ROUND 2 REVIEW – LEAGUE TWO MEN’S
Round Two of Football NSW Men’s League Two presented us with even more upsets and as usual plenty of drama filled games.
In the match of the round, Dunbar Rovers sailed past Bankstown United with an impressive 3-0 victory.
Elsewhere, Bankstown City left the Central Coast with three points, Gladesville Ryde Magic kept the momentum going with another win over Inner West Hawks.
Macarthur Rams fought hard for a victory over Sydney University, Dulwich ended the round with a comeback victory over Canterbury Bankstown.
With Round Two in the books, it’s time to recap the weekend’s fixtures.
Match of the Round: Bankstown United FC 0-3 Dunbar Rovers FC
Dunbar Rovers gained their first win of the season in a triumph 3-0 win, leaving Bankstown United without any points from the opening two rounds.
After an early strike from Reece Berelowitz, Dunbar began to run away with the game, controlling the lion’s share of chances in the first half.
Dunbar continued its’ lethal attack in the opening stages of the second half with goals from Connor Slater and Hayden Tucker sealing the impressive result.
The visitors came out with a point to prove in the opening minutes of the game, pressing the Bankstown United defence in search of an early goal.
United found its footing in the game shortly after with a surge of corners that were ultimately dealt with by the Dunbar defence.
Tucker came closest to netting the first goal when his dangerous header narrowly sailed past the sticks
The hosts began to fight back and came close to an opener after Oscar Nieto Rava picked out Steven Wright.
The imposing defender soared through the air for a header and met Ben Wrigley in the process, the collision caused a slight delay in the game as Wright was attended to by the medical staff.
Dunbar found its opener in the 26th minute after Gianni Costantino perfectly slotted a ball through to Reece Berelowitz who neatly placed it in the bottom corner.
After a well-earned opening goal, Dunbar quickly had to re-adjust its focus to holding out United.
Ethan Bowmaker came within an inches of a spectacular equaliser, after his half-volley strike from the edge of the area skimmed past the post.
Kristian Sekutkoski kept his side in the game as the first half came to a close, after a brilliant save from point-blank range from a Calvin Lovric shot.
Dunbar entered the break up 1-0, with plenty of confidence.
The visitors were quickly back in their grove after an outstanding strike from Slater in the 49th minute had the Rovers ahead by two.
Dunbar extended its lead to three in the 55th minute after Berelowitz perfectly set Tucker up for a near open net.
With the result seemingly sealed, Bankstown searched for a way back into the game and will consider themselves unlucky to not have had a goal.
Kallie Bangura’s dangerous runs forward became an emphasis for United’s attacks in the second.
The rapid attacker played a neat ball into the box for Nieto Rava, his shot sailed over the bar from the close distance.
As United continued to push, they were met by an in-form Ben Wrigley who denied the hosts numerous times, coming off his line and putting his body on the line.
His man of the match worthy performance continued in the latter stages of the game after an acrobatic save from an Emilio Martinez free-kick, that look destined to go in.
Dunbar walked away from Jensen Park with the convincing 3-0 win and will take plenty of confidence heading into the next match against Sydney Uni.
Dunbar Rovers coach, Christian Soares was extremely pride of his side’s output and improvement from last week.
“It’s always tough to come out here and put in a performance against these guys, but compared to last week, I think we turned the chances we had last week into goals,
“We kept the intensity high and kept the game-plan which worked well today,” he said.
Bankstown United coach Scott Belgre was disappointed in his side’s outing and is hoping for plenty of improvement ahead of round three.
“Not good enough, we were second to everything, we’ve got a lot of things we need to change before next week that’s for sure,” he said.
“In the second half we did [create chances], but by then it was 3-0 and the game was gone, they drop off and they probably let us back into the game, we’re just not at that level at the moment”.
Central Coast United FC 1-2 Bankstown City FC
Bankstown City walked from the Central Coast with its first win of the season in a hard fought encounter.
With plenty to improve on form the opening round, City set the pace early and attempted to get a foot-up on the hosts.
The strong start finally paid for City minutes before the break when Ante Tomic converted from the penalty spot.
Under an injury cloud heading into the match, captain fantastic Nikola Todoroski stepped up for his side in the 51st minute with an impressive finish after a notable solo run, doubling the lead.
The hosts fired back hard in the final period of the game, throwing everything they could in restoring the game back at level pegging.
Joshua Swadling opened Central Coast’s account in the 85th minute as they continued with the attacking barrage.
After a flurry of corners and chances, Bankstown City held out for a hard earned win and left the home fans disappointed in the process.
Central Coast enter round three with just one point as they prepare for tough away trip to face Rydalmere Lions.
Inner West Hawks FC 1-2 Gladesville Ryde Magic
Gladesville Ryde pulled of an incredible late comeback against the Inner West Hawks to make it two wins in a row.
The Hawks showed plenty of improvement around the field and were led by a great showing from veteran defender Sam Awad.
After controlling the opening period, the Hawks opened up its account for 2022 when Peter Yannopoulos neatly buried his chance in the 21st minute.
Gladesville Ryde began to show signs of a comeback in the second half after an injection of life came from a triple substitution at the break.
Abanoub Micksel and Aaron Khan changed the game off the bench and helped build some crucial momentum for the visitors.
With the time ticking away, captain Chris Gaitatis stepped up with a sensational double in the 85th minute, flipping the game on its head.
The Hawks walked away from this game after leading for a majority of the time with no points, as Gladesville proved their fight and determination to walk away with the three points.
Sydney University SFC 0-1 Macarthur Rams FC
Macarthur Rams continued its impressive start to the season, downing a valiant Sydney Uni side that will be disappointed to have not found the back of the net.
After the thrilling 3-3 draw last week, Rams focus shifted to getting the job done and walking away with three points.
Both sides struggled to get past some tough opposing defence in the opening hour, which resulted in a counter-attack heavy game.
Macarthur finally broke the deadlock in the 67th minute after Amir Ajaj found himself one-on-one and neatly poked it into the bottom corner.
This lone goal proved to be the difference maker as Rams held out for the tough win.
Sydney Uni will feel very unlucky to have no points to show from the opening two games and will be hoping for a different result come next weekend when they face a resurgent Dunbar Rovers outfit.
Macarthur move forward with a tough trip to Christie Park to face the undefeated Gladesville Ryde Magic.
Canterbury Bankstown FC 1-2 Dulwich Hill FC
It was a tale of two halves in the final game of round two, with Dulwich coming back from a first-half deficit to leave with all three points.
Berries opened up similar to the round one fixture, on the front foot and looking likely when in front of goals.
Nathan Manno registered his first goal for 2022 early on, after he neatly tucked his header away for Berries’ opener.
Dulwich Hill struggled to get into the game in the first half as Canterbury Bankstown entered the break full of confidence.
The second half was a completely different story as Dulwich looked lively and gained the majority of momentum.
Alex Nicolosi converted from the penalty spot, giving his side a much deserved equaliser.
The momentum followed on as Harry Browell followed up from a Jono Green strike to give the visitors the lead.
Within five minutes, Dulwich Hill bagged two goals, giving them the much needed breathing room to comfortably see out the remainder of the game.
Berries now move on to a tough outing with Bankstown City in six days’ time, whereas Dulwich Hill look to add to Bankstown United’s tough start to the season.
Rydalmere Lions FC vs Inter Lions FC
-By Football NSW Men’s League Two Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti