We’re past the halfway mark in the National Premier Leagues 2 competition, as the teams know where they stand and importantly, where they need to be, come the end of the season.
This weekend will help to shape the ladder with six exciting contests.
Match of the Round: UNSW FC vs Inter Lions, Sunday 26 May, 3pm, Seymour Shaw
Match of the Round heads south once again. Seymour Shaw is the venue when two sides in UNSW FC and Inter Lions, aiming to get themselves out of the bottom rung of the ladder, starting Sunday afternoon.
Inter Lions found their roar in securing a solid 2-1 victory against St George FC to get themselves off the duck egg for the season. Meanwhile, UNSW FC continued to flounder, as they fell 3-nil to Central Coast Mariners in the first of two home games at Seymour Shaw.
The Lions might have started the season slowly, but coach Mario Coiro has his side gelling well as we move into the second half of the season. Natasha Camporeale has been their regular goal threat and Inter will be confident in making it back-to-back victories against an out-of-sorts UNSW FC.
UNSW FC themselves will eye this contest with a chance to get themselves some valuable points. They triumphed 2-nil, in their flowing start to the season which had them in the top half. Alex Nolan knows he has goal threats in Alexandra O’Rourke and Jessie Kuang that could find them the required goals.
Western NSW Mariners vs Central Coast Mariners, Sunday 26 May, 1:05pm, Sir Jack Brabham Park
The battle of the Mariners comes to Orange! A resurgent Central Coast side travel to take on their sister club Western NSW in the early game to kick-off the second half of the competition.
Last weekend was a fantastic one for the Central Coast side. They took home six points, scored 12 goals and moved into sixth position on the ladder. Western NSW had their chances to upset APIA, but fell to a slender one-goal defeat.
Whilst this home stand didn’t get off to the flying start, they wanted. Western NSW Mariners have a solid period in the next month or so, to shoot themselves back up the ladder. Sitting nine points out of the finals race, Josh Ward’s side need to find the winning feeling again.
In the other dugout, Dan Barrett’s side have found their form. Gabrielle Blanch and Danielle Wise are finding the back of the net regularly, alongside the tireless work from midfielder Jade Mcatemney has them primed to complete the season double against their sister club.
Sutherland Shire FA vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 26 May, 3pm, Harrie Denning Centre
Goals are on the agenda at Harrie Denning Centre! Sutherland Shire FA welcome Marconi Stallions in a top five clash on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides come into the contest off victories. Sutherland Shire FA become the sole unbeaten side with a 2-nil success against Gladesville whilst Marconi had a fruitful trip to Nowra, triumphing 9-nil against Southern Branch FC.
Sutherland Shire FA now sit alone on the throne, the only side left with a perfect record. Sutherland FA built their foundation with a solid defense marshalled by Hannah Ryan between the sticks. That allows their forwards the freedom to find the goals needed to keep their reign going on deep into the season.
The Stallions remain the mystery of the NPL2 NSW Women’s competition. On their day, they can blow teams away with their strike force, headed by Jasmin Courtenay and Ceyda Cambaz. Mark Turvey will want to claim a huge scalp against one of their top five rivals and avenge their thrashing back in round one.
Southern Branch FC vs SD Raiders FC, Sunday 26 May, 3pm, South Nowra Football Complex
SD Raiders keep of the second half of their campaign with a trip to Nowra, taking on Southern Branch FC in the last of the 3pm kick-offs on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides come into this contest off losses. SD Raiders fell into seventh after their tense 2-1 loss to Nepean FC whilst Southern Branch FC were thrashed 9-nil by a rampant Marconi Stallions.
It has been a downbeat month for SD Raiders FC. Three losses and a draw have plunged them into seventh, five points out of the finals. Terry Gray will earmark this game as one to get his side back on track against the ninth placed Southern Branch, to complete a season sweep.
Gladesville Ravens vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 26 May, 6pm, Christie Park
Back at home, trying to get back on track, Gladesville Ravens take on fellow competition heavyweight, APIA Leichhardt Tigers under the bright lights of Christie Park on Sunday evening.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers were tested but kept their streak going into double figures with a 1-nil result against Western NSW Mariners. Meanwhile, Gladesville tasted defeat for the first time this season, 2-nil down at Harrie Denning Centre.
Back in Round 1, Gladesville kicked their season off in style with their victory against APIA. Now, they look to complete a season double over the ambitious club at Christie Park. The Ravens had an off-afternoon last week but there is enough class in their line-up started by midfielder Yume Kashima to repeat the dose.
For APIA, they have been stuck by injury in recent weeks. Due to those series of injuries, APIA have recruited NPL1 duo Amy Dahdah and Doris Osman to help flesh out their side. The visitors will hope to reverse the result from the opening weekend, to jump into second spot on the ladder.
St George FC vs Nepean FC, Sunday 26 May, 6pm, St George Stadium
Looking to consolidate their spot in the top five, Nepean FC hit the road as they complete their season series with St George FC on Sunday night at St George Stadium.
Nepean FC are riding high with their win streak, the latest being a 2-1 success against SD Raiders FC which keeps them in fifth position. St George FC were unable to build on their first victory of the season, losing 2-1 against Inter Lions.
The Saints are off the bottom of the ladder, out of finals contention but can play spoiler for the second half of the season. Nepean FC hasn’t been at their fluid best in recent weeks, so Alan Tasses will have to be on their guard if they are to avoid being burnt down near the sea.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)
Source FNSW website