Settled in yet? As we approach Round Three of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition, Six of our twelve teams will be searching for their first victory of the campaign. Another loss, and that top five dream get’s that little bit harder.
Our match of the round takes us back to Wanderers football Park. Whilst elsewhere, Central Coast Mariners, Bonnyrigg White Eagles and NWS Spirit will be looking to maintain their perfect starts to the season.
Match of the round: Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Northern Tigers FC; Sunday 21st March, 1pm @ Wanderers Football Park
I told you to get used to Wanderers Football Park. We return to the same surroundings as last week for a mouthwatering clash between Western Sydney Wanderers and Northern Tigers.
Moving in the right direction. Following a heavy round one defeat to Central Coast Mariners, Western Sydney Wanderers responded with a respectable performance against St George FC last weekend. In that game, they did well at one end but not at the other. Jack Warchawsky impressed in goal denying their hosts. But it is at the other end where they will be looking to improve this weekend, having not found the net yet in 2021.
A defeat to learn from, Northern Tigers will be looking to bounce back after their first defeat this season. The Tigers went down in a spirited defeat to NWS Spirit last Saturday night after a round one victory over Hakoah FC the weekend before. In contrast to their hosts, the North Turramurra based team have scored in their past thirteen fixtures. So, look for the like of Jamie Glover, captain Shervin Adeli and others to continue that goalscoring run in this one.
If WSW want to be challenging for a top four position, they will want to be picking up points at home. Join Eric Subijano for the call on NPL.TV this Sunday at 1pm.
Central Coast Mariners FC v Blacktown Spartans FC; Saturday 20th March, 4pm @ Pluim Park No.1
Fresh off an emphatic victory last weekend. Central Coast Mariners welcome Blacktown Spartans to Pluim Park this Saturday afternoon.
The Mariners were at their goalscoring best last weekend against Mounties Wanderers. They were ruthless in scoring seven goals on a wet Sunday afternoon in Sydney’s west. Of note in that fixture (apart from Damian Tsekenis scoring four goals), were the performances of Harry McCarthy in midfield as well as Jordan Smylie returning from injury. The emergence of Garang Kuol will also be interesting to watch, he is only going to get better.
Blacktown Spartans on the other hand are slowly adjusting to life without the services of Connor Eldridge. And they will come into this one, with a bit of confidence after a last-minute Mason Ireland equalizer against St George City. As a coach, Brett Hewit relishes these clashes, and he will be hoping his team is up for the contest this weekend.
Last time these two sides met, both sides shared the points at Blacktown Football Park in round one of the rebooted 2020 season.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Hakoah FC; Saturday 20th March, 6pm @ Bonnyrigg Sports Club
One of three teams to secure two wins from two. Bonnyrigg White Eagles come into this game having dispatched of St George City and SD Raiders. Last weekend breaching “fortress” Ernie Smith to claim victory. Key to that was the goalscoring prowess of Aaron Peterson who claimed a second half brace. Returning home, their experienced outfit will be looking to claim back-to-back home victories, whilst in turn solidifying themselves as contenders at the top end of the table.
Their visitors Hakoah FC will be searching for their first win after a draw and a loss in their first two outings. Last weekend they hosted Hills United in awkward conditions at Hensley Athletic. A second half goal to Bruno Mendes ensured a point after conceding in the first half. Much like a few other teams in the competition, it is almost must win territory despite only being round three.
In their last meeting, Asmir Kadric scored a double to give Bonnyrigg victory.
St George City v SD Raiders FC; Saturday 20th March, 6pm @ Poulton Park
The two newest clubs to NPL2 meet this Saturday evening in Sydney’s South.
St George City come into the clash having won their first point of the season last weekend against Blacktown Spartans. City have had a lead in both their fixtures in 2021. So, you would imagine it is just a matter of time before they claim their first victory. They will be without their captain Tarik Ercan in this one. Whilst Jason Romero will be looking to score his second of the season.
They face a SD Raiders outfit will be looking to get back to winning ways. Having won their first away game of the season, they came off second best to an impressive Bonnyrigg White Eagles outfit last weekend. They will be looking to the likes of Anthony Prioa and keeper Mario Aleksik to bounce back in this clash.
Despite being relatively new clubs, these two have established a friendly rivalry over the years. In their last meeting St George City prevailed 5-4 in round eleven last season. More of the same please!
NWS Spirit FC v Mounties Wanderers FC; Saturday 20th March, 7pm @ Christie Park
Two games in, NWS Spirit FC are looking good for a premiership challenge in 2021. Last weekend, they prevailed in a memorable derby over Northern Tigers. In that one, Mitch Davidson found the net from a set piece and Louis Bozanic followed it up with the winner. This week presents a challenge of a different kind against a side licking their wounds from last week.
Just not good enough. Mounties Wanderers will be looking to put in an improved performance after last week. Against a high-flying Central Coast Mariners side, the Wanderers were made to look average in almost every area. Coach Jerry Bilokapic will be looking for a more disciplined performance and if they keep it close, they do have the capability to score in the front third.
Again, it’s Mounties so we have to take past performance with a grain of salt. But last time these two met, Mounties Wanderers prevailed in the 2019 finals series.
Hills United FC v St George FC; Saturday 20th March, 7pm @ Lily Holmes Stadium
When it came to last weekend, Hills United were one of two teams who drew the short straw, having to play at Hensley Athletic on Sunday afternoon. In that game, they took the lead and scored their first of the season early through Jordan Parfait. But were unable to see out the clash. Eventually going down to ten, Glen Kelshaw receiving a red card. Maybe they can keep a full compliment this week? And if they do, they got every chance of victory.
St George FC on the other hand, come into the contest encouraged after a spirited performance against Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend. In a game that finished scoreless, Emmanuel Gonzalez impressed threatening the opposition goal frequently, whilst target man Liam Mcconaghy continues to find his fitness.
Last time these two sides met, in was in fact St George FC’s last competitive victory back in August last year. The Saints prevailed 3-1 in that one.
By NPL2 Men’s reporter Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)