Round five begins the second chapter of the book of the 2019 National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition. The early chapters have been dominated by Gladesville Ravens and Sutherland Shire FA. Can the other characters find their voice and mount a challenge? Find out more this week on Dragon Ball Z, I mean NPL2 NSW Womens.
Match of the Round: SD Raiders vs UNSW FC, Sunday 7 April, 5pm, Ernie Smith Reserve
For the first time this season, Match of the Round heads to Ernie Smith Reserve as SD Raiders take on UNSW FC in a twilight fixture on Sunday night.
Both sides were defeated in their last outings – SD Raiders FC got blitzed in the first half by APIA Leichhardt Tigers meanwhile UNSW FC fell to their lowest ebb this season, losing to Southern Branch FC at home.
UNSW FC should come out breathing fire after their loss, coach Alex Nolan didn’t mince words about their performance, especially after it came following two draws where they squandered the lead. This is an early season marker to see which will be the road not taken for their season.
Regarding SD Raiders FC, they will be stung from their performance against APIA, so this could have fireworks on Sunday night. A positive is that SD Raiders swept the regular season series between the teams last season, and they’ll eye a similar result to kickstart their season again.
Western NSW Mariners vs St George FC, Sunday 7 April, 1:35pm, Marjorie Jackson Field
Kicking off the round in Lithgow, Western NSW Mariners head back to their main home ground, Marjorie Jackson Field, taking on a chastened St George FC on Sunday afternoon.
The Mariners broke through for their first win of the season, defeating Inter 3-nil to make it a fruitful first visit to Cowra for the side. St George FC hung with Sutherland Shire FA for an hour but decision making cruelled them in their 7-nil loss.
Saints showed they can hang in the game against Shire FA, but Carlo Tini underlined the need to take their chances and remain focused for the entire contest. Much of their good work came through their midfield and if they can feed Yadira Renfigo, could make it a good trip to the central west.
Consistency is the key for Western NSW. Stacking the points like blocks on Tetris will help them remain in the hunt for their objective for the season – finals. Since her return from the Young Matildas, Anna Hunt has chipped in a pair of goals with her partnership with Teegan Courtney central to their chances on the weekend.
Inter Lions vs Gladesville Ravens, Sunday 7 April, 3pm, Concord Oval
First home game of the season for Inter Lions, and it a tall order. They welcome the unbeaten Gladesville Ravens to Concord Oval Sunday.
The Ravens kept their 100% run intact, defeating Marconi Stallions 5-2 with three second half strikes whilst Inter Lions were on the wrong side of the ledger again, losing 3-nil to Western NSW Mariners in Cowra.
It’s the return of Zaczek. Zoe Zaczek spent a decade at Inter Lions before her transfer to the Ravens this season. The move has been successful as the Ravens have piled in 18 goals in their first four games with Emily Diaz and Kasia Wojtwowicz leading the way. They will look to pile on further against bottom placed Inter Lions.
Marconi Stallions vs Central Coast Mariners, Sunday 7 April, 3pm, Marconi Stadium #2
Two sides aiming to rebound clash at Marconi Stadium Sunday as the Stallions welcome Central Coast Mariners to the historic venue for a vital clash between the two sides.
The Stallions aim to get back on the horse, after their seven-goal thriller saw them on the losing side against Gladesville Ravens whilst the Mariners tasted the bitter taste of defeat in a single goal loss to Nepean FC.
So far, Central Coast haven’t kicked into the form which led them to the Grand Final last season. Dan Barrett definitely have the talent at his disposal, Youngster Iona Snape has taken over the prolific number 4 shirt and with the service provided by Kaitlin Murphy can produce goals for the yellow-and-navy in what promises to be a shootout.
One thing is promised in Stallions games – goals. They hope they will be mostly flying into the opposition net though, with their firepower up top, they have a variety of options to choose from. Hopefully Matt Turvey can pull the right reign and pick up three more points.
Southern Branch FC vs Sutherland Shire FA, Sunday 7 April, 3pm, South Nowra Football Complex
Fresh from their maiden victory, Southern Branch FC host their closest rivals, Sutherland Shire FA on Sunday afternoon at South Nowra Football Complex.
The visitors showed their clinical edge with a late game barrage in a 7-nil thrashing of St George FC in last week’s Match of the Round while Southern Branch FC held their nerve in a single goal success against UNSW FC.
Southern Branch FC showed the kids are alright in their success. Youngsters Luella Boulton and Bronte Wright were integral to their performance alongside the experienced Jessie Abbott, who snagged the winning goal. They face a tough task in the free-scoring Shire FA but can lightning strike twice?
Dragan Blazevic hopes that his side replicates their final fifteen minutes and remain calm, composed and clinical in front of the goal. If they can, there is a plethora of options to bang them home – hat-trick hero from last week Brittany Christie, the always lethal Jordan Baker and Nicole Besz – if they fire could be a long afternoon.
Nepean FC vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 7 April, 6:30pm, Cook Park
After their huge scalp last week, Nepean FC welcome a roaring APIA Leichhardt Tigers to Cook Park for a fantastic night cap for a wonderful round of football on Sunday night.
These sides played out a frantic and emotional semi-final last season where APIA prevailed in the shootout. This season, both come off huge results in the context of the season – Nepean FC held off Central Coast 1-nil and APIA prevailed 4-nil against SD Raiders – so this contest looms as an early season marker for both.
Nepean showed in that semi and their round four victory that they are big game players. Alan Tasses knows how to mold his team, and a lot of that goes through captain Desiree Vassallo. This season, she has been ably supported by Stef Trovato and Emma Wholohan in the middle, and will need be at the top of their game against a potent APIA attack.
The Tigers are ready to pounce after the performance their coach announced that they started to “click” and that is a warning for the rest of the competition. Cass Chidgey, Georgia Bridges and Ash Palombi have dominated the scoresheet but if they have an off-day, there is plenty in reserve which makes for an exciting contest to enjoy at Lambert Park.
By Justin Davies (@JustDavies90)