Round 1 Review – NPL 3 NSW Men’s


The 2020 National Premier Leagues 3 NSW competition is finally up and running as we breakdown all the action that took place over the course of a jam-packed weekend.

Spectators were treated to a premium list of fixtures in the opening round as we welcomed four new teams to the revamped competition.

Central Coast United and Macarthur Rams could not be split as they played out a 1-1 draw at Pluim Park on Saturday; Inter Lions and Bankstown City drew 3-3 in a pulsating encounter at Valentine Sports Park #2, the 10 men of Dulwich Hill held on to record a 1-0 win against Sydney University at VSP #3, Stanmore Hawks came from behind to register a 2-2 draw with Gladesville Ryde Magic at Christie Park in the early kick off on Sunday before Rydalmere Lions wrapped up round one proceedings with a routine 3-0 victory against Canterbury Bankstown at VSP #2 on Sunday night.

Football NSW ventured out to Jensen Park to see how the clash between Bankstown United and Dunbar Rovers would unravel.


Dunbar Rovers started their season on the right foot after they secured a 2-0 win away to Bankstown United at Jensen Park on Saturday night.

Rovers’ new look side showed some promising signs as they managed to nullify Bankstown’s attacking threat and keep the hosts camped out in their half for most of the encounter.

The visitors were composed across the park from the outset with Kyle Hazebroek and Dylan Deep-Jones marshaling the defence and captain Micaiah Te Rata, calling the shots in the midfield.

Te Rata was at the centre of the action for the visitors and was responsible for setting up Luiz Lobo for their first chance on target after his pinpoint through ball found Lobo in space on the left wing.

Lobo fizzed his shot into the penalty area, providing the first real test for United’s shot stopper Ayman Hill, who was up to the task with a fine save.

Dunbar continued to lay the pressure on Bankstown and should have broken the deadlock on the quarter hour mark after Te Rata’s insightful pass found front man, Ahmad Taleb.

The young striker beat Hill but could not capitalise on the opportunity as his shot sailed agonisingly wide of the post.

Despite dominating proceedings, the eastern suburbs outfit could not find the elusive goal that they were so craving. Conor Earley was the next player to test United’s resolve but again it was to no avail after his belting effort stung Hill’s palms.

That just about wrapped up first half proceedings, with Bankstown no doubt pleased that they were able to enter the sheds at 0-0.

The home side’s fortunes changed after the restart, Scott Belgre’s men began to find their rhythm after what was in large a frustrating first 45 for his side.

Their best chance of the tie came on the hour mark when everyone in the ground thought that Josh Spina’s wonder strike found its way into the top right corner. However, much to the relief of the away fans, Spina’s strike ended up just inches off target as it flew past the wrong side of the post.

Dunbar soon made a resurgence and came close to opening their account for the season after both David Ustimenko and Earley breached the Bankstown back line.

Their breakthrough did eventually arrive on 69 minutes after Lobo found the back of the net with his quick fire shot from just outside the six-yard area.

It did not take long for the visitors to then double their lead as Earley marked his Dunbar return with a cracking free kick in the 75th minute which looped into the cobwebs in the top right-hand corner of the net.

The remaining quarter saw Bankstown throw men forward as they looked to reduce the deficit and possibly snatch a point from the fixture.

Mitch Cross had a rare opportunity for the hosts after Luke Mesiti’s piercing ball from the back found him in space, however the target man failed to bring it under control as it fell kindly into the path of Dunbar goalkeeper, Aaron Zavolokin.

Bankstown continued to press and it was Cross who popped up with another crack but his strike was again denied by Zavolokin.

Dunbar managed to soak up the remaining pressure from United as they held onto a highly prized clean sheet away from home.

Rovers will welcome Central Coast United to Heffron Park in their next fixture while Bankstown travel to VSP to take on Inter Lions.

Match Stats

National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s

Round 1

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Jensen Park


DUNBAR ROVERS FC 2 (Lobo 69’, Earley 75’)

BANKSTOWN UNITED FC; 3.L.Mesiti(24.D.Slane 78’), 4.M.Cook, 9.M.Cross, 10.E.Bergamin, 11.D.Malesevic, 13.R.Coletta, 18.H.Probert(14.A.Salgueira 64’), 21.J.Spina, 23.K.Bangura, 31.S.Wright(c), 36.A.Hill(gk)(2.M.Kamara 82’).

Substitutions Not Used – 1.M.Mckenzie, 7.J.Miladinovic.

Yellow Cards – 31.S.Wright 19’, 23.K.Bangura 75’.

Red Cards – Nil.

DUNBAR ROVERS FC; 2.J.Seib, 4.D.Deep-Jones, 6.S.Di Marino, 7.D.Ustimenko, 8.M.Te Rata(c), 10.A.Taleb(21.A.Alvarenga 78’), 11.L.Lobo, 12.C.Earley(25.R.Fahey 87’), 14.A.Tayebi, 15.K.Hazebroek(3.L.O’Malley 88’), 24.A.Zavolokin(gk).

Substitutions Not Used – 1.G.Costantino, 16.M.Leon.

Yellow Cards – 15.K.Hazebroek 42’.

Red Cards – Nil.

Central Coast United FC – Macarthur Rams FC 1-1

New boys Central Coast United showed that they have what it takes to compete at this level as they drew 1-1 against Macarthur Rams at Pluim Park on Saturday night.

The hosts enjoyed a bright start to their first NPL3 fixture and were quick to showcase their positive style of play which won them so many admirers in State League.

However, the wind was taken out of their sails early in the second half after Mark Symington bundled the ball home for the Rams following some pinball in the penalty area.

The Pirates continued to plug away at Macarthur’s defence, and they were eventually rewarded with an equaliser after the always reliable, Adam Woodbine, restored parity with a chipped effort that capped off some great build up play.

Inter Lions FC – Bankstown City FC 3-3

Inter Lions and Bankstown City played out a six-goal thriller at VSP# 2 on Saturday night with 3-3 the final score.

Inter were first to strike in this clash with new recruit Matias Da Silva chipped effort beating Bankstown shot stopper, Carl McMahon, in the 35th minute.

However, as they always say, you are at your most vulnerable after you score. That saying came true as Lions’ Chris Tomaras levelled the score five minutes later after he dribbled past two Inter players before his strike rocketed into the bottom corner of the goal.

Bankstown began the second half on top and soon found themselves 3-1 to the good, thanks to two quick fire goals from Ante Tomic and Tomaras.

However, as we have come to know, when these two sides go head to head, it is always guaranteed to be a goal fest. So, it was no surprise when the hosts pulled one back, as Nico Paras rifled home his free kick.

With 10 minutes remaining, Inter completed their remarkable comeback after Daniel Habib headed home after being expertly picked out by Domenico Tripodi’s free kick.

The home team ended the game the stronger of the two sides and they came close to snatching the three points when Tripodi and Giuseppe Tilio linked up in the dying moments of the encounter. However, they could not find their way past the visitors’ defence and so the full-time whistle blew with both teams all square.

Dulwich Hill FC – Sydney University SFC 1-0

Dulwich Hill held on to record a 1-0 victory against Sydney University in a tight affair at Valentine Sports Park No. 3 on Saturday night.

The hosts found themselves ahead after 10 minutes thanks to Harry Browell. The striker’s left footed shot squeezed past Uni goalkeeper, Daniel Axford, after Peter Crevani’s inch perfect delivery into the box picked out the Dully attacker.

Dully held onto their advantage for the remainder of the half and it all appeared smooth sailing for them until the 68th minute when Aaron Pessego was given his marching orders.

Paris Svilicich’s men played the remainder of the encounter a man down but despite being subject to a Uni onslaught, they were able to remain resolute and ensure that the three points were theirs.

Gladesville Ryde Magic – Stanmore Hawks FC 2-2

A late comeback from Stanmore Hawks saw them rescue a point as they drew 2-2 with Gladesville Ryde Magic at Christie Park on Sunday.

Gladesville were first to strike in the contest, with new recruit Harris Gaitatzis opening his account for his new side just before the break.

The home side’s new number 10 soon doubled his side’s lead after he grabbed his brace in the second half. The second goal added some much-needed breathing space for Magic, or so they thought.

In the final five minutes of the match, Stanmore proved just why they were crowned premiers last season as they stunned the hosts when they fired home two goals in rapid succession.

Hawks’ captain Jovan Blagojevic scored the first of the visitors’ goals before Aydin Kumburlu’s strike ensured that Stanmore took a share of the spoils from the fixture.

Rydalmere Lions FC – Canterbury Bankstown FC 3-0

Rydalmere Lions were 3-0 victors in their clash against Canterbury Bankstown at VSP #2 on Sunday night.

The Lions opened the scoring on the fifth minute mark thanks to a Lee Jones free kick before a Bankstown own goal just before the half hour mark gave the hosts a 2-0 advantage.

The final goal of the night arrived soon after the hour mark and was the result of some slick combination play between the club’s new signings as Jake Chidiac got on the scoresheet after being picked out by Matt West’s crafty flick on.

-By NPL 3 NSW Men’s Chief Writer Samuel Greco Schwartz (Twitter handle: @SamuelGS97)