Sydney Olympic lead the NPL NSW Women’s competition ahead of round 13 action as they face a top of the table clash.
The Spartans will look to get back to winning ways and Manly will want to secure back-to-back wins.
Only a victory separates second to sixth on the ladder, with the chasing pack not too far off.
Blacktown Spartans v Bankstown City @ Blacktown Football Park, 3pm POSTPONED
Two teams coming off defeats clash at Blacktown Football Park as the Blacktown Spartans host Bankstown City.
Brad Attard’s team is only two points off the top five, but they need to take all three points here.
After a fine run without defeat, the last team that defeated the Spartans, repeated that again on Sunday.
It was the first time in almost two months that the Spartans were held scoreless and they’ll need Maja Markovskim Rosie Galea and Ash Crofts ready to fire.
After two straight wins, it’s now two straight losses for Bankstown with four goals conceded in each of those.
Matthew Costatini wanted to see improvement from Bankstown in comparison to 2020 and it has definitely happened.
Finishing has been an issue but the Lions are hopeful they’ve sorted that problem with the arrival of Daisy Arrowsmith from the Northern Tigers.
Arrowsmith a proven goal scorer will provide that firepower they require with rumours of a couple more signings arriving at Jensen Park.
When these two met earlier in the season, it was an extremely tight match in which a last-gasp Michelle Dal Bon goal was the difference for the Spartans.
Manly United v NWS Koalas @ Cromer Park, 3pm POSTPONED
At Cromer Park on Sunday afternoon, Manly United host the North West Sydney Koalas.
Manly kept their finals hopes alive with a massive win last weekend, putting them four points outside of the top five.
It looks as though Remy Siemsen has started to find her goal scoring form as she dominates opposition defenders, scoring her sixth goal of the season in spectacular fashion on Sunday.
Tara Andrews, Siemsen’s strike partner, is doing the same and it seems as though one of the most dangerous attacks in the competition has started to peak at the right time.
That will bring a smile to Tom Hopley as the season slowly starts getting to that pointy end.
They haven’t secured back-to-back wins since round one and two, the same point at the reverse part of the season.
For the Koalas it seems finals are too far away for this season but they won’t give up that easy.
You’d have to say that the Koalas have been one of the more unlucky teams in the competition, pushing their opponents to the limits.
A win, loss and draw in their past three matches isn’t a bad return, in particular when you look at the strength of their opponents.
Manly took the points the first time these two played in a five-goal thriller, after the Koalas led 2-0 at the break, only for United to come back and take the win.
Illawarra Stingrays v Football NSW Institute @ JJ Kelly Park, 3pm POSTPONED
Football NSW Institute travel south to JJ Kelly Park to take on the Illawarra Stingrays.
Losing Caitlin Cooper to the Matildas the Stingrays weren’t expected to make a finals push without such a key player to their team.
But they’ve been fantastic and pushed themselves into equal fifth place on the ladder, securing two straight wins after snapping out of a losing streak.
Every week we speak about Michelle Carney but she genuinely is amazing.
Nine goals and the team’s top scorer, her importance to the Stingrays is undeniable.
Talitha Kramer has been lending a hand too and she’ll need to keep her form going in the Stingrays finals push.
It wasn’t the performance Jaime Gomez thought his team would put out on Sunday night as they got pummelled by Sydney Olympic.
Gomez had 11 players at a Young Matildas Camp throughout last week and the tiredness was evident.
They have dropped out of the top five, one point behind Sydney Uni, and need to pick up all three points to not drop further behind.
Charlie Rule and Holly McNamara have been amongst Institute’s best players and they’ll need to lead this team out of the rut they currently find themselves in.
The Stingrays won the first clash between these two but the game could’ve gone either way.
Emerging Jets v Macarthur Rams @ Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, 3pm POSTPONED
The Emerging Jets welcome the Macarthur Rams to Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Sunday.
Yet to register a point the season, it’s been a tough slog for the young Emerging Jets team.
The last few weeks have been particularly painful and they’ll need to tighten up the defence and stop leaking goals.
They have been much better throughout the campaign and will need to get back to some of that form to have any chance.
The Rams are slowly dropping down the competition ladder after leading the league for 10 rounds of the season.
Stephen Peters’ side is still in equal second place but could drop out of the top five if results don’t go their way.
They haven’t managed to find the back of the net in their last three games, picking up only a point over that time.
They’ll need top scorer Leena Khamis to step up and get back to goal scoring form as soon as possible to remain in the Premiership hunt and finals football.
When they met earlier in the season, the Rams came away with a tight win in a match the Jets probably felt they should’ve got more out of.
The Rams will need to be aware of the threat the Jets could pose here.
Northern Tigers v Sydney Olympic @ North Turramurra, 3:30pm POSTPONED
The top two clash at North Turramurra as the second place Northern Tigers host the league leaders Sydney Olympic.
They only played a few weeks ago, Olympic taking the points in a match where the Tigers didn’t really turn up and Jason Eagar blamed yours truly as the curse of the commentator.
Eagar will be hoping his team can turn that result around and continue their unbeaten run, which stretches three games, their last defeat coming in that mid-week clash against Olympic.
They showed great character to pinch a point from APIA at the death last week and will take heart from that result into this game.
Lauren Allan and Aideen Keane are key to the Tigers, as is Shay Evans who has chipped in with some important goals this season.
At the other end, Winnie Heatley’s defensive contribution has been great and her experience is vital to the Tigers along with Malia Steinmetz in midfield.
Well George Beltsos is on cloud nine at the moment, looking down on the rest of the competition from the top.
Only one defeat in seven games, in a game they’ll claim just wasn’t their day, and they’ve exploded into first place.
All this incredibly without their captain and midfield magician Teresa Polias who herself is set to return in a couple weeks.
Seeing Cortnee Vine in the stands on Sunday may have raised a few eyebrows as well and if she is close to returning, then Olympic will definitely be seen as Premiership favourites, at least.
Five different scorers on the weekend show how much quality he league leaders have across the park with Teigan Collister on seven goals and Aimee Phillips and Mackenzie Hawkesby close behind on six.
It promises to be a match full of fireworks and one definitely to keep an eye on.
APIA Leichhardt v Sydney University @ Lambert Park, 7pm POSTPONED
Another big clash in round 13 takes us to Lambert Park as APIA Leichhardt and Sydney University lock horns.
APIA and their gaffa Spencer Prior will be very disappointed after Sunday’s result. They had the three points and were going home happy till a late goal spoiled the party.
Only one win in their last five outings and the inner west side missed their chance to head to the top of the competition.
The poor run in form has APIA in fourth place but with the squad assembled, a higher position on the ladder must be demanded.
Princess Ibini returns for Leichhardt and there will be a fresh face at training with Teigen Allen finally lacing up the boots after ankle surgery.
They are slowly becoming the draw specialists but they’ll need to turn those into wins soon to ensure they don’t drop outside the top five.
Inconsistency has pushed Sydney Uni to fifth place on the ladder. Their form in the last month – D L W L W
Playing a heap of catch up games following their deferred start to the campaign, tiredness could be a reason for the form.
Kaitlyn Torpey leads the scoring charts for the Students and will be the biggest threat to APIA’s defence.
Influential midfielder Bianca Galic will also be important to Uni and they’ll lean on her leadership to help them get through this tough away fixture.
A solid win last weekend helped forget a disappointing mid-week defat and they’ll need to be fully focused at Lambert Park.
These two drew the last time they played with both teams having chances to take all three points, in the end, a fair result to split the points.
BY: NIKOLA POZDER, CHIEF NPL NSW WOMEN’S WRITER