ROUND 3 PREVIEW – LEAGUE TWO MEN’S
With the majority of the teams preparing for a mid-week Australian Cup tie, Round three of Football NSW Men’s League Two could throw a massive spanner in the works in the early stages of the season.
Our Match of the Round takes us back to Jensen Park as Bankstown City host Canterbury Bankstown, eager to get its first win of the season.
Elsewhere around the league, Bankstown United look to get its season back on track against Dulwich Hill, Rydalmere return home for a matchup with Central Coast United, Dunbar Rovers lock horns with Sydney University.
Wrapping up Round three, Inter Lions return to action against Inner West Hawks as Gladesville Ryde Magic host Macarthur Rams in the final game of the weekend.
Saturday 26th March 2022
Match of the Round: Bankstown City FC vs Canterbury Bankstown FC, 7pm @ Jensen Park
Bankstown City return to Jensen Park full of confidence after a gritty win against Central Coast United.
The hosts got its season back on track with the win and will look to inflict more damage on Canterbury Bankstown’s winless start to the season.
Bankstown City enter this matchup with a larger injury list than last week, with many of its regular starters questionable to be fit for round three.
With what could be a rotational squad for City, the Berries could seize the opportunity and pull off a massive win.
Canterbury Bankstown will look for a complete performance and will need to be at its best to get a result against City.
Berries have struggled to maintain leads in the opening rounds of the season and could be punished if they go down a similar path in this matchup.
Berries will be boosted after a positive performance from Nathan Manno last week, after he bagged a much-needed goal last week.
Considering the circumstances of both sides, it is difficult to predict the outcome, meaning we are in for an entertaining matchup.
Dulwich Hill FC vs Bankstown United FC, 7pm @ Arlington Oval
It’s top verse bottom as the undefeated Dulwich Hill face off against the winless Bankstown United.
Both sides have played their best football in the second half of games, giving added importance to the opening half of action.
Dulwich Hill pulled off another comeback victory over Berries in Round two, making it two from two in 2022.
The hosts head into this matchup in search of adding to Bankstown United’s poor stretch of results.
Bankstown United have shown flashes of a quality side, however they’ve failed to convert on its chances in front of goals.
United will look for their main man up top, Alex Boyadijian to get off the mark and boost his side’s chances of a massive victory.
With United coach, Scott Belgre admitting he’s ‘not sure what’s wrong’ with the sides opening two performances, they’ll be expected to lift for this massive fixture.
Rydalmere Lions FC vs Central Coast United FC, 7pm @ Rydalmere Park
Rydalmere Lions return to League Two after a delayed game last week as they’ll be looking to resume where they left off in round one.
In their opening game, the Lions proved their quality with an impressive win and will enter this game as favourites against the winless Central Coast United.
After remaining largely untouched by injuries and Covid, Rydalmere will hope to remain in-tact after a cup-tie with Cronulla Seagulls on Wednesday night.
On the other side of this matchup, Central Coast United enter Saturday on the heels of a physical affair with Bankstown City.
After dominating the last ten minutes of the game, United were disappointed to not walk away with any points and will be keen for redemptions against Rydalmere.
It’s never an easy challenge for any League Two side to leave Rydalmere Park with any points, however United have proved they’re up for any challenge in 2022.
Captain Daniel McFarlane will look for another massive game, leading his side in the middle of the park.
Dunbar Rovers FC vs Sydney University SFC, 7pm @ Fraser Park
Dunbar Rovers head back to Fraser Park full of confidence, after proving the doubters wrong in a statement win over Bankstown United.
Dunbar now face-off against Sydney Uni, after their tough loss to the Rams in round two.
Uni let the game get away from them in the second half, with the Rams denied on a few occasions by some outstanding goal line defence.
On the heels of consecutive 1-0 defeats, Uni will be desperate to open their account and deflate Dunbar’s hot-start in the process.
The Rovers will be helped by some standout performances from Reece Berelowitz up top and Ben Wrigley in goals.
If the duo are firing again, Dunbar may cause some extra headaches for Uni
Inter Lions FC vs Inner West Hawks FC, 7pm @ Majors Bay Reserve
Inter Lions walk into Round three after a disastrous week, with the majority of playing squad going down with Covid.
Although many have recovered, it is unknown whether they will be in playing condition or be able to contribute in limited minutes.
In tough circumstances for the team, coach John Theodoropoulos faces the side he captained for ten years in his playing days.
The Lions will be tested in squad depth and by their resurgent opposition who were narrowly denied of a result in round two.
The Hawks led Gladesville Ryde for the majority of the game before conceding a late double to walk away with no points to show from an impressive outing.
The veteran duo of Peter Yannopoulos and Sam Awad will be crucial to leading their side through the adversary of last week and into this matchup.
Although the Lions still look like a quality side on paper, the Inner West Hawks could seize a massive opportunity and take down a heavyweight of League Two
Sunday 27th March 2022
Gladesville Ryde Magic vs Macarthur Rams FC, 5pm @ Christie Field
With the final game of round three, Gladesville Ryde return home to face an impressive Macarthur Rams outfit.
It’s been a mixed week for the Rams, after a notable 1-0 win over Sydney Uni, they bowed out of the Australia Cup – going down 2-1 to the Greenacre Eagles
However, the new look Rams have begun to build chemistry and are starting to look like a dangerous side going forward.
The Rams will have to be at their best in order to match the even more impressive Gladesville Ryde Magic.
The Magic are flying high in the early stages of the season and will look to keep the momentum going when they return home.
After a miraculous late comeback, courtesy of a brace from captain Chris Gaitatis, Gladesville will be confident of repeating the same.
The Magic displayed their depth in round two, with three bench players coming on and changing the game.
It’ll be interesting to see if Gladesville change the squad up and give their impressive substitutes a crack at a start.
This could be the game of the round, with both sides full of confidence and raring to get another win.
By Football NSW Men’s League Two Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti