Round 11 Preview – League One Men’s

a person holding a football ball

The FNSW League One Men’s competition enters the middle third of the season with round 11 action this weekend.

With both the promotion and relegation battles taking shape, we also have plenty of teams searching for consistency in a crowded midtable.

Let’s see how things stand ahead of the weekend.

Match of the Round: Nepean FC v Northern Tigers; Friday 19 April, 8pm, Cook Park (St Mary’s)

Something has got to give as Nepean FC host Northern Tigers in our round 11 match of the round at Cook Park, Friday night.

Both these sides have found it tough going in recent times with Nepean FC losing their last three while Northern Tigers have lost their last four.

We’ll start with the hosts who really need a win to make sure they don’t fall too far behind teams beyond the bottom two. Last weekend, they scored first and last in their game against Dulwich Hill but unfortunately conceded three goals in between.

So far this season, they have picked up four of their five points at their home venue, the most recent of which saw a win over UNSW FC a few weeks ago. Lachlan Sepping will pull the strings for them, while Mitchell King found the back of the net last weekend. Yet to be blown away in a game this season, can they take a step forward here?

Northern Tigers on the other hand find themselves without a win in the league across the past month. However, travelling away from North Turramurra could be a blessing as three of their four defeats have been at home.

Last weekend they went down to Blacktown Spartans by a single goal. With plenty of absentees in recent weeks, Christian Tierney and Tom Parkes both under the age of 18 stepped into the fray last weekend. Sitting in fifth position, a win would keep them in touch with the top sides in the division.

You can catch this one on the Football NSW YouTube page this Friday night.

Other Features

Hakoah FC v Bankstown City; Saturday 20 April, 4:30pm, Hensley Athletic Field

Third meets fourth as Hakoah FC host Bankstown City at Hensley Athletic this Saturday afternoon.

In contrast to our match of the round, both these two sides come into this one in relatively good form without a loss in their last five.

Hakoah do have the slight advantage on the table though with a two-point lead with a game in hand over their visitors. Sitting in third, they are the only undefeated side in the competition so far while scoring the second most goals across the competition.

Last weekend, they walked away with a three-goal victory over Bonnyrigg White Eagles in our match of the round. The result was never really in doubt in that one, with Jayden Tran in particular starring in attack.

Their opponents Bankstown City will be keen to set the record straight after a disappointing result last time out. In fourth position, there are two sides who could realistically overtake them come the end of the weekend.

In said fixture last weekend, they took the lead over Canterbury Bankstown before conceding soon after. The positive being an improved second half performance after as they pushed for a second goal. Rhett Desilva a player to watch here after scoring last weekend.

Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Inter Lions; Saturday 20 April, 7pm, Popondetta Park

Fresh off a last gasp win last weekend, Mt Druitt Town Rangers await Inter Lions at the same venue in round 11 action.

Twelve goals in their last three games, Mt Druitt Town Rangers have well and truly found their scoring form. Five goals of which came against UNSW in a thriller at Popondetta last weekend. With a perfect record at the venue, they have reason to be confident here.

At risk of repeating ourselves, Andre Martins continued his run of form with a brace while Garang Awac, John Roberts and Charles Mendy joined him on the scoresheet. If we were being hypercritical however, there is room for improvement in defense having conceded five in their last two.

Last weekend was a tough one for Inter Lions who went down to Bulls FC Academy convincingly. Backing up from a cup fixture the week before, the Lions struggled conceding four goals in the opening 15 minutes.

We know the character that this side can show though so expect to see them bounce back in this one. Their away record so far this season could do with some improvement with one win and a draw in their six away games.

Quickfire previews

Blacktown Spartans v Rydalmere Lions; Friday 19 April, 8pm, Blacktown Football Park

Seven points in their last three games while keeping a clean-sheet in each, the Blacktown Spartans come into this one in good form. Last weekend they scored early and held on for a victory over Northern Tigers. Can they continue their push up the table here?

Beware the wounded animal though as Rydalmere Lions look to bounce back from a disappointing defeat last weekend. Going down to Macarthur Rams for their third defeat in a row, they are hurting but keen to put together an improved performance here.

Canterbury Bankstown v UNSW FC; Saturday 20 April, 5pm, Jensen Park

In another clash between two sides who need to bounce back. Canterbury Bankstown last tasted victory in round seven action. They did hold Bankstown City to a draw last weekend with Bonmyeong Koo scoring another goal in 2024, something to build upon?

UNSW FC will want to steady themselves after three weeks without a victory. However, they have reason to be positive after two hard fought games against Mt Druitt Town Rangers and Marconi in the Australia Cup. A penalty in injury time denying them a result in the latter.

Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Dulwich Hill; Saturday 20 April, 7pm, Bonnyrigg Sports Club

Hopeful that a return home brings a change of fortune, Bonnyrigg White Eagles will be hoping that last weekend was the low point in their season going forward. Losing to Hakoah by three goals in both the cup and league, a win here will ease any nerves of falling into the bottom two.

They face a Dulwich Hill side who picked up back-to-back wins in recent weeks which has seen them jump up to 9th on the standings. Last weekend, they found their scoring touch with Emmanuel Zervas, Mark Younes and Goncalo Paradanta all finding the back of the net.

SD Raiders v Bulls FC Academy; Saturday 20 April, 7pm, Ernie Smith Reserve

SD Raiders made a step in the right direction last weekend breaking a scoring drought while taking the three points against Dunbar. Still, there is a lot of room for improvement moving forward as they look to find form. Youngsters Riley Cox-Barlow and Justin Chan Frias are players to watch in this one.

Another six goals on the cards here? Bulls FC Academy come into this one as favourites after scoring six in their past two games, last week impressively dispatching of Inter Lions. Abdelelah Faisal has stolen the headlines in their last two games but the whole team are flying.

Dunbar Rovers v Macarthur Rams; Saturday 20 April, 7pm, Fraser Park

After struggling to make their home advantage count last week, Dunbar Rovers are in need of a confidence boost heading into the middle third of the season. Against a 10-man SD Raiders side for the last half hour, they couldn’t quite get an equalizer. You sense a result is important here.

Macarthur Rams on the other hand sit five points above the hosts. Despite that looking unlikely a fortnight ago, they have picked up wins against UNSW and Rydalmere away from home. Look out for their set piece threat here, Paul Soravia and Leandro Guzman scoring from them last weekend.

By Justin Smith