Beating the odds, the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition saw three games played in Round three.
Let’s take a look at how this round unfolded amidst the chaos that was the weather across NSW.
Match of the Round: Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Pelekanos 8’, Grozos 26’, Hovar 77’) v Northern Tigers 1 (Drummond 47’)
Western Sydney Wanderers claimed their first three points of the season overcoming an injury-hit Northern Tigers.
But that’s to take nothing away from the hosts who put in their best performance of the season so far. Pelekanos and Grozos both picked up a first half goal before Issac Hovar came off the bench too make sure of the victory late.
Northern Tigers on the other hand will look forward to a return home next weekend after back-to-back defeats for the first time since the beginning of 2019. A Nick Drummond goal gave them hope early in the second half, but they were unable to find another despite threatening on occasion during the second half.
Playing on a grass pitch in wet conditions, both sides took a bit of time early to acclimatize. Sharing good periods of possession. However, such is the tempo of the competition, chances were soon to follow. Firstly, for the visitors through Will Hodgson who hooked his shot wide right after being fed by Alex Brown.
Before the hosts opened the scoring courtesy of Dean Pelekanos, who hit a sweetly timed right footed volley after a defensive header fell to him around the penalty spot.
Tigers soon replied with a chance of their own, Hodgson this time slipping the ball through to Nicholas Drummond who was met by a scrambling defense before he could get his shot away.
However, the better chances were coming at the other end. The Wanderers very much taking advantage of home surroundings, Ali Auglah and Jarrod Carluccio having chances within the next ten minutes of play.
But the lead was to be doubled through another source in Kosta Grozos, who combined well with Thomas Acquilina down the right to create space at the top of the box. Grozos applying a composed finish.
Much like the half before it, the Tigers who themselves were playing a young team came out firing. And this time they were rewarded for their good start, Drummond finding the net from a inside the box.
One could have easily become two shortly after, A Sam Wilson free kick finding the head of Nicholas Kalogerou who only had to finish from point blank range. But was denied by a sharp Noah James save.
As the game settled once again, both coaches went to their bench. But it was Patrick Zwaansjik’s options who made the final difference, Isaac Hover creating multiple chances for himself. One of which found the after he cut inside from the left. Dribbling into the box before finishing into the right-side netting.
Once again, two goals down, frustrations boiled over for the visitors, Jamie Glover picking up a second yellow late on.
Western Sydney Wanderers travel to *checks notes* Wanderers Football Park for an “away” fixture against Mounties Wanderers. Whereas Northern Tigers host Blacktown Spartans.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1. Noah James, 2. Thomas Acquilina, 3. Phillip Cancar (19. Bilal Chahine), 4. Mohamed Al Taay, 6. Tass Mourdoukoutas, 7. Jarrod Carluccio, 9. Ali Auglah (21. Isaac Hovar), 11. Lochlan Constable (14. Alessandro Lopane), 12. Nectarios Triantis, 22. Dean Pelekanos, 23. Kosta Grozos (29. Alex Badolato)
Northern Tigers: 1. Elliot Carwardine, 4. Lachlan Mcgrath, 5. Nicholas Kalogerou, 8. Alexander Brown, 12. Sam Wilson, 13. Lachlan Hughes (23. Jamie Glover), 15. Nicholas Drummond (29. Matthew Davey), 16. Lachlan Lloyd, 18. Hugo Forlico (19. William Dimartino), 22. Wiliam Hodgson (24. Bailey Rule), 26. Kealey Adamson.
NWS Spirit FC 6 (Davidson 7’ 32’ 81’, Vastag 9’ 52’, Johns 86’) defeat Mounties Wanderers FC 0
NWS Spirit FC were at their clinical best claiming victory over Mounties Wanderers FC at a sodden Christie Park, Saturday.
The hosts got off to a fast start scoring two goals in the first ten minutes. Firstly, through Mitch Davidson who finished into the bottom left corner at the clubhouse end. Before Anthony Vastag made it two shortly after, heading home from a Kota Odakura free kick.
As the minutes ticked on, the Mounties once again grew into the game, having their best period of the match in the process. Gergis Abdalla causing the home side trouble down the right in particular.
However, it was to be in vain as they were sucker punched before the half time whistle. Odakura once again playing a key role in the lead up, pouncing on an errant pass before playing in Davidson to finish.
Three became four after the half time break, Vastag popping up for his second of the night, after an Andrew Robertson cross eventually found its mark in the six-yard box.
Facing a four-goal deficit, the visitor’s job was made all the more harder mid-way through the second half after Nathan Manno picked up a second yellow card.
And Spirit were in no mood for charity, scoring twice after the dismissal. Firstly, through Mitch Davidson who completed his hat trick after another high press forced a turnover. Before substitute Dominic Johns added a sixth to the tally.
NWS Spirit travel to face Hakoah FC next Sunday afternoon, whereas Mounties welcome? West Sydney Wanderers.
Hills United FC 2 (Parfait 51’, 59’) defeat St George FC 1 (Walker 90’)
A Jordan Parfait double ensured Hills United victory against St George FC, Saturday night.
The hosts put in a “comprehensive performance”, putting in a strong first thirty minutes. However, they struggled to turn it into goals, having to settle for a goalless draw come half time.
As the game continued, the two teams opened up. Which allowed the scores to be opened by Jordan Parfait. Parfait capitalizing on a good press up field before slotting it home. One then became two shortly after, a goof forward pass finding Parfait once again, who rounder the keeper before passing it into an empty net.
St George FC on the other hand, came out in the second half well. However, after two errors lead to two goals in quick succession. It was always going to be difficult to peg back with Bradley Walker scoring a consolation late in the piece.
Hills United face a tough trip to Bonnyrigg next weekend. Whilst St George FC host the first St George derby of the season. You can catch the latter live on NPL.TV next weekend.
All other fixtures were washed out, to be played at a later date. Stay dry!
By NPL2 Men’s reporter Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)