Round 21 Preview – League Two Men’s

a person holding a sign

With the final third of the 2024 Football NSW League Two Men’s season underway, the Newcastle Jets remain the team to beat, with crucial battles for position taking place across the league in Round 21.

The Match of the Round this week sees a big mid-pack battle when Central Coast United FC hosts Granville Rage.


Saturday, 22nd June 2024

Match of the Round: Central Coast United FC vs Granville Rage, 5pm at Pluim Park

Previous Meeting: Granville Rage 2-2 Central Coast United FC

A big clash with mid-table ramifications sees 6th-placed Central Coast United FC host 7th-placed Granville Rage at Pluim Park, with just one point separating the two sides.

In the earlier Round 6 clash between these sides this season, a Nikola Todoroski double helped the Rage come from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw at home – expect this match to be just as tight as the two teams tussle for position.

Central Coast United ended their three-match losing streak after they came away as big 1-0 winners at home over Mounties Wanderers FC last week and will hope to use the momentum of defeating one of the league’s top sides to win back-to-back matches this week.

Building off the back of their fourth clean sheet of the season, the Pirates will hope to continue that momentum at the back, especially off the back of the work of their goalkeeper, Zayd Husain.

A win for the Pirates could see them move to within three points of 5th-placed South Coast Flame FC, while a loss could see them drop two places to 8th – the Pirates will hope to keep back-to-back clean sheets for the second time this season.

Granville Rage, meanwhile, are one of the form teams currently after their 2-1 away win over Hurstville FC last week – they have won three matches in a row and have rocketed up the ladder in the past three weeks.

Part of the reason is Nicola Todoroski, who has now scored 15 goals this season – expect him to have his say on the match, as well as his strike partner in Ante Tomic.

Expect Granville to try to win the second balls and make the match difficult for the Pirates – a win could see them rise to as high as 6th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop to as low as 10th.

With plenty of league positions up for grabs in a crucial point of the season, with ten rounds to go, both Central Coast United and Granville Rage will hope to pick up a big victory in this clash.


Fraser Park FC vs Mounties Wanderers FC, 5pm at Fraser Park

Previous Meeting: Mounties Wanderers FC 3-0 Fraser Park FC

What will turn out to be a big clash sees 13th-placed Fraser Park FC host 2nd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC with points more important than ever at this stage of the season.

Mounties ran out 3-0 winners at home over Fraser Park in their Round 6 fixture – they will hope to complete the league double as they chase their dream of promotion, while Fraser Park will hope to spoil their charge.

Fraser Park had their Round 20 match away to Hawkesbury City FC washed out, so will be eager and ready to end their back-to-back losing streak.

Of Fraser Park’s 33 goals this season so far, Alexander Nicolosi has scored 10 of them and will continue to be the main threat up front for the hosts.

Fraser Park may have caught Mounties at a good time after their loss last week and would love to spoil the promotion charge, while a win would also help bring them closer to the pack of teams ahead of them in the league.

Mounties, meanwhile, had their six-match winning streak and eight-match unbeaten run snapped after their big 1-0 loss away to Central Coast United FC last weekend.

Last week was just the second time this season Mounties have failed to score in a match, with the only other time being in a 1-0 away loss to the Newcastle Jets and will hope to avoid unwanted territory of back-to-back scoreless matches when they play this weekend.

With their pace up front through Yuki Kanai, who is second in the Golden Boot race with 20 goals, expect Mounties to want to prove that last week’s result was nothing more than a slip-up – a win could see them move to within five points of the league-leading Newcastle Jets, while a loss could see them drop to as low as 4th in a stacked race for that 2nd position.

With Fraser Park looking to cause an upset and Mounties hoping to rebound quickly as they look to regain momentum near the top of the league, expect both sides to attack with intent as they hunt down the victory.


Gladesville Ryde Magic vs Hurstville FC, 5pm at Christie Park

Previous Meeting: Hurstville FC 9-0 Gladesville Ryde Magic

A match to test the mental and physical strength of the two sides sees 14th-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic host 8th-placed Hurstville FC at Christie Park.

In the reverse fixture this season, Hurstville recorded what is still the biggest victory of the season, margin-wise, in a big 9-0 home win over the Magic – they will hope to repeat the dose while the Magic will hope to reverse the winning and losing roles this time.

Gladesville Ryde Magic had their big Round 20 clash away to last-placed Sydney University SFC washed out last week but will hope to shake up a different part of the ladder when they host Hurstville this weekend.

After their Round 17 win over Granville Rage, the Magic could not back that up against Inner West Hawks FC in their last match and will hope to shake up the mid-table when they host Hurstville this weekend.

If the Magic can manage to defeat Hurstville, they could move four points clear of last place as they look to finish the final third of the season on a positive note.

Hurstville, meanwhile, lost a tight affair 2-1 away to Granville Rage last week and will hope to quickly put that loss behind them as they play a Gladesville side which they found a big win over earlier in the season.

Goal scorers from that 9-0 win earlier in the year include Samuel Shainfeld and Ricardo White, as well as George Salachoris and Conor Earley, who both scored hat-tricks in that match – expect Hurstville to want to pile more pain on the Magic this week.

Hurstville will hope to hold possession away from home and re-find their clinical edge in front of goal as they hunt a win which could see them rise to as high as 6th on the ladder – a loss, meanwhile, could drop them to as low as 10th.

With plenty of places to play for in the final third of the season, both Gladesville Ryde Magic and Hurstville FC will hope to pick up the three points this weekend.


Inner West Hawks FC vs Hawkesbury City FC, 7pm at Arlington Oval

Previous Meeting: Hawkesbury City FC 0-2 Inner West Hawks FC

The battle of the Hawks reignites in Round 21 when 4th-placed Inner West Hawks FC hosts 12th-placed Hawkesbury City FC at Arlington Oval.

Inner West came away 2-0 winners in the Round 6 Match of the Round earlier this season against Hawkesbury – expect Inner West to want to continue that momentum against Hawkesbury and for the visitors to want to spoil the hosts’ promotion charge.

Inner West Hawks FC had their charge near the top of the ladder slightly derailed last week after their 1-1 home draw to Parramatta FC – however, while their five-match winning streak ended, they did move to be six matches unbeaten.

The last time they played Hawkesbury, Inner West held possession well and looked to match the tempo of the Hawks – with Takuma Hirano looking to add to his 15 goals for the season, expect the Hawks to follow a similar gameplan this weekend.

Sitting on 37 points, a win could see them rise as high as 2nd place ahead of Mounties Wanderers FC and Bankstown United FC, while a loss could leave them susceptible to 5th-placed South Coast Flame FC in the coming weeks.

Hawkesbury City FC, meanwhile, had their Round 20 home match against Fraser Park FC washed out last week and so will be refreshed and ready for the battle of the hawks this week.

They will be eager to return to the winners’ list after their recent success with a few victories lately – look for them to want to hit Inner West on the counter.

A win could see them rise to 11th on the ladder, while a loss could leave the susceptible to Fraser Park FC behind them.

With Inner West Hawks chasing down a big promotion battle and Hawkesbury City looking to spoil their charge, expect a fast start from both sides where the first goal could be crucial.


Camden Tigers FC vs Bankstown United FC, 7pm at Ron Dine Memorial Reserve – Carbiz Stadium

Previous Meeting: Bankstown United FC 4-1 Camden Tigers FC

Once again, another match with big mid-pack and top-of-the-pack ramifications sees 10th-placed Camden Tigers FC host 3rd-placed Bankstown United FC.

Bankstown came away 4-1 winners in the Round 6 head-to-head clash against the Tigers and will hope to complete the league double as they look to continue their promotion push this season.

Camden will hope to end their five-match winless streak this weekend after they came from behind and took the lead in their 2-2 draw away to Parramatta FC midweek and will look to cause problems for Bankstown this week.

Bailey Simpson grabbed a double midweek and will hope to be the main attacking threat for the Tigers this weekend – expect Camden to be smart with possession and hit Bankstown on the counter.

If Camden can limit any mistakes early in the match, they will be hopeful of grabbing a win which could see them rise to as high as 7th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop to 11th.

Bankstown, meanwhile, had a bye in Round 20 and will hope to return from their week off refreshed and ready to avoid back-to-back losses this season, which they have not suffered yet, as they look to chase down promotion.

They will once again look to Mitchell Cross to bring them more success – he is the league’s outright top scorer for the season so far with 21 goals and will want to extend his own personal lead atop that list this week.

Bankstown sit on 38 points, just one point behind 2nd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC and one point ahead of 4th-placed Inner West Hawks FC in a tight top of the table – a win for them this week would be crucial to get back on track.

With Camden vs Bankstown usually being a clash which provides plenty of goals, expect the same this time around as both teams look to pick up a big win to start the final third of the season.


Sunday, 23rd June 2024

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

Previous Meeting: Parramatta FC 1-7 Newcastle Jets

The league-leading Newcastle Jets will hope to continue their unbeaten season when they host an 11th-placed Parramatta FC side which will hope to do their part to spoil the Jets’ party.

In the Round 6 head-to-head match between these two teams, the Newcastle Jets scored their highest number of goals in a match this season and recorded their equal-biggest win of the campaign with a 7-1 away win – they will hope to continue to show their strengths across the pitch, while Parramatta will hope to show their improvement from that match.

The Jets historic season continued with a big 3-1 home win over South Coast Flame FC last week in a match where they had 23 shots to 11 and they have now navigated two-thirds of the season without defeat.

Newcastle will hope to control the tempo of this match through their combinations in midfield, while up front the likes of Xavier Bertoncello and Janni Rafty will look to continue their strong seasons, and at the back Ben Van Dorssen will hope to continue his strong season after signing his first professional contract with the Jets last week.

Sitting on 47 points, eight points ahead of 2nd-placed Mounties Wanderers FC, the Jets could soon be out of sight of the rest of the competition as they hunt down a 20th-straight match unbeaten.

Parramatta FC, meanwhile, recorded a third-straight draw midweek after they took the lead and came from behind to grab a 2-2 draw at home to Camden Tigers FC midweek and will hope to turn those draws into a win soon.

Despite not winning any of their past four matches, they have proven they are up for the fight against some top sides and will need to be prepared for their toughest challenge of the season so far this week against the Jets.

A win for Parramatta this week would be their biggest of the season and would see them rise two places into 9th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop down one spot to 12th.

Newcastle will hope to continue their unbeaten season and Parramatta will hope to be the ones to end it – that will be the motivation for the two sides ahead of a big Sunday encounter.


South Coast Flame FC vs Prospect United SC, 5pm at Sir Ian McLennan Oval

Previous Meeting: Prospect United SC 0-1 South Coast Flame FC

5th-placed South Coast Flame FC will look to end their three-match winless streak when they host last-start winners, 9th-placed Prospect United SC in Round 21.

The Flame took out a tight affair in the reverse fixture 1-0 and will hope to complete a league double which could get their hopes of promotion back on track.

South Coast Flame sit on 32 points, five behind 4th-placed Inner West Hawks FC and six ahead of 6th-placed Central Coast United FC as they find themselves in a peculiar position on the ladder.

After a tough and tight match against the Newcastle Jets last week, the Flame will hope to be able to showcase their footballing prowess in this match as they look to keep up their hopes of battling it out with the top sides in the final third of the season.

Expect the Flame to want to start this match strongly with intent early as Michael Trajkovski, who sits third in the Golden Boot race on 19 goals, looks to add to that tally.

Prospect, meanwhile, ended their five-match losing streak in style last week after their 3-1 home win over Camden Tigers FC and will hope to win back-to-back matches for the first time since Round 14 this weekend.

Prospect found success in the air last week, with headers, crosses and switches of play helping them to success, and will hope to upset the Flame backline early in this match.

A win for Prospect could see them rise to as high as 7th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop to as low as 11th in a stacked mid-table.

With the Flame hoping to fire up after a rough few weeks and Prospect looking to build off a big win last week, this match is up for grabs for both sides as the final third of the season commences.

Last-placed Sydney University SFC have a bye in Round 21.

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