Round 3 Preview – PS4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s
Round Three of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s competition this weekend is split with five matches to be played simultaneously at 7pm on Saturday evening, whilst the remaining two games are to be played at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.
Squad depth will be tested with most clubs taking part in the prestigious Westfield FFA Cup midweek, and who knows, someone may be able to emulate the feat of the Balmain Tigers a couple of seasons ago, making it all the way to the Round of 32 before succumbing to the might of Hyundai A-League powerhouses, Melbourne Victory.
League leaders, Dulwich Hill, kick things off with a match against St George City FA, hoping to keep up their great start to the season with another three points.
Their record looks solid enough with seven goals scored and none conceded, with Luke Giverin the go to man, having scored three goals and assisted in another three. Goalkeeper and skipper, Michael Frost, saved a penalty last weekend to keep his goal intact, and he marshals a very well structured backline that will prove hard to penetrate this season.
St George City FA will hope to upset the applecart somewhat, however, and have the personnel to do so. They did manage four goals in their opening day loss against Rydalmere, and were at 0-0 in Round Two when their match versus the SD Raiders was abandoned. A win will be the sole focus now for Manny Spanoudakis’ men to continue their signs of improvement.
Second on goal difference but also with maximum points are Dully’s fierce neighbours and close rivals, Fraser Park, and they will entertain Dunbar Rovers in an intriguing clash.
Fraser are acclimatising to the PS4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s competition, still far from their best to their own admission, but are doing what is needed in gaining maximum points. With the experienced and clinical Ben Vidaic leading the line, one can only imagine how they will perform when they get in to full stride.
Dunbar Rovers were one of last season’s consistent performers, near the top of the league all year before sliding out with two consecutive semi-final losses. New signing Tod Bamber has hit the road running with 3 goals in 2 games, and will be out to keep that record going against a tight knit Fraser defensive backline. Dunbar would not be accustomed to a loss and a draw from their opening two rounds, so look out for increased application from the Rovers in this clash.
Two sides who have not dropped a point this season will meet head on at Rydalmere Park on Saturday night, with Rydalmere hosting Inter in the battle of the ‘Lions’.
Rydalmere won the opening fixture by rattling in seven goals, no less, and will be itching to get back in to the bread and butter league campaign given their Round Two fixture was washed out.
Both teams defensive structures will be stretched no doubt – the speed of Inter’s three goal striker, Daniel Fogarty, as well as winger, Eric Tomasek, will keep Rydalmere’s backline on their toes, whilst the Inter defenders will have their hands full just keeping an eye on Amaury Gauthier and Zac Elrich, let alone the attacking midfielders in support.
No points dropped by either side, but something will have to give in this battle, so expect plenty of goal mouth action in what promises to be a great spectacle for the neutral.
In Saturday night’s two remaining fixtures, Western NSW Mariners will hope to build upon their first point of 2017 from last week’s draw against Rage when they welcome Stanmore Hawks to Proctor Park in Bathurst, the Hawks themselves looking to get back to winning ways after losing to Fraser in Round Two, whilst Sydney University will hope the rain will hold out so they can get back on the park against high scoring PS4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s newcomers, SD Raiders.
In Sunday’s fixtures, both kicking off at 3pm, Gladesville Ryde Magic meet Granville Rage at Magdala Park in what looks like being a tight affair between two teams with stubborn defensive structures, whilst Balmain Tigers will be hoping for better fortunes given their below par start to the season, when they meet Hawkesbury City at Wentworth Park, the Hawks themselves starting to progress towards a victory now that their playing troops are returning to the fold in numbers.
Matches Washed Out
· Rydalmere Lions v Inter Lions
· Gladesville Ryde Magic v Granville Rage
· Balmain v Hawkesbury City