May ends with Blacktown City eight points ahead of Rockdale City Suns at the top of the 2019 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 20s ladder, though there’s little certainty about the order below.
Four points separate second-placed Rockdale from sixth-placed Sydney Olympic, meaning there’s plenty of room to move as we head into June.
Blacktown take on Sydney United 58 in Round 13, while Wollongong Wolves face APIA Leichhardt at Win Stadium in this week’s Match of the Round. Sydney FC host Manly United at Lambert Park, while Mt Druitt travel to play Sydney Olympic following an impressive draw with the competition leaders last weekend.
Match of the Round: Wollongong Wolves v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Saturday 4pm at Win Stadium
Wollongong return to Win Stadium in Round 13 on the back of an impressive 2-1 win over Manly United at Cromer Park last weekend; goals from Liam Wille and Lewis Grimshaw helping Wolves to their first win of the month following three consecutive defeats.
They currently sit three points behind their Round 13 opponents, APIA Leichhardt, but a poor goal difference means it is highly unlikely Wollongong will overtake the Tigers with a win on Saturday afternoon.
APIA, for their part, travel south following a 1-1 draw with Marconi Stallions, with Zeke Prisuda’s second half goal keeping the Tigers in fourth place on 18 points for at least another week.
Sydney FC v Manly United, 11am at Lambert Park
Sydney FC took full advantage of slip-ups from teams around them on the table to push clear into third place with a 2-1 win over Hakoah Sydney City East 2-1 last Saturday; goals from Thomas Fay and Harry McCarthy giving the Sky Blues their fourth win in five games.
Sydney should be confident of stretching their unbeaten run out to seven matches when they welcome Manly United to Lambert Park this weekend, with the visitors sitting ninth on the ladder and in indifferent form.
The side from Cromer Park were beaten 2-1 by Wollongong Wolves last weekend, and haven’t won a match since the first week of May.
Manly are four points off the top five places, but also sit just five points about last-placed Sydney United 58. A result at Lambert Park on Saturday afternoon could prove crucial to their season.
Sydney Olympic FC v Mt Druitt Town Rangers, 1.45pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic come into their Round 13 match with Mt Druitt Rangers in poor form, having suffered their fourth defeat in five matches to Sutherland Sharks last weekend.
Olympic went behind in the first half at Seymour Shaw in Round 12 but were unable to level in the remaining hour and have dropped to sixth, a point behind fifth-placed Sutherland.
Mt Druitt travel to Belmore Sports Ground following a wild 2-2 draw with runaway leaders Blacktown City last weekend. Trailing at the break, Mt Druitt had a man sent off before making a second-half comeback to lead with minutes remaining.
Another dismissal saw Mt Druitt end the match with nine men, before Blacktown equalised with a penalty kick in the final seconds of the match. The result leaves the Rangers in seventh ahead of this week’s match against Olympic – just one point behind their Round 13 opponents.
Rockdale City Suns FC v Marconi Stallions, 2.30pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale were held to a 3-3 draw with Sydney United in Round 12, with goals from James Cakovski and Noah Botic not enough to beat the worst-placed team in the competition.
A win would have seen Rockdale move within six points of Blacktown City, but instead they remain eight points behind the leaders in second as they prepare to take on Marconi Stallions in Round 13.
Marconi sit tenth following a 1-1 draw at home with APIA Leichhardt; Paolo Laxamana’s first half goal cancelled out by Zeke Prisuda after the break.
The Stallions are four points from the bottom of the table, and five from the finals places. A result at Ilinden Sport Centre on Sunday afternoon could go a long way towards helping Marconi find their place in a congested mid-table.
Hakoah Sydney City East v Sutherland Sharks FC, 3pm at Hensley Athletic Field
Hakoah Sydney City East fought hard but were beaten 2-1 by Sydney FC at Lambert Park last weekend; their sixth defeat of the season keeping them in eleventh place at the end of May.
Hakoah went behind to a goal just minutes before the break, but equalised through Dominic Cox barely two minutes after the second half kickoff.
A late goal from Harry McCarthy ensured Hakoah left Lambert Park pointless; heading into their Round 13 match against Sutherland Sharks only one point above Sydney United 58 in last place.
Sutherland beat Sydney Olympic 1-0 in Round 12 courtesy of a goal from Alexander Lopez, who scored from the penalty spot after half an hour.
The Sharks travel to Hensley Athletic Field in fifth place, one point ahead of sixth-placed Olympic and level with APIA Leichhardt Tigers in fourth.
Sydney United 58 v Blacktown City FC, 3pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
Ivan Bratjanscak, Marcus Bimbilovski and Anthony Pedavoli were on hand to help Tony Sekulic’s Sydney United 58 hold Rockdale City Suns to a 3-3 draw at Ilinden Sports Centre in Round 12, a result which left United a point adrift at the bottom of the table but with their reputation considerably enhanced.
They’ll need their strikers in top form again on Sunday afternoon as they welcome the competition leaders to Sydney United Sports Centre in Round 13.
Blacktown City remain eight points ahead of Rockdale after a rollercoaster draw with Mt Druitt in Round 12, which saw the Rangers end the match with nine men as Blacktown led, went behind, then equalised with the final kick of the game.
-By Max Grieve