Round 12 Preview – League Two Men’s

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With 11 rounds completed, teams are becoming bunched at both ends of the ladder, making every match this weekend in the Football NSW League Two Men’s competition crucial in a super Saturday full of action.

The Match of the Round this week sees Fraser Park FC look for their first win under caretaker coach, Robert Cicek, as they host a side they hope to catch on the ladder in Prospect United SC.


Saturday, 27th April 2024

Match of the Round: Fraser Park FC vs Prospect United SC, 7pm at Fraser Park

Last season: Fraser Park FC 1-1 Prospect United SC, Prospect United SC 0-1 Fraser Park FC

13th-placed Fraser Park FC look to end a run of back-to-back harsh losses as they host 11th-placed Prospect United SC in a big clash which will see both sides look to improve.

Last season, honours were even in their first encounter, while a lone goal from Shu Torihara set up Fraser Park for a win away over Prospect last season – expect this contest to be just as tight as both sides hope to claim a big three points.

Fraser Park FC suffered a tough 4-1 loss away to Inner West Hawks FC last week; despite going 1-0 up away from home, they were unable to hold off a strong Hawks attack.

Centre-half, Paul Turrin, will be missing after his hamstring injury he picked up in that match, which will mean their depth will be tested in defence at this stage of the season.

Fraser Park can gain confidence from their head-to-head record against Prospect last season, going undefeated against them, and will look to the likes of Alexander Nicolosi, who is on six goals for the season, as well as Shu Torihara, who scored against Prospect last season, to lead them to just their third win of the season.

Before that league match, however, Fraser Park travel over to Landen Stadium on Wednesday, 24th April, at 7:30pm to face NPL side Blacktown City FC, where they will hope to cause an upset in the fourth preliminary round of the Australia Cup.

Prospect, meanwhile, are also down on troops and down on the ladder after tough back-to-back home losses where they have failed to score after their 3-0 defeat to Parramatta FC last week.

The young side will need to ensure they start the match quickly as they have given up goals in the first half of both of those defeats – if they can hold a clean sheet until half-time, that will give them confidence to get something out of this match.

Look for Anthony Idehen to be the player who could break the goalscoring drought for Prospect as they look to pick up a result which could move them back up a few places on the ladder.

Both Fraser Park and Prospect will hope to get confidence back with injuries playing their part in both squads – expect a tough match which could get quite transitional as it progresses.


Central Coast United FC vs Hawkesbury City FC, 5pm at Bloodtree Oval

These two teams did not meet last season.

6th-placed Central Coast United FC will hope to win a fourth match from their past six as they host 12th-placed Hawkesbury City FC, who have found consistency hard to come by this season.

A tight contest can be expected in this one, with many of both sides victories this season coming via one goal margins.

Central Coast United grinded out a tough 1-0 away win over Gladesville Ryde Magic in last week’s Match of the Round and will hope to continue their fighting spirit this weekend.

Head Coach Shannon Cole was pleased with the effort of his whole squad, especially in the final 15 minutes with young substitutes on the pitch and will hope a whole team effort will lead them to a win this week which could move them to within touching distance of the top spots, results depending.

The Pirates will hope to continue to play with freedom, with a squad which is eager not only to win matches, but to get onto the pitch to play.

Before this league match, however, the Pirates will travel down the coast on Wednesday, 24th April to face Illawarra Premier League side Wollongong United FC at Sir Ian McLennan Oval at 7:30pm in the fourth preliminary round of the Australia Cup, where they will hope to continue their run.

Hawkesbury City, meanwhile, surrendered a lead to the formidable Bankstown United FC in a 5-3 loss last week and will hope to use the energy from that night to propel them to a big result this week.

Vincent D’Ermilio scored his 6th goal of the season last week and will hope to continue to link up with the likes of Harry Drew in attack as the Hawks hunt a third away win of the season.

Expect the Hawks to be quick on the counter and try to catch out the Pirates early; if they can, they will hope to set up a solid defensive base from there as they hunt their first clean sheet of the season.

Two teams who have plenty of attacking threat will hope to highlight more of it this week as they do battle in a match with a degree of unpredictability.


Gladesville Ryde Magic vs Camden Tigers FC, 5pm at Christie Park

Last season: Gladesville Ryde Magic 3-0 Camden Tigers FC, Camden Tigers FC 2-3 Gladesville Ryde Magic

Two teams who have had vastly different fortunes this season will meet in a clash of immense importance in various positions across the ladder when last-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic host 7th-placed Camden Tigers FC.

Last season, the Magic did the league double over the Tigers, which will give them confidence to pick a big win at the bottom of the ladder but will also provide plenty oof motivation for the Tigers to make amends in 2024.

Gladesville Ryde Magic put in a valiant performance but were eventually undone in their 1-0 home loss to Central Coast United FC in last week’s Match of the Round and will hope to end their six-match losing streak this week against a Camden side they had success over last season.

Such is the turnover at the Magic this season that none of the three goal scorers who hit the back of the net for them in the head-to-head matches last season are at the club this season – the young Magic side will hope to turn tough back-to-back one-goal-margin losses into a tough win this week.

Look for the Magic to set up as they did at home last week, with a solid block in defence and pace on the counter-attack – if they can find the first goal in this match, they will give themselves every chance of ending their losing streak.

Camden Tigers, meanwhile, have found their rhythm this season and shown the grit within their squad after their stoppage-time equaliser at home to the formidable Mounties Wanderers FC last week.

Team spirit is high at the Tigers while their general play, tactically, as well as the efforts of their goalkeeper, Joshua Glasson, has seen them grab ten points from the last fifteen available.

Having scored in every game they have played so far this season, still, expect the Tigers to add to their goal tally of 24 when they play away from home for the first time in four weeks – look for the goalscoring duties to be shared once again if they can continue their scoring streak.

With the Magic desperate to end their losing streak and the Tigers hoping to break into the top six on the ladder, expect a frantic match where the first goal could prove to be the difference.


Inner West Hawks FC vs Newcastle Jets, 7pm at Arlington Oval

Last season: Newcastle Jets 5-0 Inner West Hawks FC, Inner West Hawks FC 0-3 Newcastle Jets

A crucial top-four clash sees 5th-placed Inner West Hawks FC look to continue their return to form against the unbeaten, top-of-the-table Newcastle Jets.

Last season, the Jets did the perfect league-double over the Hawks, scoring a combine eight goals between the two matches and keeping a clean sheet in both – this season, the story should be a bit different with both sides flying high near the top of the league.

Inner West Hawks responded to back-to-back with back-to-back wins after their 4-1 home win over Fraser Park FC last week and will hope to continue that run of form this week to climb up the ladder.

The Hawks showed resilience to come from behind for the win, which was the first time they had done so in their six wins so far this season – winning in a different manner will keep them in good stead moving forward, as they will know they can win from different scenarios.

Jacob Palamidas was eventually credited with the Hawks’ fourth goal last week, which meant he became the first player this season to score four goals in one match – with him firing and the league’s top goal scorer in Takuma Hirano on 17 goals for the season, expect the Hawks to show more than their share in attack as they look to add to their 28 goals for the season.

The Newcastle Jets, meanwhile, survived in a tight match 2-1 at home to Granville Rage last week and will hope to continue their unbeaten season against a fellow contender near the top of the league in the Hawks.

For their 35 goals so far this season, a league-high, not one player has taken all the responsibility, but a share of many players, including Justin Vidic on eight, Janni Rafty on seven after his goal last week, and Alex Nunes on six.

The Jets have scored in every match they have played this season and will hope to continue that streak this week against a side they had much success against last season, while their defence will hope to keep their sixth clean sheet of the season, which is also a league high.

With the Hawks back in form and firing, hoping to make a push towards the top two, and the Jets looking to extend what is a scintillating first half of the season for them, expect a match with plenty of chances where the winner will take a lot of confidence heading towards the halfway point of the season.


Hurstville FC vs Parramatta FC, 7pm at Penshurst Park

Last season: Hurstville FC 3-0 Parramatta FC, Parramatta FC 0-1 Hurstville FC

10th-placed Hurstville FC will hope to continue their hot run of form when they host the 8th-placed Parramatta FC, a side which has also found form of late, in Round 12.

Last season, Hurstville did the perfect league double over the Eagles, with wins both home and away, a clean sheet coming from both – that will give them motivation to extend that streak this week, while Parramatta will hope to break the bogey.

Hurstville snuck away with the three points in the rain last week after their 1-0 away win over Sydney University SFC – that was their third win in a row, all away from home, and was a result which they will hope to continue to gain confidence from.

Back at home for the first time in four weeks this weekend, Hurstville will hope to use their proficiency once again in defence to set up for success – they have the third-best defence in the league with only 16 goals conceded from their 10 matches.

With much more dry conditions expected this week compared to last, Hurstville will hope to continue to attack with intent and will look to control possession at home to pick up a win which could move them into the top half of the ladder, as high as 7th.

Parramatta FC, meanwhile, picked up a third win from their past four matches after their late goals gave them a 3-1 home win over Sydney University SFC in their Round 9 catch-up match midweek, with a goal each from Jordan Parfait, Ante Furjanic and Muamer Mesanovic leading them to victory.

The Eagles are another side which has scored in every match they have played in this season and will hope to continue that streak against a side solid defensively in Hurstville.

With several key players still out injured, the Eagles have used their squad well to continue to pick up wins lately and will hope their positive attacking play will lead them to a win this week which could see them rise to as high as 6th on the ladder.

Both sides are near the middle of the table but have found form lately and will hope that continues as they push to enter the top half of the table – Hurstville will fight to keep their strong defensive record going as they hunt a fourth-straight win, while Parramatta will hope to continue to gain confidence as they hunt down the teams above.


Bankstown United FC vs Sydney University SFC, 7pm at Padstow Park

Last season: Sydney University SFC 4-1 Bankstown United FC, Bankstown United FC 3-3 Sydney University SFC

2nd-placed Bankstown United FC will hope to potentially move within a point of league leaders, the Newcastle Jets, when they host a 14th-placed Sydney University SFC side hoping to end a six-match losing streak in Round 12.

Last season, the students gained the three points in a big Round 1 win, while the spoils were shared in their second encounter in a 3-3 draw – with both sides desperate for another win this week, goals could be there for the taking.

Bankstown United are flying high after their seventh win from ten matches this season and rose from 4th to 2nd on the ladder after their come-from-behind 5-3 home win over Hawkesbury City FC last week.

Despite their good record, Bankstown have only kept two clean sheets this season; they have relied on their attack to bring them success, scoring the third-most goals in the league with 29, Mitchell Cross leading the club with 13 as the league second-highest goal scorer this season.

Such is the competition this season, a loss could see them drop as low as 5th, while a win could see them rise to within a point of the Jets – expect Bankstown to come out firing in this match as Cross chases for the golden boot, while the rest of the squad will hope to build for another strong performance.

Sydney University, meanwhile, have not picked up a victory since Round Three and suffered another loss in their Round 9 catch-up match away to Parramatta FC mid-week after they went down 3-1, despite a goal to Isaac Folkes in the first half.

The students will play a third match in a week this week when they travel to face Bankstown and will hope to turn up strongly against a side they had success against last season.

If University can hold out early, especially in the first half, they will be hopeful of snagging a result as the match progresses.

With Bankstown in form and hoping to rise towards the top and University hoping to end a long losing streak, both sides will be equally as desperate to pick up the three points in this clash.


Granville Rage vs South Coast Flame FC, 7pm at Rydalmere Park

Last season: South Coast Flame FC 0-0 Granville Rage, Granville Rage 2-1 South Coast Flame FC

The final match of Round 12 sees 9th-placed Granville Rage look to respond to back-to-back losses when they host 4th-placed South Coast Flame FC, who are unbeaten in three matches.

Last season, honours were even in a goalless draw in their first encounter, while the Rage picked up the three points in the reverse fixture, with Timothy Trainor’s goal the difference in a 2-1 win – expect this match to be just as tight as the two sides look to play themselves into form.

The Rage will hope to turn around their form after a recent bout of tough losses against sides near the top of the table after their 2-1 away loss to the top-of-the-table Newcastle Jets last week, but their challenge gets no easier when they host the Flame this week.

Trainor scored against the Flame last season and will hope to repeat that dose again in this fixture, while Timothy Borg-Williams got involved with a goal last week and will hope to link up well with the likes of Ante Tomic in attack.

The Rage have conceded the first goal in each of their past three recent losses – look for them to make it a point to not play from behind as they look to strengthen all areas of their play.

The Flame, meanwhile, let a late two-goal lead slip in their Round 9 catch-up match away to Mounties Wanderers FC midweek – they were ahead 3-1 in the 88th minute thanks to strikes from Michael Trajkovski, Genki Iwata, and James Baldacchino, but conceded in the 89th minute and in the third minute of stoppage time to drop two points.

They will hope their positive attacking play they used to break down the third-best defensive side in the league in that match will guide them well, however, as they look to travel once again west of Sydney.

Michael Trajkovski moved to 12 goals for the season after his goal in the catch-up match – look for him to want to hunt down the top-goal scorer mantle as the season progresses.

With both teams hoping to find more consistency in their form, expect both teams to start brightly and fashion attacking raids early as they chase a big win.


3rd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC have a bye in Round 12.

However, they played a mid-week Round 9 catch-up match at home to South Coast Flame FC, where after taking an early lead in the 2nd minute through a Jacob Poscoliero own goal, went 3-1 down before they scored 89th and 90+3’ minute goals through Eijin Kishimoto and Anthony Vastag, respectively, to salvage a 3-3 draw.


By Football New South Wales League Two Men’s Reporter, Dylan Costa (@_dylancosta)