IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 Round 6 Preview

Easter weekend is where the season traditionally begins to settle down and with some robust looking fixtures this weekend, this season will be no different.

Easter weekend is where the season traditionally begins to settle down and with some robust looking fixtures this weekend, this season will be no different.

APIA-Leichhardt Tigers' traditional Good Friday fixture at Lambert Park is round six's Match of the Round and they host Sydney Olympic at 7:30pm.

There are no matches on Easter Sunday though, with four matches on Saturday evening and one on Monday evening to complete round six.


APIA-Leichhardt Tigers v Sydney Olympic, 7:30pm at Lambert Park

As always, APIA-Leichhardt Tigers host a Good Friday match at Lambert Park and they will do so on the back of a morale boosting 2-2 draw with Sutherland Sharks last weekend.

It was a rollicking second half performance from APIA to come back from two goals down, thanks largely to a Matthew Mayora brace and heroics from Andrew Bazi in goal.

It was the kind of performance that will do APIA the world of good and they will have high hopes that they can gain their first win of the season on Friday night.

Sydney Olympic found themselves back among the winners last weekend thanks to substitute Go Shirai, who came off the bench to grab the winning goal.

Former Adelaide United midfielder Evan Kostopoulos has been in good form so far this season and is already an integral part of the Olympic line-up.

Olympic's win settles them in mid-table, but they will face a stern test again the ever-improving APIA.



Blacktown Spartans v Manly United, 7:30pm at Blacktown Football Park

Who would have thought this would be a match between two of the in-form teams in the competition?

Spartans have won five in five leading into this one and already lead the competition by five points.

Their latest exploit was a disjointed but nevertheless effective performance, a 1-0 win over Sydney United 58.

This weekend they come up against a side who are full of belief.

Manly have knocked over both Sydney United 58 and Blacktown City in the past fortnight. In between they changed coaches after Craig Midgley's resignation, but they didn't miss a beat under Paul Dee last weekend.

Chris Payne is on fire having scored four in the last fortnight and Manly will need his goals again.

Bonnyrigg White Eagles v St George FC, 7:30pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre

Bonnyrigg showed signs of recovery last weekend, beating a poor South Coast Wolves outfit 1-0 with Mitch Long scoring the only goal of the match.

Were it not for Daniel Collison's heroics the margin would have been much more and Brian Brown will console himself with that heading into another match they should win, against St George.

The Mens 1 newcomers have shown that they are up for the fight this season and a surprise win against Sydney Olympic has been their highlight thus far.

They were poor last weekend though and crashed to a 4-1 defeat against Rockdale City Suns.

St George will be hoping to be more than just a speed bump for Bonnyrigg, who are starting to rediscover their verve after a slow start to the year.

Sutherland Sharks v Blacktown City, 7:30pm at Seymour Shaw Park

Sutherland dropped two points last week and Blacktown City three, but neither result was an indication of their strength or indeed their form up to this point.

These two sides are part of a cluster with Rockdale City who are in the slipstream of Blacktown Spartans.

Sutherland was blistering in putting APIA to the sword in the first half last weekend but weren't clinical enough when it mattered. Coach Robbie Stanton said that Sutherland left the door open and APIA walked right through it.

They must be more vigilant this weekend against a Blacktown City side smarting from a pasting by Manly United at Cromer Park.

Blacktown City were terribly poor in that game, but they will be out to prove that it was an aberration and nothing more.

Sydney United 58 v South Coast Wolves, 7:30pm at Sydney United Sports Centre

It doesn't get any easier for out-of-form South Coast Wolves, who travel to Edensor Park on Saturday night to face reigning Premiers Sydney United 58.

Mark Rudan's side have been hot and cold this year and went down to top-of-the-table Spartans last weekend.

The big blue man has no problem motivating his players though and they will be well fired up to right last weekend's wrong against one of the two remaining winless teams in the competition.

Richard Lloyd's side have a lot of work to do and were poor against Rockdale City Suns last weekend.

Ricky Zucco is their big threat though and he is capable against scoring against anyone and from anywhere.

If he can steal an early goal that would throw the cat among the pigeons, otherwise Rudan and Sydney United will fancy themselves to take all three points.


Rockdale City Suns v Marconi Stallions, 7:30pm at Ilinden Sports Centre

Rockdale City Suns host Marconi Stallions in the final match of round six on Easter Monday at Ilinden Sports Centre.

Suns were a class above St George last weekend and Nick Taneski added a brace of goals to his burgeoning tally.

The young striker has proven to be a shrewd signing by Branko Culina after Taneski was allowed to leave by APIA-Leichhardt Tigers midway through last year - how they could do with his goals this season.

Marconi went down at home to Sydney Olympic last weekend, but the form of Sean O'Connell and Jared Lum in midfield has been a real positive for Darren Iocca, in his first full season as first grade coach.

Shu Sasaki is the jewel in their crown though and the Japanese import is capable of very special things when the mood takes him.

More information about the competitions can be found at www.nplnsw.com.au