Round 20 Preview – League Two Men’s

a man holding a football ball

The 2024 Football NSW League Two Men’s season will reach 66% completion after this weekend’s Round 20 action and there is an almighty tussle at the top of the table brewing.

The Match of the Round this week, however, will focus on the battle at the bottom when last-placed Sydney University SFC hosts 14th-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic.


Saturday, 15th June 2024

Match of the Round: Sydney University SFC vs Gladesville Ryde Magic, 5pm at Sydney University Football Ground

Previous Meeting: Gladesville Ryde Magic 2-1 Sydney University SFC

Both Sydney University SFC and Gladesville Ryde Magic will know the importance of this match for their respective seasons going forward as they meet at the University ground in Round 20.

When these two teams met in Round 5, the Magic held on late against University for a tight 2-1 victory and will hope to do the league double as they chase a second win in three matches, and just their fourth win this season.

The Magic were outshone by a high flying Inner West Hawks side last week and will hope to put that result behind them as they look to build a four-point gap over last-placed University.

They did create their chances against the Hawks, with eight shots, three of them on target – if they can stick to their gameplan and utilise their formidable team build-up with technical players up front, they will hope to prove to be a big test for University.

Expect the experienced players of Chris Gaitatzis and Kiriakos Tohouroglou to play their part to lead the young side, who will hope to disrupt the University side early – a win could take them to within three points of 13th-placed Fraser Park FC.

University, meanwhile, had their Match of the Round at home to South Coast Flame FC washed out last week and will hope to return refreshed to take on the Magic in Round 20.

They will hope to put together a positive performance this week, and with an impromptu week off to fine-tune their gameplan, will be ready to attack the Magic this week, who they have not beaten in their past three attempts.

Expect University to want to hold the ball well and frustrate the Magic side, where they will hope to deliver the ball into good areas high up the field as they hunt their third win of the season – a win which would take them off the bottom of the ladder.

With both sides looking for rare wins this season, expect plenty of fire and positive attacking play from both teams as they look to take down an opponent close to them on the ladder.


Central Coast United FC vs Mounties Wanderers FC, 5pm at Pluim Park

Previous Meeting: Mounties Wanderers FC 3-0 Central Coast United FC

The two former League One Men’s sides from last season in 7th-placed Central Coast United FC and 2nd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC will do battle in a big match up the coast in Round 20.

In their Round 5 meeting, Mounties scored three goals to zero and collected all three points – they will hope to repeat that dose, while the Pirates will hope they can give their season a positive turn this week.

Central Coast United had their second bye of the season last week and dropped from 6th to 7th on the ladder, with their hopes of a top-two finish fading away and a hunt towards the top five a more realistic goal.

Their tough run of fixtures has included a loss to three of the top four teams in the past three matches and that task does not get any easier against the 2nd-placed Mounties Wanderers this week.

Expect the Pirates to play with intensity and start the match with purpose, quick build-up play and the ever-dangerous Ben Flakus and Cade Mapu in attack, who will hope to lead the Pirates to a big victory.

Mounties, meanwhile, won 4-0 over Hawkesbury City FC in their mid-week Round 19 match, with a hat-trick from Yuki Kanai and a goal from Dany Ghetti leading them to a win which included their third-straight clean sheet – they sit as the second-best defensive side with only 20 goals conceded this season.

Kanai moved to 20 goals for the season following that hat-trick – just one behind Bankstown’s Mitchell Cross in the Golden Boot race – and he will hope to add to that tally against a side he has already scored against this season in Central Coast.

Having scored in all-but one match this season, and with at least three goals scored per game in their last seven games, expect Mounties to be at their attacking best early in a match where a win would take them to 42 points, potentially just two points behind the league-leading Newcastle Jets – a loss, meanwhile, could see them drop to 3rd.

With Central Coast looking to end a three-match losing streak and Mounties looking to continue their six-match winning streak, there should be plenty of intensity and fight shown from both teams in this match, where the clinical edge in front of goal will play its role.


Hawkesbury City FC vs Fraser Park FC, 5:30pm at David Bertenshaw Field

Previous Meeting: Fraser Park FC 2-3 Hawkesbury City FC

Two teams looking to bounce back from tough losses meet when 12th-placed Hawkesbury City FC hosts 13th-placed Fraser Park FC at David Bertenshaw Field.

In the Round 5 clash between these two sides, Hawkesbury held on late to a tight 3-2 win away over Fraser Park, who they have beat in their past two encounters – expect this match to be just as tight.

Hawkesbury City had won back-to-back matches before their mid-week 4-0 Round 19 loss away to Mounties Wanderers FC and will hope to rebound quickly with a third match in a week.

The last time they played Fraser Park, Duncan Stewart grabbed a double and Daniel Morsillo scored what was the winner – they will hope to score in consecutive matches against Fraser Park to help their team respond to defeat.

A win for the Hawks could help them rise as high as 10th on the ladder, while a loss could see their four-point lead over Fraser Park cut down to just one point.

Fraser Park, meanwhile, lost back-to-back matches for the first time since Round 12 after their 5-2 away loss to Granville Rage last week.

They will hope to continue to create good chances after they had eleven shots against Granville – which was more than the hosts – but will hope to convert those chances into goals this week.

Expect Fraser Park to show improvement in front of goal this week as they look to win their fifth match of the season and move within a point of Hawkesbury on the ladder.

With Hawkesbury hoping to complete the league double and Fraser Park hoping to work on their clinical edge in front of goal, expect there to be plenty of motivation for the two sides as they take to the field.


Inner West Hawks FC vs Parramatta FC, 7pm at Arlington Oval

Previous Meeting: Parramatta FC 3-3 Inner West Hawks FC

A battle between the Hawks and the Eagles this week should see plenty of action when 4th-placed Inner West Hawks FC hosts 11th-placed Parramatta FC.

The spoils were shared in late, dramatic fashion in the Round 5 clash between these two sides, where a Blake Steward goal in the 87th minute rescued a point for Parramatta – expect this match to also serve up some twists and turns.

Inner West Hawks won a fifth-straight match to move to 36 points for the season after their 5-1 home win over Gladesville Ryde Magic and will hope to make it a sixth-straight win this weekend.

After losing to Parramatta twice last season, the Hawks will hope to win against the Eagles in their fourth attempt to gain their 12th win of the season.

Sitting on 36 points, a win would take them ahead of Bankstown United FC into 3rd place, while a loss could leave them exposed to 5th-placed South Coast Flame FC, who are five points behind with a match in hand.

Parramatta, meanwhile, had their Round 19 match at home to Camden Tigers FC postponed and rescheduled, but did play a Round 17 catch-up match at home to South Coast Flame FC mid-week – they fell behind and took the lead in the match, respectively, with goals from Jordan Parfait and Armin Kahric, but had to settle for a 2-2 draw, in the end.

That draw moved them up to 11th on the ladder and a win this weekend would see them rise one spot to 10th.

Expect the Eagles to want to continue their strong run of head-to-head form against the Hawks and shake up the race for the top two in a performance where they should be eager to go.

With Inner West in form and looking to challenge near the top, and Parramatta hoping to continue their strong head-to-head form against the hosts, expect a match with plenty of chances for both sides where discipline and patience will play its part.


Prospect United SC vs Camden Tigers FC, 7pm at Blacktown Exercise Sports and Technology Hub

Previous Meeting: Camden Tigers FC 1-2 Prospect United SC

Both 10th-placed Prospect United SC and 9th-placed Camden Tigers FC will be on the hunt to end winless streaks when they meet in Round 20.

The away side has won the past three head-to-head matches between these sides after Prospect held off Camden late in the two sides’ Round 5 matchup – expect both sides look to fight to break or continue that trend, respectively, this week.

Prospect were hit for six in a tough 6-0 loss away to the league-leading Newcastle Jets last week and will hope to use the lessons learned from that match to come out the other side better.

The hosts have lost their past five matches and will hope to put an end to that streak this week, where they will hope to end their goalscoring drought – they have failed to score in four of their past five matches.

Anthony Idehen scored a double for Prospect in their win over Camden in Round 5 and will hope to add to his tally of 11 goals for the season this week as Prospect look to end their tough run of form with a positive performance.

Camden, meanwhile, had their Round 19 match away to Parrmatta FC rescheduled due to wet weather and will hope to use their week off to regroup and refocus as they look for a big win.

They will hope to put on a big performance this week to take down Prospect away from home, just as they did in Round 27 last season.

A win could take Camden as high as 7th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop as low as 12th in a packed mid-table, making every match for them important.

With Prospect hopeful of turning a corner in their form sooner rather than later, and Camden looking to respond after their last performance and a week off, expect both sides to play with energy early and wear the other down throughout the contest.


Hurstville FC vs Granville Rage, 7pm at Penshurst Park

Previous Meeting: Granville Rage 2-1 Hurstville FC

An intriguing clash awaits when 6th-placed Hurstville FC hosts 8th-placed Granville Rage in a battle for positions in Round 20.

In their Round 5 match, Granville came from one goal down and secured victory with a goal either side of the half for a comeback 2-1 win at home over Hurstville – expect there to be plenty of chances in this match as both sides look for a big win for their league positions.

Hurstville won a third match from their past four after they took down the in-form Bankstown United FC last week and will hope to continue their charge in the highly competitive midfield pack this season.

With wins against 3rd-placed Bankstown, 5th-placed South Coast Flame FC, and 4th-placed Inner West Hawks FC in their past three wins, Hurstville have shown not only can they match it with the best, but also beat them this season, and will hope to continue that form as they look to pile pain on Granville.

With seven different goal scorers for their past eight goals, Hurstville have shown their strengths to score from all areas, with different players, in diverse scenarios – expect them to fight hard to keep up their strong start to the second half of the season.

Granville, meanwhile, won back-to-back matches for the first time this season after their 5-2 home win over Fraser Park FC last week and will hope to build on that momentum.

They will hope to complete the league double over Hurstville – Nikola Todoroski and Ante Tomic both scored in Granville’s Round 5 win over Hurstville and will hope to add to their 14 and 11 goals, this week, respectively.

A win could take the Rage as high as 6th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop to as low as 11th – expect them to fight hard to maintain their strong form in the mid-table.

With Hurstville and Granville both firing after back-to-back wins, expect neither side to give an inch as they fight for a big three points in the midfield tussle.


Sunday, 16th June 2024

Newcastle Jets vs South Coast Flame FC, 5pm at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility

Previous Meeting: South Coast Flame FC 2-2 Newcastle Jets

A big clash between the top-of-the-table Newcastle Jets and 5th-placed South Coast Flame FC ends a big Round 20, with both sides looking to make their own bit of history.

The spoils were shared in late, dramatic fashion in the Round 5 Match of the Round between these two sides, where the Flame came from behind twice to grab a draw at home to the Jets in a tight affair – expect this contest to be just as tight.

The Newcastle Jets’ historic season continued into an 18th match unbeaten this season as their flawless season continued with a 6-0 home win over Prospect United SC as their lead at the top of the ladder grew to five points, with 44 for the season so far.

That win for the Jets ensured they had the best offensive and defensive records in the competition – with 58 goals scored and only 13 goals conceded in 18 matches, any team who comes up against the young side knows the challenge they will be in for.

With Janni Rafty and Xavier Bertoncello both into double figures for the season with 11 and 10 goals, respectively, after their respective doubles last week, expect the Jets fluency in attack to continue to shine, and their robust defence to stand up against the Flame.

The Flame, meanwhile, had their match away to Sydney University SFC last week rescheduled but did play a Round 17 catch-up match away to Parramatta FC which they drew 2-2 – they took the lead and fell behind, respectively, with goals from Genki Iwata and Matthew Mazevski, but had to settle for the 2-2 draw.

Winless from their past two matches, they will hope to pick up a big win that would help in their fight with the top four sides this season – they currently sit 12 points behind the Jets with 36 points, while Michael Trajkovski has led the line this season with 19 goals.

Expect the Flame to fire up early and use the extra motivation of potentially being the first side to defeat the Jets this season – if they manage to do so, it will not only shake up the race for promotion for both sides, but also for the other sides around them on the ladder.

With Newcastle looking to continue their historic season and the Flame hoping to make inroads in the battle for the top two this season, expect both sides to show their share of youth and experience, respectively, as they meet in this vital clash.


3rd-placed Bankstown United FC have a bye in Round 20.


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