We give you the latest rundown of all the action that took place across the grounds in what was whacky weekend which began with sunny skies on Saturday followed by extreme rainfall on Sunday.
Three sides boast a perfect record after the first two rounds of the NPL 3 NSW Men’s competition while at the other end of the table there are still two teams who are still looking to get points on the board in 2021.
Round two proceedings kicked off in Lisarow with Central Coast edging out Dunbar Rovers, Bankstown United and Canterbury Bankstown played out a stalemate, Dulwich Hill made the man advantage count against Inter, Macarthur made light work of the Inner West Hawks, the battle between Rydalmere and Bankstown ended all even while Magic overcame the elements to see off the ‘students’ on Sunday.
Central Coast United FC – Dunbar Rovers FC 1-0
Central Coast maintained their perfect start to their season as they recorded a 1-0 win against Dunbar at Pluim Park on Saturday afternoon.
A first goal of the season for captain Daniel McFarlane proved to be the telling moment in this fixture after he put his side ahead early on.
The second half saw Dunbar throw everything at the hosts, but it was to no avail as the Pirates held on to make it two from two to start the season.
Central Coast travel down to Arlington Oval to take on the low-lying Inner West Hawks in their next fixture while Rovers will be hunting for their first victory when they welcome Bankstown United to Heffron Park.
Bankstown United FC – Canterbury Bankstown FC 1-1
Neither Bankstown United nor Canterbury Bankstown could be split in their encounter at Jensen Park with 1-1 the full time score on Saturday night.
For the second week in a row, United went ahead early, this time via a Steven Wright header on six minutes.
Berries did not put their heads down after conceding and came within inches of restoring parity through Jake Bradshaw only for some goalkeeping heroics from Blake Tuxford preventing the visitors from equalising before the break.
Tuxford’s rich vein of form continued after the interval as he once again denied Bradshaw whose header appeared destined for the back of the net.
The Berries much needed equaliser eventually arrived just after the hour mark and it came in the form of an absolute belter as Andre Guzman rifled home from around 30 yards out.
The remaining half hour or so saw both clubs chip away at each other with Mitch Cross and Kallie Bangura providing United’s best chances to swing the score back in their favour.
In the end, both sides shared the points as they shift their focus to round three proceedings which sees United travel to Dunbar as Berries make the trip to Concord to take on Inter Lions.
Dulwich Hill FC – Inter Lions FC 3-1
Dulwich Hill were able to make it two wins in a row to start their season as they came from behind to beat the 10 men of Inter Lions 3-1 at Arlington Oval.
A bright start by Inter saw them break the deadlock via Alex Becerra before the match was shortly turned on its head when Zac Ribeiro was dismissed for a reckless two footed challenge.
Dully soon pounced on the 10 men of Inter with Daniel Fornito popping up with the equaliser after connecting with Nathan Sansom’s ball at the back post.
Fornito continued his goalscoring feats into the second half as he put his side ahead for the first time with a sublime finish before turning provider for Anthony Foti as his cross picked out one of Dully’s star acquisitions.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch it was another of Dully’s new signings who kept Inter at bay with shot stopper Chris Marques producing a spectacular save to deny Meco Tripodi from the penalty spot.
Dully’s next proposition sees them head to Jensen Park to face off against Bankstown City while John Theo’s men return home to entertain Canterbury Bankstown.
Macarthur Rams FC – Inner West Hawks FC 4-0
Macarthur could not ask for a better way to open their account at Lynwood Park as they swept aside the Inner West Hawks in a convincing 4-0 triumph on Saturday.
The Rams broke away early in the encounter thanks to John Fahmi as his bullet of a strike sailed into the back of the net following some frantic play on the edge of the 18-yard area.
Jason Breton’s side continued to stack the pressure on the Hawks and soon found themselves rewarded with their second through a Chris Barbera strike.
Rams’ shot stopper Stevan Savicic remained switched on as he played his part to ensure that his side kept their advantage intact as the two sides headed to the sheds.
The second stanza saw the home side carry on from where they left off with substitute Anthony Nicola getting on the scoresheet to put his side three up before the fourth and final goal of the contest (and arguably the pick of the bunch) arrived with a quarter of an hour left on the clock.
Standout performer Cooper Hannigan drove at the Hawks’ defence before cleverly dispatching his strike into the visitors’ goal.
The emphatic victory places Macarthur in 4th position as they look to make it two wins on the bounce when they meet Sydney Uni at VSP next Saturday.
The Hawks’ next fixture might be the last thing they were hoping for as they host a high on confidence Central Coast side.
Rydalmere Lions FC – Bankstown City FC 1-1
The highly anticipated grand final replay ended all square at Rydalmere Park as the reigning champions rescued a point against their fierce rivals.
Bankstown started the stronger of the two sides and were unfortunate not to open the scoring in the first half as Rydalmere stood strong.
Their breakthrough eventually arrived shortly after the restart via Laureano Gomez Castro who pounced on a Rydalmere error to give his side the lead.
The 2020 champions soon began to go on the offensive and it did not take long before they found their route back into the match via a penalty with Jake Chidiac making no mistake from the spot.
It was the Lions who heaped on the pressure in the closing stages however they were unable to find the decisive goal with 1-1 the score when the full time whistle blew.
There will be a derby of sorts next weekend for Gavin Rae’s side as they host neighbours Magic while Bankstown have a date with an unbeaten Dully outfit.
Gladesville Ryde Magic – Sydney University SFC 4-1
Gladesville Ryde Magic posted a 4-1 victory against Sydney University on a wild Sunday afternoon at Christie Park.
Former ‘student’ Panayioti Gotsis came back to haunt his former club when he opened the scoring for the home side on 13 minutes.
However, Sydney Uni fought back and found themselves level five minutes before the break.
Another ex-Uni player was at the centre of Magic’s second goal, this time James Tsokos whose powerful left footed strike restored the hosts’ lead.
Gotsis then grabbed his brace just over five minutes later to put the match beyond doubt before Abanoub Mickael put the icing on the cake when he slotted home in the dying stages of the encounter.
Gladesville’s perfect record will be put to the test in their showdown with Rydalmere next Saturday while Uni will be aiming to kickstart their season at home to the Rams.
-By NPL 3 NSW Men’s Chief Writer Samuel Greco Schwartz (Twitter handle: @SamuelGS97)
-PHOTO CREDIT CHRIS DE JONG