Round 12 Review – League One Men’s


 A top of the table clash, derby victories and some surprising results all featured in round 12 Football NSW League One Men’s action, Saturday night.

Yes, Hills United made quite the statement prevailing over St George FC at Landen Stadium and we have a full report below. While elsewhere, Rydalmere Lions and Inter Lions both jumped up to third and fourth respectively, that and more in this weeks review.

Hills United FC 4-1 St George FC

Hills United opened up a gap at the top of the table with a ruthless second half proving the difference in a 4-1 victory over St George FC.

Having weathered a tricky opening half, Luke Casserly’s side stamped their authority in the second half with plenty of impressive performances across the field. Mitch Smith opened the scoring before being joined by Nathan Rayner, Cameron Philp and Wade Giovenali on the scoresheet.

In contrast, St George were good value for their opening half, controlling the tempo for large parts with Nicholas Kalogerou finding the net for the visitors.

With a good crowd in attendance, Hills United started the game off in positive fashion, Mitchell Smith opening the scoring six minutes in. Captain Glen Kelshaw setting it up with a low first time cross on the right, an initial effort scuffed before Smith left no doubt with the second chance.

Indeed, the hosts overlapping full backs were causing all sorts of issues early with Brian Jamba nearly setting up the second from the opposite wing in the 12th minute. Jamal Belkadi just unable to sneak it in at the near post.

Cliché I know, but sometimes goals really do change games and St George levelled things in somewhat fortunate circumstances soon after. A clearance from a corner dropping for Jay Mcgowan who tried his luck from outside the box, the ball taking a deflection into the net via Nicholas Kalogerou.

That goal settling the visitors down who maintained the large share of possession for the remainder of the half. However, they were just found that little bit lacking in the final third, Jay Mcgowan with a few half chances in the five minutes before the break.

And not being able to capitalise proved all too costly in the second half, an early Hills United goal signalling a statement second half performance.

And if you didn’t know of him before you will now, Thomas Makko assisting the next couple of goals from central midfield. Makko picking out Nathan Rayner with the lobbed through ball who made no mistake with the finish on 49 minutes.

The second seeing him combine with Cameron Philp from a similar position, although this time to his left. Philp showing some quick feet to find space before a tremendous finish into the bottom left corner of the left.

At the other end, Jay Mcgowan was proving the main threat with a few further half chances, combining well with Alex Malfara in particular. However, the Hills defense bolstered by the presence of Nicolai Muller in defensive midfield held strong.

For the most part though, it was Hills with the more chances going forward playing some enthralling football. Jacob Lattuga setting up a chance for Wade Giovenali on 66 minutes, Giovenali heading wide from a Brian Jamba cross.

Wade Giovenali making amends for that miss with seven minutes left. A ball from deep finding him beyond the defense, Giovenali chipping the keeper to add the exclamation mark.

The win takes Hills United to a four-point advantage over St George approaching the halfway point. While for St George, they will look to put the second half performance behind them and take encouragement from the opening stanza.

Hills United FC 4 (Mitchell Smith 5‘, Nathan Rayner 49‘, Cameron Philp 57‘, Wade Giovenali 83‘)

St George FC 1 (Nicholas Kalergerou 13’)

Bankstown City FC 1 (Ante Tomic 27’) v Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 2 (Emmanuel Gonzalez 54’, Aaron Peterson 68’)

Bonnyrigg White Eagles came from behind to take a crucial three points from their derby game against Bankstown City.

After trailing at half-time, both Emmanuel Gonzalez and Aaron Peterson found the back of the net in the second half to make it three victories in their last four games.

While the result is the latest in an inconsistent run of form for Bankstown City who sit four points behind their visitors on the night. Ante Tomic opened the scoring for them before the half hour.

The first chance of note did fall to the visitors in the 8th minute. Jack Kuipers finding Ryan Attard with a ball in from the right, Attard putting his shot over the bar from just inside the area. This chance followed up with chances for Emmanuel Gonzalez and Tom Whiteside in the opening quarter hour.

While Carlo Imola had the hosts first effort of note 17 minutes in. Imola with the volley from range which wasn’t far away from the target.

And it was the hosts who took the lead before the half hour. Jonathan Grozdanovski putting in a lovely ball into the area from the right which found Ante Tomic in the middle to finish from close range in the 28th minute.

Indeed, Bankstown City had played their way into the fixture controlling the midfield well during this period of the game before and after half time. With Jonathan Grozdanovski having a couple of good chances early in the second half.

Unfortunately for the hosts however, they were unable to capitalise and they were punished at the other end. Brad Bartels setting in motion a play in the final third which saw Aaron Peterson tee up Emmanuel Gonzalez who finished despite losing his footing in his shooting motion on 54 minutes.

Gonzalez then having a couple of follow up effort with confidence flowing through his bones. Bonnyrigg now well in the ascendency. Aaron Peterson the next one with the opportunity unable to apply the finish from a Mason Versi cross.

The pressure finally telling in the 67th minute. Peterson breaking through the defense from a Mason Versi pass before slotting the finish past the keeper to give the visitors a deserved lead.

Bonnyrigg next face Inter Lions in another big clash for the 9th placed side. While Bankstown City travel east to face Dunbar Rovers.

Match of the round: Macarthur Rams 0-0 Dulwich Hill FC

Macarthur Rams held the visiting Dulwich Hill side to a draw at Lynwood Park, Saturday evening.

The visitors had the lion share of chances at goal with the hosts on threatening on transition throughout. Dulwich Hill perhaps unlucky to walk away with just a point in retrospect.

The game started off with both sides happy to get to know each other with only a few half chances coming in the opening 15 minutes.

With the league’s top goal scorer having his first effort shortly after the quarter hour, unable to get enough purchase.

While Dulwich Hill had their first good opportunity from the set piece 21 minutes in. Aaron Pessego stepping up and putting his shot wide left of the goal.

Pessego again involved in the games first real chance. A corner from the right fumbled by the Macarthur keeper among a lot of bodies with his shot blocked desperately on the line in the 27th minute.

Meanwhile at the other end, Daniel Bittar was looking most like to make things happen, pouncing on a pass in the front third before a few quick passes resulted in a Christian Torrelli chance which he just couldn’t sneak past the keeper on the half hour.

Dulwich Hill with the quick response, Daniel Fornito taking it from the byline central before his shot hit the side netting at the near post.

However, the closest any side would come in the first half came in the final few minutes. Aaron Pessego released across field on the right. Pessego working it onto his left foot before hitting the outside of the left post with his curling shot.

In contrast to the opening half, we only had to wait three minutes for the first shot on target with Dimitri Petratos trying his luck from range, keeper fumbling first up before claiming the second effort.

The pattern of the game did largely stay the same though with Dulwich Hill having the better chances. Daniel Fornito nearly sneaking an effort home on 56 minutes. Fornito combining with Harry Browell before his placed shot drew a save from Stevan Savicic. Fornito hitting a follow up shortly after over the bar.

Parandanta the next player to try his luck from a set piece, his effort deflected wide of the target by the wall.

While Daniel Bittar nearly found the goal with a chance inside the final six minutes, the ball breaking to him down the right before his curled effort went wide of the left post.

Neither side could find the back of the net in the remaining minutes though with Dulwich Hill perhaps the more frustrated side at the referee’s whistle. They host SD Raiders next weekend, while Macarthur Rams travel to take on Northern Tigers.

Hakoah FC 3 (Cam Philpot 22’ 79’, Gabriel Antoniades 38’) v Dunbar Rovers FC 1 (Olivier Beltran-Woodward 8’)

A Cam Philpot brace led Hakoah FC to a round twelve victory over Dunbar Rovers at Hensley Athletic.

It’s the first victory in three weeks for Hakoah who are caught up in mid-table after 12 rounds. Cam Philpot in particular proving the difference in this one with his man of the match performance drawing praise from both dugouts.

Prior to that however, the visitors did take a surprise lead in the contest. A cross from the left side finding Olivier Beltran-Woodward who turned inside the box before applying the finish.

From there however, they lost their foothold in proceedings with Hakoah scoring a reply 15 minutes later. Cam Philpot opening their account with a well-timed header from a wide free kick.

Their second of the fixture coming before half time, Samuel Young playing a through ball for Gabriel Antoniades who finished on the second attempt with the Dunbar keeper saving the initial effort.

The exclamation mark applied late on when Cam Philpot stepped up to the penalty spot after Young was brought down inside the box.

Hakoah will be looking to their game with Mounties Wanderers for a chance of back-to-back wins. While Dunbar Rovers host Bankstown City at Fraser Park.

Central Coast United FC 0 v Canterbury Bankstown FC 2 (Brendon Mandizvidza 65’, Garang Awac 84’)

Two second half goals gave Canterbury Bankstown the three points at Pluim Park against Central Coast United.

The victory will help Canterbury Bankstown settle after a few weeks without a win. They had to remain patient but came away with the three points from the fixture through goals to Brendon Mandizvidza and Garang Awac.

At home, the pirates did have a chance to take a lead in the second half from the spot but they couldn’t convert and were punished afterward.

Despite the visitors controlling possession from the outset, it was the hosts with the first clear cut chance. Ahmad Ismail doing well to snuff out the chance with a save.

The visitors best chance falling to Garang Awac who hit a shot which looked destined for the net if not for a tremendous Cobe Preston save.

In a close game however, it was destined to be decided by a few moments in the second half. Josh Swadling’s penalty saved by a diving save to the left.

Canterbury Bankstown soon going up the other end to score in response. Brendon Mandizvidza on the spot to finish off a Joshua Mbakwe ball across from the right.

Garang Awac securing the victory late on with the second after isolating his marker on the left before finishing.

Inter Lions FC 2 (Thomas Quilligan 77’, Fikret Berisha 90’) v Blacktown Spartans FC 1 (Hyungmin Yang 28’)

They have only done it again! Inter Lions scored another injury time win prevailing in a tight contest with Blacktown Spartans.

Yes, injury time goals are becoming quite the habit for the 2022 League two champions with Fikret Berisha the goal scorer on this occasion. This coming after Thomas Quilligan found the back of the net 10 minutes prior on a night where the coaching team of John Theodoropoulos and Anthony Skoulos celebrated 100 games.

Conversely, it was heartache for the Spartans who took a first half lead but couldn’t withstand the late pressure.

The Spartans withstood some early pressure from their hosts before the momentum swung at the halfway point of the first half. Hyungmin Yang opening the scoring after a cut back made its way through to him. The midfielder finishing with a sweetly hit shot.

And it looked to be going well for the visitors early in the second half with their defense and young Nathaniel Owen in goal standing up to the pressure.

However, in a familiar story by now, Inter’s substitutes began to pay off. Thomas Quilligan scoring the equaliser with 13 minutes left after some work in the build up from Oliver Green and Fikret Berisha.

Before Berisha added one himself deep into injury time slotting home after Patrick Scibilio found him with a through ball.

The result see’s Inter Lions take up third position on the table with Blacktown Spartans falling to seventh.

Rydalmere Lions FC 2 (Ahmad Taleb 5’, Matthew West 67’) v Northern Tigers 1 (Travis Oughtred 13’)

Rydalmere Lions shot up to 4th place with a surprise victory over Northern Tigers at Rydalmere Park.

A goal either side of half time secured the victory for Paul Fraser’s side with both Matthew West and Ahmad Taleb finding the back of the net. While Travis Oughtred equalised for the visitors earlier in the piece.

Against an in-form opposition, the hosts got off to the best possible start with an Ahmad Taleb goal coming on five minutes.

However, the lead was only temporary with the visitors roaring back into the match on 13 minutes with Travis Oughtred scoring his first goal of the campaign.

The scoring slowed down from that point with the crucial moment coming in the second half. Ahmad Taleb scoring the eventual winner halfway through the half on 67 minutes.

Rydalmere make the short trip to Blacktown Football Park next weekend, while Northern Tigers return home to face Macarthur Rams.

SD Raiders FC 1 (Mark Cindric 53’) v Mounties Wanderers FC 0

And finally, SD Raiders took the three points from their match with Mounties Wanderers at Ernie Smith Reserve.

It was a game where both sides threatened the back of the net but only one managed to find it, Mark Cindric with the decisive intervention in the second half.

After a nervy start, SD Raiders were the first side to settle and had more than enough chances to win a few games following, hitting the woodwork three times and missing a couple from a few yards out.

While at the other end, Mounties for their part had a couple of chances on the break.

The hosts however had no such issues finding the back of the net in the second half, Mark Cindric opening the scoring within ten minutes of the resumption with a nice turn and finish.

However, the visitors never stopped pushing and were unlucky to walk away emptyhanded after some individual errors in the Raiders defense.

The win will hopefully steady the ship for SD Raiders while there are positives to take from a Mounties Wanderers perspective.

By Justin Smith