A memorable weekend in the National Premier Leagues 3 NSW Men’s competition has left us with plenty to ponder as we dissect all the action from around the grounds.
It was a monumental weekend for Inner West Hawks as they recorded their maiden win of the season; Inter Lions were in high spirits after they knocked off the previously unbeaten Bankstown City while Central Coast put on a masterclass as they slotted four past Magic.
All this and more is there for us to analyse in the latest instalment of the NPL 3 NSW Men’s competition.
Central Coast United FC – Gladesville Ryde Magic 4-1
A standout performance from Central Coast saw them dispatch of Magic 4-1 at Pluim Park on Saturday night.
Cade Mapu gave the Pirates lift off when he followed in on Adam Woodbine’s parried effort to fire home into the empty net.
Josh Swadling then added to his growing repertoire of goals with a stunning left footed free kick.
Magic were able to work their way back into the fixture after the break as they scored with around a quarter hour remaining.
However, that was as good as it got for them with Central Coast making it 3-1 when substitute Brad Porter teed up Mason Wells for an excellent first time right footed finish.
It was a tale of the substitutes as the half wore on with the second half introduction of new signing Josh Cairelli paying dividends as he put on the icing on the cake with his sublime chip in the dying moments of the clash.
A shock defeat for Gladesville sees them drop to fourth on the ladder ahead of their visit to Bankstown City on Friday night while the Pirates will be tested to their limits when they come up against fellow in form side, Inter Lions, at Majors Bay Reserve on Saturday night.
Bankstown United FC – Sydney University SFC 2-2
Bankstown United came back from 2-0 down to share the points with Sydney Uni at Jensen Park on Saturday night.
A lightning quick start from Uni saw them race to a 2-0 lead with a header and Fletcher Williamson strike handing them the perfect start.
United worked their way back into encounter and were able to reduce the deficit on the half hour mark via an unfortunate own goal with keeper Oliver Gibson miskicking the ball into his net.
A much improved showing from United after the break saw them eventually rewarded with the equaliser, this time it was Mitch Edmunds who came up with the goods as he pounced on Kallie Bangura’s rebounded effort.
The home side continued to push for the highly craved third goal and thought they may have done enough to earn it when Bangura scored only to soon be adjuged to be in an offside position.
They were then handed the golden ticket with seven minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty but it was Gibson who was able to atone for his previous error when he came up trumps to deny Mitch Cross from the spot.
A point was not enough for United to retain their position on the ladder as they move down one place into sixth ahead of their clash against Dully while Uni remain in 11th ahead of their Friday night showdown with the Hawks.
Inner West Hawks FC – Dunbar Rovers FC 1-0
A solitary goal proved the difference as Inner West Hawks claimed their first win of the season against Dunbar Rovers at Arlington Oval on Saturday night.
A Peter Yannopoulos strike ended up being the match winner for the Hawks as they snapped out of their poor run of form which had seen them collect just the one point prior to Saturday’s triumph.
The defeat will have alarm bells ringing at Dunbar after they failed to capitalise on last week’s impressive performance against Berries.
They will be hoping to turn things around when they welcome Rydalmere to Heffron Park while two wins on the bounce could be on the cards for Hawks as they do battle against Uni in the Friday night kick off at Camperdown.
Macarthur Rams FC – Dulwich Hill FC 2-3
It was a welcome return to the winners circle for Dulwich Hill as they recorded a 3-2 victory against Macarthur at Lynwood Park on Saturday night.
It did not all go to script for the visitors with the Rams breaking the deadlock via Anthony Haddad on 13 minutes.
A quick fire double in the 22nd and 23rd minute saw Dully reverse the score line with a Goncalo Paradanta volley before Daniel Fornito scored from the penalty spot.
Fornito’s evening turned sour after the break when he was given his marching orders for a reckless challenge on 49 minutes.
Going down to 10 men freed up the passage for Macarthur as they equalised through Haddad who grabbed his brace on the 75th minute mark.
Dully were clearly not keen to settle for a point as they pushed men forward and were eventually rewarded with the winner as Alex Nicolosi dispossessed a Rams defender before coming up with an impressive strike to seal the three points in the 87th minute.
The win sees Dully rise one place into third on the table as they gear up for a home clash with Bankstown United while Macarthur will turn their focus to their meeting with Berries at the Crest.
Inter Lions FC – Bankstown City FC 4-3
If you blinked you would have most likely missed a goal in this end-to-end encounter that had the full package with plenty of drama and seven goals to show for what was a highly entertaining 90 minutes.
The floodgates opened on the half hour mark thanks to Jesse Michel’s strike after he tapped in Ben Morrison’s cross to give the hosts the lead.
Five minutes later and John Theo’s men were two to the good with Morrison once again the provider as his free kick was poked home by Liam Flack at the back post.
The men from Concord continued to stun their opposition as they added a third courtesy of Owen Duke whose lightning bolt of a strike flew into the Bankstown goal.
The visitors’ unbeaten record was now well and truly under threat and they needed some magic up front if they were going to have any chance of reversing the score line.
Their first of the evening eventually arrived with 30 minutes remaining as Ante Tomic dispatched his penalty before Inter’s night was turned on its head when shot stopper, Daniel Axford, was shown a straight red card.
You would think that would put an end to the home side’s ventures into the attacking third but you would be wrong as they made it 4-1 through Alex Beccera who rose highest to head home from a corner.
Surely that would kill of Bankstown’s resolve, right? Well, no, they did not go down without a fight. They reduced the deficit with 10 minutes remaining before adding a third just three minutes later to cause heart palpitations amongst the Inter supporters.
A nervy finish saw Inter withhold the leader’s pressure as they posted their third win on the bounce and condemned Bankstown to their first defeat of the season.
An interesting showdown awaits Inter next round as they go head to head against one of the other form sides in the competition, the Pirates.
Meanwhile, Bankstown will be hosting a Magic side who also had a weekend to forget.
Rydalmere Lions FC – Canterbury Bankstown FC 4-1
Rydalmere came from behind to register a 4-1 win over Canterbury Bankstown at Rydalmere Park on Saturday night.
An Andre Guzman penalty saw the hosts take an early advantage which they were able to keep for almost the entirety of the first half.
But it was a penalty which gave Gavin Rae’s side a route back into the match as Matt West took the honours after Dillan Kahale was upended in the area.
A goal of the season contender from West handed his side the lead as they headed into the sheds with his half volley from 25 yards out giving the Berries keeper no chance.
A second penalty was awarded to the Lions in the second half with West completing his hat-trick after he dusted himself off before making no mistake from the spot.
Jake Chidiac wrapped up the scoring as he made it 4-1 for the home side with a well-taken goal from the edge of the box.
Defeats for Bankstown and Gladesville paved the way for Rydalmere to regain top spot as they face off against Dunbar next weekend.
Meanwhile, we wish the Berries the best of luck as they fly the flag for the NPL 3 NSW Men’s competition when they take on Hakoah Sydney City East in the FFA Cup on Tuesday night.
-By NPL 3 NSW Men’s Chief Writer Samuel Greco Schwartz (Twitter handle: @SamuelGS97)