And just like that, we’re nearly at the halfway point of the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition. After a week which saw three sides play in the cup, focus will return to the league for round eleven.
Hills United host a strong St George City in our feature match. While another top two contest lights up Christie Park. And then there’s Bonnyrigg White Eagles who will want to begin a run when they host Central Coast Mariners.
Feature Match: Hills United FC v St George City; Saturday 15 May, 7pm @ Lily Homes Stadium
Our camera returns to Lily Homes Stadium for the second time this season as Hills United host St George City, this Saturday night.
One win in their first six home games. Hills United will be looking to overturn a four-game losing streak at home. And there would be no better time to do just that, sitting seven points outside a finals position. Last weekend, they went down to Northern Tigers by a two-game margin, Duncan Stewart providing their only goal in that one.
In contrast, it’s been a positive first half of the season for St George City. Sitting in third position with six wins to their name. The team from Sydney’s south may just be beginning to dream of a promotion place come the end of the season. Last weekend they claimed victory over Central Coast Mariners in a high-scoring fixture which saw them score three in the last ten minutes.
So, what are we looking out for in the Hills United camp? John Gibson will want to see improvement at either end of the field after last weekend. At the back because they conceded three goals and in the front third because they’ve only scored four goals at home this season. Look out for Duncan Stewart though, his found his scoring touch with three in his past four.
The visitors have six players who have started every game this season. So, players such as keeper Mackenzie Syron, Troy Danaskos, Alexander Kyriacou, Paolo Mitry, Jordan Morfitis and Nathan Roberts have provided Mirko Jurilj with a solid base so far. While Jason Romero has been efficient in front of goal, scoring ten in nine appearances.
Last time these two met, a Jason Romero hat trick proved the difference last September. Be sure to catch this on exclusively on NPL.TV, 7pm Saturday night.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Central Coast Mariners FC; Saturday 15 May, 6pm @ Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg White Eagles welcome Central Coast Mariners in their first game after parting ways with Wayne O’Sullivan, last weekend.
And with the new coach, comes the signing of a couple of players for Bonnyrigg White Eagles. Nikola Krljar returns to the club after spells at Northern Tigers and Blacktown Spartans. While striker Anthony Costa comes in from Marconi. They will be looking to turn around a three game losing streak in all competitions which saw them defeated by Apia Leichardt Tigers, Northern Tigers and St George FC in the space of a fortnight.
They will square off against a Central Coast Mariners who find themselves in unfamiliar territory. Yes, three losses in a row sees Nick Montgomery’s young team looking into the top five for the first time in a while. Last week, they conceded three goals in the last ten minutes against St George City after James Bayliss, Jing Reec and Jacob Vasiliou put them into the lead earlier in the fixture. Against a desperate Bonnyrigg outfit, can they reclaim a top four position after this one?
Blacktown Spartans FC v SD Raiders FC; Saturday 15 May, 7pm @ Blacktown Football Park No.1
Wouldn’t be a NPL2NSW weekend without a game in Rooty Hill, right? This weekend Blacktown Spartans welcome an in-form SD Raiders FC at Blacktown Football Park.
Win-loss-win-loss-win-loss-win? If form guides are to be believed, Blacktown Spartans are going to be tough to beat in this one. Having prevailed in a penalty shootout over Glebe Gorillas in the cup. The Spartans made the now league leaders Western Sydney Wanderers fight for their victory Sunday afternoon. Andre Carle equalized the scores, but an unfortunate own goal saw them go down. Returning home after a midweek cup game, a win sees them keep touch with the top five.
Sorry guys, no NPL.TV stream this week. Nevertheless, Nick Carle’s SD Raiders will be looking to make it three in a row. Last weekend, they upset the then league leaders NWS Spirit FC in a high intensity contest at Ernie Smith Reserve. The Raiders were relentless producing a textbook team performance. Matias Toro Suazo and Adrian Valenti both found the net either side of the break. While a couple of others made their debut. Win this and they’re a back in with a shot at finals football.
NWS Spirit FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC; Saturday 15 May, 7pm @ Christie Park No.1
Fresh off a midweek cup game, NWS Spirit FC host league leaders Western Sydney Wanderers at Christie Park, Saturday evening.
Marconi midweek, Western Sydney Wanderers on the weekend. It’s a tough couple of fixtures for NWS Spirit FC after a loss weekend to SD Raiders FC. Yet these are the fixtures David Perkovic, and his men will be hoping for come the start of next season. In team news, Sean Eve has been brought into the club to replace the injured Louis Bozanic. With a home crowd behind them, Spirit will be looking to go into the second half of the season in top spot.
The Western Sydney Wanderers on the other hand, continue to pick up results despite not being at their best on the field. Last weekend, they relied on Ali Auglah to open the scoring before an own goal gave them victory ten minutes into the second half. Coach Patrick Zwaansijk will want his side to step up a gear for this one at a place they haven’t won since a meeting in April 2018.
Last time these two met, NWS Spirit FC claimed a slender victory in July 2019. if they do so again, they will go top at the halfway point of the season.
Northern Tigers FC v Mounties Wanderers FC; Saturday 15 May, 7pm @ North Turramurra Recreation Area No.1
North Turramurra Recreation Area plays host to Northern Tigers and Mounties Wanderers for another clash in this super Saturday of action.
With a few good results, things can change very quickly in this competition. And that definitely is the case for Northern Tigers, who are now only outside the top four on goal difference. Last weekend, it was a victory over Hills United on the road courtesy of an Oliver Scott brace and Shervin Adeli with the other. Scott now has four goals in his six appearances and could well be the regular goal threat Adam Hett’s team needed.
In it for the long haul. After a midseason squad overhaul, Mounties Wanderers are beginning to clique as a team with half a season remaining. The team from Sydney’s south west put in a very respectable showing against one of the form teams in the competition in Hakoah FC last time out. And as the weeks progress, Jerry Bilokapic’s team will only get stronger and will be a worthy combatant against a Northern Tigers side perhaps with an eye on the cup.
St George FC v Hakoah FC; Saturday 15 May, 7pm @ Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
After a successful couple of games on the road, St George FC return home to play Hakoah FC in another intriguing fixture, Saturday night.
Who would have thought this would be a fixture we’d be looking forward too a few weeks ago? Yes, St George FC have turned their season right around with a couple of statement victories on the road. After beating Central Coast Mariners, the week before. St George FC once again staged a comeback to overcome Bonnyrigg White Eagles. Crucial to that turnaround has been the form of Bruno Pivato who played a part in both goals last weekend, scoring the first before setting up Connor Quiligan for the second.
To claim victory though, they’ll have to find the net a few times as Hakoah FC have found their scoring touch in recent weekends. Scoring at least two goals in their last six matches whilst possessing the league’s best defence. Hakoah find themselves in the top four for the first time this season, and they’ll be looking to solidify that position in this one. Last weekend Dominic Cox and Yianni Spyrakis played a starring role in their victory over Mounties Wanderers.
R10 Result: St George City 4 (Romero 2, JC Romero, Kuzmanovski) v Central Coast Mariners FC 3 (Bayliss, Vasiliou, Reec)
By NPL2 Men’s Reporter Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)