Round after round the #NPLWNSW competition gets better and better and round 8 will not be any different.
Only two wins separate the top eight teams on the ladder with still quite a few catch ups in between.
Northern Tigers 0-0 Blacktown Spartans
On Tuesday night the top two in the competition did battle at a cold North Turramurra Rec Area as the Northern Tigers and Blacktown Spartans could not be separated.
It was the away team that looked the more threatening early on with a few half chances falling their way.
The best chance of the first half fell the way of the Tigers as Shay Evans let fly with a thunderbolt, forcing Sally James into a top draw save.
As the rain began to pour, Abbey Lemon took things into her own hands and went close for the Spartans.
Rosie Galea had the first chance of the second half after getting on the end of an Abbey Lemon cross but could not beat Morgan Acquino.
The home team had a late chance through Hannah McNulty but her effort was to tame to beat James.
Emerging Jets v Football NSW Institute
It’s the battle of the youngsters on Sunday afternoon at Lake Macquarie as the Emerging Jets host the Football NSW Institute.
Neither team have registered a win yet this season, the Jets yet to pick up a point after their first five matches.
The Jets have been improving, getting closer but not close enough. Claire Adams has been in good form and one of the Jets best, she will need to lead from the front.
A lot of quality at the Institute but they have struggled to do enough to take their first three points.
The last two games they have led but eventually dropped the lead and were left without the victory. Isabella Chidiac and captain Amy Chessari are real leaders for the Institute but this could be Anabelle Ghabach’s chance to shine.
Northern Tigers v Bankstown City
Northern Tigers host their third straight home game on Sunday eveining as they face off against Bankstown City.
The Tigers lead the competition but this will be their third match in seven days after gruelling matches against the Football NSW Institute and the Blacktown Spartans.
Ash Brodigan has looked a very good signing for the green and whites and she will be there most dangerous weapon along with a well-rested Aideen Keane.
Another disappointing result for Bankstown on the weekend and I say disappointing as it could have propelled them into the top five.
Three matches without a win now and finals are already starting to get away for Matthew Costantini’s girls. They will need to turn things around, in particular considering they have played more games than all but one of the teams above them on the table.
Macarthur Rams v Manly United
The Macarthur Rams host Manly United on Sunday evening at Lynwood Park for their third straight home match.
Without a win in three matches after winning their opening three games, the Rams have subsequently dropped down the ladder to fourth place.
The drop in form coincided with the injury to Patty Charalambous and with reports circling, the crafty midfielder could make her return this week.
Manly on the other hand are still undefeated in 2022 but without a doubt are the competition draw specialists, sharing the spoils on five of their first seven games this year.
Maddison Zahra scored a very special goal on the weekend and Manly will be hoping for some more ‘Maddie Magic’ on Sunday.
Sydney University v Illawarra Stingrays
The Illawarra Stingrays are away again this week as they travel to Sydney University Football Ground to take on Sydney University.
A major improvement for the Stingrays after the opening couple rounds and they are undefeated in three.
Anthony Guido’s team have had the toughest start to the season, still not being able to host a match this season and they’ll be on the road again Sunday.
Uni had their big game against Olympic on the weekend washed out and have to go two weeks back when they let slip three points against Bankstown.
Aside from that, Uni have almost been perfect, just one loss this season and sitting three points behind first. Taren King has led the team well from the back and as a true captain, even popping up to score this season, she will key for Uni not just in this one but in the whole season.
NWS Spirit v Sydney Olympic
At Christie Park on Sunday night, Sydney Olympic are back on the park as they face off against a reinvigorated NWS Spirit.
A win! A special moment for the Spirit after picking up their first win on Sunday afternoon in a difficult match away from home.
They welcome Olympic to Christie Park, a difficult place to go to at this time of year. With confidence high, Spirit could spring a surprise here and throw themselves into finals contention just like that.
Olympic have turned it around since their round one defeat to Manly, only dropping points against APIA in a game they probably should have won.
With a plethora of stars, it will be Mackenzie Hawkesby and Cortnee Vine that are the picks that Spirit will need to deal with.
APIA Leichhardt v Blacktown Spartans
The pick of the matches on Sunday round off round 8 action at Lambert Park as APIA Leichhardt host the Blacktown Spartans.
APIA is starting to get desperate. Sliding down the ladder and sitting in seventh place with only two wins from their opening six fixtures, Spencer Prior needs his team to get firing.
Shea Connors has been APIA’s best this season scoring five goals but it’s at the other end where the problems lie, conceding 11 goals in six and only keeping one clean sheet this year.
It’s been a fine start to the season for the Spartans, only conceding one goal in their first five matches.
They haven’t been free scoring until Sunday when they scored five goals against the Jets, Ash Crofts in particular who found her goal scoring touch with four goals. They did play mid-week but a team with 10 Young Matildas in it should have enough quality to turn up and put a real fight up.
-By NPL NSW Women’s Chief Writer and Commentator Nikola Pozder