Round 17 Preview – League Two Men’s

a person holding a football ball

Many of the top sides are in form and will hope to continue their charge in the second half of the season as the 2024 Football NSW League Two Men’s season reaches Round 17.

The Match of the Round this week sees Inner West Hawks FC look to close the gap on the top four and build on back-to-back wins as they host a Sydney University SFC side looking to spoil their charge.


Saturday, 1st June 2024

Match of the Round: Inner West Hawks FC vs Sydney University SFC, 7:30pm at Arlington Oval

Previous Meeting: Sydney University SFC 2-2 Inner West Hawks FC

Another tough Match of the Round awaits when 5th-placed Inner West Hawks FC welcome 14th-placed Sydney University SFC to Arlington Oval in Round 17.

It was a tight encounter when these two teams met in Round 2, where a late quickfire double from then-debutant Peter Zervos led University to a 2-2 draw with the Hawks – expect to see plenty of drama this time around, too, with both sides looking to give their all.

The Hawks picked up a big 1-0 away win over Central Coast United FC last week, while they also defeated Camden Tigers FC 2-0 away in their Round 14 catchup match on Tuesday, 28th May, thanks to goals from Marcus Apostolakis and Peter Yannopoulos either side of half-time, respectively.

That win moved the Hawks to within four points of 4th-placed South Coast Flame FC and ensured back-to-back wins, which keeps them in touch with the top two a shot at promotion this season, while back-to-back clean sheets will inspire confidence at the back.

Look for the Hawks to utilise their pace up front, where Yannopoulos will be hunting a goal for a third-straight match, while the ever-dangerous frontline of the Hawks will hope to use their pace in behind the University defence well to cause problems from the first whistle.

Sydney University, meanwhile, held possession well against Hawkesbury last week in their 1-0 away loss, while they also lost their Round 14 catch-up match away to 2nd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC on Tuesday, 28th May, 4-0, and will hope to win just their third match of the season this week.

They will be up for the task of causing an upset this week and will hope to do their part to shake up the top half of the table.

Look for Peter Zervos to continue to be dangerous in attack for the students as they hunt just their third win of the season.

With the Hawks hoping to pick up a third-straight win and keep their hopes of a strong season going, and with University looking to cause a big upset, expect both sides to come out strong where early chances could play their part in the final result.


Friday, 31st May 2024

Mounties Wanderers FC vs Prospect United SC, 8pm at Cook Park (Mt Pritchard)

Previous Meeting: Prospect United SC 3-3 Mounties Wanderers FC

2nd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC will hope to win a fifth-straight match when they host an 8th-placed Prospect United SC side coming off back-to-back losses in Round 17.

It was a goal-fest when these two teams met in Round 2, with an 89th minute goal from Anthony Vastag the saviour for Mounties as they escaped with a late 3-3 draw away from home – expect to see plenty of drama in their Round 17 matchup as both teams look to gain crucial positions and also hope to avoid falling even more crucial positions.

Mounties are still hot on the heels of the league-leading Newcastle Jets after their 3-1 away win over Granville Rage in last week’s fiery Match of the Round, while they moved to 33 points for the season after goals from Anthony Vastag, Yuki Kanai, Kuot Maliet and Andre Schroeder led them to a big 4-0 home win over 14th-placed Sydney University SFC in their Round 14 catchup match on Tuesday, 28th May.

They sit four points behind the Jets and will hope to continue to put the pressure on Newcastle when they host Prospect – look for their pace in attack to be a big cause of concern for the visitors, while Yuki Kanai will hope to add to his 15 goals for the season.

After keeping their first clean sheet since Round 6 mid-week, the Mounties defence will be full of confidence heading into this week and will hope to keep back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since they kept four-straight clean sheets between Rounds 3-6.

Prospect, meanwhile, lost back-to-back matches, which followed their three-match winning streak, after their 2-1 away loss to 3rd-placed Bankstown United FC last week and will hope to avoid going on their worst losing streak of the season this week when they make the trip from the west to the south-west.

They will hope to put in another hard-working and spirited performance after their loss last week and will be confident of creating chances against Mounties – look for Anthony Idehen to be the main threat up front as he chases his 12th goal of the season.

The visitors will be without defender Blake Mottram after he was sent off last week, so will need to rely on reinforcements to step in and do the job defensively as they look for a win which could potentially see them enter the top six, while a loss could drop them as low as 10th.

With Mounties hoping to capitalise on any mishaps from the Jets near the top of the table and Prospect hoping to reignite their own push for the top half of the table, expect plenty of chances in a clash which could provide plenty more goals, just as they did in Round 2.


Camden Tigers FC vs Newcastle Jets, 8pm at Ron Dine Memorial Reserve, Carbiz Stadium

Previous Meeting: Newcastle Jets 3-3 Camden Tigers FC

An intriguing match awaits when 7th-placed Camden Tigers FC host the unbeaten, top-of-the-table Newcastle Jets in the reverse fixture of the match where the Jets’ unbeaten run almost never happened.

In their previous match in Round 2, the 10-man Tigers took a 3-2 lead in the 89th minute through a Ben Van Dorssen own goal, before the 10-man Jets salvaged a 3-3 draw in the fourth minute of stoppage time time through a Justin Vidic penalty – that match was the closest the Jets have come to losing all season.

The Tigers had a bye in Round 15 but lost their Round 14 catch-up match at home to 5th-placed Inner West Hawks FC 2-0 in what was a big blow to their chances of catching them on the ladder – the loss could have put them within one point of the Hawks, but instead they sit in 7th with 20 points, with the Hawks on 27 points.

The Tigers have been formidabble this season and are the equal-fifth best attacking side and equal-fourth best defensive side, and after their strong showing against the Jets in the reverse fixture, will be confident and will hope to be the team to end their unbeaten season.

Look for Camden to play without fear against the Jets, just as they did in Round 2 and have done so throughout this season, as they look for a win which could help them rise into 6th, while a loss could see them drop as low as 10th.

The Newcastle Jets, meanwhile, continued their unbelievable season, going a 15th match unbeaten after their 1-0 away win over Hurstville FC last week.

The Jets had a new star in 18-year-old Amos Okumu last week, who scored in stoppage-time at the end of the match to rescue that win for Newcastle and the forward, who has scored seven goals for the Jets’ under-20s team this season, will hope to continue to shine in the first-grade squad.

With captain Ben Van Dorssen also full of confidence following his experience with the Young Socceroos training camp and each of their past three wins coming with a clean sheet, expect the Jets to be full of confidence as they look to potentially extend their lead at the top of the table to 10 points as they hunt their 40th point of the season, already.

Both the Tigers and the Jets will be hopeful of displaying their strengths in this match and both teams will be looking to further build confidence in the second half of the season – with so many factors at play, this match promises to deliver excitement and entertainment.


Granville Rage vs Gladesville Ryde Magic, 8pm at Rydalmere Park

Previous Meeting: Gladesville Ryde Magic 4-2 Granville Rage

An enticing match awaits when 11th-placed Granville Rage hosts last-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic in Round 17.

The Magic picked up what has been one of only two wins for them so far this season when the two sides last met in Round 2 after Gladesville saw out a big 4-2 home win – expect both sides to be fired up as they look for crucial wins for their respective seasons.

Granville Rage lost a third-straight match after their 3-1 home loss to 2nd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC in last week’s fiery Match of the Round and will hope things will go their way as they look for a win which could get their hopes for a top-half finish this season back on track.

Nikola Todoroski continued his fine form this season with his 12th goal for the year last week and will hope to continue to link up well with the likes of Ante Tomic in attack, while the Rage will hope to win the midfield battle to provide their frontline with some good service into and around the penalty area.

Expect the Rage to be fired up and ready to take on the challenge of the Magic, who they will hope to beat for the first time since the current League Two system was revamped in 2023.

Gladesville Ryde Magic, meanwhile, suffered a 10th-straight loss after their second-biggest loss of the season last week, 6-0 away to 4th-placed South Coast Flame FC, and will hope to end that streak against the Rage this week.

The Magic have conceded 18 goals in their past four matches in what has been a really challenging time for them in a rough season, but a win will still move them off the bottom of the ladder if other results go their way this weekend.

With motivation after beating the Rage earlier in the season, the Magic will hope to conjure up a powerful performance to complete the league double and inspire some confidence for the weeks ahead this season.

With both the Rage and the Magic looking to end losing streak, expect both sides to come out with intent to control the midfield and cause problems for the opposing defences early in a match which could go either way.


Saturday, 1st June 2024

Parramatta FC vs South Coast Flame FC, 5pm at Melita Stadium

Previous Meeting: South Coast Flame FC 3-1 Parramatta FC

Another clash between two teams who always provide goals when they play sees 10th-placed Parramatta FC host 4th-placed South Coast Flame FC.

The Flame picked up the three points in the Round 2 clash between these two sides and will hope to do so once again as they look to strengthen their position near the top of the league.

Parramatta put a performance their coach was not proud of in their 5-1 away loss to 13th-placed Fraser Park FC last week and the players will be hoping to make up for that when they take to the field this week.

The Parramatta players will hope to find some consistency in their play and compete for the whole 90 minutes as they look to respond to a performance which they know they can do better than from last week.

A win for the Eagles could still take them as high as 7th on the ladder, while another loss, which would be a fourth from their past six matches, could see them drop a spot to 11th.

South Coast Flame, meanwhile, picked up their biggest win of the season after their 6-0 away win over last-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic and the side will be full of confidence as they look to take down the Eagles this week.

Michael Trajkovski’s hat-trick moved him to outright top of the goalscoring charts for the season with 19, while the Flames’ goal tally for the season crossed 40.

A win for the Flame could take them as high as 2nd on the ladder, while a loss would keep them in 4th given the gap they have maintained on the teams below them – expect the Flame to highlight their skills with the ball at their feet and hurt Parramatta wherever they can in their dangerous front-line.

With pride on the line for Parramatta and positions up for the Flame, expect both sides to give 100% on the field from the first whistle, where the first slip-up from either side could spark some game-changing moments.


Fraser Park FC vs Hurstville FC, 7pm at Fraser Park

Previous Meeting: Hurstville FC 0-2 Fraser Park FC

A big match between two teams in contrasting form sees 13th-placed Fraser Park FC host 9th-placed Hurstville FC.

When these two teams faced off in Round 2’s Match of the Round, Fraser Park came away with a tight 2-0 win over Hurstville – expect there to be plenty more action in this match as both teams look to take big strides forward in their respective seasons.

Fraser Park picked up their equal-biggest win of the season last week after a strong 5-1 home win over 10th-placed Parramatta FC and will hope to build on their strong form which has seen them win seven of the last nine available points.

They have taken down 6th-placed Central Coast United FC and became one of only four sides this season to make the Newcastle Jets drop points after their 1-1 draw away in Round 14 and will hope to continue to build their confidence when they host Hurstville this weekend.

Look for Shu Torihara and Hayato Sadamori to work well for Fraser Park in midfield, while David Ustimenko and Alexander Nicolosi will hope to continue their strong form up front for the hosts this week as they look for a win which could see them rise to as high as 11th on the ladder.

Hurstville, meanwhile, conceded a 90+4’ goal at home to the Newcastle Jets last week in a devastating 1-0 home loss but will take confidence for how they took the match to the unbeaten Jets.

Despite eight injuries to the first-team squad, Hurstville will hope to continue to push on and return to a strong run of form after three losses from their past four matches, where they have played the sides currently in 2nd, 6th, 5th, and 1st, respectively.

With a strong belief in their playstyle, look for Hurstville to be relentless in attack away from home as they look for a win which could see them rise to as high as 7th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop to as low as 11th.

With Fraser Park in form and Hurstville looking to bounce back from a tough month of fixtures, expect there to be plenty of attacking threat from both sides where the result may not be decided until late in the contest.


Bankstown United FC vs Central Coast United FC, 7pm at Padstow Park

Previous Meeting: Central Coast United FC 4-1 Bankstown United FC

The final match of Round 17 sees two teams looking to build back into some form when 3rd-placed Bankstown United FC hosts 6th-placed Central Coast United FC.

In their previous Round 2 clash, Central Coast United showed their early intent in the competition with a big 4-1 home win and will hope to use that result to inspire them to attack towards the top of the table for the rest of the season.

Bankstown won their first match in three weeks after they came from behind for a big 2-1 home win over 8th-placed Prospect United SC last week and will hope to continue to put the pressure on the all-important top two this season.

Mitchell Cross kept his fight for the golden boot going with his 18th goal of the season last week and he will hope to score against the Pirates for the second time this season this weekend.

Look for Bankstown to want to dominate possession at home and create early chances as they hunt a win which could potentially take them to within two points of the league-leading Newcastle Jets, while a loss could see them drop to 4th.

Central Coast United, meanwhile, saw their back-to-back win streak end at the hands of 5th-placed Inner West Hawks last week in a 1-0 away loss and will hope to put that disappointment behind them as they look to potentially close the gap to the Hawks ahead of them to just one point.

Ben Flakus scored a hat-trick the last time these two sides met and will be the main threat once again for the Pirates, and the away side will also hope to grab a third clean sheet from their past four matches this weekend.

A loss for the Pirates could see them drop to as low as 8th on the ladder, so the away side will be hopeful of putting in a big performance as they look to complete what would be a big league double over Bankstown.

With league positions up for grabs in the top half of the table, both Bankstown and Central Coast will hope to grab a big three points for their respective seasons in a match where either attack could fire their respective sides to victory.


12th-placed Hawkesbury City FC have a bye in Round 17.


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