Round 11 Preview – PS4 NPL 3 NSW Men’s

18.05.2017

The seven matches in Round Eleven of the 2017 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s competition are spread over five different timeslots in what promises to be another enthralling round of football.

After a long hard week at work there’s no better way to kick start your weekend with Friday night football, so head off to the Sydney University Football Ground to watch Sydney University welcome Dunbar Rovers for a 7-30pm kick off.

The ‘students’ have been quietly going about their business without too much fuss this season, sitting nicely in 5th spot on the ladder on 16 points, having picked up seven points in their last three matches.  Skipper Josh Karpes has been leading his troops around the paddock with some effective wing back play, whilst Adrian Porcu and Jovan Blagojevic are combining well in the front third, with Blagojevic moving to five goals this season on the back of last week’s goal vs Stanmore Hawks.

Dunbar Rovers haven’t had the best of starts by their own standards, and even though they are 12th on the ladder with just 9 points, they are on the outskirts of a cluster of teams above them whom they can quite easily catch, starting with a win here. Young Alexander Nicolosi has been a great foil for Tod Bamber in attack, netting 6 goals thus far to go with Bamber’s 7, so no doubt the Rovers will look to these two in the front third to steer them to victory.

Hawkesbury City will look to return to the winner’s circle pronto when they entertain Granville Rage at David Bertenshaw Field on Saturday afternoon, the match kicking off at 5-30pm.

The Hawks recent purple patch came unstuck a little last week when they suffered two consecutive losses – 1-4 to Rydalmere on Saturday after losing 0-2 midweek to Fraser Park. Currently occupying 7th spot on 14 points, the Hawks know that 3 points here will keep them in touch with the top sides as the mid-year point of the competition approaches.

With 5 draws to their name, and only 15 goals conceded, Granville Rage are proving a difficult nut to crack for any side in the 2017 season. Their midweek 0-0 draw against Gladesville Ryde Magic was further evidence of that, with the point gained moving them up to 9th position on 11 points. No inch will be given by either side in this battle between two very stubborn sides.

Three matches are scheduled to kick off at 7-00pm on Saturday night.

Two sides that are struggling to get in to any sort of rhythm this season will lock horns at Arlington Oval, with Dulwich Hill meeting Gladesville Ryde Magic.

Dully have had five wins and five losses so far this campaign, dropping to sixth on the ladder on 15 points after winning just one of their past five outings. Dully will hope for some good fortune starting this week, given ill-discipline and injuries have impacted their starting lineups of late. 

Despite being strong defensively, Gladesville Ryde Magic have struggled to find the net this season, and if you don’t score, you don’t win. Nine goals in ten games sees Magic languishing in 10th spot on the ladder, desperate for their strikers to start influencing their ascent up the ladder.

SD Raiders welcome competition leaders, Rydalmere Lions, to Ernie Smith Reserve on Saturday night, hoping to become the first team to beat the visitors this season.

The Raiders have had a great start to their first campaign in the NPL 3, and with 4 wins and 4 draws from their first ten matches, they sit comfortably in 4th spot on the ladder on 16 points. The Raiders have plenty of attacking options going forward, with no less than nine players having found the net so far this season. Couple that with the experience of Tomi Romic in goals and Mark D’Alessandro in defence, and you can see why the locals are quietly confident of upsetting the Lions applecart.

The trip won’t faze Rydalmere Lions, who with nine wins and a draw are setting the pace in the NPL 3. The Lions have ten players who have scored a total of 42 goals between them, at an average of over 4 goals per game, so don’t expect them to turn up expecting nothing short of another comprehensive win.

The other Saturday night fixture is a promising match up indeed, with St George City FA taking on Fraser Park, at Fraser Park, even though it is a home game for the Saints.

Both sides have had great starts to 2017, with Fraser Park still undefeated and in second spot on 26 points, six points ahead of St George City, who are third on 20 points.

Both sides boast an effective attacking duo at the forefront of the team’s performances of late. For Fraser Park, the experienced Ben Vidaic has started knocking in the goals to reach six so far this season, one behind team mate Tai Smith on seven, whilst Aleksander Jovovic (8) and James Spanoudakis (5) have been clicking very nicely indeed of late for St George City FA.

Even though it is only Round 11 and with plenty of football still to be played, Fraser Park know that three points here will open that gap between them and third to nine points, so expect St George City to turn up all guns blazing with a view to staying in touch with the league’s top two sides.

The remaining two matches are on Sunday, with the first one at Wentworth Park at 3-00pm a real six pointer between the competition’s two bottom sides.

Balmain Tigers have had a torrid campaign so far, with just one solitary point after ten matches to show for all their efforts. The Tigers will have no better opportunity than to crack it for their maiden victory when they entertain Western NSW Mariners, who sit in second last position on eight points, seven points ahead of Balmain.

The Mariners had a fantastic victory last week, toppling Dulwich Hill 1-0, with the in-form Jaiden Culbert scoring his fourth goal of the season, and they will carry the confidence from that triumph in to Sydney and hope they can stretch that gap between the two sides even further.

Round Eleven concludes on Sunday evening when Inter Lions host Stanmore Hawks at Fraser Park at 7-00pm.

Inter’s gutsy win last weekend somewhat erased the nightmare week they had leading up to their spirited 3-2 triumph over Granville Rage, with a return to goal scoring form for Daniel Fogarty, one of the competition’s leading lights last season.

Stanmore Hawks on the other hand produced a somewhat lifeless performance against Sydney University last Saturday, and will be keen to do whatever it takes in order to pick up a valuable three points and catapult their match day opponents on the ladder.