It’s the final round of the League Two Men’s regular season and there is still plenty of spots up for grabs as we head towards finals.
Our Match of the Round gives us a mouth-watering match-up between two teams with big aspirations in the finals series, with Rydalmere Lions battling Macarthur Rams.
There’s plenty more exciting fixtures across the weekend, starting off with Sydney University hosting Gladesville Ryde Magic, Canterbury Bankstown fighting for a finals spot against Dunbar, as Bankstown City lock horns with Dulwich Hill.
Bankstown United take on Inner West Hawks, with Inter Lions playing host to potential finals opponent in Central Coast United.
Friday 5th August, 2022
Sydney University SFC vs Gladesville Ryde Magic, 8:15pm @ Sydney University Football Ground
Previous Meeting: Sydney University SFC 1-1 Gladesville Ryde Magic
Sydney University Football Ground hosts the first game of Round 22 as Uni battle the Magic in an intriguing match-up.
Uni will look to close out their season with a win after a difficult loss to Central Coast last week.
The hosts have had a rollercoaster season, with a late surge in the race for promotion ruled out after a tough run of form.
Uni’s attacking record has been underwhelming this season and their missed chances in front of goal resulted in them having the third least amount of goals scored in the league.
One shining light for the hosts in attack has been Thomas Quiligan, who has found his best form in the backend of the season as he leads Uni in goals scored with eight.
They face a Magic side in Round 22 that is fresh of one of the most heartbreaking losses in the club’s recent history.
Last week’s defeat to Dunbar ruled them out of promotion as they fell agonisingly short of a dream end to the season.
For the Magic the key will be in this game will be consistency throughout the 90 minutes, which has been a weakness of the side this year.
With both sides having nothing to play for, we could be in for a thrilling contest with both teams looking to end 2022 on a high.
Saturday 6th August, 2022
Match of the Round: Rydalmere Lions FC vs Macarthur Rams FC, 7pm @ Rydalmere Park
Previous Meeting: Rydalmere Lions FC 1-2 Macarthur Rams FC
Our final match of the round could have serious implications for both sides as they aim to finish as high as possible on the ladder.
Rydalmere enter this match on the back of two games in five days, where they managed a convincing win over the Berries before being held to a draw against Dulwich Hill.
The Lions have been sitting comfortably in second place in the backend of the season but cannot remain complacent – as a loss could see them slide to third.
Rydalmere have hit their strides in the final stages of the season, going undefeated in their last six and looking lethal in front of goals.
With 17 goals in their last five games, Rydalmere will look to take their red-hot form into the finals with another dominant display in front of goals.
Ahmad Taleb will be looking to secure the golden boot for 2022 in this fixture as he looks to add to his impressive total of 19 for the year.
Macarthur head into Round 22 on the heels of the biggest defeat of the year, going down 8-2 to Inter at home.
It was a very uncharacteristic performance from the Rams who had previously held a comfortable lead in the least goals conceded.
Macarthur will undoubtedly be searching for a bounce back performance and will feel confident of doing so given their last meeting with Rydalmere.
The Rams need a win to put themselves in the best possible position to finish in a finals spot and will look to add to their goal difference of +4.
With both sides searching for a result in the final round of the season, there’s no doubt we’ll be in for a cracking display from both teams.
Canterbury Bankstown FC vs Dunbar Rovers FC, 7pm @ The Crest Athletic Centre
Previous Meeting: Canterbury Bankstown FC 0-3 Dunbar Rovers FC
Canterbury Bankstown host the latest side to punch their ticket to League One in Dunbar at the Crest Athletic Centre.
The Berries will be feeling the effects of their fourth game in two weeks and will look to remain fresh if they are to make finals.
The hosts face Bankstown United on Wednesday before this match-up and have everything to play for in both matches.
After a hat-trick last week, Bonmyeong Koo will be front and centre on the scouting report as he looks to claim the golden boot award.
The last time these sides met it was Dunbar who walked away with a convincing victory after a stellar all-around performance.
Dunbar will be riding high on confidence after their biggest win of the season last week against the Magic.
The Rovers took their game to another level last week, but they will be up against it in this match with a mountain of injuries still plaguing the side.
We may see a different looking side come kick-off time as Dunbar may look to give some of their key players a rest after an exhausting season.
Although finals may be out of reach for Dunbar, it would be difficult to rule them out for another positive result.
Dulwich Hill FC vs Bankstown City FC, 7pm @ Arlington Oval
Previous Meeting: Dulwich Hill FC 2-1 Bankstown City FC
Dulwich Hill could taint Bankstown City’s impressive end to the season as they look to take down the finals-bound side.
Dulwich Hill put on an outstanding first half performance against Rydalmere last week and will be looking for more of the same in this match.
The hosts will be fully aware of the fact that City can fall completely out of the top five and may use this is added motivation to get a result.
Dulwich Hill may well feel confident of a win in this match after they got past City in their Round 11 fixture.
Bankstown City will be looking to avenge the aforementioned loss as they look to secure a home final.
City were victorious in the Bankstown derby last week and will be full of confidence going forward.
Bankstown’s skipper, Nikola Todoroski will be aiming to pull off a late surge up the golden boot race, as he searches to add to his 16 goals for the year.
A win for City in this fixture and results falling their way at Majors Bay Reserve could see them finish in the coveted third place – which would give them a second chance in the finals series.
In one of the more interesting matches of the round, it’s difficult to separate to two sides on paper which will lead to a thrilling game for the neutral.
Bankstown United FC vs Inner West Hawks FC, 7pm @ Jensen Park
Previous Meeting: Bankstown United FC 2-1 Inner West Hawks FC
Jensen Park hosts two sides that will be desperate to finish the 2022 season after both having disappointing seasons.
Inner West were put to the sword against the Berries last week, after letting an early lead slip and conceding five unanswered goals.
The Hawks started off the season in a forgettable fashion, but have shown plenty of signs of promise in the later stages of 2022.
Inner West could be farewelling some of their more experienced players as the squad looks set for a big shake-up in 2023.
With a few injuries to some key players, the odds may not be in favour of the Hawks as they’ll continue to look to youth going forward.
The last time these sides met it was Bankstown United who secured just their second win of the season and broke the hearts of the Hawks in the process.
United have had a season to forget, with just about everything going wrong for the Bankstown-based side.
The hosts obvious struggle has been in front of goals this year, with just 13 goals scored for the season.
With a mid-week match with the Berries preceding this match, United will undoubtedly be feeling the effects of that throughout this fixture.
The loser of this game will finish in the dreaded last place, which should give both sides more than enough motivation to secure a win.
Inter Lions FC vs Central Coast United FC, 7pm @ Majors Bay Reserve
Previous Meeting: Inter Lions FC 1-5 Central Coast United FC
In the final game of the round we have a potential finals preview as the newly crowned Premiers, Inter Lions face Central Coast United.
Inter made a statement in their 8-2 victory over the Rams last week and look to be at their best at the right time in the season.
The Lions attack has been world-class this year, possessing an incredible average of three goals per game this season.
Individually, Ollie Green and Owen Duke will be looking to go top of the golden boot race, with the pair both on an impressive 17 goals for the year.
With first spot secured, Inter will be eager to get some revenge on the Pirates who gave them a massive loss in the last fixture with a 5-1 win.
Central Coast head back on the road after another home win, this time taking down Sydney Uni 3-0.
The Pirates have plenty to play for in this fixture, with the potential to move into second place with a win and other results going their way.
If any team in the league understands the importance of securing a home-ground advantage, it’s Central Coast and they’ll be desperate to do all they can in this fixture to ensure a home final.
Central Coast can just as easily fall out of the top three with a loss and they’ll need to be at their best to take down this Inter side for the second time this season.
In what will be one of the highest quality games of the round, one thing we can be assured of is goals and plenty of them.
By Football NSW Men’s League Two Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti