Football NSW League Two Men’s is heating with just four points separating third and ninth on the table.
With a round full of crucial fixtures it’s time to preview a stacked round 14 of League Two action.
Our match of the round finds us back up the coast, as Central Coast United host Rydalmere Lions in a battle of the two inform sides of the league.
Round 14 kicks off with Sydney University hosting Dunbar Rovers on Friday night, followed by a massive Saturday night starting off with Canterbury Bankstown facing local rivals Bankstown City.
Macarthur Rams battle Gladesville Ryde Magic in another ‘six-point’ promotion battle, Inter Lions will look to bounce back against Inner West Hawks, as Bankstown United entertain Dulwich Hill.
Friday 10th June, 2022
Sydney University SFC vs Dunbar Rovers FC, 8:15pm @ Sydney University Football Ground
Previous Meeting: Sydney University SFC 2-4 Dunbar Rovers FC
Sydney University plays hosts to an interesting matchup, with the hosts desperate for three points.
Uni are on the heels of another tough loss at the hands of Macarthur, being held goalless in a disappointing performance.
With just eight games remaining, three points for Uni is an absolute must if they are to give themselves a chance of promotion.
In their last three outings they’ve only managed three goals and will need to lift in order to get past a Dunbar defence that has only conceded one goal in the same time period.
Dunbar come into this matchup on a three-game win streak and will also be searching for three points to separate themselves from the bunch.
The Rovers were dealt a massive blow last week and will have to go the remainder of the season without their captain and top goal scorer Aram Tayebi.
In the absence of Tayebi, Andrew Alvarenga will look to be Dunbar’s danger man after securing a brace off the bench last week.
Playing late on Friday night in expected cold conditions may affect the result, however given Dunbar’s great defensive record of late they should be favoured for the win.
Saturday 11th June, 2022
Match of the Round: Central Coast United FC vs Rydalmere Lions FC, 5pm @ Pluim Park
Previous Meeting: Central Coast United FC 0-2 Rydalmere Lions FC
Our match of the round gives us the two form sides of the competition doing battle on the Central Coast.
The Pirates extended their winning streak to three last week and made it four from their last five, when they got past Bankstown City.
Although their form has been arguably the best in the league, they still find themselves in eighth place and with one slip up could be out of the promotion race.
United do hold a perfect record against top four opponents, beating all of the three teams they’ve face in the finals spots this year.
Central Coast’s five game home winning streak will face it’s biggest test this week when they face a rampant Rydalmere side.
The Lions are on a hot streak in front of goals, netting eight in their last two games and knocking off top of the table Inter last week.
With just one goal separating Rydalmere and Inter at the top of the table, three more points for the Lions would put added pressure on their rivals in first.
On the back of a stellar showing in his 100th game for the club, Alistair McKie will be looking for another dominant in the middle of the park.
On paper Rydalmere should be favoured for the win, however given United’s incredible home run they’ll be in for a chance.
Canterbury Bankstown FC vs Bankstown City FC, 7pm @ The Crest Athletic Centre
Previous Meeting: Canterbury Bankstown FC 2-1 Bankstown City FC
Canterbury Bankstown host local rivals Bankstown City in one of the matches of the round.
The Berries will be looking to recover after playing three games in the matter of a week, winning two of three.
The hosts impressive showing against Dulwich Hill with ten men in the final 20 minutes of the game will give them plenty of confidence of another big result on Saturday night.
With four goals in his last two, Bonmyeong Koo will be looking to extend his tally for the year and continue to punish City.
City will be out for revenge, after their round three fixture saw the Berries take the three points in an entertaining affair.
After winning their last Bankstown derby, City have lost their last four games and have subsequently been drawn into the stacked race with four other teams on 21 points.
The result in this game may have a consequence on both sides aspirations for promotion and finals, as a loss for City could see them fall out of the top eight for the first time this year.
Both sides will be giving it their all in this crucial fixture, which will undoubtedly give us a thrilling fixture.
Macarthur Rams FC vs Gladesville Ryde Magic, 7pm @ Lynwood Park
Previous Meeting: Macarthur Rams FC 0-0 Gladesville Ryde Magic
Gladesville Ryde make the long trip into the depths of Sydney’s southwest as they face Macarthur Rams.
Macarthur returned to the winners circle last week in a convincing 3-0 win over Sydney Uni and will look to continue their impressive form of late.
The Rams currently boast the best defensive record in the league and with five clean sheets this season they’ll look to hold the Magic scoreless for the second time this season.
Macarthur’s defensive abilities has been slightly hindered by their goal scoring record, scoring the fourth least amount of goals amongst all clubs.
In the reverse fixture, the battle between the keepers was crucial and this time with Macarthur playing 17-year-old Andrew Parkin, there will be a 32 year age gap between the shot stoppers.
The Magic kept themselves in the hunt for a promotion with a 3-2 win over Inner West last week, but will have to improve from their disappointing final ten minutes where they conceded two late goals.
After a stellar showing on his first start for the team, Bailey Stevens may cause headaches for the Rams in attack.
Gladesville Ryde have managed 11 goals in their last five outings and will have to continue to be at their best to break down the strong Rams defence.
Inner West Hawks FC vs Inter Lions FC, 7pm @ Arlington Oval
Previous Meeting: Inner West Hawks FC 2-3 Inter Lions FC
Arlington Oval plays host to two sides that are both coming off tough losses in round 13.
Inner West were unlucky to have not salvaged a point from the Magic last week, falling just one goal short of an incredible comeback.
The Hawks improvement in attack was the key to the close result and they’ll have to look to their veteran striker Peter Yannopoulos for another strong showing in front of goal.
Inner West proved they can go toe to toe with Inter, as shown in the reverse fixture where they were narrowly beaten by one goal.
Inter will be out to prove the reverse fixture and last week’s loss were mere bumps in the road as they continue the hunt for outright first place.
Although they are down on numbers at the moment, three points for Inter will be expected to keep their spot in first place.
The Lions will be looking for another big showing from Giuseppe Tilio, with his spark in creating the attack being crucial for Inter’s goal scoring hopes.
The Hawks may gain confidence from the fact that their opponents have conceded 12 goals in their last five games.
Although Inter will enter this matchup as heavy favourites, with all factors considered the Hawks will be in for a chance of a result on Saturday night.
Bankstown United FC vs Dulwich Hill FC, 7pm @ Jensen Park
Previous Meeting: Bankstown United FC 1-1 Dulwich Hill FC
Our final game of the round takes us to Jensen Park, as Bankstown United host Dulwich Hill.
United’s promotion chances were hit with a massive blow last week, after going down 3-1 to Dunbar.
Sitting 13 points behind eighth spot seems like a big task to take on, but with a win here anything is possible.
United’s struggle in front of goals has come to the forefront in recent weeks, with just four goals in their last five games seeing them take just one win.
Last time they played, both sides were reduced to ten men before the break as they played out an entertaining draw.
Dulwich Hill will also be searching for three points after a below average showing against Canterbury Bankstown.
Prior to round 13, Dulwich Hill were six games unbeaten and have placed themselves in contention for first, but could just easily slide into the battle for mid table with a loss.
Dulwich Hill will be favoured for a result, but history may be on United’s side in this clash.
By Football NSW Men’s League Two Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti