We’ve reached the business end of the season with only three rounds remaining in this highly entertaining and unpredictable competition.
2019 Premiers Stanmore Hawks FC welcome table-toppers Rydalmere Lions FC to Arlington Oval with kick off scheduled for 7pm this Saturday night.
The Hawks are winless in their last five matches and enter this fixture on the back of a 2-2 draw against bottom of the table Sydney Uni.
Their hopes of finals football are in the balance with the inner west side currently occupying 6th position on the ladder with three rounds remaining in the regular season.
Rydalmere have been the team to watch – they are eight from eight heading into this and have conceded under a goal per average throughout each match this campaign.
They rose to the challenge last weekend when they saw off the 2nd placed Berries, registering a quite comfortable 3-1 win at home.
Dulwich Hill FC will be going in search of consecutive victories when they travel to Heffron Park on Saturday to take on Dunbar Rovers FC at 7pm.
Dully will be able to leapfrog Dunbar on the league table if they manage to take all three points this weekend with Paris Svilicich’s men sitting on eight points, only two less than the eastern suburbs outfit.
Dunbar have struggled of late with back-to-back defeats against Inter Lions and Bankstown City.
They are still one of the strong finals contenders if they pull their act together with the club in 7th place – only one point worse off than the 6th placed Hawks.
A spectacle will be taking place at Majors Bay Reserve on Saturday as the 5th placed Inter Lions FC go head to head against 4th placed Gladesville Ryde Magic at 7pm.
Inter Lions showed true grit and determination as they won their first match on the road last weekend despite playing for most of the second half with 10 men.
They are undefeated at their new home ground and the form book is swinging in their favour as they look to make it three wins on the bounce.
Magic have also hit a bit of a purple patch of late with consecutive wins that also came with the added bonus of back-to-back cleansheets.
Michael Gaitatzis has proven to be a headache for opposition defences with six goals scored in the last two weeks alone.
A bottom of the table clash will be held at SUFG as Central Coast United FC make the trip to Sydney for the second week running to face off against Sydney University SFC at 7pm on Saturday.
The ‘students’ prop up the table with two points to their name, however one of those points was earnt last weekend when they delivered a strong performance which saw them draw 2-2 with Stanmore.
The Pirates are four points better off than their upcoming opponents and will be looking to recapture the kind of display that saw them cruise past Inter Lions 4-0 only a few weeks ago.
A derby of sorts will be taking place at the Crest Athletic Centre Saturday at 7pm as Canterbury Bankstown FC host Bankstown United FC.
The Berries suffered just their second defeat of the season last Saturday when they went down 3-1 to league leaders Rydalmere.
That result effectively ended a six game unbeaten run which dated back to the end of July.
United’s form does not make for pretty reading with two draws and three straight defeats ahead of this clash.
They sit in 10th place on the league table with six points and will be in desperate need of the three points come this weekend as they aim to qualify for finals football for the second season running.
Round nine will come to a close on Sunday at 3pm as Bankstown City FC welcome Macarthur Rams FC to Jensen Park.
Bankstown are on a four game winning streak and overtook Berries in 2nd place last weekend.
The Rams are in 8th position heading into this meeting and will be itching for a win after they fell to an agonising 4-3 defeat at home to Inter last Saturday.
Both sides know how to find the back of the net so we will most likely end the round with plenty of goal mouth action.
DON’T FORGET TO EXERCISE CAUTION AND SOCIAL DISTANCING AT OUR MATCHES THIS WEEKEND – STAY SAFE
-By NPL 3 NSW Men’s Chief Writer Samuel Greco Schwartz (Twitter handle: @SamuelGS97)