Round 2 Review – League Two Men’s


Round Two of the 2023 Football New South Wales League Two Men’s season saw even more action, as 31 goals were scored while teams look to establish themselves.

The match of the round saw South Coast Flame take all three points away at Prospect in a close finish.

Elsewhere, Sydney University and Camden saw late drama as they could not be separated, while Newcastle beat Parramatta as both entertained in a high-scoring fixture.

Bankstown bounced back with a strong victory over the Inner West Hawks, while UNSW and Hawkesbury ended level.

Fraser Park held off a fast-finishing Gladesville Ryde Magic, while Nepean claimed back-to-back wins after beating Hurstville.

Western Rage had a bye this round.


Match of the Round: Prospect United SC 1-2 South Coast Flame FC

Both Prospect United SC and South Coast Flame FC showed their grit and determination as the visitors came away 2-1 winners.

It was a fluid match, where both teams dominated and exploited weaknesses at different times in the contest.

The Flame looked to play with long and diagonal balls forward early to the likes of Adam Voloder.

He was deployed up front and given the freedom to run in behind and be dangerous, which he proved to be early.

Voloder and Samuel Alston played some nice passes to each other in a build-up move which ended with Voloder striking the ball just over the crossbar.

Cristian Leiva came close with a chance moments later but his effort flew just wide of the post.

The Flame were willing to put tackles in, particularly in midfield, as they looked to break up Prospect’s attack.

Blake Mottram hit the right-hand upright with a powerful effort after ten minutes.

A rough turf meant both sides had to concentrate to hold the ball; the Flame couldn’t hold possession early as they did last week at Western Rage.

Jacob Gjorsevski had a free kick attempt in the 16th minute which just flew over the crossbar.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Cody Waller was played in behind for Prospect; he squared the ball to Mazevski who slipped at the vital moment when he hit the ball.

The pattern of play early saw the Flame look to play out from the back and beat the Prospect press, which had varied success.

When successful, the Flame broke in numbers; when not, Prospect had possession high up the field.

Gyun Yoo Chang won the ball in midfield and tried an audacious attempt from halfway, but his attempt just flew over the top of the goal.

Waller thought he was through on goal for the Flame, but the offside flag went up before he could put the ball in the back of the net.

Samuel Alston was hard-working for the Flame in attack and defence as he motored his way up and down the pitch in the first half.

35 minutes into the first half, the Flame had all the possession and momentum and were dangerous in attack.

Prospect had their own chances when playing in behind, including a shot from Leiva which flew over the bar, but both teams struggled with their final ball as both defences held strong.

However, in the 43rd minute, the breakthrough arrived.

Benjamin Caroutas was played in behind after a quick one-two passing play between him and Voloder.

Caroutas then drove into the vacant space in midfield before he played another one-two with Voloder to set him in behind the Prospect defence.

Voloder’s left-footed shot was placed well into the bottom-right corner of the goal as he put the Flame 1-0 up.

Gjorsevski took a shot from outside the box in the 45th minute, but his left-sided attempt hit the crossbar as the Flame took a 1-0 lead into half-time.

The Flame continued their momentum after the break as they pushed in the 48th minute.

Mazevski played Sam Allston in behind the Prospect defence as he worked his way to the byline.

Allston cut the ball back to Voloder in the 18-yard-box, who controlled the ball well and scored with another left-footed finish to put the Flame 2-0 up.

The Flame utilised their momentum just before and after half-time to score.

Prospect looked to strike back straight away with some controlled possession and forays forward.

However, when the Flame had possession, they held it well and got numbers forward in attack to help them keep the ball better.

Voloder was played in behind again and beat his defender, but lost the ball as he tried to play it around the goalkeeper.

Prospect had a few chances near the hour mark, including a volley which fell straight into the Flame goalkeepers’ gloves.

Mottram also had a run down the right-hand side, beat his defender and played the ball across to James Pelletier, who couldn’t get proper contact on his right-footed shot, the Flame goalkeeper claiming it.

Voloder was dangerous again as he had a strike in the 63rd minute which missed across the face of goal, past the left post.

The match quietened down a bit as the Flame looked comfortable in possession and held strong in defence; they kept the ball well.

The Flame had a lot of joy playing down their right side in attack as the exposed Prospect in behind.

When Prospect had the ball, South Coast slid well and covered in defence and were very compact, keeping Prospect to long-range efforts.

Prospect kept pushing and in the 79th minute, Rhys Osmond had a strong attempt saved, while two minutes later Adrian Epifanino shot a chance just over the bar.

The Flame still kept their fluency in attack while Prospect pushed.

The pressure from Prospect told in the 83rd minute.

Prospect had a free kick about 35 yards out from goal, which was crossed in as captain James Baldacchino tried to clear it.

However, his clearance fell to Prospect centre-half, David Muller, who headed home the goal.

The Flame had more os the possession in the second half and brought on fresh legs late to see out the match.

South Coast defended resiliently and won many midfield battles to ensure they saw out the match, which they did to claim victory, 2-1.

It was a nervy finish to the match for the Flame who picked up their first win of the season.

Prospect had chances as they tried to work their way back into the match, but were unable to find an equaliser.

Prospect coach Darren Camilleri said his side are still finding their feet and will look to pick up results.

“Our concentration and application in our defending let us down today,” Camilleri said.

“Missing two golden moments in front of goal didn’t help either.”

“We are still finding out feet and hopefully in the next couple of games we begin moving our way up the ladder!”

Prospect United SC host Parramatta FC in Round Three, while South Coast Flame FC will look to continue their momentum at home as they host Fraser Park FC.


Sydney University SFC 2-2 Camden Tigers FC

Late drama saw the score end level between Sydney University SFC and Camden Tigers FC as the sides came away with a 2-2 draw.

Camden started the match positively and created a couple of early chances.

However, after 14 minutes Sydney University played a ball in behind the defence as Camden’s goalkeeper made a mistake, which left Derek Karapetian free to score.

Camden kept attacking at University through the first half and thought they had scored, but the goal was disallowed after the referee consulted with their linesman.

Young striker Brendan Lane was brought on at half-time by Camden coach Gary Seymour and had an immediate impact.

Lane pushed down the right side in attack and scored within four minutes of being substituted on to make the score 1-1.

Camden had more joy down their right edge in attack as a ball reached Liam Gregory at the far post, who was able to tap the ball home.

However, as the match wore on in hot conditions, player concentration fell for Camden as University pushed for a late equaliser.

After a lapse in concentration defensively in the 93rd minute, a long ball was played in behind Camden and in trying to defend, Jack Harris conceded the own goal.

Both sides had limited chances throughout the match as it ended even, 2-2.

Sydney University SFC have a bye next week, while Camden Tigers FC will look for their first win of the season as they host UNSW FC.


Parramatta FC 3-5 Newcastle Jets

Adam Zervas opened the scoring for the Newcastle Jets after 10 minutes as they started fast.

However, Parramatta FC equalised in the 23rd minute from a penalty after a foul was committed from a corner.

The match was full of action as Newcastle took the lead again, this time through Ben Van Dorssen from a corner in the 27th minute.

The Jets made it 3-1 after Moonib Adus earned and scored a penalty in the 38th minute.

They scored a fourth in the sixth minute of added time through Zac Lisolajski, who put the ball home after a goal mouth scramble.

Newcastle started the second half how they ended the first, with all the momentum.

In the 46th minute, Peter Grozos played a pass to Xavier Bertoncello, who scored with a nice finish to make the score 5-1.

However, Parramatta scored just minutes later to keep the slight chance at a comeback on.

They were unable to score again until the 84th minute, when they reduced the deficit to two goals.

Errors throughout the match led to the goals they conceded against a ruthless Newcastle Jets side.

Newcastle won their second match in a row to start the season, while Parramatta FC lost for the second match in a row as the game ended in Newcastle’s favour, 5-3.

The Jets will look for three wins in a row as they host Bankstown United FC in Round Three, while Parramatta FC are back in action away to Prospect United SC.


Bankstown United FC 5-1 Inner West Hawks FC

Bankstown United claimed a big win at home as they beat Inner West Hawks FC 5-1 at Padstow Park.

Bankstown started the match quickly as they looked to make up for the 4-1 loss to Sydney University SFC last week.

After seven minutes, they took the lead through Steven Wright, who leaped highest to head the ball home from a corner.

They controlled the match from there and created more chances, including a Mitch Edmunds volley which was saved terrifically by the Hawks goalkeeper, Shunsuke Sugiura.

Just before halftime, Bankstown doubled their advantage as Amaury Gauthier beat his defender inside the box and buried his shot into the bottom corner.

Around the hour mark, Mitch Cross had a quickfire brace as he scored off two quick 1-on-1 chances to make the score 4-0.

The Hawks scored five minutes later through Hesan Soufi but after 70 minutes were reduced to ten men after a rash slide tackle by Christopher Phillips saw him receive a red card.

Bankstown maintained the ball after that as Amaury grabbed his second goal of the match with ten minutes to play as the match finished 5-1 in Bankstown’s favour.

That sealed a confidence building result for Bankstown who next travel to face the Newcastle Jets, while the Hawks will look to work hard during the week as they host Hurstville FC next week.


UNSW FC 2-2 Hawkesbury City FC

UNSW FC and Hawkesbury City FC both earned a draw after their opening round wins as the match finished 2-2 at Hensley Athletic Field.

It was a strong start for UNSW as Kevin Lopes pinched a loose pass which was meant for the Hawks keeper and scored.

However, in the second minute, Hawkesbury almost struck back through Predrag Bojic, who’s shot was blocked by the UNSW goalkeeper on the back post in a one-on-one.

UNSW settled into the match from there while Hawkesbury kept up their attack.

Their attack paid off as Marco Turpeinen scored a goal of the year contender on the half hour mark with a bouncing volley from 25 yards out.

Hawkesbury were awarded a penalty shortly after, but it was missed by Turpeinen who was also unable to put the ball home on the follow up.

Jack Fulton thought he had scored just before half-time but the goal was ruled out for offside in the buildup.

UNSW hit the crossbar from two separate corners as they looked dangerous in the air; they had the better chances but the scores were level at half-time, 1-1.

After 70 minutes, UNSW did score in the air as Kevin Lopes picked up his second with a diving header at the back post from a free kick.

UNSW dominated play from there but were unable to find another goal.

Hawkesbury worked hard to get back into the match and were eventually rewarded.

Zac Miletic played some nice one-two passes in the midfield and worked his way into the 18-yard box.

He finished calmly into the bottom corner from around the penalty spot to tie the match up at 2-2, which is how it ended.

UNSW were the stronger of the two sides on the day but Hawkesbury fought until the end to pick up the draw away from home.

UNSW travel to face Camden Tigers FC in Round Three, while Hawkesbury City FC are away to Nepean FC next week.


Fraser Park FC 3-2 Gladesville Ryde Magic

Fraser Park FC claimed all three points in their first match of the season as they defeated Gladesville Ryde Magic 3-2 at home.

The first opportunity of the match fell to the Magic as Bailey Stevens found himself in space out wide.

He controlled the ball before his low cross deflected off several players before it was cleared by the Fraser Park defence.

However, Fraser Park found the breakthrough in the first half after they broke through the Magic defence.

Kosta Tsounakarkis had a free kick which was headed wide of the Fraser Park goal by James Tsokos.

Both sides looked to utilise their speed and long balls forward to create opportunities.

Stefan Bakar found Chris Gaitatzis in space whose looping strike was on target but was saved by Fraser Parks’s goalkeeper, as the score remained 1-0 to the Magic at half-time.

Into the second half Fraser Park went 2-0 up after they broke down the left side, before a cross was played in and headed home.

Fraser Park found more joy down the left edge as another cross was played in to the right, which found a Fraser Park player and was calmly placed into the back of the net.

By this point, Alexander Nicolosi had a double while Samuel Sheherd also grabbed a goal.

However, the Magic did score from a long range left-footed effort by Adrian Jonathan to reduce the deficit with 15 minutes to play.

With six minutes to go, the Magic pulled another goal back, this time through Bailey Stevens.

However, they were unable to find a third as Fraser Park FC picked up the win over Gladesville Ryde Magic, 3-2.

Fraser Park FC travel to Sir Ian McLennan Oval to face South Coast Flame FC next week, while Gladesville Ryde Magic are at home to the Western Rage.


Hurstville FC 0-1 Nepean FC

Nepean FC recorded back-to-back victories while Hurstville were struck with a second-straight loss as the visitors came away with a 1-0 win.

Hurstville started the match on top in the first 25 minutes and created chances for Jesse Gagro and Pedro Almeida, who were unable to convert.

The match evened out from there as Nepean created a chance in the box but could not score.

Nepean put in good last ditch defending to stop the Hurstville attackers as the match was scoreless at the break.

It was a scrappy start to the second half as both teams turned the ball over.

However, Hurstville dominated the midfield from there and forced Nepean back in defence, but were unable to finish their chances.

Moey Hamdache was unable to beat the goalkeeper in one situation, while Jacob Botic had a shot saved.

Nepean’s last ditch defending prevented Hurstville from finding their goal.

However, in the 88th minute, Nepean had a free kick played into the box which was headed home by Leonard Abdo to give them the lead late.

Despite their possession and chances, Hurstville were unable to find a goal to go ahead earlier in the match.

Hurstville’s midfield and defence held up for most of the match but when it mattered, were not able to find a goal, as Nepean picked up the victory, 1-0.

Hurstville FC travel to face the Inner West Hawks in Round Three, while Nepean FC will look for a third win in a row as they host Hawkesbury City FC.

By Football NSW League Two Men’s Writer, Dylan Costa @_dylancosta