It was another wild weekend of results in round seven of League Two Men’s competition.
With 21 goals, penalties, red-cards and late equalisers, round seven had just about everything you could ask for and more.
Our match of the round saw Sydney University hold on for a otugh draw against Bankstown United.
In the Saturday night fixtures, Central Coast improved for another win against Inner West, Gladesville was denied a stunning comeback against Dulwich Hill, as Canterbury Bankstown got another victory at the expense of Macarthur.
Dunbar and Rydalmere held each other out for a goalless draw, as Inter Lions remained in to spot with a win over Bankstown City.
Match of the Round: Sydney University SFC 0-0 Bankstown United FC
Sydney University and Bankstown United played out a fascinating goalless draw in the match of the round on Friday night.
After a back and forth first-half, the visitors found themselves with several chances to get a first win of the season.
United thought they had a winner in the dying seconds, when Corey Freeman tapped in a Kallie Bangura effort, however the linesman ruled an offside, denying United of a storied win.
Both sides started off the game in a calm manner, feeling each other out with some conservative football.
Peter Crevani found himself with the first real chance of the game with a free-kick from close range, his curling effort was sensationally denied by Jordan Bruce, as Uni began to build some momentum.
United found their footing shortly after and came close to an opener when Dalibor Malesevic’s close range volley hit the side netting.
The first-half was a frustrating opening for both sides, with many promising attacks falling apart at the last moment, mainly due to the slippery conditions.
Oscar Nieto Rava came closest in the first-half for United, after a good layoff in the box found him with a golden sight at goal, however his effort powered over the bar.
The sides went into the break with the game up for grabs, as neither side managed to find the net.
Uni came out of the blocks looking the likelier of the two sides, with a mountain of pressure placed on the United defence.
Isaac Folkes found himself with an open header from a corner, however his placed effort comfortably fell into the arms of Bruce.
The home side was left to ponder what could have been, as Crevani followed up on a fumble from Bruce, with a near open net in sight his effort went agonisingly over the target.
At the hour mark of the game, United began to control the game, finding themselves with several golden chances to find an opener.
Substitute Kallie Bangura found himself in a one-on-one with Anthony Costa, his powerful effort narrowly went past the posts.
Costa was continually called into the action in the final half hour and proved his worth, with a world-class save from Sean Robertson’s close range effort.
Uni weren’t completely out of the game, finding themselves camped in United’s box after a barrage of corners, however they were not able to convert due to some resilient defending.
Mouhamed Hamdache looked destined to net the opener when he found himself one-on-one with Costa, his effort managed to get past the shot-stopper, however it crucially just went wide of the sticks.
Uni’s last chance defence pulled them through this tricky period, with the backline standing strong and making some critical challenges in dangerous areas.
The visitors thought they had found a winner late on when, Bangura found some space in the middle of the park and powered through enroute to goal.
His chip-shot went over the reach of Costa, with the ball heading towards the goal and a rush of Uni defenders looking likely to clear it, Corey Freeman got ahead and finished the chance.
United’s celebrations were short lived, as the linemen quickly raised his flag, denying Freeman of a potential game-winner.
The hosts had their chances in the final minutes, forcing the United defence into conceding a few corners in injury time.
However, both sides were forced to hold out for the draw, as United still wait for a first win of the season.
Bankstown United coach Scott Belgre was disappointed to have not got the win, but found the positives from his sides improvement on the pitch.
“I thought the first-half was pretty even, I think they had better passages, second-half we tinkered with some things and we made a change and I think that nullified what they were doing,” he said.
“You can see in the last 15 minutes we had three or four good chances to win the game, in the end we were probably good to win it by a goal.”
“A clean sheet is a massive positive and we got to continue to build off that, we’ve made that a priority to tighten that up which we did and that’s a big positive, now we’ve just got to find the goals.”
Sydney University coach, Louie Cordwell admitted it wasn’t his side’s best showing and that anyone could of won it on the day.
“It was a pretty even first-half there wasn’t too much between the teams, they allowed us to build out from the back and they didn’t put much pressure on, with a big pitch that’s understandable, but we didn’t really create anything nor did they,” he said.
“Second-half I felt like they changed it a little bit, that caused us a couple more problems, overall we were lucky today to get away with a point, but any team could of nicked it, either side had their chances, that’s the difference between taking a point and all three”.
Central Coast United FC 3-2 Inner West Hawks FC
Central Coast celebrated another spirited win, getting its second straight victory, this time at the expense of Inner West.
The Hawks fell close for the second straight week, as they continue to search for their first points since round one.
The visitors opened the scoring early-on as they seized on some early momentum, leaving the hosts on the backfoot.
Jack Ragen levelled proceedings shortly before the break, as the sides went to sheds with everything to play for in the second.
Central Coast skipper Daniel McFarlane continued on his excellent form when he got United in the lead in the 50th minute, shortly before Josh Swadling doubled the hosts lead.
Inner West answered back with ten minutes remaining, in what would only be consolation as Central Coast held on for another much needed win.
The Hawks will feel gutted to have not got a result considering the strong start, however with weeks of improving results, their first win shouldn’t be far off.
Central Coast travel west for a matchup with Canterbury Bankstown in round eight, as the Hawks prepare for a clash with Sydney University.
Rydalmere Lions FC 0-0 Dunbar Rovers FC
Rydalmere Lions and Dunbar Rovers played out a thrilling 0-0 draw that had almost everything, except a goal.
Dunbar entered this match on the back of two-game losing streak, eager to turn the results around.
The Lions thought they had the opener in the 20th minute through Ali Mackie, however the referee ruled out the goal.
Both sides staked their claims for an opener, however they were both denied by some sensational defensive efforts.
Rydalmere were hit with a massive blow in the second-half, after Tim Whofiel brought down a Dunbar player on a counter-attack, receiving a red-card for a last-man challenge.
Dunbar built some solid momentum on the back of this, but were denied by some inspirational saves from Dimitri Makapagkal.
It was a frustrating night for the teams, as they both would of felt that they deserved the win.
Dunbar now move onto to a massive clash with Bankstown City, as Rydalmere prepare to travel to Christie Park for a clash with Gladesville Ryde awaits.
Macarthur Rams FC 2-3 Canterbury Bankstown FC
Canterbury Bankstown has made it two wins in a row, with a solid victory over Macarthur Rams on Saturday night.
After a relatively even start to the half, Berries blew open the score line in the final minutes before the break.
Gabi Lopez extended his goal scoring run when he converted from the penalty spot, shortly before a pinpoint cross from Nathan Manno picked out Bonmyeong Koo for the second.
After making a triple substitution at halftime, Macarthur looked refreshed as they attempted to claw their way back into the contest.
It took a while, but Michael Osei-Adomako netted the first of the night for the Rams with just ten minutes remaining.
However, Koo stepped up for his second minutes later, as the Berries all but secured a victory.
Macarthur pushed hard and found a late goal through Mitchell Brooker, before a straight red-card to Jacob McDonald finished off the game.
The Rams now travel to Jensen Park to face Bankstown United, as Canterbury Bankstown host the in-form Central Coast United in round eight.
Dulwich Hill FC 4-4 Gladesville Ryde Magic
It was an eight-goal thriller at Arlington Oval, with Gladesville Ryde being denied an incredible victory courtesy of a 94th minute equaliser.
In one of the most thrilling games in recent history, Dulwich captured the lead early on with a neat finish from Alexander Nicolosi.
Michael Gaitatzis equalised from the penalty spot in the 25th minute, as the game began to flow for both sides.
Harry Browell re-secured Dulwich Hill’s lead within minutes, as the hosts went into the break with a one-goal buffer.
Dulwich doubled its lead shortly after the restart, as Connor Eldridge neatly finished a one-on-one chance.
Gaitatzis and Nicholas Drummond sensationally got on the board in quick succession, capping off a successful spell for the visitors in the later stages of the second-half to level the game.
With the game tied at three goals apiece, Eldridge was sensationally denied a winner by a stellar save from Kiriakos Tohourglou with minutes remaining.
As the referee began to check his watch to signal the end of the game, the action picked up with Gaitatzis securing an improbable hat-trick to almost certainly secure a Magic victory.
However, the game had one more twist to it with Harry Browell equalising the game one last time in the 94th minute, leaving both sides with a point.
It was a crazy affair that had absolutely everything and left us wanting more, it was capped off in the final seconds when Sergio Tarzona was sent off.
Dulwich Hill now move on to a tough fixture against Inter Lions next week, as Gladesville Ryde will look to go one better as they face Rydalmere Lions.
Bankstown City FC 1-2 Inter Lions FC
Inter Lions have bounced back from a tough draw last week, with an impressive 2-1 victory away to Bankstown City.
The visitors came out of the blocks flying, with a few close attempts highlighted by Giuseppe Tillio’s shot bouncing back off the bar.
Inter opened the scoring in the 17th minute, after Patrick Scibilio was brought down in the box, allowing Nicholas Paras to step up from the penalty spot.
City asserted themselves back into the game five minutes later with a precise finish from Dimi Petratos, levelling the score.
The hosts were dealt a massive blow in the 40th minute when Patrick Deasy was sent off for with a second yellow-card.
Inter firmly took advantage of the extra-man, taking the lead back on the brink of halftime through Sam Armson, after a pinball like exchange in the box.
Despite being a man down, City hung around for the fight and were aided by a strong performance from Jair Fernandez in between the sticks.
City surged in attack late on, however the resilient Inter defence held them out, hanging on for a deserved 2-1 win.
Inter now look to defend top place in League Two when they face Dulwich Hill, as City now prepare for a trip to face Dunbar.
By Football NSW Men’s League Two Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti