Round 23 Preview – League One Men’s

League ONE Men's Round Preview IND 23

With eight weeks to go and some new faces coming into the league, round 23 of the FNSW League One Men’s competition is set to excite this weekend.

Our match of the round takes place Friday night in Sydney’s west, while elsewhere the top two will look to continue their charge to the title. Check out this week’s preview below.

Match of the Round: Blacktown Spartans v Nepean FC; Friday 5th July, 8pm, Blacktown Football Park

 Our match of the round this weekend gives us some Friday night action as Blacktown Spartans host Nepean FC at Blacktown Football Park.

With the Spartans winning their last two home games and Nepean still needing points, it promises to be a good game in this Western Sydney derby. The last meeting between the two finishing 1-0 in favour of Ben Rollison’s side.

We’ll start with them as they have picked up some good results in recent weeks. Last weekend securing a three goal victory over the other promoted side in the division UNSW FC. Sitting in 5th position with eight games left of their season, the Spartans could well be pushing for a top four position come season’s end.

Aside from the regular goal threats of Aedon Kyra and Suleyman Bangura, two other players who play a key role for Spartans are Daniel Araujo in midfield who has featured in all 22 games for his side this season and Angus Chance. While Lucas Brandow Vidal also appeared on the bench last weekend.

It’s a big couple of weeks for Nepean FC who will feature in a couple of match of the rounds in the next month. Sitting in the relegation playoff position, they are four points behind Dulwich Hill in 14th position above them with nine games left in their season.

Last weekend, they went down narrowly against Bonnyrigg White Eagles away from home. The big news around that one being the transfer of Lachlan Sepping to Hills United with Darcy Ellem coming the other way. While Andrew Holder is also a new name who also appeared on the team sheet. Can they pull of an upset here?

Canterbury Bankstown v Bulls FC Academy; Sunday 7th July, 3pm, Jensen Park

Canterbury Bankstown stand as the next test for Bulls FC Academy as both sides meet in a rare Sunday afternoon fixture at Jensen Park.

The hosts have lost their past two games while Bulls FC Academy come in after taking a maximum 9 points from their three game week.

It is worth noting however that Canterbury Bankstown are a tougher side to beat at home this season. Winning seven games at the venue, they average over 2 points per game at Jensen Park and will prove to be a tough task for the academy side.

Last weekend however they went down to Inter Lions away from home at Majors Bay Reserve. Among plenty of players stepping up to first grade recently, Sunny Chang also made his club debut getting on the score sheet in the second half after making the move from Dunbar Rovers.

No such problems for Bulls FC Academy who are as good away as they are at home. Two points behind Mt Druitt Town Rangers above them, signs are there that the race for automatic promotion will go to the final weeks of the season.

In saying that, the first half against Northern Tigers last weekend was perhaps the most vulnerable they have looked in this run of games. Some half time words from the coaching staff changing that game. Midweek however, it was Oliver Randazzo, Flynn Madden and Daanish Awaz who impressed.

Hakoah FC v Rydalmere Lions; Saturday 6th July, 4:30pm, Hensley Athletic Field

Last week’s defeat to SD Raiders was a tough one to take for Hakoah FC. Now seven points behind the top two, they’ll need a fair bit of good fortune to come back into that race. If we’re looking for a positive though, the pressure will be off to an extent this weekend, something which benefited Bankstown City last weekend.

There were a lot of positives to take from Rydalmere Lions’ performance against Mt Druitt Town Rangers last weekend. Down by four goals early in the second half, they nearly staged a comeback to make the score line a fairer reflection. They will be without Isaac Cunningham in this one after a red card while Hyungmin Yang looks an important pick up for Abbas Saad’s side.

Previous Meeting: Rydalmere Lions 4-5 Hakoah FC

Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Northern Tigers; Saturday 6th July, 7pm, Popondetta Park

Not too unlike their fellow challengers Bulls FC Academy, there’s a slight point to prove for Mt Druitt Town Rangers this weekend. They took a four goal lead over Rydalmere Lions before conceding three goals. Charles Mendy, Andre Martins and Daniel Wong all impressed though they’ll want a 90 minute performance here.

They face a difficult opponent in Northern Tigers this week. Despite two defeats in a row against Canterbury Bankstown and Bulls FC Academy, they have the quality to surprise here. Kai Denton continued his goal a game return while Ally Brown was the club’s internal man of the match. They have added Matthew Smale to the squad recently.

Previous Meeting: Northern Tigers 0-4 Mt Druitt Town Rangers

Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Macarthur Rams; Saturday 6th July, 7pm, Bonnyrigg Sports Club

After breaking a winless run last weekend, Bonnyrigg White Eagles have another chance at a win this weekend. This will be their third game this week after a catch up fixture Wednesday night. Back to the Nepean game, Daniel Bittar scored the important goal just before the break to give them the three points.

Macarthur Rams will be itching to get back on the field after seeing a two goal lead disappear in the final ten minutes against Dulwich Hill. They welcomed multiple names to the club last week including Jason Perez and Emmanuel Gonzalez from Bonnyrigg. They seem a few results away from survival, one opportunity being this one.

Previous Meeting: Macarthur Rams 1-3 Bonnyrigg White Eagles

Dulwich Hill v Bankstown City; Saturday 6th July, 7pm, Arlington Oval

Dulwich Hill will come into this one high on confidence after a second half comeback against Macarthur Rams last weekend. Down by two goals going into the final ten, Micaiah Te Rata and Nathan Sansom scored their two goals to take a point. In squad news, Shoma Nakagawa and James Duvcevski have come in during the window.

Bankstown City will be a tough opponent however coming into this one after a five goal win last weekend. Shaking off disappointment in recent times, Mabior Garang secured a brace on his return to the team alongside Chris Payne and Rhett Desilva who also found the back of the net. They’ve brought in Jamie Masson who featured for Hakoah last season.

Previous Meeting:Bankstown City 2-1 Dulwich Hill

Dunbar Rovers v Inter Lions; Saturday 6th July, 7pm, Fraser Park

It remains tough going for Dunbar Rovers who are trying to get off the foot of the table. A 5-0 loss to Bankstown City saw them fall to their fourth straight defeat. There has been change in the team however with Mondo Kagami, Elijah Howe, Alexander Nicolosi and Jamie Gutierrez all making their move to the club.

Inter Lions returned to winning ways last weekend against Canterbury Bankstown. Breaking a run of five games without a win, they started well and went on with the job against the Berries. Ollie Green was the player who stood out in that one with a hat-trick, his combination with Ahmad Taleb important in the victory.

Previous Meeting: Inter Lions 3-1 Dunbar Rovers

UNSW FC v SD Raiders; Saturday 6th July, 7pm, Village Green

Inconsistency is the word that comes to mind for UNSW in recent weeks. Their last three games have seen them pick up a win, a draw and a loss. Last weekend was one to forget though against Blacktown Spartans going down 3-0. They will be keen to bounce back in this one back among home comforts at the Village Green.

They face a SD Raiders side who have found their goal-scoring touch in recent weeks. Scoring three goals in their last two games, they upset Hakoah FC last weekend at home. A big part in their win last week was the performance of Jairo Torne Fernandez who scored a brace in the second half, first time his scored more than one this season.

Previous Meeting: SD Raiders 0-0 UNSW FC

By Justin Smith