coast Mariners whilst Nepean FC, not at their sparkling best, got past Inter Lions, 2-1 to remain only three points outside the top five.

Nepean FC would’ve had a hard week in training after their performance against Inter. Alan Tasses wants to get them back on track, get the forwards going again including youngster Imogen Lane, who has been bright this season, without the goal output thus far in the first two months.

Home is where Southern Branch have left their best performances in 2019. Shaylee Meehan and Jessie Abbott has been their main route to goal, but Nepean have to worry about some of the younger talent around the two that could turn the tables on the visitors and take a huge scalp.

Gladesville Ravens vs UNSW FC, Sunday 5 May, 6pm, Christie Park

The Ravens continue to sit on the top perch of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition, as they welcome their latest challenger, UNSW FC to Christie Park Sunday night.

Unbeaten and sitting in first, Gladesville swept aside SD Raiders FC in their latest game, 2-nil, making it eight games without having their colours lowered. UNSW FC endured a torrid afternoon as they were beaten 9-1 against the other unbeaten side, Sutherland Shire FA.

Languishing in tenth, UNSW FC have racked up more losses than a regional Welsh town name. Coach Alex Nolan knows that his side need a response, and quickly, so no better time than against the leaders. Forward Darcey Read showed with her goal last week she is a goal poacher and can lead from the front.

It is all systems go for Gladesville. All their hard work from the off-season has shown in their work in the first two months. 29 goals scored with a miserly four conceded has them set up for a maiden finals appearance. Coaches Albert and Alex Di Sciascio hope they can keep their roll going against the downbeat Students.

St George FC vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 5 May, 6pm, St George Stadium

In the second of the 6pm kick-offs, St George FC aim to try to stop the free-scoring Marconi Stallions underneath the lights at St George Stadium on Sunday night.

The Stallions come off a huge victory in Bathurst, as they piled five past Western NSW Mariners then another four against Nepean FC mid-week have them in the top five. St George bore the brunt of the APIA attack in their 6-nil defeat at Lambert Park.

Marconi took their time to get going this season, but now, Matt Turvey has gotten a fine tune out of the side with their four victories in their last five outings. Jasmin Courtenay is enjoying her new digs with goals for fun and Demelza Howard scored a brace in mid-week has them firing on all cylinders and possibly a long night for St George FC.

By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)

Source FNSW website