In a packed weekend of major events – the biggest one happens in the glitz and glamour of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Womens competition. No wind machines or glitter but plenty of wonderful fixtures topped off by the douze-pointer that is Sutherland Shire FA vs Gladesville Ravens.
Match of the Round: Sutherland Shire FA vs Gladesville Ravens, Sunday 19 May, 3pm, Harrie Denning Centre
Two unbeaten sides enter this clash at Harrie Denning Centre this Sunday but only one of Sutherland Shire FA and Gladesville Ravens may remain unbeaten after 90 minutes this weekend.
Both sides are the top of the class in the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Women’s competition and come into the weekend full of confidence after 4-0 and 2-1 results respectively which has this game set up to be a blockbuster.
Gladesville started their season with a huge victory against APIA and the Ravens haven’t looked back since then. The visitors have reeled off 9 victories and a single draw with Emily Diaz leading the way in goalscoring department. Alongside her they have a quality midfield and goalkeeping double act in Eri Arikawa and Yume Kashima to help combat Shire FA this weekend.
The home side have battled injury but remain almost step for step with the Ravens. Coach Dragan Blazevic kept the core of the side that played in NPL1 NSW Womens and Shire FA have flourished. Jordan Baker continues to consistently find the back of the net and with a superb supporting cast, we’re set for a mouth-watering contest Sunday afternoon.
Inter Lions vs St George FC, Sunday 19 May, 3pm, Concord Oval
Fresh from their first victory of the season, St George FC look to keep their momentum going against Inter Lions this weekend at Concord Oval.
It is a crucial double header for St George FC this weekend. Following their 2-1 success against Southern Branch FC, the Saints take on Central Coast and Inter Lions on back-to-back days to try and rocket themselves up the table.
Coach Carlo Tini will have to manage his side through these two contests to try and set them up perfectly to take maximum points. He kept the game plan simple against Southern, as Yadira Renfigo and Amy Bennett both excelled, they will try to repeat the dose against Inter Lions on Sunday.
Inter Lions may look to spoil the party, especially with the tie being at home. The Lions have started to find the net with regularity, Bindi Bryce the latest to score this season. A victory on the weekend would be some welcome relief and get them off the dreaded duck egg.
Nepean FC vs SD Raiders FC, Sunday 19 May, 3pm, Cook Park
Another vital contest in the race for the top five, as Nepean FC welcome SD Raiders FC to Cook Park for a tight tussle that will help decide both sides fate on Sunday afternoon.
These two sides switched positions after the weekend concluded. Nepean FC took fifth after a comfortable 4-1 victory against UNSW FC whilst a close 2-1 result saw SD Raiders FC drop to sixth position.
SD Raiders FC hope to get back into the winner’s circle after a loss and draw in their last fortnight. Against a side that possesses similar qualities to themselves, the visitors will fancy themselves, particularly, if Sarah Mandile finds herself on the scoresheet.
Nepean FC will be buoyed by their second-straight success, achieved without two of their senior members. After a slow start to the season, Imogen Lane and Stefanie Trovato have started to find the back of the net consistently. They will need all their firepower against a tough SD Raiders side in this battle for the top five.
UNSW FC vs Central Coast Mariners, Sunday 19 May, 3pm, Seymour Shaw
After a fortnight on the road, UNSW FC head to Seymour Shaw, for a change of fortune as they entertain Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon.
The Mariners have got themselves back on track, a 5-1 result against Inter Lions with their double-header this weekend has them poised to firm back into the top five. For UNSW FC, they were downed 4-1 by Nepean FC in their latest loss.
Mariners boss Dan Barrett will hope his side can fix up their recent habit of going win-loss-win-loss in a packed weekend that will stretch their squad depth. One positive is their goalscoring with Iona Snape netted last weekend and Gabrielle Blanch chipped in with three in the last three weeks.
Western NSW Mariners vs APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 19 May, 3pm, Sir Jack Brabham Park
APIA make the bid for ten victories in a row as they travel out to Orange Sunday afternoon to take on a Western NSW Mariners side that has surprised teams this season.
The Tigers kept on clawing past opponents, defeating Marconi Stallions 2-0, making it nine games unbeaten now. For Western NSW Mariners, they were the latest to fall victim to Gladesville Ravens, 4-nil, all in the second half.
Visiting the central west wasn’t a happy hunting ground for APIA last season, as they fell a shock loss against the Mariners. They will hope to avoid a similar fate on the weekend, with the form of ‘keeper Courtney Halpin should prevent that and allow their potent attack to make it double figures for their streak.
This weekend starts a run of five straight home games for Western NSW Mariners. Josh Ward would earmark this segment as the time for the Mariners to get themselves in the hunt. If Anna Hunt can keep banging in goals and solid work from their defense, it could make their finals dream, a reality.
Southern Branch FC vs Marconi Stallions, Sunday 19 May, 3pm, South Nowra Football Complex
Back home and ready to roll, Southern Branch FC host a Marconi Stallions side aiming to get themselves back on the right track down at South Nowra Football Complex this weekend.
Both sides come into the contest off losses. Southern Branch brought some fight late but couldn’t find the equaliser in a 2-1 loss to St George FC. Marconi had their recent purple patch broken in a 2-nil defeat to APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
Southern Branch showed in their second half display that they can cut through teams, with options like Shaylee Meehan and Jessie Abbott up top, the home side can cause issues for sides. It might be a long afternoon for their custodian, Holly Lewis with the variety in the Stallions attack.
Despite their loss, Marconi are still fourth. Against the sides lower down in the table, the Stallions haven’t had issues putting goals in the back of the net. This could be a contest where Jasmin Courtenay tries to regain her lead at the top of the Golden Boot.
By Justin Davies