Round 2 was exciting in the #NPLNSW Women’s competition, what surprises await us in round 3?
Some coaches will be looking for reactions, others consistency and some for all round improved performances.
NWS Spirit v Northern Tigers
The action kicks off on Saturday night at Christie Park with a double header as the NWS Spirit and Northern Tigers men and women clash.
The women’s match, kicking off at 7pm, will mark another special moment with Nat Tobin playing her 150th game for Spirit.
With Tobin’s milestone on their minds, Spirit’s players would love to add to the celebrations and make up for Monday afternoon’s humbling. Coach Adam Keramea would have been pleased with how his team started their match against the Rams but fell off the pace as the match went on.
Keramea could ring the changes for this one after two straight defeats and nine goals conceded in those matches.
The Tigers didn’t play in round one but really turned it up on Monday taking all three points in style against one of the competition heavyweights. Not that they aren’t one of the heavyweights themselves, the Tigers showed they’ll be fighting for silverware again.
It was the perfect start to life as the head coach for Jake Stephenson and he’ll be hoping his team to show the same fight as they did against APIA.
Emerging Jets v Macarthur Rams
The Emerging Jets welcome the league leaders to Lake Macquarie as the Macarthur Rams arrive north full of confidence.
The Jets gave a solid account of themselves in their first match of the season away from home on Monday. They held Uni firm for just over one half but fell to the more experienced side in the second period.
It’ll be an uphill battle for the young Jets team but also a great opportunity to show what they can do.
Macarthur have been on fire! Nine goals in two games and Stephen Peters’ team have got the season rolling in perfect fashion. Despite their two wins and bag of goals, things haven’t gone all their own way with Bankstown providing some major problems and Spirit dominating the opening exchanges of the round 2 clash.
Bankstown City v Sydney Olympic
What a game we have on our hands on Orthodox Easter Day as Bankstown City host Sydney Olympic.
Confidence is extremely high at Jensen Park after securing their first three points of the season on Monday. After putting up a fine fight in round one and not getting anything from it, Matthew Costantini would have been relieved his team got the job done against the Stingrays.
Should they back up Monday’s performance, they won’t be looked at as dark horses anymore but as potential challengers for the higher places on the competition ladder.
Still not at their full capacity and strength, Sydney Olympic struggled to come to terms with Manly last round and in the end were humbled with a 3-0 defeat. They had opportunities to force themselves back into the game but were not able to do so.
Olympic coach George Beltsos will be hoping his team will react and turn around last week’s disappointing defeat.
Blacktown Spartans v Manly United
Two teams bouncing off victories in the last round do battle at Blacktown Football Park as the Blacktown Spartans host Manly United.
It was a very tough match for Brad Attard’s team on Easter Monday but the Spartans managed to come out of it on top with a late goal. It will not be any easier this weekend with Manly United arriving full of confidence.
The last time these two met, Spartans goalkeeper Sally James was like a woman possessed, putting up an incredible display.
Tom Hopley’s team got the job done over the competition favourites in style on Monday afternoon and will look to reaffirm their form with another statement three points. Should Manly take the win, they will be another team added to a growing list of title challengers.
Sydney University v Football NSW Institute MATCH DEFERRED
Sydney University will welcome Football NSW Institute to Sydney University Football Ground on Sunday afternoon.
A second straight home game for Uni and they will be keen for the same result as on Monday afternoon. They are coming up against a similar opponent as well, young, hungry, fit and fast.
Emily Husband’s team found it somewhat difficult to break the Jets down and the task may be just as hard on Sunday, it took the Spartans 85 minutes to do so against the Institute.
The young Institute side gave a fantastic account of themselves on Easter Monday and were perhaps unlucky not to come away with a point from their game against the Spartans. There have been major personnel changes at HQ but the result seems to be the same as we will have another quality generation come through.
APIA Leichhardt v Illawarra Stingrays
We round out the afternoon/evening at Lambert Park as two teams who suffered defeat in their round two fixtures collide. The Illawarra Stingrays are on the road again as they travel to face off with APIA Leichhardt.
It took Spencer Prior’s team 60 minutes to start playing on Easter Monday but at that point, they were already 3-0 down. Prior would want to ensure his team starts better here and tighten up defensively.
They are back at home again and are quite formidable at Lambert Park. They will try to use that to their strengths and put the pressure on their opponents from the kick off.
It was never going to be easy for the Stingrays travelling to Jensen Park. Bankstown are a different animal this season and the South Coast team really found it tough to get going.
Anthony Guido’s team won’t have it any easier this team as they face off with a wounded APIA team who will be desperate to get back to winning ways. It is the Stingrays second match now, they should enter this one with more minutes in their legs after missing round one.
-By NPL NSW Women’s Chief Writer and Commentator Nikola Pozder