We’re headed around the first bend in the National Premier Leagues 2 Womens season, now we’re starting to see the pack separate into the contenders and the chasers. Round four offers a full menu of contests to feast upon, let’s get onto the preview.
Match of the Round: St George FC vs Sutherland Shire FA, Sunday 31 March, 3pm, St George Stadium
It’s derby day down in Sydney’s south. Fresh from their first point of the season, St George FC welcome neighbours Sutherland Shire FA, to grand old St George Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides come into the contest off a positive result. St George FC toiled hard in a 3-3 draw against a misfiring UNSW FC whilst Sutherland Shire FA took all three points against a game Western NSW Mariners in Lithgow.
Sutherland Shire FA settled back into life in NPL2 Women’s well. Captain Jordan Baker already has five goals for the season, looking to match her Golden Boot season in 2017. Shire FA coach Dragan Blazevic will want a stronger first half against a Saints side with their tails up rather than need to dig up, again in the second half.
For St George FC, there is already more optimism around them this season than 2018’s campaign. They have picked up a priceless point against UNSW FC, getting Marissa Nicopoulos a goal. It gives them more options up top against a potent Shire FA side which makes for an excellent contest to headline the round and see who takes bragging rights.
Western NSW Mariners vs Inter Lions, Sunday 31 March, 1:35pm, Sid Kallas Oval
The show goes on the road to Cowra! Western NSW Mariners host Inter Lions at Sid Kallas Oval in a contest on Sunday afternoon both sides will eye for maximum points.
Mariners have shown they won’t be a pushover this season, taking a first half lead before succumbing to a second half blitz from Sutherland Shire FA. Inter Lions had a torrid time, falling 10-2 to a merciless Marconi Stallions side.
The home side will eye this contest as their first three points of the season. Youngster Anna Hunt and Larissa Kilby will lead the charge for their side, as the Mariners try to make the most of their majority of home games before they head to Nowra in a fortnight.
UNSW FC vs Southern Branch FC, Sunday 31 March, 3pm, Seymour Shaw
UNSW FC host Southern Branch FC in the second of the 3pm kick-offs down in the south of Sydney as both sides look to get themselves back in the win column.
The Students have need to work on their second half fadeouts, they have dropped four points in recent weeks because of late goals from St George and Western NSW. For Southern Branch, they want to get themselves some goals.
Hayley Marshall has led from the front for UNSW FC. The captain has a pair of goals in three games and will look to get her side to concentrate for the full contest against a Southern Branch side that picked up their only win of the last campaign against them.
Gladesville Ravens vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 31 March, 4pm, Christie Park
Unbeaten Gladesville Ravens put it on the line, as they host a rejuvenated Marconi Stallions Sunday afternoon at Christie Park in an exciting contest.
The Ravens left it late but an Annalise Schiraldi screamer earnt them all three points against Nepean FC. Marconi got themselves on the board in emphatic style, putting 10 past Inter Lions at home with a apir of hat-tricks.
Marconi rediscovered their mojo against Inter Lions. Jasmin Courtenay and Ceyda Cambaz showed their lethal touch in front of goal, ably assisted by Demelza Howard and young star Georgia Underwood. They will need to repeat the dose against one of the competition’s best keepers in Ravens’ Eri Arikawa.
For the side leading the competition, they have shown in the short season thus far, they can win ugly and with a sense of style. Ravens have a variety of options across the park in Emily Diaz, Kasia Wojtowicz and Carlie Ikonomou, so it’s set for an intriguing clash in Macquarie Park Sunday afternoon.
Nepean FC vs Central Coast Mariners, Sunday 31 March, 4:30pm, Cook Park
Nepean FC face a tough challenge as they welcome last year’s beaten Grand Finalists Central Coast Mariners to Cook Park for a twilight clash to savor on Sunday.
There is contrasting form coming into the weekend. Central Coast remain undefeated after they snuck past SD Raiders FC 2-1 at Pluim Park. Nepean threw everything but the kitchen sink at Gladesville but were left heartbroken late to suffer their first loss of the season.
Despite the loss, Nepean FC boss Alan Tasses praised the defensive effort of the young players, led by talisman Desiree Vassallo. They face another big task trying to contain the Mariners. Tasses has masterminded some defensive masterclasses against the bigger sides before, can he pull another trick out of his bag on Sunday afternoon.
Mariners got the job done on Sunday. It wasn’t the usual slick performance from the yellow-and-navy but they collected another three points. The tireless work from Jade Mcatemney is a key to the side in trying to find openings for talented strike duo, Iona Snape and Danielle Wise, as they look to make it three from three in their first away trip of the season.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers vs SD Raiders FC, Sunday 31 March, 7pm, Lambert Park
A titantic clash closes out Round 4, as two of last year’s top five APIA Leichhardt Tigers and SD Raiders FC meet under the bright lights at Lambert Park, Sunday night.
The hosts roar into the contest after piling a dozen on Southern Branch FC getting all their key attackers going in the rout. For SD Raiders, they battled hard but fell 2-1 to a slick Central Coast Mariners side in last week’s Match of the Round.
Last season these two played out two belters and Sunday should be no different. Plenty of attacking talent on show between the two sides Sunday night. Georgia Bridges, Cassidy Chidgey and Ash Palombi lead the line for the Tigers while Tara Baudana, Sarah Mandile and Hannah-Rose Davey are the main threat for the visitors.
Both sides were semi-finalists last season, so this game serves as an early season litmus test for both’s aspirations to challenge this season. All those ingredients make for a massive clash on Sunday night between two attacking sides.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)