ROUND 20 PREVIEW – NPL 2 NSW WOMEN’S

Three weeks remain and it is a week of away trips for the top five as the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition sprints to the finish line. The six games all kick-off in the afternoon with some exciting contests to play out. Let’s get onto the preview.

Western NSW Mariners vs SD Raiders FC, Sunday 21 July, 1:05pm, Sir Jack Brabham Park

Kicking off the weekend, SD Raiders FC head over the mountain to take on Western NSW Mariners at Sir Jack Brabham Park in Orange at 1pm.

SD Raiders FC endured a tough week with three losses culminating with their 3-1 defeat to Gladesville Ravens that torched their finals flame. Western NSW Mariners made the tough decision to forfeit against Marconi Stallions.

The Mariners finish what has been a tough slog of a season with three home games all scheduled for Orange. That gives them a chance to end on a high and in Anna Hunt, Sarah Colman and Teegan Courtney they have the tools to cause an upset.

For the visitors, in her three appearances Trudy Camelliri has done well to partner Samantha Muscat up top plus scored a pair of goals. Left with their pride to play for, SD Raiders will challenge every game and try to finish as high as they can on the ladder.

Inter Lions vs Sutherland Shire FA, Sunday 21 July, 3pm, Concord Oval

Sitting second on the ladder, Sutherland Shire FA look to keep their run going as they take on Inter Lions down at Concord Oval on Sunday afternoon.

The teams come into the weekend in contrasting spirits. Inter Lions were beaten 11-nil by Nepean FC at Cook Park meanwhile down at Harrie Denning Centre, Sutherland Shire FA triumphed 5-nil against UNSW FC.

Three weeks to go, and Sutherland Shire FA are in the thick of the Premiership chase. They trail APIA by two points and should eye up three more this weekend. Ursula Bratjanscak put together a pair of assists with a trick shot goal herself in their rout last week as the rampant Sutherland Shire FA aim to keep the victories rolling.

Inter Lions can avoid the wooden spoon but it will take two wins in their last three games with two of those being against top five sides. Otherwise, the Lions can look to build for next season and create one more moment in taking a big scalp.

Marconi Stallions vs St George FC, Sunday 21 July, 3pm, Marconi Stadium

The Marconi Stallions have to keep winning to keep their finals hopes alive and it starts this Sunday against a stubborn St George FC side at Marconi Stadium.

Marconi had an unscheduled week off after a mid-week forfeit from Western NSW Mariners which has them fresh for this weekend. St George FC were the latest victim of the rampant APIA side, 6-nil on Sunday night.

The next fortnight shapes up as the make-or-break for Marconi. Starting with the game against St George, they follow up with their catch up with Gladesville then end with a marquee fixture against APIA. So, the Stallions will need their key players in Ceyda Cambaz, Jasmin Courtenay and Chloe Carmichael to see them through.

For St George FC, they can play spoiler against their much-fancied opposition. Their season hasn’t gone to plan but sat in tenth, the Saints have shown flashes of promise. Both Amy Bennett and Yadira Renfigo know the way to the back of the net and will need to if they can take a big scalp.

Central Coast Mariners vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 21 July, 3pm, Pluim Park

The thigh rubber of the weekend sees leaders APIA Leichhardt Tigers make the trip to Pluim Park to take on the fifth place Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon.

These two sides have been the form sides in NPL2 in recent weeks. APIA Leichhardt Tigers come into the contest off a four-game win streak since their draw to Nepean FC. Mariners might have slipped up against Sutherland Shire FA but netted 18 times in the last month to make this an attacking showcase.

APIA took the spoils in the fixture earlier this season, but these two played out a dramatic contest on the coast last season where the yellow-and-navy prevailed. Tigers coach Matt Constantini has played the percentages with his assessment of his side this year, now they have Ash Palombi and Georgia Bridges on song and ready to get them 100% to their goal.

Central Coast know that one or two points will secure their passage to the top five. Danielle Wise has been talisman with eight goals in her last four games. Barrett’s side have started to find the net regularly and ready for their chance to make back-to-back Grand Finals.

UNSW FC vs Gladesville Ravens, Sunday 21 July, 3pm, Seymour Shaw

UNSW FC face Gladesville Ravens down by the Seymour Shaw on Sunday afternoon as the Ravens look to position themselves in the top five.

The Ravens secured back-to-back victories with their tense 3-1 result against SD Raiders FC on Sunday night whilst UNSW FC battled hard but fell 5-nil to Sutherland Shire FA.

Doubt the Ravens nevermore. After missing the finals by a single point last season, Gladesville set themselves a goal to taste the post-season this year. They have cemented themselves in the top five, now with their stars like Emily Diaz back and firing alongside Annalise Schiraldi and Zoe Zaczek, they look to roll into the finals with momentum.

Yes, the season is over UNSW FC. Despite that, the students have been molded into the side Alex Nolan envisioned in pre-season since Round 11 with improved results. He has targeted these final three games for Uni to stamp their mark early for next season.

Southern Branch FC vs Nepean FC, Sunday 21 July, 3pm, South Nowra Football Complex

Nepean FC start their three-week away odessy to end the season with a visit to South Nowra Football Complex to take on Southern Branch FC.

The side from the west warmed up for their trip with an 11-nil result against Inter Lions while Southern Branch FC were thrashed 7-1 against top five Central Coast Mariners.

With their positioned confirmed in the finals, Nepean FC coach Alan Tasses will look to fine tune his side before they get into the crucible of the semi-finals. Whilst they are the lowest scorers in the top five, Nepean are tough to break down which is headed by their captain Desiree Vassallo at centre back.

By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)

Source FNSW website