Four 3pm afternoon kick offs? Enough to bring a tear to the eye of football fans of past generations. Yet it’s more proof that the National Premier Leagues 2 NSW Men’s competition truly caters for all as a thrilling round sixteen awaits us on the field.
Our match of the round takes us back to Wanderers Football Park to check in on Western Sydney Wanderers. Whilst our two most northern grounds host big games in the race for the finals.
Match of the Round: Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Hills United FC; Saturday 19 June, 7pm @ Wanderers Football Park.
Wanderers Football Park plays host to our round sixteen match of the round between Western Sydney Wanderers and Hills United, Saturday night.
It’s been a month since we last encountered Western Sydney Wanderers in our match of the round. Since then, Patrick Zwaanswijk’s team have had a mixed set of results with one win, one draw and one defeat to their name. Last weekend they secured an important victory over Mounties Wanderers at this same venue. Racing out to a two goal lead courtesy of goals to Allesandro Lopane and Nectarios Triantis. They were pegged back by a goal either side of half time. However, they were to claim victory with a set piece goal fifteen minutes from time through a Phillip Cancar header. Heading into this round sixteen contest, a victory will bring them all the more closer to a promotion spot with six games remaining.
There to try and spoil their party is Zwaanswijk’s former team in Hills United. Hills who have been under the guidance of Luke Casserly in recent weeks broke a six game losing streak with a narrow victory over Bonnyrigg White Eagles. In saying that, they could well have scored more in that one, yet it was Jordan Parfait to step up with the decisive goal in the first half. At the other end, it was Hills United’s first clean sheet of the season and they’ll be looking to build on that whilst putting a dent in their opposition’s premiership hopes.
Join Eric Subijano for plenty of futsal references whilst calling this one Saturday night on NPL.TV.
Northern Tigers FC v St George FC; Saturday 19 June, 3pm @ North Turramurra Recreation Area
Northern Tigers will look to maintain their top four position when they host St George FC, Saturday afternoon.
It’s a fixture which could well decide St George FC’s fate this season after a heavy loss last weekend against their local neighbors. Now sitting six points outside the top four promotion spots, and five points outside the final’s positions, this one has become a game in which they simply can’t lose. Against their neighbors in round fifteen, they were simply out-enthused from the outset. And as frustration started to get the better of them, Bradley Bartels saw red early in the second half which will see him miss out on their excursion north.
It’s been a while since we have talked about some late goals for Northern Tigers which ensured victory. So, fitting then, that their round fifteen victory was a result of just that. The kings of the late goal scored twice after the 70th minute to secure victory over Blacktown Spartans away from home. Kealy Adamson scored his second of the season while Shervin Adeli continued his fruitful run in front of goals. Their return home corresponds with Rhys Williams notching up 100 games for club and they’ll be determined to celebrate in style while putting a dent in their visitors’ aspirations.
Central Coast Mariners FC v NWS Spirit FC; Sunday 20 June, 3pm @ Pluim Park
Sixth placed Central Coast Mariners host fifth placed NWS Spirit in another key fixture in the NPL2 Men’s competition, Sunday afternoon.
Let’s talk about confidence and momentum. Come this time of the season, they are valuable commodities to have in a dressing room. And both are starting to build for Central Coast Mariners. Three games into a run of five home games, the Mariners have won all three! Last weekend they prevailed over SD Raiders with striker Jing Reec the star of the show. Yes, it felt like the floodgates had finally opened after two one goal victories leading up to that one. With those wins, Nick Montgomery’s men are on the cusp of the top four/five positions, with a few more home games on the horizon.
They face an NWS Spirit side who will be riding high after a two goal comeback last weekend. Yep, it wasn’t looking good early in the second half last weekend, two goals down to another promotion rival in Hakoah FC. But the Spirit of Christie inspired a comeback which saw Mitch Davidson break a goalscoring drought before Michael Konestabo did Michael Konestabo things with a stunning solo goal. Turning point after a barren run of results? We shall see, what we do know is this will be a hotly contested fixture after David Perkovic’s men prevailed in their round five fixture by three goals.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Blacktown Spartans FC; Saturday 19 June, 6pm @ Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Pride on the line, Bonnyrigg White Eagles will look to avenge their round five defeat when they host Blacktown Spartans.
The home side return home after a couple of disappointing results in their two games away from home. Coming into last weekend having lost to Hakoah FC the week previous. Bonnyrigg clearly were lacking that little bit of confidence in their outing against Hills. A Jordan Parfait goal put them behind in the first half, and despite applying pressure onto their hosts late on, they couldn’t secure an equalizer and/or eventual winner. Last time these two sides met; Bonnyrigg came off second best in a tight tussle at Blacktown Football Park. Can they restore their pride in this one?
Blacktown Spartans on the other hand, will come in with a bit of confidence after making life difficult for more fancied opponents in recent weeks. After holding both St George City FA and Central Coast Mariners to single goal victories, they once again made life tough for their opposition last week in Northern Tigers. And it was a case of things just not going their way more than anything, going close on a few occasions in the first half but ultimately succumbing to two second half goals. The Spartans know they can overcome this week’s opposition, if they do, they’ll move further away from the bottom of the table.
Hakoah FC v SD Raiders FC; Sunday 20 June, 3pm @ Hensley Athletic Field
Third placed Hakoah FC will set out to avoid a potential banana skin when they welcome SD Raiders, Sunday afternoon.
The streak lives on! What a game NWS Spirit FC v Hakoah FC was last weekend. In a battle between two promotion chasing teams, the two sides had to share the points at the final whistle. Hakoah FC took a two goal lead through two of their youngsters in Marco Arambasic and Zachary Sapsford but were pegged back in a classic Spirit comeback. As such though, the unbeaten streak for Hakoah continues and they’ll be looking to add to it in a game they approach as clear favourites. Also, while were mentioning talent, would feel wrong if I didn’t mention Tristen Van Rhoon who has stepped up a gear at right back in recent weeks.
They face a SD Raiders side who will be looking to return to form before hosting our round seventeen match of the round (motivation if ever I’ve seen it). Last weekend, they got off to a strong start taking the lead through a Noah Chianese goal. However, they were unable to hold a Central Coast Mariners side at Pluim Park. Having lost the first meeting between the two, they too will be looking to restore some pride this Sunday afternoon.
Mounties Wanderers FC v St George City; Sunday 20 June, 3pm @ Wanderers Football Park
Top v Bottom with a twist! Mounties Wanderers roll out the welcome mat for the visit of St George City in another Sunday afternoon contest.
Another week, another good performance for Mounties Wanderers. The only thing missing? The three points at the end of it. And to do so, they’ll need to focus on eliminating the small errors which are costing them dearly in the scheme of things. Last weekend, they more than matched it with Western Sydney Wanderers in a clash which saw the two Pelekanos brothers square off. Yet ultimately, they fell just short, despite finding the net twice on the night. One of their goals coming through Cole Mutton who has impressed since coming in midseason. Could this be the day they rock the competition?
To do so, they will have to beat our league leaders in St George City. A team who has past every challenge put in front of them of late. Last weekend it was a derby slaughter of their opposition at Poulton Park. Proving they have the ability to mix it up tactically, City rolled out a new formation for the occasion and matched it with intensity. And before their rivals knew it, City were two goals up courtesy of a Jordan Morfitis brace with Jason Romero putting the cherry on top after the half time break. Full of confidence and just a few wins away from promotion. They’ll want to win this one with a tough month of fixtures on the horizon.
By NPL2 Men’s Reporter Justin Smith (Twitter: @smiththejustin)