Round 21 Preview – League One Men’s

League ONE Men's Round Preview 21

Entering the final third of the season, there’s plenty to play for in round 21 of the FNSW League One Men’s competition.

Headlined by a top four match of the round with one sides top two hopes hanging by a thread, Mt Druitt Town Rangers also visit Nepean FC in another intriguing fixture. Check out our preview below.

Match of the Round: Bankstown City v Bulls FC Academy; Saturday 22nd June, 3pm, Jensen Park

Our match of the round this weekend is a good one as Bankstown City host Bulls FC Academy clinging onto their top two hopes.

Six points stand between the two sides coming into this one with anything but a victory a blow to Bankstown City’s promotion hopes. They took out the first meeting between the two sides back in round 6 with a convincing 4-1 win.

The last three weeks have seen Bankstown City slip up with four points coming from a possible nine. Last weekend they drew in a high scoring showdown with UNSW FC away from home in which they trailed on three separate occasions before a last minute penalty from Christopher Payne secured them a point.

This will be a meeting between two very good defensive sides, with Sasha Tirovski’s side conceding just 25 goals in 19 fixtures this season. While the first meeting between the two was the most success they’ve had in front of goal. Chris Payne and Rhett Desilva are always worth keeping an eye on but as mentioned earlier this could well be decided by which defence holds firm.

You would suggest that given the previous meeting between the two, Bulls FC Academy will want to prove a point here. In second place with fourteen victories to their name so far, they have won four of their last five fixtures, last week prevailing over Nepean FC.

On the table, that win doesn’t look noteworthy but it is cause Nepean have very much turned the corner recently. Daanish Awaz has been impressive in recent weeks while it was Will McKay who was singled out as their best on the field. Leading the league in both goals scored and fewest goals conceded, they will come in as favourites for this one.

Other Features

Nepean FC v Mt Druitt Town Rangers; Friday 21st June, 8pm, Cook Park (St Marys)

Mt Druitt Town Rangers await Nepean FC as the hosts look to escape the bottom two entering the final third of the season.

There wasn’t much between the two sides the last time these two met and with Nepean improving week to week, this could well be a lot closer than the table suggests.

We’ll start with Nepean who have two wins in their last four which brings them to within three points of Dulwich Hill above them. Another game against a top two side awaiting them this week, they will be looking to better last weekends result against Bulls FC Academy.

In which, they were rather impressive taking the lead in the first half and making life difficult for their more fancied opponent. If they can keep that level from here on out, survival is definitely achievable for Stephen Appleby’s side.

Mt Druitt Town Rangers are a tough ask though with Andy Montgomery’s side winning four games on the trot. A five point lead at the summit, they have looked more convincing in recent weeks with victories over Dulwich Hill and Macarthur Rams.

In the game against Rams last week, it was a textbook away performance. Firmly in control from the get go, Cooper Coskerie opened their account with 15 minutes left before Charles Mendy popped up for their second. They could well extend their gap at the top here with Bulls FC Academy having a tricky fixture elsewhere.

Quickfire Previews

Blacktown Spartans v Canterbury Bankstown; Friday 21st June, 8pm, Blacktown Football Park

It’s been a tough month or so results wise for Blacktown Spartans. One win in their last five, they went down to a narrow defeat against Hakoah FC last weekend. If they are to turn it around here, look to Angus Chance and Aedon Kyra to lead the way. Last weeks goal scorer William DiMartino also deserving a mention.

They face a Canterbury Bankstown side who were boosted by a victory over Northern Tigers last weekend. With a couple of 20’s players stepping up including goal scorer Gordan Damcevski, they will be looking to make it back-to-back wins here. It would be a big effort though given their woes away from home this season.

Previous Meeting: Canterbury Bankstown 1-1 Blacktown Spartans

Northern Tigers v Dulwich Hill; Saturday 22nd June, 6:30pm, North Turramurra Recreation Area

Having been a bit of a streaky side results wise this season, Northern Tigers will look to bounce back from a surprise defeat to Canterbury Bankstown last weekend. Aside from that result, they won two games last week over Bonnyrigg and UNSW. Ally Brown was the clubs man of the match against the Berries while Kai Denton is also on a scoring run.

After facing two top three opponents in consecutive games, Dulwich Hill secured a point last weekend against SD Raiders. On the back foot for a lot of that one, Liam Spiropoulos gave them a lead before it was pegged back. They will be without Goncalo Paradanta for this one after a red card last weekend.

Previous Meeting: Dulwich Hill 2-3 Northern Tigers

Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Dunbar Rovers; Saturday 22nd June, 7pm, Bonnyrigg Sports Club

Expect two desperate sides in this one with neither being in particularly good form. For Bonnyrigg, their return home hasn’t been a memorable one with two draws and a defeat in their most recent games. The last of which saw them go down 4-0 to Northern TIgers in last weeks midweek fixture. Hopefully there’s a response here.

This is a fixture which will hold happy memories for Dunbar Rovers. Their only victory of the campaign so far in the reverse fixture, they come into this one having lost their past three games including a 4-0 defeat to Nepean FC mid last week. Capable of matching it with good sides in the division, this is an important game for Christian Soares and his side.

Previous Meeting:Dunbar Rovers 3-2 Bonnyrigg White Eagles

Rydalmere Lions v UNSW FC; Saturday 22nd June, 7pm, Rydalmere Park

After a weekend off, Rydalmere Lions face their second fixture in four days in this one. They’ve made themselves hard to beat in recent times drawing their last three games at the time of writing. Isaac Cunnigham is always a player to watch while Marcus Sparacino should be back from suspension for Abbas Saad’s side.

In their way are UNSW who have stumbled in recent weeks with one point in their last two fixtures. They had the lead three times against Bankstown City last weekend but couldn’t quite get the job done. Jeremy Cox is a player to watch in the final third of the season as he has found his fitness after a series of injury setbacks.

Previous Meeting: UNSW FC 4-1 Rydalmere Lions

Inter Lions v Hakoah FC; Saturday 22nd June, 7pm, Majors Bay Reserve

It’s been over two weeks since we’ve seen Inter Lions take to the field where they shared the points with Rydalmere Lions. That result halted a losing streak and they’ll certainly be refreshed and ready to take on the competition on their return. They took a point from their fixture with Hakoah earlier in the season.

No such issues for Hakoah FC who come into this one in good form. Four wins on the bounce, they got the better of Blacktown Spartans last weekend. And you guessed it, it came from a late goal this time through Nicholas Tooley with Ginjira Chiba getting the assist. Fun fact, nearly half their goals (44%) have come after the 76th minute this season.

Previous Meeting: Hakoah FC 3-3 Inter Lions

Macarthur Rams v SD Raiders; Saturday 22nd June, 7pm, Lynwood Park

A good chance for their sixth win of the season? After two defeats against two top sides in the division, Macarthur Rams will have their sights set on a team closer to them on the table. Last weekend, goalkeeper Seiya Miyamoto was their best against Mt Druitt Town Rangers and in team news, Jacob Esposito will miss this one.

This will be the second game in four days for SD Raiders who face Rydalmere Lions in a catch up fixture midweek. Prior to that one, they endured another frustrating evening against Dulwich Hill last weekend. And once again, it was their proficiency in front of goal which let them down, something that has plagued them throughout this campaign.

Previous Meeting: SD Raiders 0-1 Macarthur Rams

By Justin Smith