Round 14 Preview – League Two Men’s

a man holding a sign

With competition for places getting tighter and the halfway point of the season just around the corner, a big Round 14 of the 2024 Football NSW League Two Men’s season awaits.

The Match of the Round this week sees Parramatta FC look to take advantage of their impromptu week off after their Round 13 match was rescheduled, when they host the high-flying Bankstown United FC.


Saturday, 11th May 2024

Match of the Round: Parramatta FC vs Bankstown United FC, 5pm at Melita Stadium

Last season: Bankstown United FC 0-0 Parramatta FC, Parramatta FC 1-3 Bankstown United FC

11th-placed Parramatta FC return to action in Round 14 when they host the form side of the competition in 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC in what should be a tough clash for both sides.

Last season, the two teams played out a goalless draw in their first encounter, before a double from Mitchell Cross and a goal from Isaac Schipp gave Bankstown a 3-1 win in the reverse fixture – both teams will be hoping for a strong result in the first of the 2024 versions.

Parramatta had their match last week at home to Hawkesbury City FC rescheduled due to rain, so the players have had an extra week to rest up and prepare to try and take down the form side of the competition.

With three wins from their past five matches, themselves, the Eagles will be confident of posing a real threat to Bankstown, where they will hope to cause problems for the away side with their bravery in attack.

Having scored in every match they have played in this season, expect the Eagles to pose a big threat up front, where they have found scorers across the park.

Bankstown, meanwhile, have won five matches in a row after their 4-1 home win over Granville Rage last week and are hot on the heels of the first place in the league Newcastle Jets ahead of the halfway point of the season.

Mitchell Cross grabbed a double against the Eagles last season and will hope to continue to fire as the league’s joint-top goal scorer with 15 goals, this weekend, while Bankstown look to continue their streak of scoring at least three goals in a match for the sixth-straight match.

Look for Bankstown to continue to be clinical in and around the box as they look to strengthen their position in the top two and set themselves up as real contenders for top spot come the end of the season.

A contrast of styles can be expected when these two sides meet, with Parramatta’s pace in attack coming up against Bankstown’s precision in the final third – will the Eagles cause an upset, or will Bankstown continue their hot streak?


Friday, 10th May 2024

Mounties Wanderers FC vs Sydney University SFC, 8pm at Cook Park (Mt Pritchard)

These two teams did not meet last season.

3rd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC and 14th-placed Sydney University SFC will clash in a crucial encounter at both ends of the ladder in Round 14, with gaps appearing for the respective sides.

With no recent head-to-head history to base this clash on, both teams will be in for a fresh challenge this weekend, with both sides facing facing their own unique challenges.

Mounties won their first match in four weeks after their come-from-behind 3-1 away win over Hurstville FC with ten men last week and will hope to keep up pace with the top two teams in the competition ahead of the halfway point of the season.

Yuki Kanai scored once again last week for Mounties and moved up to 13 goals for the season – expect him to get into dangerous areas in and around the box again this week with pace for Mounties, who will utilise long balls, to play its part.

Even without the suspended Poda Da, expect Mounties to show more character and a will to win as they look to potentially close the gap to second place to just a point, or potentially extend their own lead over fourth place to three points.

Sydney University, meanwhile, lost an eighth-straight match after their 3-1 defeat to Prospect United SC in last week’s Match of the Round and will hope to take a lead and hold it when they travel to Cook Park this week.

The young squad will hope to continue to learn every week and will also hope their tough losses will help them build resilience for the future, including this week.

Expect University to adjust their play, playing on a grass field this week, as they look to nullify the attacking threat of Mounties and hold the ball to create threats down the other end of the field to avoid potentially dropping to last-place on the ladder.

With Mounties hoping to close the gap at the top and University hoping to avoid a ninth-straight loss which may drop them to last, expect both sides to show a fighting spirit for their respective goals.


Hurstville FC vs Central Coast United FC, 8pm at Penshurst Park

These two teams did not meet last season.

Plenty of spots will be on the line in this mid-table clash when 10th-placed Hurstville FC host 8th-placed Central Coast United FC in a big Round 14 matchup.

With no matchup from last year to base this clash on, both teams will be eager to dig into the challenge of facing each other to give themselves a respective boost ahead of the midway point of the season.

Hurstville’s four-match winning streak came to a stark end at home to Mounties Wanderers FC last week in a 3-1 loss, in a match where they had the lead – they will hope to continue to fight as they look to build on their resurgence this season.

They will hope to continue their record as the joint fourth-best defensive side in the competition against the Pirates this week, with only 20 goals conceded this season so far.

With plenty of wins under their belt lately, Hurstville will be confident of picking up another win when they host the Pirates this week, where victory could help them rise as high as 6th.

Central Coast United, meanwhile, lost a third match from their past four after their 4-0 away loss to Fraser Park FC last week and will hope to get their season back on track with a powerful performance this weekend.

Playing a fifth away match in six weeks, the Pirates will hope to end a tough run of away fixtures on a positive note ahead of the halfway point of the season next week.

Expect Ben Flakus to get back to his goal scoring ways this week and for the Pirates to utilise the depth in their squad on their bench as they look for a win which could move them as high as 6th on the ladder.

With the potential for both sides to rise multiple places up to 6th on the ladder with a win this week, expect both teams to give their all in a match where clinical finishing could prove the difference.


Saturday, 11th May 2024

Prospect United SC vs Gladesville Ryde Magic, 7pm at Blacktown Exercise Sports and Technology Hub

Last season: Prospect United SC 2-5 Gladesville Ryde Magic, Gladesville Ryde Magic 3-0 Prospect United SC

Another clash between sides looking to move up in their respective parts of the ladder sees 7th-placed Prospect United SC host last-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic.

Last season, the Magic did the league double over Prospect, one of two sides they did the double over, and will hope to use that as a confidence boost ahead of this match.

Prospect have shown their strength this season and after their 3-1 win over Sydney University SFC have won five matches this season, as well as having grabbed draws with Mounties Wanderers FC and Inner West Hawks FC.

Despite missing five first-team players through injury, others have stepped up and will continue to do so in their absence as they look to continue to cause problems for teams up and down the ladder.

A win for Prospect could move them up into 6th place, potentially one point behind 5th, and they will want to be as high up the ladder as they can ahead of the halfway point of the season to prove their credentials – a loss, however, could drop them as low as 11th.

The Magic, meanwhile, suffered an eighth-straight loss after they went down 4-0 at home to the ladder-leading Newcastle Jets last week and will hope to stick together to end that losing streak this weekend.

Having beaten Prospect in both of their head-to-head matches last season, that will be a big confidence boost for the away side as they look to return to the winner’s circle.

Chris Gaitatzis scored two goals against Prospect last season, while Christopher Guyot scored one – both will hope to use last season as a confidence boost to get on the scoresheet once again this week.

With Prospect looking to be in the top half of the table come the midway point of the season and Gladesville hoping to move off the bottom of the table this week, both sides will hope to find weaknesses in the other to gain victory.


Camden Tigers FC vs Inner West Hawks FC, 7pm at Ron Dine Memorial Reserve – Carbiz Stadium

Last season: Camden Tigers FC 3-2 Inner West Hawks FC, Inner West Hawks FC 1-1 Camden Tigers FC

A big clash in terms of point difference on the table sees 6th-placed Camden Tigers FC host 5th-placed Inner West Hawks FC, where the outcome could affect the final positions of these two clubs heading forward.

Last season, the Tigers took out their home fixture 3-2 in last season’s Round Seven Match of the Round thanks to own goals from the Hawks’ Connor Gilbert and Marcus Naoum, while Jack Harris grabbed a goal in the 90th minute to seal a win, before the points were shared in the away fixture.

Camden gave their all but fell to a 2-0 loss away to South Coast Flame FC last week and will hope to bounce straight back to the form that saw them take points off the likes of the Pirates, Mounties, and the Magic in recent weeks.

Last week was the first time this season the Tigers have failed to score in a match and the hosts will hope a return home for the first time in three weeks with motivation to close the gap to the top sides will bring extra motivation this week to rectify that.

With 28 goals scored and only 21 conceded this season, Camden are doing well on both fronts and will hope to return to their scoring ways against a Hawks side which has only kept one clean sheet so far this season.

The Hawks will hope that stat will not haunt them as the halfway point of the season approaches – after their bye last week, the Hawks will be refreshed, ready to tackle the final two matches before the reverse fixtures start.

Captain Sid Malhotra has commanded his defence well alongside Taro Regan Williams and their solidity at the back has been a hallmark of their season so far, with the team gaining confidence going forward due to it.

With players finding their best positions still and with plenty of experience in the squad, the Hawks will hope to grab a win which could potentially put them level on points with 3rd and 4th place this weekend – expect the league’s joint-top scorer in Takuma Hirano to play his part as he looks to add to his 15 goals for the season.

With both teams battling in the top half of the table, a win for either side would be crucial ahead of the second round of fixtures – will the Tigers pounce or will the Hawks fly?


Sunday, 12th May 2024

Newcastle Jets vs Fraser Park FC, 5pm at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility

Last season: Fraser Park FC 1-1 Newcastle Jets, Newcastle Jets 6-2 Fraser Park FC

The league-leading Newcastle Jets will hope to continue to hold off the competition when they host 13th-placed Fraser Park FC this weekend in a match where the hosts will hope to continue their strong season.

Last year, honours were even in the first head-to-head match between these two sides, before the Jets scored six goals in a match for the second time last season in a big 6-2 win in the reverse fixture.

The Jets are still flying high on top of the table and are still unbeaten for the season – they will hope to keep up their record-breaking run when they host Fraser Park this weekend.

Their four goals in their 4-0 away win over Gladesville Ryde Magic last week brought them up to a league-best 40 for the season – they average 3.33 goals per game at the time of this report – while they have conceded a league-best nine goals this season, at an average of 0.75 per game.

The Jets are firing on all cylinders and have shown no sign of stopping – on 30 points already this season, Newcastle will hope to extend their two-point lead at the top of the table by the end of the weekend.

Fraser Park, meanwhile, picked up their first win under caretaker head coach Robert Cicek after their 4-0 home success over Central Coast United FC last week and will hunt back-to-back victories for the first time this season when they travel to face the Jets.

After putting together a 90-minute performance last week, Fraser Park will hope that will serve them well going forward, particularly as the season reaches the halfway point, as they look to end the Jets’ unbeaten season.

With Paul Turrin back from injury and working well with Blake Timillero, who scored his third start in first grade, Fraser Park will hope to push forward – the youth up in Francis Mcalpine, who scored two goals last week, and Christian Dos Santos, who had his first start of the season, also helped them to success.

With the Jets looking to continue their unbeaten season and Fraser Park looking to put pieces into place ahead of the second round of fixtures, expect both sides to show their share of quality across the pitch.


Monday, 13th May 2024

South Coast Flame FC vs Hawkesbury City FC, 8pm at Sir Ian McLennan Oval

Last season: South Coast Flame FC 2-0 Hawkesbury City FC, Hawkesbury City FC 2-1 South Coast Flame FC

Originally a Hawkesbury home match, the fixtures have been reversed ahead of the final match of Round 14 as 4th-placed South Coast Flame FC host 12th-placed Hawkesbury City FC, instead.

Last season, both home sides picked up their respective victories, first the Flame with a 2-0 win and then the Hawks with a 2-1 win – expect home advantage, with a late reversal of the fixtures, to play its part this time, too.

The Flame put a rough few weeks behind them with a strong 2-0 home win over Camden Tigers FC last week and will hope to continue to fire back as they look to keep up with the top two sides this season.

They will be without Matthew Mazevski in this match after his red card last week but will be determined to fight as they look to control possession and chances against the Hawks this week.

Michael Trajkovski’s goal last week took him to 15 for the season and moved him to equal-first in the race to be the leading goal scorer in the league for the season – expect him to once again prove his might in front of goal this week as the Flame chase a win which could move them into 3rd-place and within three points of 1st.

Hawkesbury, meanwhile, have three wins from their past five matches and were strong winners over Central Coast United FC last week, 2-0 at home.

The Hawks have found their scoring form lately, with 12 goals from their past five matches, and will hope the likes of Harry Drew and Vincent D’Ermilio can cause problems for the Flame defence with their strong attacking play.

A win for Hawkesbury could move them up a spot into 11th, while a loss could drop them to 13th as the halfway point of the season approaches – they will hope to go into the second half of the season soon on a high.

With the Flame hunting the top spots and the Hawks looking to move away from the bottom spots, neither side will take this match lightly as they hunt a big three points.

9th-placed Granville Rage have a bye in Round 14.

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