Round 14 Review – League Two Men’s

a man holding a football ball

More rain meant another disrupted round in Round 14 of the 2024 Football NSW League Two Men’s season, but there were still big results ahead of the rapidly approaching halfway point of the season.

The Match of the Round this week saw plenty of drama as Bankstown United FC escaped with a tough draw away to a ten-man Parramatta FC.


Saturday, 11th May 2024

Match of the Round: Parramatta FC 2-2 Bankstown United FC

Both Parramatta FC and Bankstown United FC came from behind, respectively, in a frantic 2-2 draw at Rydalmere Park amid a wet weekend of football.

Bankstown earned a penalty early in the match when Marie Gauthier was brought down in the Parramatta penalty box; Mitchell Cross stepped up and calmly slotted home the spot kick for his 16th goal of the season to give the visitors the early 1-0 lead.

Parramatta struck back relatively quickly, however, in the 21st minute when combination play down the left between Ali Chamsin and Jordan Parfait saw the latter volley at goal from close range – his effort was saved but he slotted home the rebound to restore parity in the contest at 1-1.

The two teams traded the next few chances in the next five minutes – first, a strong block from Harry Stavris stopped a shot from Parramatta, before Bankstown had a shot at the other end saved well by Parramatta goalkeeper, Jameson Hinwood.

Parfait continued to be a threat for Parramatta in the 29th minute when he got in down the right off a good pass by Derek Doffour, but his shot on goal was saved well by the legs of Bankstown goalkeeper, Mitchell Evans.

Parramatta had a lot of attacking momentum in the first half, but the match became cagey to close out the opening period, with a shot from Parfait which headed wide a lone highlight during that period.

Bankstown had three chances in the final five minutes of the half – first, Mitchell Edmunds played Jovan Blagojevic in, who had his shot saved well; that was followed by another shot which was saved by Hinwood and one more in the final minute of the half by Corey Freeman which was saved at a tight angle.

Parramatta had a golden chance to take the lead in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Chamsin stole the ball of Evans’ attempt to jump on the ball and played it across to Parfait, but his shot was saved by Evans.

Level at 1-1 at the half, Bankstown switched to three-at-the-back after the break and Parramatta immediately started finding joy – Youssef Badr had a chance cleared away, before the Eagles took the lead in the 54th minute.

Bo Hyun Chun found Parfait down the right flank, who got to the ball ahead of Evans and used a deft touch to take the ball ahead of him towards goal – he beat the last defender and slotted the ball into the back of the net as the rain started coming down onto Rydalmere Park with the score at 2-1.

Bankstown switched on and had an attack through Cross which was cleared by Blake Steward before the turning point in the match arrived in the 61st minute.

Parramatta’s Mouhammed Bakr had been injured when he put in a tackle which earned him a yellow card; he left the pitch to receive treatment and tried to re-enter, but did so before the referee had signalled for him to do so, so was shown a second yellow card for dissent, which brought Parramatta down to ten players for the remainder of the match.

Ten-man Parramatta tried to use their pace in behind to hit Bankstown on the counter from there, where they created a chance for Badr which he shot across goal.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Bankstown restored parity at 2-2 when Hinwood passed the ball to Steward from a goal-kick; he lost the ball to Gauthier who had plenty of space inside the box and squared the ball to Cross, who slotted the ball into the back of the net with relative ease for his 17th goal of the season.

The visitors pushed for the winner, with a shot which was saved by Hinwood and another from Cross which had the same outcome.

Gauthier almost put Bankstown in the lead in the 85th minute when he got on the end of a ball at the back post, but the ball was just behind him which meant he could not direct his shot on target.

Bankstown’s Josh Gersbach was shown a yellow card for a dive inside the Parramatta penalty area in the 87th minute as the match became frantic with nervous play from both sides.

Into stoppage time, Steward stopped a big cross from Bankstown near the box, while the final chance of the match came in the third minute of stoppage time for Bankstown when Gauthier put a dangerous ball into the area for two Bankstown players to attack, but the ball just evaded them for a goal kick.

Neither side was able to grab the decisive goal in a match where both teams had the lead – instead, they had to settle for the 2-2 draw.

Speaking post-match, Parramatta Head Coach Luis Contigiani said he was proud of his side, especially after they had been reduced to ten men.

“Thought we played well considering we were down to ten men – our plan worked well until we decided to play out from the back [and conceded that goal].”

Contigiani said he hopes his side can learn from the match how to manage situations in the match late, because he was proud of their efforts.

“We fought hard, we worked hard, but we let ourselves down.”

Bankstown Head Coach, Luke McGuire, meanwhile, said he was disappointed in the result but hopes his side can keep working hard.

“We were a bit lucky to equalise; it is a disappointing result for us, but full credit to Parramatta.”

McGuire spoke on how Parramatta is always a difficult side to play against and that they will hope to move on from there.

“It is traditionally a danger game for us, and we were probably lucky to come away with the draw.”

The draw for Parramatta saw them remain in 11th place, level on points with 10th-placed Hurstville FC, while the draw for Bankstown saw their five-match winning streak end, although their unbeaten streak continued, as they stayed two points behind the league-leading Newcastle Jets.

Parramatta will hope to get back to winning ways when they travel to face the formidable 3rd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC next week, while Bankstown will hope to continue to put the pressure on the Jets when they travel to face 4th-placed South Coast Flame FC.

Parramatta FC 2 (Jordan Parfait 21’, 54’; Mouhammed Bakr 61’ red card)

Bankstown United FC 2 (Mitchell Cross 10’, 78’)


Friday, 10th May 2024

Hurstville FC 0-2 Central Coast United FC

Central Coast United FC ended a run of back-to-back losses with a big 2-0 away win over Hurstville FC, who fell to back-to-back defeats for the first time since Round 5.

The visitors started with the ball early as both teams defended well early, but the visitors grabbed the opening goal in the 16th minute when an error by Hurstville at the back saw Cade Mapu intercept the ball before he was brought down in the penalty area – Alex Arbelo stepped up and slotted the ball home despite a hand from Hurstville goalkeeper, Michael Rutherford, to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

The Pirates doubled their lead ten minutes later when Bret Sibanda won a second ball on the edge of the box and beat two players before he slotted the ball past Rutherford – Central Coast had a big 2-0 lead.

Hurstville picked up the pace from there and started to create more – they came close to scoring with a few cutbacks and balls across the face of goal but could not find a way back into the match in the first half.

After the break, Hurstville played with more intensity and played higher up the pitch to disrupt Central Coast, while both teams looked to force turnovers and play on transition.

The hosts had more corners and hit the crossbar in the second half, while a big chance arose when Daniel Maras played Jacob Botic through, but Pirates goalkeeper, Zayd Husain made a good save to deny him.

The match was a physical encounter in both boxes, particularly from set pieces, as both sides attacked and defended with intent, but Hurstville was unable to create enough chances with the possession they had.

In the end, the Pirates kept a clean sheet in a tough contest away to Hurstville, where they came away as 2-0 winners.

The loss for Hurstville saw them remain in 10th-place, one point behind 9th-placed Granville Rage, while the win for the Pirates moved them up into 7th-place on the ladder, equal on points with 6th-placed Prospect United SC.

Hurstville will hope to move a few spots up on the ladder when they host 5th-placed Inner West Hawks FC next week, while Central Coast will hope to move towards the top five at the halfway point of the season when they host 6th-placed Prospect United SC.

Hurstville FC 0

Central Coast United FC 2 (Alex Arbelo 16’ pen; Bret Sibanda 26’)


Saturday, 11th May 2024

Prospect United SC 4-1 Gladesville Ryde Magic

Prospect United SC won a third-straight match after they came from behind for a big 4-1 home win over Gladesville Ryde Magic in wet conditions.

Gladesville took the lead in the match in the 23rd minute when Chris Gaitatzis found a way past Prospect goalkeeper, Connor Gilbert, as the visitors looked to cause an upset early in the contest.

Prospect restored parity in the 30th minute, however, when a Leo Hirose free kick found Shaan Birring at the far post, who headed the ball across goal for Dimos Vlachos to head home to make the score 1-1 at half-time.

In the second half, Prospect started fast through Tallon Zahra – he played a pass to Vlachos, who cut inside and struck the ball into the bottom corner to give Prospect a 2-1 lead.

Prospect grabbed a third goal less than ten minutes later when Anthony Idehen laid a pass back to Hirose, who curled an out-swinging shot into the bottom corner from around 22 yards from goal.

Prospect’s fourth goal in the 62nd minute saw good combination play from Zahra, Vlachos, and Idehen in and around the box – Idehen ended the play with a square pass across goal for Jacob Micallef, who tapped the ball home to give Prospect a 4-1 home win.

The victory for Prospect saw them go on their best winning run of the season so far and saw them move up into 6th-place on the ladder, while the loss for Gladesville was their ninth in a row as they remained rooted to the bottom of the ladder, one point behind Sydney University SFC.

Prospect will hope to extend their winning streak to four matches when they host 7th-placed Central Coast United FC to round out the first half of the season, while Gladesville will be the last of the sides to have their bye next week as they prepare for the second half of the season.

Prospect United SC 4 (Dimos Vlachos 30’, 49’; Reo Hirose 59’; Jacob Micallef 62’)

Gladesville Ryde Magic 1 (Chris Gaitatzis 23’)


Sunday, 12th May 2024

Newcastle Jets 1-1 Fraser Park FC

A ten-man Newcastle Jets kept their unbeaten season alive after they came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Fraser Park FC.

Fraser Park took the early lead in the match in the 19th minute when a defensive error by Jets’ goalkeeper, Zac Bowling, was capitalised on by Francis Mcalpine, who made no mistake himself as he gave the visitors hope of a big result early in the match.

The Jets attacked from there with many chances on goal, but they were unable to take them – they hit the crossbar and post amid those chances as they hunted an equaliser in the first half but were unable to find it.

Fraser Park, meanwhile, had to make two first-half substitutions – one of those included the goal scorer, Mcalpine, who came off with a cut above his eyebrow.

In the second half, after a few substitutions, the Jets levelled the match in the 69th minute when Justin Vidic slotted the ball home following good build-up play from the hosts.

With the match in the balance late, neither side was able to find the winner, while Vidic was shown a second yellow card for an off the ball incident in the 86th minute, which meant the Jets saw out the match with ten men.

Despite being a man down, the Jets continued to attack in the final few minutes of the match but were unable to find a winning goal, while Fraser Park held out well and had chances themselves – both sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

The draw for the Jets saw their lead at the top of the table stay at two points over 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC, while the draw for Fraser Park saw them remain in 13th-place but moved them four points clear of 14th-placed Hawkesbury City FC and five points clear of last-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic, respectively.

The Jets will hope to finish the first half of the season on top of the league when they host 14th-placed Hawkesbury City FC, while Fraser Park will hope to further build their gap to the bottom two sides when they travel to face 14th-placed Sydney University SFC.

Newcastle Jets 1 (Jusin Vidic 69’; 86’ red card)

Fraser Park FC 1 (Francis Mcalpine 19’)


Mounties Wanderers FC vs Sydney University SFC and Camden Tigers FC vs Inner West Hawks FC were both washed out and will be played at a later date.

Hawkesbury City FC’s home match against South Coast Flame FC will be played in the second round of fixtures, with their Round 14 match now a home match to the Flame on Monday, 13th May 2024, 8pm at Sir Ian McLennan Oval.


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