Blacktown teams in NPL NSW finals race

All to play for: Blacktown Spartans may secure NPL NSW first place this weekend.
All to play for: Blacktown Spartans may secure NPL NSW first place this weekend.

With two tight rounds of NSW NPL action left there is welcome drama for the neutrals, but for the teams involved it will be a nervy final 180 minutes of action as we head towards the finals.

Blacktown has two teams right in the thick of the race and both play important matches this weekend.

Blacktown City v Sydney United 58 FC, 7.30pm Saturday at Lilys Football Centre

Blacktown City's back-to-back slip ups against Rockdale City Suns and Bonnyrigg White Eagles has seen them fall to third, one point behind the White Eagles and three behind Blacktown Spartans.

They need to recover with a win at home to to keep themselves in the mix for the final round, but one feels that consecutive losses at this stage of the season could be a fatal blow.

United moved up to seventh with their win last weekend. They won 3-0 against an APIA-Leichhardt Tigers team that, at times, looked more concerned about their headline friendly in midweek against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Blacktown City will obviously be a far sterner test for United, who will hope to take enough points from the final two games to finish at the top of the second group of teams in the competition.

APIA-Leichhardt Tigers v Blacktown Spartans, 5pm Sunday at Lambert Park

Spartans have the premiership in their own hands and a win here could see them wrap it up if results go their way. It is far more likely that they will need a result in the final round though, so they will be looking for all three points here to keep their noses in front.

APIA looked like they had one-eye on their friendly with Western Sydney Wanderers as they went down 3-0 to Sydney United 58 last weekend.

They played well in the friendly, going down 1-0 to an early set piece goal, but it beggars the question as to where that type of performance has been when points are on the line.

Brad Bartels has been a revelation at centre back in recent weeks and Blake Powell's work rate up front is superb. APIA were the first team to beat Spartans this season, on a night where Powell scored twice, so he and APIA will hope that lightning strikes twice on Sunday.


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