All roads lead to Christie Park this weekend for a Round thirteen National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s fixture which catches the imagination.
But not to be outdone elsewhere, we have another five fixtures including a local derby among others.
Match of the Round: NWS Spirit FC v Northern Tigers FC; Saturday 29 May, 7pm @ Christie Park No.1
Big game feels. NWS Spirit host Northern Tigers in a top five clash as part of a double header Saturday night.
And make sure you get to the ground early for this one, as NWS Koalas host Northern Tigers in an NPL Women’s match before this one in a football feast!
Anyway, back to the men’s fixture and NWS Spirit who had their first win in four matches last weekend against St George FC. Taking a sole point in the two matches against SD Raiders and Western Sydney Wanderers. Spirit bounced back in positive fashion getting a rare clean sheet at one end. While Michael Konestabo and Geoffry Lino scored at the other end. A win here would open up a sizeable gap over their local rivals. And you better believe they’ll be desperate for that in front of a sizeable crowd at Christie Park.
Reality check, Northern Tigers will be looking bounce back after a tough defeat against Hakoah FC last weekend. Backing up from a brave cup exit against APIA Leichardt Tigers midweek, the Tigers gave their all at one of the toughest places to play in the league. Lachlan Lloyd equalized in the second half and for a moment there, they looked to be in control. Yet instead, they ended up tasting defeat for the fifth time this season and there’s not much room for many more with ten weeks left.
What will decide this one? Northern Tigers have only just returned to full strength after an injury disrupted first half of the season. Their main goal threat will come from Oliver Scott and the ever reliable Shervin Adeli. NWS Spirit themselves have had their fair share of injuries; yet they have managed to pick up results more consistently as the table shows. Geoffry Lino and Michael Konestabo are their top scorers with eight goals apiece.
NWS Spirit prevailed by a goal in their last meeting. Will Northern Tigers get their revenge here? Or will David Perkovic’s men claim their first league double over the visitors since 2017? Join Pete Prior for the call exclusively on NPL.TV, kick off at 7pm (Koalas v Tigers @ 4:45 also on NPL.TV). Or better still, see you at the games!
St George City v Blacktown Spartans FC; Saturday 29 May, 6pm @ Peakhurst Park
Peakhurst Park hosts another early evening kick off between St George City and Blacktown Spartans, Saturday evening.
It’s a tough ask for Blacktown Spartans who come in from a disappointing result last weekend. In which they only took a point from a back and forth contest with Mounties Wanderers. Andre Carle and Nikola Pintur both found the net chasing down a two goal deficit, but they didn’t look likely to claim a victory after that. On a four game winless streak, it’s a tough ask for Andrew Montgomery’s team who face a St George City team who have been perfect at home.
Speaking of, St George City are quickly becoming one of the leagues most entertaining teams. In their last four matches, there has been a total of twenty eight goals at either end. Last weekend they scored their most comfortable win in a while over Bonnyrigg White Eagles. Jason Romero continuing his scoring streak with a hat-trick, while Juan Carlos Romero and Nathan Roberts joined him on the score sheet. Don’t leave this one early with 31% of goals in matches involving St George City coming in the last fifteen minutes.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v SD Raiders FC; Saturday 29 May, 6pm @ Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Bonnyrigg White Eagles host SD Raiders in another local derby to take place in Round 13.
Having got a point from their last home game against Central Coast Mariners. The Eagles were on the end of a Smackdown to earth against St George City. Aaron Peterson and Ray Miller found the net but ultimately, St George City used their finisher in Jason Romero. A result which see’s Bonnyrigg pinned to the lower midtable. Sitting three wins from the finals, they need to treat every game as a title match, and any attempt to wrestle back their fate starts here.
One of the great things about football is how quickly things can change. Things looked to have gone horribly wrong for SD Raiders last weekend when they conceded three having held a two goal advantage earlier. Yet a late Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu equalizer when they were down a man suddenly looks to have changed their momentum approaching this one. They will be looking to secure their first win over Bonnyrigg in this one.
Hills United FC v Hakoah FC; Saturday 29 May, 7pm @ Lily Homes Stadium
Hills United welcome Hakoah FC to Lily Homes Stadium as they look to score their second home win of the season.
Four points dropped in two weekends, Hills United will be looking to bounce back with a victory as they return to Lily Homes. Against SD Raiders last weekend, they found themselves a goal and a man up deep into the second half, courtesy of goals to Jordan Parfait, Adolph Koudakpo and Duncan Stewart. But they were unable to hang on in similar fashion to their round eleven game against St George City. You get the sense a win isn’t far away for John Gibson’s side. Will it come against a top four opponent here?
Vital win! One that we could look back on in a few weeks as season defining. In a high stakes contest, Hakoah FC managed to come away with a crucial win over Northern Tigers. Goals either side of half time to Marco Arambasic and Luiz Lobo secured the win which see’s the eastern suburbs based team in the top four. Having made themselves hard to beat at home, Can Luka Hrzina’s team do the same on the road for the second half of the season?
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v St George FC; Saturday 29 May, 7pm @ Wanderers Football Park
Western Sydney Wanderers will be looking to maintain a perfect home record when St George FC come to visit this weekend.
Super Sub! In a game which was waiting for someone to stand up. Reuban Awaritefe stepped up to grab a brace against Central Coast Mariners. On another day, it could have been a different story but for now at least, Patrick Zwaanswijk and his men just know how to win. Only second on goal difference, the Wanderers will be looking to take St George City’s place at the top with another strong win. To do so however, they will need to overcome a team they have struggled against in the past.
They face a St George FC team who have had the luxury of a full week of training. And it couldn’t have come at a better time after Jane Talcevski’s men went down to Rockdale City Suns and NWS Spirit in the space of a week. In their most recent game against Spirit, a sluggish start proved costly and allowed the visitors to tighten up defensively for their first clean sheet in a while. Last time these two met, we saw the only 0-0 draw of the season so far back in round two.
Central Coast Mariners FC v Mounties Wanderers FC; Sunday 30 May, 3pm @ Pluim Park No.1
Central Coast Mariners return home for the first time in four weeks as they welcome Mounties Wanderers, Sunday afternoon.
And it will be a welcome sight for the Mariners who have struggled on the road in recent weeks. Conceding nine goals in their past three fixtures against St George City, Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Western Sydney Wanderers, the Mariners were made to pay for wasting their chances against the Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend. With the next four games at home and the imminent return of Damian Tsekenis, the Mariners will be hoping a win this weekend throws them back into finals contention.
To do so, they will have to overcome an improved Mounties Wanderers side. Yes, signs are good in this long tern rebuild as Jerry Bilokapic’s side gave Blacktown Spartans a scare just hours after Mariners lost at the same venue. In that one, Peter Pelekanos and Andre Taouil both found the net from set pieces to put them two goals up before a couple of silly mistakes allowed their opponents back into it. They will be looking to avenge a 7-2 defeat back in round two.
By NPL2 Men’s reporter Justin Smith