Round 16 of League Two Men’s presents us with another weekend full of entertaining and meaningful fixtures.
Our match of the round finds us at Sydney University as the hosts look to halt the in-form Canterbury Bankstown.
It’s another Super-Saturday, kicking off with the red-hot Central Coast United hosting Gladesville Ryde, Dunbar Rovers battling Inter Lions, Macarthur Rams looking to lock down a finals spot against Bankstown City.
There’s bragging rights up for grabs as Inner West Hawks host Dulwich Hill, as Rydalmere travel to face Bankstown United.
Friday 24th June 2022
Match of the Round: Sydney University SFC vs Canterbury Bankstown FC, 8:15pm @ Sydney University Football Ground
Previous Meeting: Sydney University SFC 2-1 Canterbury Bankstown FC
Our match of the round gives us another crucial promotion battle as Sydney University look to continue their surge up the table when they host Canterbury Bankstown.
Uni kept their promotion chances alive with a crucial victory last week against Rydalmere and will look to keep their good form going.
The hosts will have to do without Anthony Costa, with the keeper leaving the side after being one of the side’s best players throughout the season.
With a few changes in and around the club, Uni look refreshed and motivated to try and force some change in the top eight of the ladder.
Uni will feel confident of a result given their performance last week and the last time these teams met, where they got out to an early lead and held on for their first victory of the season.
Canterbury Bankstown will be out to avenge their previous loss as they look to add onto their four game unbeaten run.
The Berries have made waves around the league, going from ninth place to fourth in a matter of weeks.
With 14 goals in their last five games, the Berries will be hard to stop in front of goals as they look to add to their second best attacking record in the league.
Canterbury Bankstown will be the favourites heading into this match, however given the circumstances and short turnaround since their last game Uni will be more than a chance for a result.
Saturday 25th June 2022
Central Coast United FC vs Gladesville Ryde Magic, 5pm @ Pluim Park
Previous Meeting: Central Coast United FC 2-2 Gladesville Ryde Magic
Central Coast return to their fortress at Pluim Park as they look to extend their home winning streak to seven when they face Gladesville Ryde Magic.
United are the form team of the competition and firmed their spot in third place on the ladder after taking down Dunbar Rovers last week.
The Pirates are enjoying success on and off the field, with the addition of formerly retired Graham Thoope that has already boosted the sides confidence in preparation for this game.
Central Coast play their third last game at home in this fixture and will be eager to extend their incredible home streak.
The Magic will have to attempt to shut down the lethal combination of Daniel McFarlane and Joshua Swadling, with the pair causing havoc to opposing defences.
Gladesville Ryde make the daunting trip up the coast and will look to become just the second team to get a result from the Pirates at home.
The Magic kept within reaching distance of promotion last week, with a last minute penalty ruling out a much needed win against the Berries.
The visitors are shaping up to be add a couple of new players whilst letting some of their rotational players leave as the transfer window approaches.
With a potential to introduce a couple of new faces, the Magic could find the spark they need to gain three crucial points on Saturday.
Gladesville Ryde will look to go one better than the reverse fixture where they shared the points with their opponents, who are now in league-best form.
Dunbar Rovers FC vs Inter Lions FC, 7pm @ Fraser Park
Previous Meeting: Dunbar Rovers FC 1-3 Inter Lions FC
Dunbar Rovers host Inter Lions at Fraser Park in the first of the Saturday night blockbuster fixtures.
The Rovers’ four game winning streak came to a halt against Central Coast last week, as they remain in a tight scrap for a finals spot.
For Dunbar, the key will be to find a way to convert on their periods of dominance they have been experiencing for the last couple of weeks.
Dunbar were undone in the previous fixture by an Ollie Green double and will need to shut down the in-form striker’s spark in attack to give themselves a chance of victory.
Inter remained at the helm of League Two last week with yet another come from behind victory over Bankstown United.
The Lions now hold a healthy six point lead in first and may want to find themselves behind in this game, as they seem to win every time they concede in the first half.
With an average of just under three goals scored per game, the Inter attack will be tested as they go against an incredibly strong Dunbar defence.
Dunbar will be keen to reassert themselves in a finals spot and will have to be back at their best to get result against the league leaders.
Macarthur Rams FC vs Bankstown City FC, 7pm @ Lynwood Park
Previous Meeting: Macarthur Rams FC 0-5 Bankstown City FC
Second-place Macarthur Rams play their first of a back to back at Lynwood Park as they host Bankstown City.
The Rams consistent form over the last couple of weeks was finally rewarded when they moved up to second spot on the ladder with an impressive win over Dulwich Hill.
Macarthur held onto their record for the least amount of goals conceded in the league and remain the only team to be under 20 goals conceded for the season.
The hosts are full of confidence and will be out to prove their 5-0 loss to City last time out was just an off-night.
With a new coach at the helm, Bankstown City returned to their best last week and will get their biggest test under Ante Moric thus far.
City snapped a four game losing streak against the Hawks last week and find themselves just one win off recovering their spot in a finals place.
Bankstown will look for another big performance from Jonathan Grozdanovski after he bagged a brace upon his return.
In what will be one of the games of the round we are sure to be treated to a fascinating game between two finals contenders.
Inner West Hawks FC vs Dulwich Hill FC, 7pm @ Arlington Oval
Previous Meeting: Inner West Hawks FC 0-5 Dulwich Hill FC
It’s the battle of Arlington Oval as the two host sides, Inner West Hawks and Dulwich Hill battle each other.
Inner West will look to turn weeks of improved performances into a result this week, after going down to City last week.
It was an impressive second half recovery for the Hawks last week, but they still struggled to find the finishing touch in front of goals.
The Hawks continue to retool their squad and have showcased a few promising youngsters in recent time.
With a mixed squad in terms of age range, Inner West are budling on some foundation pieces and will look to put their previous meeting with Dulwich Hill in the rear view mirror.
Dulwich Hill will be on the mend after a disappointing 4-1 loss to Macarthur in round 15.
They find themselves in an unusual position this week, being the visitors at their home ground as they look to inflict more damage on the Hawks.
Dulwich Hill rotated their squad last week and will have to look to Emmanuel Zervas as their primary target in attack, after bagging a goal last week.
In a game that could go either way, both sides will be looking to bounce back with Dulwich Hill eager to extend their gap to ninth placed Gladesville Ryde.
Bankstown United FC vs Rydalmere Lions FC, 7pm @ Jensen Park
Previous Meeting: Bankstown United FC 2-3 Rydalmere Lions FC
Our final game of the round sees us once again at Jensen Park as Bankstown United host Rydalmere Lions.
Bankstown United succumbed to their tenth loss of the season last week as they fell short against Inter Lions.
With promotion seemingly out of sight for United, they may turn their focus to developing some of their younger players for next year.
With plenty of exciting youngsters waiting in the wings, it’ll be interesting to see what type of impact these players have on the squad considering the strength of their opponents this week.
Rydalmere will have to bounce back after a tough loss to Sydney Uni last week, in a game where they were reduced to nine-men.
The Lions will enter this match without Camil Abouchaaya and Thomas Gittany with the pair serving suspensions for their red cards last week.
With three losses in their last five, Rydalmere slipped out of the top two for the first time this season and will need a win to re-gain their much sought after spot on the ladder.
Rydalmere were pushed to their limits in the reverse fixture and will be hoping for an improved performance to give them a much needed bounce back win.
By Football NSW Men’s League Two Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti