Round 4 Preview – League One Men’s


Another full set of Saturday Football NSW League One Men’s fixtures await us in round four of the competition this coming weekend.

So crossing our fingers that there are no weather interruptions this weekend, let’s take a look at the weekend in front of us.

Match of the round: Dulwich Hill FC v Blacktown Spartans FC; Saturday 25th February, 7pm, Arlington Oval

Our round four match of the round takes us to the historic Arlington Oval as Dulwich Hill host Blacktown Spartans.

We’ll start with the hosts shall we? Despite their result last weekend, there was enough to encourage those associated with Dulwich Hill as we play our way into the season. Pluim Park and Central Coast United proved a Hawkesbury River bridge too far for them though as the hosts scored four times in the second half.

So, who should we be looking out for this weekend? Well, in news which will please the football purist, Thomas Tranberg is a physical presence up top so expect him to play a key part if they are to claim victory. Elsewhere, Jerome Narayan saved a penalty last weekend while Daniel Fornito and Marcus Younes are also worth keeping an eye on.

Blacktown Spartans will be a tough assignment for Dulwich though after Ben Rollison’s side have got off to a flier in 2023. Winning their first couple of games against Northern Tigers and SD Raiders, last week they showed a different facet to the group coming back to steal a point at home from Bankstown City.

And what a goal it was from William Di Martino who rifled a ball from outside the area into the top left corner. Still though, there is work to be done if they are to remain at the higher end of the table in forthcoming weeks. In terms of who to look out for, Jovan Blagojevic is due a goal after getting into threatening areas last week. And Michael Figueira has been impressive in net in recent games not that they will want him to be called upon here.

It’s an intriguing fixture for your Saturday night’s entertainment, join Jack Clifton for the call on NPL.TV.

Hills United FC v SD Raiders FC; Saturday 25th February, 7pm, Landen Stadium

Anyone else surprised this isn’t round one? Hills United and SD Raiders will lock horns at Landen Stadium, Saturday evening.

This stands as a good test for a Hills United side who impressed in their round two fixture at the same venue. Indeed, improving their home record had to be a focus going into the season after struggling to pick up points consistently in recent times. There’s plenty to like about this side early in the season and captain Glenn Kelshaw deserves a mention after contributing a few assists in the opening rounds, look out for him on the right wing.

If you would’ve offered Goran Ljuboja’s team four points from their opening three games, they probably would have taken it. Now facing a side in which they have had joy against in recent seasons, they be keen to use this start as a springboard for their season. Last week they came back from two goals down with Mark Cindric and Sebastian Malfara both finding the back of the net in the second half.

Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Hakoah FC; Saturday 25th February, 7pm, Bonnyrigg Sports Club

After three games against new clubs to the division, Bonnyrigg White Eagles face a familiar foe in Hakoah FC at home in round four action.

The other of the two sides who have played three games without defeat, Bonnyrigg White Eagles are showing signs that they will be a force to contend with in the promotion race. Last weekend, it was a classy performance in which every player worked hard and they got their reward with six goals. Ryan Attard continues to find the back of the net since joining the club but the plaudits should go to them as a team more than an individual approaching this one.

Who knows if Hakoah will have taken the field by the weekend? Their round three fixture against Macarthur has been abandoned twice so best we can offer is a refresher and not a welcome one. Sitting on three points from their two games, they have won against Canterbury Bankstown and lost to Rydalmere Lions. The latter being their most recent result so look for a bounce back in this one.

St George FC v Inter Lions FC; Saturday 25th February, 7pm, Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre

Inter Lions make the cross-city trip to Rockdale to take on St George FC in an intriguing test for John Theodoropoulos’ men.

New season, new group, familiar script for St George FC. Hold up, let me explain… The Saints have made a habit of playing good football without getting their rewards in recent times and it’s something Jane Talcevski and his coaching team are looking to correct in the forthcoming weeks. So, with that in mind, keep an eye out for Reuben Awaritefe, Anthony Morabito and others, Saturday evening.

It’s another enticing fixture for the Inter Lions after last weeks match was brought to a halt inside the first 20 minutes. They will be keen to show that they have learnt their lesson from their round two fixture against Mounties Wanderers. In that one, they were punished for not being clinical enough in front of goal when they were creating opportunities. They will be hungry for a big scalp here.

Macarthur Rams FC v Dunbar Rovers FC; Saturday 25th February, 7pm, Lynwood Park

Dunbar Rovers will need to bounce back quickly as a trip to Lynwood Park awaits them this Saturday night.

Macarthur Rams return to the pitch after a frustrating week which saw their game against Hakoah abandoned twice. Looking ahead to this one, the Rams will be aiming to take the three points off their visitors, something they didn’t manage to do in 2022. In terms of a player to watch out for, one player we haven’t mentioned so far in 2023 is Jarrad Wiley who joined the club from Bonnyrigg in the offseason as a shrewd acquisition.

Looking forward to returning to the pitch for a different reason will be Dunbar Rovers. On the end of a hefty loss to Bonnyrigg White Eagles last weekend, they simply just didn’t turn up. Some good moments early in that one are a cause for cautious optimism, but they know they’ll have to string together a 90-minute performance this weekend.

Central Coast United FC v Northern Tigers FC; Saturday 25th February, 5pm, Central Coast Sports College

Central Coast United host Northern Tigers fresh off their first victory of the season in round three.

A win but at some cost. Central Coast United scored their first victory in second division football in round three against Dulwich Hill. United proved too strong for their visitors in the second half scoring four goals. However, as we hinted at in the first line of the section, they did lose captain Daniel Mcfarlane to injury for what looks like a lengthy layoff, so let’s see how they adapt here. Looking for a key player here? keep an eye out for dynamic winger Cade Mapu who scored last weekend.

Another side who were unable to play their round three fixture, Northern Tigers face another new opposition this weekend. However, you get the sense the extra time on the training pitch will do them good as they play their way into the season. Last time out, Kai Denton showed his quality at a young age with a brace, combining well with club captain and futsalroo Shervin Adeli for his goals.

Mounties Wanders FC v Canterbury Bankstown FC; Saturday 25th February, 7pm, Valentine Sports Park

After their respective round three washouts, Mounties Wanderers continue their tour of new clubs to the division as they take on Canterbury Bankstown.

The Wanderers have started their campaign well with four points coming from their two fixtures so far. Last time we saw them on the park, they came away with a victory over Inter Lions at Cook Park. A key point of difference there being the influence of players off the bench who combined to give them the winning goal, so keep an eye on that this weekend.

Canterbury Bankstown come into the round perhaps the unluckiest of any side so far. Despite two good showings against Northern Tigers and Hakoah FC, they sit in last position. You get the feeling it’s only a matter of time till they get their first victory so why not in this one? Keep an eye out for Jake Bradshaw and Garang Awac as goalscoring threats for this clash.

Bankstown City FC v Rydalmere Lions FC; Saturday 25th February, 7:30pm, Jensen Park

Bankstown City will be hoping a return home brings their first victory of the season as Rydalmere Lions travel to Jensen Park.

The hosts will be looking to dust themselves off after an injury time goal condemned them to late heartbreak against Blacktown Spartans. Prior to that, they fought hard with ten men for 45 minutes of their encounter. This after James Mckenzie scored an early go ahead. Also of note in that one was the return of captain Nikola Todoroski from the bench, so look out for his influence this weekend.

It will have been a fortnight since Rydalmere Lions took to the park by the time of kick off this weekend. Last time we saw them was a victory over Hakoah FC in round two after a hefty round one defeat. With an extra week of training and a good head-to-head record against their hosts, expect them to be raring to go by kick off in this one.

Round 3 fixture update: Inter Lions v Hills United will recommence from the 18th minute next Tuesday night (7pm) with the score 1-1. While Northern Tigers v Mounties Wanderers has been rescheduled for 1st March, 7:30pm kick off in that one. Visit the FNSW competition page for any updates on Hakoah FC v Macarthur Rams and Canterbury Bankstown FC v Rydalmere Lions.

By Justin Smith