NSW NPL 2 Mid Season Review

The NPL 1 sides hit their halfway mark last week, so that means it’s time this week to check in how the NPL 2 sides are going. With 2nd to 9th separated by only 2 wins, the race to the finals could come down to the final round.

Marconi Stallions

9 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses. 33 for, 19 against. 29 points.

Sitting outright first by a solid 6 points thanks largely to Sean Rooney, bagging over a third of the teams goals with 13, Marconi is in pole position to gain promotion back to NPL 1. Many league fans would argue that that is where they should rightly be playing. Only losing to North Shore Mariners and Northern Tigers so far this season, it’s hard to see who else they will lose. Possibly in the finals but at this stage are too strong.

Northern Tigers

7 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses. 30 for, 24 against. 23 points.

Outright second on the table, Northern Tigers have had a marvellous run so far in the season. Peterson has been on fire with 8 goals whilst Smylie isn’t far off his pace with 6 of his own. They’re attack is thirdbest in the league (behind Marconi and Central Coast), although their defence has let them down somewhat. Strong wins over Marconi (5-2) and Blacktown Spartans (7-3) the last two weeks show the kind of form they are in. Expect to see them up the top come finals, and if anyone can beat Marconi in the finals, it would have to be the Tigers.

Western Sydney Wanderers Youth

6 wins, 3 draws, 4 losses. 29 for, 19 againt. 21 points.

A somewhat disappointing first half to the season, considering they finished overall 2nd last year to Sydney FC. Many assumed they would be running away with the competition, however recruitment issues at the club aren’t doing them any favours. Some shock losses to Macarthur Rams, Bankstown Berries and North Shore Mariners means they will be looking to make up the 8 point gap to Marconi. Still in it for promotion not too far behind the Stallions, they will need to string some good wins together to boost confidence. They’ll definitely be in the finals, it’s just too hard to say where yet.

Mt Druitt Town Rangers

6 wins, 3 draws, 4 losses. 21 for, 18 against. 21 points.

Beating expectations so far? Playing some decent football, the Rangers are sitting 4th only on goal difference. Their top goal scorer is Lachlan Roberts with 4, highlighting their inability to find the back of the net at times. Suffered a heavy defeat to league leaders Marconi in round 6, but have managed a few good wins since then. Were 4-0 winners over Bankstown Berries on the weekend, they will be hoping to take that confidence into a home game against the Wanderers this week, where a win will see them leapfrog the Wanderers on the ladder. Definitely in danger of falling out of the finals spots, but have the ability to make a play at the top 5.

St George

7 wins, 0 draws, 6 losses. 27 for, 28 against. 21 points.

Another team that could be 3rd if not for goal difference. They’re doing well in attack, however they must also tighten up their defence if they wish to stay in finals contention. A narrow 3-2 loss to Marconi shows positive signs for the team that they can mix it with the best. Romero is their leading scorer with 8 goals to his name. As said before, must work on their defence if they wish to play finals this season, the upper mid table is too close together and every points counts.

North Shore Mariners

5 wins, 5 draws, 5 losses. 30 for, 20 against. 20 points.

That line above is just perfect to read, just wanted to get that out of the way first. The club formerly known as Northbridge sits 6th on the table, and has the potential to be higher. Mitchell Smith has knocked in 10 goals so far and will look to push to claim the golden boot. A 2-1 win over the Wanderers on the weekend held the Western Sydney side back in the title race, and a 5-0 win over the Berries the week before certainly gave them that confidence needed. Expect a mid table finish from the side, potential to play finals otherwise cause headaches for the rest.

Hills United

6 wins, 2 draws, 5 losses. 28 for 26 against. 20 points.

Neck and neck with North Shore and right behind the teams in the finals spots. Another team that has no problems finding the back of the net, just need to tighten up their defences if they have a hope of playing finals. A good 3-1 win over Mounties, they now look to their cup game tomorrow night v IPL side Kemblawarra Dapto Fury before playing Northern Tigers on the weekend. Their best bet is to go all out in the cup game, as the Tigers are in fine form and will be hard to get past. I expect them to do well 2nd half of the season, but just miss out on the finals. Will cause problems for other teams though. Doing well considering they were only promoted this season.

Credit: Football NSW

Central Coast Mariners Academy

6 wins, 1 draw, 6 losses. 38 for, 25 against. 19 points.

By looking at their for and against, you would be forgiven for thinking they should be higher up the table. Sitting 2nd and 3rd in the golden boot race, Stewart and Fox have 11 and 10 goals respectively. However their last 2 games have been an 8-0 win over Lions and a 4-0 win over Spirit, who sit 14th and 13th on the table. They have the potential, like every other team above them on the ladder to do well, and the Mariners have always churned out good youth. However a few losses to better teams shows they don’t have quite what it takes to make the finals this year, will probably end up lower mid table.

Macarthur Rams

5 wins, 2 draws, 6 losses. 21 for, 21 against. 17 points.

It’s hard to put the finger on where Macarthur is going wrong this season. They held the Stallions to a 1-0 win in round 2, defeated the Wanderers 2-1, and defeated St George 3-1 however have had losses such as their latest 1-0 loss to Bankstown City and a 3-2 loss to the Spartans. Their form has been very up and down, and at times struggling to score. The Rams will finish in the bottom half of the table likes most seasons, but will manage a few upsets. Have the potential to cause a team to miss out on finals.

Mounties Wanderers

4 wins, 4 draws, 5 losses. 18 for, 18 against. 16 points.

Mounties have had a very slow start to the season, only picking up wins against North Shore, St George, Spirit and Spartans. The surprise ones are St George and North Shore who sit 5th and 6th on the ladder, which shows they can cause upsets, but probable not much else. Having issues all around the park, they won’t be challenging for a finals spot this season, but like the Rams they may cause an important upset or two if the better teams become complacent.

Blacktown Spartans

4 wins, 2 draws, 7 losses. 21 for, 33 against. 14 points.

Relegated from NPL 1 at the end of last year, there are serious issues happening at the Spartans. A lack of drive in their recruiting, in their playing suggests some issues behind closes doors. managing 4 wins this season over Macarthur, Berries, Bankstown City and Spirit FC, it is clear they don’t have what it takes this year. They’re honestly lucky they have worse teams behind them otherwise they would be facing another drop this season. Desperately need to tighten up defence, and in fact need to try a new play style. Will finish bottom 2.

Bankstown Berries

4 wins, 2 draws, 7 losses. 16 for, 28 against. 14 points.

After starting the season well with a 4-0 win over local rivals Bankstown City, the Berries fell into a slump winning just 1 out of their next 8 games. Have been playing better football the last month with wins over Western Sydney Wanderers and Mounties, they will be disheartened after their 5-0 and 4-0 losses to North Shore and Mount Druitt Town respectively. Hopefully they will be able to lift in the back half of the season, a finals spot is not out of reach for them yet. Upcoming game against Bankstown City will hopefully reignite them as they look to move away from the bottom of the table. With some good football, they have the ability to push up the table, but may fall short of finals as they aren’t getting wins over those bigger teams.

Spirit FC

3 wins, 3 draws, 7 losses. 16 for, 28 against. 12 points.

Winning 1 out of their last 8 games, Spirit are finding themselves back in 13th. After a great 2015 season where they finished premiers, they have had a rough 2 seasons now, finishing down the bottom half of the table last year. Their last win was over Northern Tigers, so they have the potential, but losses in the lsat 2 weeks to St George and Central Coast gave them a reality check. Luckily for them they should avoid the spoon thanks to Bankstown City.

Bankstown City

3 wins, 1 draw, 9 losses. 18 for, 39 against. 10 points.

Conceded the most goals this season, scored the 3rd fewest. Todoroski is doing everything he can with 8 goals to his name, but he is the exception to this team. With their wins coming against Macarthur, Hills Brumbies and Spirit, they face relegation at the end of the season. Some heavy defeats to Central Coast (8-0) and Western Sydney (5-4) echo their poor season. The once proud Macedonian club may find themselves in NPL 3 next season if they don’t lift their game soon. Predicted finish is wooden spoon and relegation, with their 18s and 20s contributing almost nothing.

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