Round Twelve of the Football NSW League Two Men’s season will see a super Saturday of action, when all seven matches will take place, including a top two clash.
The Match of the Round sees Inner West Hawks FC look to end a three-match losing streak as they host Hawkesbury City FC, who are looking to break their six-match winless streak.
Earlier, second hosts first as the high-flying South Coast Flame FC host league leaders UNSW FC, Sydney University SFC will look for back-to-back victories as they host the Newcastle Jets, before Bankstown United FC look to rebound against the Western Rage.
Meanwhile, Gladesville Ryde Magic will look to build as they host Parramatta FC, Fraser Park will hope to extend their winning streak as Hurstville FC visit, while Camden Tigers FC host Prospect United SC in a crucial clash.
Nepean FC have a bye this round.
Saturday, 22nd April 2023
Match of the Round: Inner West Hawks FC vs Hawkesbury City FC, 7pm @ Arlington Oval
Previous Meeting: Stanmore Hawks FC 1-1 Hawkesbury City FC
Inner West Hawks FC succumbed to their third-straight defeat after they lost 5-0 away to the tough Newcastle Jets, while Hawkesbury City FC had the bye last round and will be hoping to end a six-match winless streak.
These two sides will face off in the league for the first time since the NPL 3 NSW Men’s 2019 competition, where the Hawks came from behind at half-time to earn a point at home.
The Hawks have faced tough opponents as of late but will keep in mind their home victory over then-league leaders Nepean FC in Round Eight.
They play a good style of football and with stalwart Peter Yannopolous leading his troops, they will have hope of getting a result this week.
Chasing their second win of the season, they will look to press and get in behind Hawkesbury early as they search for success.
Hawkesbury City FC will be refreshed off the back of a bye last round and look to rally their troops ahead of this next fixture.
With a raft of injuries, they will hope to build on the positive signs they showed in their tough away loss to the Flame.
They are not far off returning to the mid-table if a few results go their way and they will look to push on as the season progresses, starting with a tough trip away this week.
With two sides desperate for victory, 13th vs 14th will provide plenty of entertainment as both teams look to push on from positive signs they have shown and build into the second third of the season.
South Coast Flame FC vs UNSW FC, 3:30pm @ Sir Ian McLennan Oval
Previous Meeting: UNSW FC 5-2 South Coast Flame
South Coast Flame FC continued to break club records as they recorded their sixth consecutive league win with a 2-0 win over Hurstville FC last week, while UNSW FC lost only their second match of the season as they fell to Gladesville Ryde Magic.
These two sides met in Round 14 of last season’s NSW League Three competition, where UNSW did the league double with a strong 5-2 victory; they will be buoyed by their recent form against the Flame, as they scored eight goals across two matches.
South Coast Flame FC are enjoying their best period of success in their short six-year history and will hope to continue that momentum as they push to take top spot.
They boast the best defensive record in the league with only nine goals conceded in ten matches and have not conceded a goal in 309 league minutes.
Their form continued on Monday, 17th April, as they progressed to the fifth round of the Australia Cup preliminaries with a 3-2 away win over Waverly Old Boys at Moore Park, including a double from 17-year-old Zachary Birch and a goal from Benjamin Caroutas, which secured victory for a youthful squad.
With goalscoring ability across the pitch, including the likes of Adam Voloder, Alexander Alston and Jacob Gjorsevski, the Flame will look to keep riding the high as they clash with UNSW FC in a crucial clash.
UNSW FC find themselves in unfamiliar territory, as they are winless in their last two matches for the first time this season.
They will look to find a way to create more chances away to the Flame as they hope to maintain top spot on the ladder.
Again, last season’s Golden Boot winner in League Three, Kevin Lopes, will be the outlet for UNSW to score as they look to take home an important three points away on the south coast.
Another first versus second clash in a tense top six will provide critical moments, where the winner will hope to push on in the hopes of promotion come season’s end.
Sydney University SFC vs Newcastle Jets, 5pm @ Sydney University Football Ground
This is the first league meeting between the two clubs.
Sydney University SFC are on a high after their 5-0 win away to the Western Rage last week, while the Newcastle Jets also claimed a 5-0 victory, at home to Inner West Hawks FC.
This is the first meeting between the two clubs since the Jets moved into the National Premier Leagues NSW system.
University have been scoring goals for fun lately, with eight in their last two matches, and will hope to push on against a side looking for promotion.
They have shown their quality and squad depth with nine different goal scorers this season and will need to put in a complete team effort again this week.
After they face first and last on the ladder within two weeks, the Jets will prove to be a real test of their credentials moving forward.
The Newcastle Jets continued their form last week and will look to push for a potential top spot on the ladder come the end of the match week.
Their midfield has been firing on all cylinders and their proficiency in attack has been on full display, with nine goals in their last two matches.
Having only conceded two goals in their last five matches, the Jets look steady across the pitch and will look to continue that momentum away from home this week.
With two teams coming off big 5-0 victories, anything is possible from this upcoming match, as both look to push up the ladder.
Bankstown United FC vs Western Rage, 7pm @ Padstow Park
Previous Meeting: Granville Rage 2-1 Bankstown United FC
Bankstown United FC will chase victory after they fell 1-0 to Prospect United SC in the Match of the Round last week, while the Western Rage were put to the sword by Sydney University SFC, 5-0.
These two sides will clash for the first time since the 2019 National Premier League NSW Men’s 3 season, where the Rage came from 1-0 down at half-time to secure victory.
Bankstown will hope to win their first match since Round Six and will look to address some of the issues they face.
They are goalless in their last two matches since their bye and will hope to replicate the form which saw them put four goals past Hurstville FC in their last victory.
They boast goal scorers in Marie Gauthier and Mitchell Cross but will need to create more and hold onto possession in the final third if they are to get on the end of chances against the Western Rage, who they will look to press.
The Rage were hit for five last week after their goalless draw against Hurstville FC the week before.
They will hope to push on again this week against a team who also lost their last match in Bankstown United FC.
The Rage will hope to build some sort of consistency and stability given their league form in contrast to their cup form as they push for their first victory of the season this week.
With two sides desperate for victory, expect Bankstown to give all their energy and for the Rage to do all they can to secure victory.
Gladesville Ryde Magic vs Parramatta FC, 7pm @ Christie Park
Previous Meeting: Parramatta FC 1-2 Gladesville Ryde Magic
Gladesville Ryde Magic claimed a big scalp last week with their 1-0 away win over UNSW FC, while Parramatta FC lost their first match in seven after their 3-1 home loss against Nepean FC.
These two sides meet in the league for the first time since the NPL 3 NSW Men’s 2019 competition, where the Magic scored in the second half to claim all three points.
The Magic recorded consecutive clean sheets as they gave themselves a chance of climbing towards the top spots with a victory this week.
51-year-old goalkeeper Kiriakos Tohouroglou commanded the teenage talents ahead of him as he kept another clean sheet, which the Magic will use as a basis for victory again.
With goal scorers Bailey Stevens, Chris Gaitatzis and Kohki Hiyaoka all on five goals for the season, the Magic have enough quality and youthful exuberance across the pitch to march towards victory again this week.
Parramatta FC lost their first match since Round Three, also their first since their bye, and will look to return to the form which saw them shoot up the ladder in the weeks before.
Head coach Luis Contigiani has been missing for the past two weeks and will be hoping to get his troops back on the right track now he is back at the helm.
They know the star power they have in Marco Sama and Youssef Badr; they will look to put away chances as the young squad look to push up to a potential seventh spot on the ladder this week.
With two sides full of youth, with some experience and players who know how to hit the back of the net, this contest could provide anything as the Magic push towards the top, while Parramatta hope to stay with the pack.
Fraser Park FC vs Hurstville FC, 7pm @ Fraser Park
Previous Meeting: Hurstville FC 0-1 Fraser Park FC
Fraser Park won their fifth-straight match after their 3-1 home win over Camden Tigers FC last week, while Hurstville FC lost 2-0 in a tough match at home to South Coast Flame FC.
These two sides last met in Round 20 last season in League Three, where Fraser Park claimed a 1-0 away victory.
Fraser Park are one of the form teams of the competition and after a tough start to the season, will look to push on towards the spots at the top of the ladder.
Their equal-top scorers of Alexander Nicolosi, Samuel Shepherd and Shu Torihara all added to their goal tallies, which is now up to five goals each, as they continue to shine for the hosts.
They will look to press from the front and reward their front three with more goal scoring opportunities as they chase a sixth-straight victory.
Hurstville FC, meanwhile, looked threatening against the Flame last week but were punished for mistakes and will look to correct those errors this week.
It was their first loss in four matches, as well as their first goal conceded in four, as Hurstville hope to regain momentum, with the jam of teams within a win of each other in the mid-table.
Hurstville have a diverse scoring list of nine different goal scorers and with a strong and resolute defence, they will use that as a focus to get a result this week in a tough away fixture.
With one of the form teams of the competition against a side who was finding their feet, look for defence to be the aspect of the match which decides the outcome.
Camden Tigers FC vs Prospect United SC, 7pm @ Ron Dime Memorial Reserve
Previous Meeting: Prospect United SC 1-3 Camden Tigers FC
Camden Tigers return home after back-to-back away defeats, including 3-1 away to Fraser Park FC last week, while Prospect United SC won 1-0 in a tight Match of the Round at home to Bankstown United FC.
These two sides met in Round 13 last season, where the Tigers took home a 3-1 victory, with a late red card.
Camden Tigers FC were punished for mistakes last week and will look to tighten up their errors.
They sit eighth and are equal on points with Prospect heading into the clash and will hope to claim victory to push towards the top six.
With the competition’s equal-second leading goal scorer in Leandro Guzman, the Tigers will be hopeful of getting back to form at a tough play for opposition teams at Ron Dime Memorial Reserve.
Prospect United SC will look to build on their first back-to-back wins of the season, where defence will continue to be a priority for them going forward.
With Archie Cerasoli back in the first team, along with the likes of captain David Muller, Daniel Mihajlovic and Blake Motram in the back three, Prospect will look to build resilience within the squad, starting from the back.
They will look to continue to play well with players back in the squad, a desire to develop their play and a belief to push on as they face a mighty task away from home this week.
With Camden looking to learn from their mistakes and Prospect looking to continue their good play and form, both sides will fight for victory and matches at Ron Dime Memorial Reserve always serve up matches to remember.
By Football New South Wales League Two Men’s Writer, Dylan Costa @_dylancosta