Round 22 Preview – League One Men’s

a man holding a football ball

As the top two threaten to pull clear, the question on everyone’s lips is who can respond entering round 22 of the Football NSW League One Men’s competition, this weekend.

Competition leaders Mt Druitt Town Rangers host our match of the round while there’s several hard fought ties across the venues.

Match of the Round: Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Rydalmere Lions; Saturday 29 June, 7pm, Popondetta Park

Our round 22 match of the round takes us out west as Mt Druitt Town Rangers continue their charge towards the premiership when they host Rydalmere Lions.

The visitors are one of just two sides to beat the Town Rangers this season prevailing 2-0 in their last meeting, it would be some turnaround from last weekend however where they went down to a heavy defeat to UNSW.

There’s no such worries for Mt Druitt Town Rangers, five straight victories has them in really good form heading into this one. The first team to crack 50 points this campaign, they boast an almost perfect home record this season with eight wins and two draws.

Last weekend, they overcame a tough opponent in Nepean FC in Friday night action. And once again, it was two familiar names who found the back of the net in Andre Martins and Charles Mendy. Indeed, averaging three goals a game in their last five fixtures, Andy Montgomery’s side have found the key to unlocking their attacking potential recently. Keep an eye out for Garang Awac as well here who won the clubs internal motm.

They face a Rydalmere Lions side who up untill last weekend were doing a good job at matching their opponents. On 20 points, they aren’t in any real danger but with the mid-season window open, there definitely is room for improvement in their remaining eleven fixtures.

We do have to touch on last weekend however and yes it was ugly against UNSW going down 6-0. So hopefully we can expect a response here. Look out for Isaac Cunningham who has lifted his side on more than one occasion this season. They have won just one of their eleven games away from home this season.

Other Features

Blacktown Spartans v UNSW FC; Saturday 29 June, 7pm, Blacktown Football Park

Fifth placed Blacktown Spartans host sixth placed UNSW FC in a battle between two upper mid-table sides at Blacktown Football Park.

Revenge will perhaps be on the mind of the hosts after UNSW FC prevailed 3-0 in their first meeting back in March. Both sides coming into this one in a good place after convincing victories last weekend.

Blacktown Spartans secured a pressure relieving victory last weekend against Canterbury Bankstown. Like many teams around below the top four pack, form has been mixed for Ben Rollison’s side but with some new arrivals teased, they will be looking for a strong finish to the campaign.

Back to last weekends result, it was perhaps the most dominant one the side have put together all season. Aedon Kyra added to his impressive season tally of fifteen goals in twenty starts while Suleyman Bangura secured a brace so they are our players to watch this weekend.

They face an ever improving UNSW side who picked up their ninth victory of the season last weekend. After picking up just one point from their previous two fixtures leading into their match against Rydalmere Lions, the students were in a goalscoring mood putting six past their opponents.

And one man in particular stood out in that win in Jeremy Cox. Cox scoring a hat-trick along with two assists in a dominant individual display. He was joined by Kevin Lopes who also scored twice and picked up an assist, ominous signs for their opponents in this one.

Dulwich Hill v Macarthur Rams; Saturday 29 June, 7pm, Arlington Oval

Just as important as any fixture in the competition this weekend, Dulwich Hill host Macarthur Rams with both sides looking to pull away from the bottom two.

These two sides couldn’t be separated in their fist meeting back in round 7 with both playing out a 2-2 draw at Lynwood Park, so bragging rights for the season are up for grabs.

Like a few fixtures this weekend, there’s a sense in this one that something has to give. For Dulwich Hill, they have a point to prove after a seven goal defeat at the hands of Bulls FC Academy midweek at Northbridge Oval.

The good news for this one is that Goncalo Paradanta should be back in action after being suspended. It would be some turnaround though given they have only secured one point in their last four games.

After respectable performances against two top three sides leading in, last weekend was a disappointing result for Macarthur Rams who went down to their third straight defeat against SD Raiders at Lynwood Park.

A rare example of a side better away from home than at home, they will look to respond in this one against a team below them on the table. To do so however, they will need to find a route to goal, something they have struggled to do this season.

Quickfire Previews

Bulls FC Academy v Northern Tigers; Saturday 29 June, 3pm, Sydney United Sports Centre

Bulls FC Academy are in ominous form coming into this one after two victories in in four days. On the back of their win against Bankstown City, they went on to secure a seven goal victory over Dulwich Hill. In the game against Bankstown City, it was Dean Bosnjak and Ante Vojvodic who stood out, so they are our players to watch this week.

Northern Tigers had another weekend off last time out, a casualty once again of the wild weather we’ve been having. Prior to that, they picked up two wins in their last three overcoming UNSW and Bonnyrigg White Eagles. A better side than their place on the table suggests, they could well spring an upset in this once, particularly if Kai Denton features.

Previous Meeting: Northern Tigers 0-2 Bulls FC Academy

Bankstown City v Dunbar Rovers; Saturday 29 June, 5pm, Jensen Park

Pressure off? Thirteen points behind Bulls FC Academy, a loss to them last weekend was a blow in regards to Bankstown City’s top two hopes. Now with not much that pressure on them, can we expect to see a freedom on the field in their next ten games? Last weeks goal scorer Jonathan Grozdanovski could be important here.

They face a Dunbar Rovers side who could well be short of fitness given recent fixture interruptions. Last taking the field over two weeks ago, they’ve had a chance to reset going into the run home, scoring just 19 goals this season, they’ll be looking for a better output from here on out whether that be a signing or from elsewhere.

Previous Meeting: Dunbar Rovers 1-1 Bankstown City

SD Raiders v Hakoah FC; Saturday 29 June, 7pm, Ernie Smith Reserve

Five points in three games has SD Raiders in relatively good form heading into this one. Last weekend they took away three points from their fixture against Macarthur Rams in a game they controlled from start to finish. Charlie Ragg scored twice while Noah Chianese joined him on the scoresheet, can they upset their visitors here?

They face a Hakoah FC side who have a perfect record across their last five games. And in truth, they’ve needed to maintain that record as the top two haven’t slipped up much this season. Back to last week and they maintained their habit of scoring after the 75th minute with three goals after that point. Nicholas Tooley is proving valuable off the bench while Nicholas Drummond is in good form for Craig Sharpley’s side

Previous Meeting: Hakoah FC 3-0 SD Raiders.

Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Nepean FC; Saturday 29 June, 7pm, Bonnyrigg Sports Club

Another side who haven’t appeared in two weeks are Bonnyrigg White Eagles. Playing two games so far in the month of June, the forecast looks good for this one to go ahead. They are winless in four games including a 4-0 loss to Northern Tigers last time out. Will they be able to turn it around in a game they should win on paper.

Having faced some of the top teams in the competition in recent times, Nepean FC will see the next few weeks as a chance to pick up points. Last weekend, a few errors ended up costing them dearly against Mt Druitt Town Rangers after a Luka Zepina goal as well as an own goal gave them the lead.

Previous Meeting: Nepean FC 0-3 Bonnyrigg White Eagles

Inter Lions v Canterbury Bankstown; Saturday 29 June, 7pm, Majors Bay Reserve

Breaking a run of postponed fixtures, Inter Lions returned to the pitch last weekend against Hakoah FC. In a match which was closer than the scoreline suggests, they had their chances to walk away with something throughout. Unfortunately though, they only found the back of the net through Ahmad Taleb from the spot. With 90 minutes under their belt, expect improvement here.

Like their hosts, bouncing back will be the aim for Canterbury Bankstown after a tough night against Blacktown Spartans last Friday. It was a rare off night for the Berries who have impressed since entering the division in 2022. They are under strength though with some injuries taking their toll in recent times.

Previous Meeting: Canterbury Bankstown 1-1 Inter Lions

By Justin Smith