With just eight games remaining in the National Premier Leagues 4 NSW Men’s competition, we are heading towards the pointy end of the season. With plenty of games that are set to shake up the table it’s time preview our long weekend action.
Our Match of the Round takes us to Cook Park as Nepean look to get their season back on track against a South Coast Flame side with the same intentions
Elsewhere, Western NSW travel to the Melita Stadium to face Parramatta, Hawkesbury host Camden and Fraser Park look to return to the winners circle against a determined Hurstville outfit.
The final two fixtures take place on Monday with Prospect United and UNSW locking horns at Blacktown, whilst Newcastle will look to repeat their Round 4 efforts against Western Rage.
Saturday 12th June, 2021
Match of the Round
Nepean FC vs South Coast Flame FC, 7pm @ Cook Park
Nepean head into this matchup with just one win from their last five. Joe D’Ermilio has been vocal about his displeasure in his sides recent outings and will want a full ninety-minute performance from his side. The Flame enter with struggles of their own, mainly in attack – scoring only once in their last three. South Coast look poised to enjoy a much improved second-half of the season after some impressive performances, however they’ve been unable to convert their improved play into positive results.
If the Flame can string a few wins together they’ll be right back in contention for a finals spot and will hope they can start a run this weekend. Nepean walked away with a tough 1-0 win last time out in Wollongong and will need to be back at their best to break down the valiant Flame defence to walk away with another win.
Previous Matchup: Nepean FC 1-0 South Coast Flame FC
Parramatta FC vs Western NSW FC, 5pm @ Melita Stadium
Parramatta entertain a rejuvenated Western NSW outfit fresh off a game where they came close to walking away with a win. Parramatta were back at their best against Nepean last weekend, running away with a convincing 3-0 win. The Eagles’ final spot was under serious pressure prior to that result and they will be motivated to continue the wins and cement their position in the top five.
Western NSW will have a bad taste in their mouth from the reverse fixture that saw them concede eight goals to Parramatta. Western NSW now enter this matchup full of confidence, with first-team players starting to return and mixing in with the fresh young faces, they’ll feel they’re every chance of returning to Bathurst with a positive result.
Previous Matchup: Parramatta FC 8-2 Western NSW FC
Hawkesbury City FC vs Camden Tigers FC, 5:30pm @ David Bertenshaw Field
Hawkesbury continue their home run, hosting third-placed Camden. The Hawks were masterful in their win over South Coast last week and will expect to continue their winning ways against the Tigers. Hawkesbury’s main man Marco Turpeinen recaptured his early season form to send him second on the golden boot race with nine, whilst Brad Gibson impressed with two assists in Round 14. It was huge to see new recruit and former A-League star Pedj Bojic linking up with the Hawks, a signing that will only fuel the club’s ambition to win many more matches as we enter the business end of the season.
Hawkesbury should enter this matchup as slight favourites with Camden having a slip up in Bathurst last week. Finding themselves behind twice, the Tigers were disappointed to get a draw in a game they were expected to win. Camden will need to put their chances away more prolifically in order to regain their strong momentum, but they may find this game more challenging as Hawkesbury look determined to make a push for finals. However the Tigers will feel confident considering their dominant display last time out to Hawkesbury just under a month ago.
Previous Matchup: Hawkesbury City FC 0-3 Camden Tigers FC
Hurstville FC vs Fraser Park FC, 7pm @ Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
Hurstville and Fraser Park both enter this matchup eager to return to winners circle. Hurstville have struggled lately with just one point from their last four outings, things won’t get much easier for them as they start their toughest run of the season. Remaining in fifth place by one point, Hurstville will need to find their best form again as they host a Fraser Park side just as eager to get a result.
Fraser Park, like their opponents have seen a slump in form of late. The reigning premiers lost their spot at the top to Newcastle after a deadlock with UNSW last weekend. Fraser Park have an undeniably talented side and can put any team in NPL 4 to the sword when their firing at their best. They were denied of the win last week as a result of a tough defence holding them at bay for large portions of the game. The reverse fixture saw Fraser Park being too clinical for Hurstville and will hope for more of the same come Saturday night.
Previous Matchup: Hurstville FC 1-2 Fraser Park FC
Monday 14th June, 2021
Prospect United SC vs UNSW FC, 2pm @ Blacktown International Sports Centre
Prospect will have a short three-day turnaround from their trip to Newcastle as they prepare for UNSW on Monday. After a successful transfer-window, Prospect’s side looked rejuvenated and eager to stake their claim for a finals spot. Prospect were on a tough run of form that saw them draw three games in a row before finally getting a win against Western NSW to end their run. Kurdvan Abdulljabbar has been a shining light in the team since his mid-season move scoring three times in his first five appearances, he’ll look to add to his total as they face a tough UNSW side.
UNSW are without a loss in their past six games but have conceded leads in their past two, forcing them to settle for draws. Kevin Lopes has looked impressive in his last few outings, headlining his form by scoring a goal of the season contender against Fraser Park last week. Uni can catapult themselves into the top five for the first time this season and have proven to be a difficult team to keep out. Both sides look different from their last match, but a similar result wouldn’t shock either side as they both present a similar attacking threat.
Previous Matchup: Prospect United SC 2-2 UNSW FC
Western Rage vs Newcastle Jets FC, 7pm @ Ray Marshall Reserve
Western Rage will be out with a point to prove as they host the league-leaders Newcastle in the final game of the round. The Rage were simply outclassed last time out in Newcastle but will be determined to prove this was an outlier. Western Rage have had an inconsistent run of form, however with a young and hungry group of players the Rage can never be counted out.
Newcastle have proved their dominance with two late victories in consecutive wins without their star players. The Jets could look to reintroduce their A-League players this week and would want nothing more than for a repeat of their fourteen goal output this weekend. Newcastle have been less clinical in front of goals and will expect to return to the Hunter with an extended lead in first place. The Jets could be in for a surprise as the Rage will be hungry to get back at them after their early season matchup.
Previous Matchup: Western Rage 0-14 Newcastle Jets FC
By NPL 4 NSW Men’s Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti