So, round three is upon us and as usual NPL NSW 4 Men’s action promises so much.
For some, it’s time to consolidate on a promising start. Whilst for others, a win is almost a must if you want to be playing semi-final football. Game on!
Western NSW FC v Hurstville FC. Saturday 1st August, 4pm @ Proctor Park
Opening the weekends action, an undermanned Hurstville FC travel out west to take on Western NSW.
Back to back wins for the first time since 2015. And few Western NSW FC victories have tasted sweeter than their round two victory over Parramatta FC. In that one, they proved that they could indeed surprise a few more in 2020. A Matthew Hobby goal in the first half was just reward for their first half play, before proving to be defensively solid under significant pressure throughout the second period. There is no reason they cannot make it three from three this weekend.
Be aware of the walking wounded though. Hurstville FC came into this shortened season with an already small squad. And the first couple of matches have not been kind. Round one against Prospect United saw a few go down injured in a stop start contest before round two saw them wrack up two red cards in a difficult night against UNSW FC.
South Coast Flame FC v Granville Rage. Saturday 1st August, 6pm @ Ian Mclennan Park
In an ideal world, South Coast Flame would come into this one having played last weekend. It is perhaps unfortunate then that it is 2020 and instead of approaching round 22 this weekend, we are approaching round 3. But enough lamenting, from what we have seen South Coast Flame are heading in the right direction. In their one fixture in this streamlined season, they proved good value for a point and perhaps unlucky not to grab all three. Now in game two, they come in as favorites, show us what you got.
They face a team looking forward to leg three of an eleven game road trip. Granville Rage’s draw was not exactly friendly to open the season. They have conceded a worrying seven goals in games against Parramatta FC and Nepean FC. Now their focus is on eliminating critical mistakes whilst giving young players minutes. Let’s look at the positives though, Lachlan Strahan scored a goal worthy of an entry to any goal of the season competition last weekend.
Nepean FC v Prospect United SC. Saturday 1st August, 7pm @ Cook Park No.1 (St Mary’s)
It is the kind of fixture we look for on the calendar. When Nepean FC and Prospect United come together, entertainment is guaranteed, and this Saturday promises no different.
Under the radar no longer. Two wins from two means that eyes will be focused on Nepean FC this weekend. Having overcome Hawkesbury in round one, they showed their ruthless side last week against Granville. Five goals in two weeks, four of which scored by striker Mitch Mclintock. Confidence is building and they will be ready to pounce on any mistakes their opposition make.
It will be tricky though. Their opponents this weekend love nothing more than taking Nepean FC down a peg. Yep, the team from the foot of the mountains may have had a regime change, but you better believe Darren Camilleri will have his Prospect United team up for this one. And having drawn their opening two games, we are almost in must win territory.
Fraser Park FC v Hawkesbury City FC. Saturday 1st August, 7pm @ Fraser Park
By itself, last weekend’s result does not look all that impressive. However, when you look at the team sheet last weekend and who is still to come back in for Fraser Park. You can see why a late comeback to rescue a point meant so much. This week should see the return of captain Alexis Wenzel amongst overs. And playing on their home turf for the first time since early March, they will be keen to make a statement in this one.
Their visitors, Hawkesbury City will come into the fixture rejuvenated after their first win this year. After coming so close against Nepean FC in round one, a two-goal home win over Camden Tigers was just what the doctor ordered. Kwadwo Boamah Addai continues to be a nuisance to the oppositions defense whilst Daniel Morsillo opened his goalscoring account.
Parramatta FC v UNSW FC. Sunday 2nd August, 7pm @ Rydalmere Park
Now we have had a look at a game a certain team has been looking forward too. Now it’s time for a game a certain writer has been looking forward too.
I think I speak for everyone reading this in saying last week’s Parramatta FC result was a genuine shock. The team from Western Sydney were heavy favourites against Western NSW FC, but it turned into one of those games where the ball would not go into the net. Now we await a reaction from many people’s competition favourites in Sunday’s sole fixture.
UNSW FC on the other hand, come into this one undermanned yet defensively sound. Defensively sound? UNSW FC? Are we back in 2018? I know, not exactly two words I would associate with the students (last season in particular). But in their four fixtures in 2020, they have only conceded one goal, whilst scoring nine. They come into this one, having secured a four-goal win over Hurstville in round two.
Camden Tigers – Bye
DON’T FORGET TO EXERCISE CAUTION AND SOCIAL DISTANCING AT OUR MATCHES THIS WEEKEND – STAY SAFE
By Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)