There were only three matches played last weekend in the #NPLWNSW and with the weather looking clearer, we will come close to getting a full quota played in Round 14.
Manly United v Blacktown Spartans
The action kicks off on Sunday afternoon at 3pm at Cromer Park as Manly United host the Blacktown Spartans.
Manly did not play last week as a result of the poor weather and will need to go back a few weeks for their last victory, a convincing one against Bankstown City.
They are yet to lose at their fortress of Cromer Park this season, notching up two wins and a staggering four draws so far this campaign. Draws have been a problem for the Northern Beaches team this season but will need to take all three points here to not drop further away from finals football.
The Blacktown Spartans enter this one in poor form. Head coach Brad Attard has been frustrated by not being able to call upon his team for a large number of training sessions and with a portion of his squad away with the national team, the task does not get any easier.
After dropping points only once in their first six games, the Spartans have only won once in their last seven outings. Their early season form has kept them within touching distance of finals football but they are just one loss away from that gap getting bigger.
Blacktown have struggled to score goals this season, scoring just over a goal a game, but created enough chances against the Institute to win two fixtures which was encouraging.
The last time these two met there were no goals in a 0-0 draw (only points Blacktown dropped in first six games), who will come out on top here?
Football NSW Institute v Sydney University
Will the Football NSW Institute be the ones to stop Sydney University on Sunday afternoon at Valentine Sports Park?
A strong showing last weekend had the Institute record a fine 3-1 victory over the Spartans, only their second of the season.
Do not be fooled by that though, the Institute are a quality team and with Sienna Saveska currently performing at the peak of her form, they could do some damage here.
It really is a question of who can stop Sydney Uni? Their form, incredible. Just one loss all season and the new competition leader after Sunday.
10 matches in a row without defeat, more than two months undefeated, confidence is very high for Emily Husband’s team. Rola Badawiya is another who has exploded in recent weeks, taking her goal scoring tally to seven for the season.
It was a Badawiya goal that separated these two just over a month ago as Uni took the points with a tight 1-0 victory.
Macarthur Rams v Emerging Jets
It’s the first time this season that the Macarthur Rams and Emerging Jets meet, this one taking place at Lynwood Park on Sunday afternoon.
Four games without a victory and Stephen Peters’ side does not make for good reading. They drove in their last game but were probably disappointed not to walk away from Christie Park with all three points.
They have the opportunity to break the duck this week and move back into a finals position with a win. Patty Charalambous should be back this week which will mean the team is almost at full strength with the return of Mel Caceres.
It has been a tough season for the Jets, with only one point to show after the first 13 round of football.
Positive signs though were seen on Sunday when they won the second half against the league leaders, Brinley Gentle pouncing on a rebound to pour some confidence in the Jets ranks.
Illawarra Stingrays v APIA Leichhardt
The Illawarra Stingrays are back at the Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday as they host an in-form APIA Leichhardt.
We could yet see a change of venue or postponement once more here with the wet weather persisting post the weekend. The terrible luck continued in terms of the rain for the Stingrays, postponing another match last weekend.
It’s the Stingrays that also seemed to find some form in June, losing just one game in the month of June, against the Northern Tigers. They will need to be right up for it against APIA on Sunday.
Spencer Prior’s team looks to have finally turned a corner and clicked into gear. Four straight wins, the goals flowing and defence looking sharp, APIA is one of the in-form teams in the competition without a doubt.
Leah Davidson is showing everyone what she is capable of and seems to have lifted her team mates around her, with both Sophie Hoban and Shea Connors in great scoring form.
APIA won the first match between these two, coming away with a 3-1 victory from Lambert Park.
Northern Tigers v NWS Spirit
It’s derby time at North Turramurra as the Northern Tigers welcome NWS Spirit on Sunday evening at 5pm.
The Northern Tigers lost their grip on first place last weekend but will be keen to get back to the top of the table as soon as possible.
Only one loss all season so far for the Tigers shows their strength and the potential this team has. Their blockbuster game against APIA last weekend was washed out giving the Northern Tigers an extra week to prepare for this and it should not have an effect on their momentum.
NWS Spirit was one of only six teams that played last week in terrible conditions at Christie Park. They put up a good fight and looked well structured for most parts of the game, making themselves difficult to break down.
June was a good month for Spirit, almost doubling their season points. Two wins, two losses and a draw have seen a visible improvement. They will need to be at their best on Sunday against one of the competition heavyweights.
When these two met last time, it was the Tigers that took all three points with a 2-1 victory.
Sydney Olympic v Bankstown City – PP
-By NPL NSW Women’s Chief Writer and Commentator Nikola Pozder