It was another fascinating round of Football NSW Men’s League Two with plenty of entertaining fixtures across the weekend.
In the match of the round, Canterbury Bankstown upset Bankstown City with a gritty performance to walk away from Jensen Park with a 2-1 win.
Elsewhere in League Two, Dunbar continued its impressive form with a win in over Sydney University, Rydalmere Lions held off a tough Central Coast United side and Inter Lions came from behind to defeat Inner West Hawks.
Bankstown United and Dulwich Hill shared the points in a dramatic game, as did Macarthur Rams and Gladesville Ryde Magic.
Match of the Round: Bankstown City FC 1-2 Canterbury Bankstown FC
The match of the round didn’t disappoint, delivering an entertaining fixture that left the fans on the edge of their seats for the entire game.
Canterbury Bankstown pulled off an upset win over Bankstown City, with a 2-1 win in a physical affair at Jensen Park on Saturday night.
The visitors opened the scoring through Bonmyeong Koo, shortly before City captain, Nikola Todorski levelled the score.
Berries found a winner from Nathan Manno, as they held on in the late stages of the game to get off the mark in 2022.
Canterbury Bankstown opened the game on the front-foot, with some early pressure in attack, allowing them to hold the lion’s share of early chances.
Gino Cerasoli came closest for the visitors in the opening period, after his forceful header forced an impressive save from Jair Fernandez.
The early pressure paid off for Berries after a blistering shot from Joshua Mbakwe was saved into the path of Koo who placed it into an empty net.
The hosts didn’t take long to level the score when Daniel Bakrdanikoski neatly headed the ball into the path of an oncoming Todorski, the skipper slammed the ball into the goal, lifting his side back into the game.
With the score level, the sides went back and forth in search of heading into the break with an advantage.
City finished the half the stronger of the two sides and looked likely to take the game into their hold.
With seconds remaining in the first-half, both sides were dealt a massive blow after Leo Guzman and Robert Di Meglio were shown red-cards for a rough challenge.
As the game continued on in the second-half, the physicality was ramped up with players from both sides trying to assert their dominance.
It was an impressive showing from the opposing shot-stoppers, with Fernandez and Ahmad Ismail doing their best to keep the scores level for the time being.
Ismail pulled of an outstanding save on the back of a curling effort from Robert Deasy, which looked certain to sail in.
After being on the back-foot for the majority of the second-half, Berries sensationally regained the lead through Nathan Manno.
The pacey-striker scored an incredible volley from an unlikely angle, getting his second in as many games, as he begins to show his true form as a clinical goal scorer.
City were hungry for an equaliser and were denied by some valiant defending in the dying stages.
Ismail came out strong in the final stanza, stopping a shot from close-range and somehow denied a follow-up shot which ensued a goal line scramble, as the hosts were shocked as to how they did not score.
Berries held on for a respectable 2-1 win to open their account for 2022.
Canterbury Bankstown coach, Wally Savor was proud of his sides improvement from previous weeks and hopes this good form carries on.
“Our energy levels were good, our football was good and our game management towards the end was good as well, on all aspects I was very proud of the boys for the effort they put in,” he said.
“I think the boys learnt a big lesson over the last two games, we stood up a bit last night so I’m proud”.
Dulwich Hill FC 1-1 Bankstown United FC
Bankstown United showed plenty of improvement in an drama filled draw with Dulwich Hill.
After opening the game on a positive note, United were dealt a massive blow when captain Steve Wright was given his second yellow in the 25th minute.
Down to ten men and without its skipper, United were forced into defensive mode as Dulwich surged with the extra man.
Dulwich seized the opportunity when Daniel Fornito finished a neatly placed cross minutes before half-time.
However the game was given another twist moments later when Nathan Sampson was shown his second yellow of the game, meaning both sides were reduced to ten men.
Mitchell Edmunds levelled the score in the 55th minute after his cross managed to sneak over the line.
Both sides staked their claims for a potentially game-winning goal, however it was not meant to be as they were forced to share the points.
The teams now head into next week’s fixture down a crucial player as they serve suspensions for the red-cards.
Rydalmere Lions FC 2-0 Central Coast United FC
Rydalmere Lions didn’t take long to pick-up where they left off from in round one with an impressive two goal victory over Central Coast United.
The visitors started off the game on a strong note, holding the majority of possession and looking sharp in attack.
Josh Swaddling became the danger man in attack and caused Rydalmere plenty of headaches on the right flank.
As the game progressed, the Lions shook off the rust and opened the scoring after Matthew West finished off a Dillan Khale cross.
United had their chances to get back into the game, however lacked the final touch when given the opportunity.
Rydalmere doubled its advantage when West secured a brace, putting the result beyond doubt.
Central Coast will feel disappointed as its performance didn’t reflect on the scoreboard, they remain winless in 2022 with just one point.
The hosts proved their quality in this affair and will take plenty of confidence into their next bout against Sydney University to open round four.
Dunbar Rovers FC 4-2 Sydney University SFC
The Dunbar Rovers show rolled on with another impressive showing, taking down Sydney Uni.
Dunbar continue to move heads in League Two with yet another dominant showing and placed itself amongst the elite in the division in the process.
Hayden Tucker opened the scoring in the 10th minute, shortly before Welkson Bispo doubled the advantage minutes later.
Sitting with a comfortable two goal lead, Dunbar continued to press forward and looked to extend its lead.
They were rewarded shortly after the restart when Aram Tayebi neatly tucked away his sides third goal.
Tucker sealed the result in the 55th minute with his second of the night, as Dunbar continued to punish Uni.
The visitors had a resurgence after the fourth goal when Daniel Barrett and Scott Tonkin gave Uni hope at a comeback with their quick goals.
As the chances went begging for the visitors, Dunbar held out for the statement win and continued its undefeated start to the season.
For Sydney Uni they will need to quickly move on as they face the daunting task of hosting Rydalmere in five days’ time.
Inter Lions FC 3-2 Inner West Hawks FC
After a frantic week of Covid, Inter Lions returned to League Two and were met by a Inner West Hawks side hungry for its first win of 2022.
In a dramatic and fast-paced game, Inter managed to hold off a strong Hawks side to continue its winning ways with a 3-2 victory.
The visitors got off to a dream start when Mark Younes was fouled in the box and the set-piece maestro, David Adjassou neatly converted from the spot.
Inter responded almost instantly through Sam Armson when his perfectly placed header found the back of the net.
The hosts quickly found themselves back in the lead when Fikiret Berisha continued his impressive form when he was on the receiving end of an Armson assist for the second goal of the night.
Inner West levelled proceedings after the break when Sam Awad neatly tucked away his header from the corner, propelling his side to an impressive period of attacking chances.
Inter couldn’t be denied of a notable win when Patrick Scibilio set-up Joey Tillio to seal the game.
Inner West will consider themselves unlucky to not have found a point from this game, however Inter proved their clinical nature in front of goal and will proud of the win considering the circumstances.
Gladesville Ryde Magic 0-0 Macarthur Rams FC
Christie Park played host to the final game of round three as Gladesville Ryde Magic and Macarthur Rams played out a tough 0-0 draw.
Macarthur’s continued improvement was on full display in the game as they found many opportunities to take the lead.
The Magic defence was up for the task and another impressive performance from Kiriakos Tohourglou ensured the hosts kept a clean sheet.
It was a slightly below average performance for Gladesville Ryde as they were forced to sit back for majority of the game as the Rams pressed hard.
Macarthur Rams coach, Brett Hewitt noted that he felt like his side left the three points on the field and will be hoping that his side can regain their goal-scorer ways next week.
Gladesville now move onto to an interesting fixture with Canterbury Bankstown, whereas Macarthur entertain Dulwich Hill in round four.
By Football NSW Men’s League Two Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti