Round 22 Review – League One Men’s

a person with a football ball

It was a good weekend for our top two sides who opened up a gap at the summit of the FNSW League One Men’s table after 22 rounds.

For the first time in a while, all eight games took place on Saturday night and it didn’t disappoint with some cracking action.

Match of the Round: Mt Druitt Town Rangers 4-3 Rydalmere Lions

Mt Druitt Town Rangers held off a fast finishing Rydalmere Lions to retake the competition lead in our match of the round at Popondetta Park.

At one point, the hosts had a four goal advantage in this one before the visitors staged a late comeback in a thrilling contest.

Despite what the halftime score line suggested, Rydalmere Lions started positively with a dangerous ball into the area and shot from long range in the opening sixty seconds.

Their best chance of this period coming in the 9th minute, Isaac Cunningham unable to turn a sharp chance home from a corner for the visitors.

While at the other end,  Mt Druitt responded with a chance of their own, Charles Mendy with a great individual run down the right before he found Daniel Wong with a cross, his effort hitting the side netting.

Rydalmere however were edging the game chance wise with Dillan Kahale and Isaac Cunningham having further opportunities in the opening quarter hour for the visitors.

Goals have a habit of changing games however and it was the hosts who found the net first in the contest. A build up down the right seeing Charles Mendy cross the ball low into the area with Andre Martins in prime position to finish on the second attempt after Harry Aquilina made the initial save.

Rydalmere bouncing back well from conceding winning a free-kick after the half hour which drew a save from   Dylan Niski over the bar, Hyungmin Yang the taker.

It was the hosts who were to double their lead though, Charles Mendy scoring a lovely individual goal, taking the ball from the edge of the area past a few defenders before rolling it home. This coming after a lovely passing move down the left.

The two goal lead becoming a three goal lead before the break. Charles Mendy converting a penalty which Garang Awac won. Mendy rolling it into the bottom left corner. A three goal difference probably a little harsh on the visitors as they headed for the changing rooms.

If there was doubt about the final result heading into the second half, Mt Druitt extinguished the visitors hopes soon into the second half. Daniel Wong scoring a goal for the highlight reel from outside the area. In which he received the ball with a couple of touches before his right footed shot flew into the top left corner. Andre Martins with a lovely dummy in the build up.

Credit where it is due however, Rydalmere never quite went away with a spirited performance after going down. Dillan Kahale and Isaac Cunningham both having shots saved by Dylan Niski just after the hour mark.

Eventually getting their reward with three goals in the final quarter hour. The first of which saw Cunningham winning the corner for the Lions which brought on the goal. A floated ball from the left finding Ethan Thomas at the back post who headed past Niski in the hosts goal.

Before Isaac Cunningham converted a penalty in the 80th minute setting up the final ten minutes nicely. Though that momentum was halted with Cunningham sent off five minutes later.

A late opportunistic Jihad Alsayed goal in injury time bringing the score line back to 4-3, perhaps a much fairer score line given what we saw on the field.

Mt Druitt Town Rangers continue to set the pace in the division with a two point advantage over Bulls FC Academy. While there are definitely positives to take for Rydalmere Lions who face a midweek fixture with Bonnyrigg White Eagles.

Mt Druitt Town Rangers 4 (Martins 28’, Mendy 40’ 45’, Wong 49’)

Rydalmere Lions 3 (Thomas 76’, Cunningham 80’, Alsayed 95’)


Blacktown Spartans 3-0 UNSW FC

Blacktown Spartans got some sweet revenge with a 3-0 victory over UNSW FC at Blacktown Football Park, Saturday evening.

A tough night for the students, the Spartans were a constant goal threat rewarded with their second straight victory at the same venue.

Signs were ominous from the outset for the visitors with UNSW keeper Charles Samushonga making three one-on-one saves in the opening 25 minutes to deny Aedon Kyra and Suleyman Bangura.

They were to find a breakthrough after the half hour though, Angus Chance scoring yet another goal with Bangura coming up with the assist.

Confidence high, the hosts continued to control proceedings in the second half creating chances without finishing them off. Finally getting the second goal with just under 20 minutes left, Daniel Araujo dribbling past three players before slotting home in the 72nd minute.

A final goal coming in injury time, Joseph Hatem scoring his first goal for the Spartans after Jett McFadden crossed the ball in.

Blacktown Spartans host their third straight home game next weekend against Nepean, while UNSW host SD Raiders at home in round 23 action.

Blacktown Spartans 3 (Chance 32’, Araujo 79’, Hatem 93’)


Dulwich Hill FC 3-3 Macarthur Rams

This could well be an important point. Dulwich Hill staged a second half comeback to secure a draw with Macarthur Rams at Arlington Oval.

An even contest throughout, Dulwich Hill had to pull a rabbit out of the hat with two goals in the final 20 minutes to rescue a point.

Prior to which, Macarthur Rams were a particular threat in transition. That avenue leading to their first goal with a cross from the right wing deflecting off a Dulwich Hill defender into the back of the net.

Both sides creating chances throughout the first half though the score line remained unchanged going into the break.

Rams extending their lead early in the second half from a set piece, Alex Gollan scoring through a crowded area to double their advantage.

A two goal lead which lasted just three minutes before Dulwich Hill struck back, Mark Younes on the spot to finish after a long range free-kick was fumbled into his path. A see-sawing period of the game, Rams then restored their two goal advantage through Anthony Proia who capped off a well-executed break forward.

Digging deep, the hosts then scored twice in the final ten minutes, a similar sequence of events leading to their second with Micaiah Te Rata finishing for their second. Before Nathan Sansom heading home a corner in the 88th minute to win a share of the points.

Dulwich Hill 3 (Younes 55’, Te Rata 81’, Sansom 88’)

Macarthur Rams 3 (Sansom OG 7’, Gollan 52’, Proia 64’)

Bulls FC Academy 2-1 Northern Tigers

A win which for a short time put them top, Bulls FC Academy edged past Northern TIgers in Sydney’s south-west, Saturday afternoon.

It didn’t go all their own way however with Northern Tigers testing the young Bulls particularly in the first half.

One of those times where scoring early almost hurt the academy sides chances with Michael Krslovic opwning their account in the tenth minute from their first real opportunity. For the most part however it wasn’t a great showing from the Bulls who let their opponents back into the game.

Kai Denton scoring an equaliser for the visitors from the spot which was probably fair given how the game was going.

Needing a response coming out for the second half, Bulls were better value after the break, Dean Bosnjak scoring two minutes into the second half which would prove the difference between the two sides.

They next face Canterbury Bankstown, while Mt Druitt Town Rangers await Northern Tigers next weekend in another tough contest.

Bulls FC Academy 2 (Krslovic 10’, Bosnjak 47’)

Northern Tigers 1 (Denton 43’)

Inter Lions 4-2 Canterbury Bankstown

Inter Lions picked up their first win in six overcoming Canterbury Bankstown 4-2 at Majors Bay Reserve.

A stabilising result after a tough six weeks, they will be hoping this sparks a positive final third of the season going forward.

Starting the game on the front foot, the hosts were rewarded with their first inside ten minutes. Ahmad Taleb turning home a Jack Green for Inter to take the advantage.

The game then becoming a tight tussle with not many chances for both sides, at least untill the hosts doubled their advantage. Oliver Green finding the top corner with a magnificent strike after Nicholas Paras and Lachlan Everett played a role in the build up.

Oliver Green completing his hat-trick with two goals in the third quarter of the contest. His first scored two minutes into the second half before he combined with Ahmad Taleb for his sides fourth goal just after the 70th minute.

Canterbury Bankstown then scored two goals in quick succession after that goal. Stefano Di Marino scoring his sides first before Sunny Chang doubled their tally on his first start for the Berries after moving from Dunbar Rovers.

That side (Dunbar) awaiting Inter Lions next weekend, while Berries face a tough task in Bulls FC Academy next weekend.

Inter Lions 4 (Taleb 8’, O.Green 42’ 47’, 72’)

Canterbury Bankstown 2 (Di Marino 74’, Chang 79’)

SD Raiders 3-0 Hakoah FC

Picking up some form in the final third of the season. SD Raiders dealt a blow to the promotion hopes of Hakoah FC winning that one 3-0 at Ernie Smith Reserve.

A physical and spirited contest, SD Raiders emerged victorious with three goals in quick secession around the half time break giving them the three points.

The pattern of this one started to emerge after a frantic opening ten minutes, SD Raiders controlling posession for the most part while Hakoah were always dangerous on the break.

SD Raiders finding the back of the net late in the first half through Lachlan Mcgrath. His side breaking down the left before Mcgrath scored with a back post header on 42 minutes.

That momentum continuing in the second half with the hosts pressing high and forcing errors. Jairo Torne Fernandez scoring twice in the first ten minutes of the second half to give them the three goal advantage.

Needing a response, the visitors had two good opportunites to respond, hitting the post with one while forcing a save with the other however they weren’t able to stage a trademark come back.

Hakoah now sit 7 points behind the top two, while SD Raiders have lost just once in their last five games and will be a tricky opponent from here on out.

SD Raiders 3 (Mcgrath 42’, Torne Fernandez 49’ 51’)

Hakoah FC 0

Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1-0 Nepean FC

Like Inter Lions above them, Bonnyrigg White Eagles also secured a drought breaking win over Nepean FC at the Bonnyrigg Sports Club.

A much needed three points for the hosts, a late goal in the first half was the difference between the two sides in a hard fought contest.

Despite being on top for large periods of it, the hosts struggled to break down their opposition creating just a few opportunities either side of the half time break. The goal coming just before the half time break through Daniel Bittar.

The win giving the hosts some much needed encouragement with plenty of midweek fixtures ahead of them, while Nepean FC remain in 15th, with Blacktown Spartans their next task on Friday night.

Bonnyrigg White Eagles 1 (Bittar 45’)

Nepean FC 0

Bankstown City 5-0 Dunbar Rovers

Finally to round off the review, Bankstown City released the shackles putting five past a sorry Dunbar Rovers outfit.

Returning to winning ways after a tough couple of weeks, the hosts showed their visitors no mercy in a 5 star performance at Jensen Park.

This one really blew out in the second half with four of the five goals coming past the hour mark. Prior to which, Chris Payne opened the scoring before the half hour.

As the game ticked on, Bankstown City showed their class with the four second half goals. Mabior Garang scoring his first five minutes after coming on. Before Rhett Desilva added their third in the 66th minute. An own goal soon following that putting the game beyond reach for the visitors, Mabior Garang completing his brace in the 85th minute.

They travel east to face Dulwich Hill next weekend, while Dunbar Rovers host Inter Lions at Fraser Park in round 23 action.

Bankstown City 5 (Payne 28’, Garang 62’ 85’, Desilva 66’, Constantino OG 71’)

Dunbar Rovers 0

By Justin Smith