Round 14 Preview – League One Men’s


The top two and bottom two face each other in FNSW League One Men’s round 14 action as we near the halfway point of the league season.

So no prizes for guessing where our match of the round is… While elsewhere, there’s plenty of games to keep an eye on this Saturday night.

Match of the Round: Bulls FC Academy v Mt Druitt Town Rangers; Saturday 11 May, 3pm, Sydney United Sports Centre

It’s a big one! A top two clash headlines our weekend of action as 2nd placed Bulls FC Academy host Mt Druitt Town Rangers at Sydney United Sports Centre.

Bulls FC Academy have shown they can have a bad day recently with two losses in their last five, while Mt Druitt Town Rangers could put themselves seven points clear with a win.

We’ll start with Bulls FC Academy who come into this one after their second defeat in their last five games. Against UNSW FC, they struggled to close down their hosts direct approach caught out throughout that fixture before conceding a last minute goal. A good lesson to learn prior to this one.

One thing in their favour however is their ability to bounce back after said defeats managing to emphatically win on the two occasions prior this season. With eye-catching academy football on the ball, you sense this could come down to matching the visitors physically at the back while Ariath Piol and Abdelelah Faisal have provided plenty of goals so far this season.

It’s a different beast though beating a Mt Druitt side this season as only one team has managed to best them so far. Dropping just four points in their past five games, Andy Montgomery’s side have established a four point gap at the top of the table approaching the halfway point.

Last weekend against Hakoah FC who sit in third spot, they shared the points in a close encounter at Popondetta Park. Conceding less than a goal a game this season, their success is build on their defence while they have plenty of pace up front to trouble any side in transition. In team news, Tom Whiteside should be set for a return back from his role as assistant coach for the Sydney FC A-league women’s side.

As always, this and every match of the round this season will be available on the FNSW YT page under the live tab.

Other Features

Bankstown City v Blacktown Spartans; Saturday 11 May, 7pm, Jensen Park

Two sides in the upper mid table face off as Bankstown City host Blacktown Spartans at Jensen Park, Saturday night.

The hosts come into this one in good morale after a round 13 derby victory kept them in fourth position, while Blacktown Spartans bounced back from their loss to Mt Druitt Town Rangers with a win over Macarthur Rams.

Two 1-0 victories in a row have served as a course correction for Bankstown City approaching this one. However beyond the results, last weekend was a confidence boosting one prevailing over Bonnyrigg White Eagles at home.

In that one, a top class volley from Jonathan Grozdanovski separated the two sides in a hard fought contest. A victory which improved their home record to 13 points in their seven games at the venue. Elsewhere on the field, Rhett Desilva is a player to watch with his industrious effort in attacking midfield last weekend.

Ten points in their last five games, Blacktown Spartans are in pretty good form in the middle part of the season. With a better record away from home than most, they will certainly be up for this one as a further chance to prove themselves.

Indeed, they have only won one game over a team above them on the ladder approaching round 14, so that will be added motivation. Back to last weekend though and they were pretty dominant against the Rams. Aedon Kyra picking up another brace, while Daniel Araujo is another player worth keeping an eye on here.

Macarthur Rams v Inter Lions; Saturday 11 May, 7pm, Lynwood Park

These two have a history of producing something special, Macarthur Rams host Inter Lions in a highly anticipated fixture in Sydney’s South-West.

Macarthur Rams fell to their first defeat in a month against Blacktown Spartans while Inter Lions overcame SD Raiders in a tight one.

It’s been a good month post the change in regime at Macarthur Rams. Led by Tom Bazdaric who has a history at the club, they have successfully navigated themselves away from the bottom two danger zone, Most notably beating Northern Tigers a fortnight ago.

Back to last week however, it was a tough outing against Blacktown Spartans with a couple injuries hurting their chances. Most notable of which saw Anthony Proia off inside the first five minutes. Two second half goals from the Spartans overturning a Michael Martin goal in the first half. They have picked up just 5 points in as many games at Lynwood Park this season.

Inter Lions picked up back-to-back victories for the second time this season with their victory over SD Raiders last weekend. Having struggled for consistency in the opening weeks of the season, they have steadied the ship in recent times with four wins in their last six.

There is definitely room for improvement away from home though as they have only one win in their seven away games this season. Back to last weekend however and it was there last ditch defence which won them the three points after Ahmad Taleb gave them a goal lead.

Quickfire Previews

Hakoah FC v Northern Tigers; Saturday 11 May, 4:30pm, Hensley Athletic Field

A case of a midweek fixture coming at the right time! Hakoah FC bounced back from two games without a win with an emphatic victory over Nepean FC last night.  Definitely a confidence boost after a draw last weekend against Mt Druitt Town Rangers, this stands as a good opportunity with the top two facing each other.

Two wins in their last three games has seen Northern Tigers bounce back in recent times. Last weekend they secured a comfortable win over Dunbar Rovers with three second half goals. Shervin Adeli was given the clubs internal man of the match and you’d imagine he’ll be important again if they win here.

UNSW FC v Bonnyrigg White Eagles; Saturday 11 May, 6pm, The Village Green

After two victories over teams in the top three, UNSW now face a different sort of challenge against Bonnyrigg White Eagles this weekend. Players are steadily returning into the first team squad with the likes of Thomas Quilligan and Jeremy Cox starting last weekend. While Kevin Lopes is making a habit of scoring off the bench.

A tough couple of results grounded the Bonnyrigg White Eagles last week. After winning four of their last five going in, they were beaten by Bulls FC Academy and Bankstown City in the space of four days. Sitting in 11th position they find themselves lost in the mid-table, can they course correct here?

SD Raiders v Rydalmere Lions; Saturday 11 May, 7pm, Ernie Smith Reserve

Round 14 gives the SD Raiders the chance at a reset after two straight defeats. Coach Goran Ljuboja didn’t shy away from showing his disappointment last weekend despite a tough build up with sickness in the squad. Can we expect a response from his side in this game?

They face a Rydalmere Lions side who are improving every week they take the field. Securing their fourth win of the season last weekend against Dulwich Hill, they will now look to consolidate that result. Look out for Isaac Cunningham in this one who grew in confidence last weekend. While another positive with a rare clean sheet.

Dulwich Hill v Canterbury Bankstown; Saturday 11 May, 7pm, Arlington Oval

Another side who will be looking to bounce back this weekend are Dulwich Hill. Last weekend was a tough result to take going down to Rydalmere Lions away from home. After reflecting on that performance, can they hit back with a vengeance at home this weekend?

In saying that, Canterbury Bankstown are not a side you want to face in such a situation. Winning their last three games with victories over teams they were expected to beat, confidence should be flowing. Last weekend they held a clean sheet in their win over Nepean. While they will be focusing on being more clinical in the final third here.

Dunbar Rovers v Nepean FC; Saturday 11 May, 7pm, Fraser Park

Slightly ahead of their opposition this week, Dunbar Rovers last claimed three points in the league back in round six. Last weekend going down to Northern Tigers away from home, they played well in the first half but couldn’t repeat the dose in the second. Can they push on for a result here?

They come up against a Nepean FC side who last picked up three points back in mid-March. They struggled once again midweek against Hakoah FC going down at their second home at Jamison Park. Most worrying from that was the size of the defeat conceding four goals for the first time this season.

Round 9 Review: Nepean FC 0-4 Hakoah FC

As mentioned above in the preview, Hakoah FC secured a valuable three points on the road with a 4-0 victory over Nepean FC at Jamison Park

The visitors ran away with this one in the second half scoring three times after the 67th minute. Prior to that, Cam Philpot gave them the lead before the quarter hour, a score line which held to half time. Before Connor Shaddock added the second goal in the 68th minute. Ginjira Chiba and Jayden Tran also finding the back of the net in the dying stages.

The result condemning Nepean to their seventh straight defeat having not scored in over 300 minutes.

Nepean FC 0

Hakoah FC 4 (Philpot 14’, Shaddock 68’, Chiba 83’, Tran 93’)

By Justin Smith