Round 22 Review – League Two Men’s

League TWO Men's Round Review 22

Almost every winning team kept a clean sheet in Round 22 of the 2024 Football NSW League Two Men’s competition, with the battle for the top two providing plenty of excitement among the opening of the transfer window.

The Match of the Round this week saw Bankstown United FC continue their charge near the top of the table with a strong win away over Gladesville Ryde Magic.


Saturday, 29th June 2024

Match of the Round: Gladesville Ryde Magic 0-3 Bankstown United FC

Bankstown United FC continued their charge as they maintained 2nd place on the ladder following a big 3-0 away win over Gladesville Ryde Magic.

The visitors had a few dangerous crosses into the Gladesville box early, with a header from Mitchell Cross which was tipped over the crossbar the early highlight for Bankstown.

Bankstown continued to enter the Gladesville box and had a chance through Cross inside the box which just went over the bar, and a solo effort from Corey Freeman which went just wide of the right post, in the 13th and 19th minutes, respectively.

With Bankstown having joy down their right flank, they continued to cause Gladesville problems, whose first attempt of the match was saved by Bankstown goalkeeper, Mitchell Evans, before the referee blew his whistle for offside.

Bankstown had a shot saved down low by Gladesville goalkeeper, Kiriakos Tohouroglou, before they made their pressure count in the 38th minute.

Marie Gauthier won the ball high up the field for Bankstown and took a shot on from just outside the box – the ball found the back of the net following the thunderous effort, to just as thunderous applause from the away fans, as Bankstown turned their possession and chances into a 1-0 lead.

Gauthier had another chance blocked behind for a corner a few minutes later before Bankstown doubled their lead in the final regulation minute before half-time.

Strong build-up play from Bankstown led to Jamie Dib receiving the ball just outside the box – he took a shot on, which took a deflection off Mitchell Cross and nestled into the bottom-left corner of the goal; despite Cross being awarded the goal, the Jamie Dib fan club in the stands erupted in applause as Bankstown took a 2-0 lead into half-time.

Bankstown came out firing in the second half and Cross was once again at the centre of it – in the 52nd minute, he headed the ball home strong from in the middle of the box to give Bankstown a 3-0 lead as the league’s top scorer this season scored his 25th goal of the season.

Gladesville had the next three shots in the match – one was saved by Evans, the next went over the crossbar, while the third from Aram Tayebi went just over the crossbar from a free-kick.

Cross headed just over the goal just after the hour mark before a shot from Gladesville’s Genki Kohyama went over the goal at the other end of the field.

Bankstown had a golden chance to add a fourth goal when substitute Mitchell Edmunds got in behind the Gladesville defence and was fouled inside the box.

Cross stepped up as he attempted to complete his hat-trick – however, he hammered the ball into the crossbar from the spot before the ball was cleared away by Gladesville.

Bankstown had the last three attempts in a match where they had 20 shots to seven, as well as 13 corners, as they continued to put themselves in the box seat to challenge the Jets and secure a 2nd-place finish with a big 3-0 away win over Gladesville as they completed the league double.

Speaking post-match, Bankstown Head Coach Luke McGuire said he was pleased with his team’s performance, and it was good to welcome back a few injured players.

“We had a few guys coming back from injury tonight, so it was good to see them back out on the field.”

As for his side’s match against Newcastle next week, McGuire hoped his side would stay in the contest as long as possible given they lost 6-0 to them in the reverse fixture.

“[We will] try and stay in the game for longer than 15 minutes.”

The win for Bankstown moved them to 44 points, nine points behind the league-leading Newcastle Jets with a match in hand, while the loss for Gladesville kept them in 14th place on 12 points.

Gladesville will hope to find some consistency when they travel to face 12th-placed Parramatta FC next week, while Bankstown will play their most important match of their season in their hopes of chasing down the league-leading Newcastle Jets when they host them in Round 23.

Gladesville Ryde Magic 0

Bankstown United FC 3 (Marie Gauthier 38’; Mitchell Cross 45’, 53’)


Friday, 28th June 2024

Mounties Wanderers FC 0-1 Newcastle Jets

The Newcastle Jets overcame one of their toughest challenges of the season to keep their remarkable unbeaten season alive after a tight 1-0 win away over Mounties Wanderers FC.

Mounties came out firing in the contest and created many chances early but were not able to find the back of the net, with Jordan Baylis in the Newcastle goal pulling off strong saves to deny the hosts and the Jets’ defence playing with desperate defending.

Among those chances was one to new signing, Fikret Berisha, who missed from close range, while the hosts continued to press well early and play well in midfield.

Kuot Maliet cut inside from the right wing and just hit a shot over the crossbar shortly after before new signing Nikola Todoroski had a powerful header just tipped over the bar by Baylis.

Yuki Kanai missed a chance to add to his 20 goals for the season with a great chance just before half-time as the two teams went into the sheds goalless at the break.

Berisha had a big chance after the break from six yards out, but he slipped at the vital moment following a cross from the right from Maliet.

The Jets made a crucial change just before the hour mark with the introduction of Xavier Bertoncello, who took the match to Mounties with his speed, change of direction, power, and athleticism.

In the 78th minute, Bertoncello set up Alex Nunes with some good build-up play, before the latter volleyed the ball home from the edge of the 18-yard-box past Mounties’ goalkeeper, Nikola Bratic, to give Newcastle a big 1-0 lead away from home.

Newcastle managed the match from there and saw out a tight 1-0 win over one of the stronger sides in the league this season in Mounties, which meant they completed the league double, both with a 1-0 victory margin.

The win for Newcastle kept them unbeaten for the season, with 16 wins and five draws from their 21 matches, as they moved to 53 points, nine ahead of 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC, while Mounties stayed on 39 points in 4th-place with two matches in hand.

Mounties will hope to take down one of their rivals in the battle for promotion when they host 3rd-placed Inner West Hawks FC in Round 23, while Newcastle will hope to take another step towards promotion, the league title and an unbeaten season when they travel to face 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC in a genuine six-pointer.

Mounties Wanderers FC 0

Newcastle Jets 1 (Alex Nunes 75’)


Saturday, 29th June 2024

Parramatta FC 0-2 Granville Rage

Granville Rage bounced back from their disappointment of last week and continued their strong resurgence this season after they ran out 2-0 winners away over Parramatta FC in the western Sydney derby.

Granville opened the scoring through Ante Tomic in the 34th minute as he scored his 11th goal of the season to put the visitors in the lead at half-time.

The Rage have already made a few signings to start the transfer window, while they also lost Nikola Todoroski to Mounties, and one of their new signings in Asmir Kadric came up big for the Rage in the 75th minute with a goal to give them a 2-0 lead in the match.

In a tight match where Parramatta had four shots and Granville had nine, the Rage continued to be one of the form teams of the competition with a fourth win in five matches after a big 2-0 away win over Parramatta in the derby as they completed the league double over their rivals.

The loss for Parramatta kept them on 21 points as they dropped from 11th-place to 12th-place on the ladder, while the win for Granville moved them onto 28 points as they stayed in 7th-place.

Parramatta will hope to win their first match in seven attempts when they host 14th-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic next week, while Granville will look to continue their charge in the top half of the table when they host 9th-placed Prospect United SC in Round 23.

Parramatta FC 0

Granville Rage 2 (Ante Tomic 34’; Asmir Kadric 75’)


Sydney University SFC 1-2 Central Coast United FC

Central Coast United FC were the only winning team not to keep a clean sheet as they scored a late goal to pick up a big 2-1 away win over Sydney University SFC.

Central Coast United opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Cayleb Murray got the ball, then turned sharply and shot from range to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead.

Shortly after, University goalkeeper Harry Walsh made a big save to keep the students’ deficit to one goal.

University worked their way back into the match throughout the first half and equalised in the 28th minute through Jesse Hirschowitz, who ensured the two teams were locked at 1-1 at half-time.

The second half was tight with limited chances for either side, with University’s best chance falling to substitute William Lane, who had his shot go just past Pirates’ goalkeeper Zayd Husain in a one-on-one situation.

With five minutes to go in the match, the Pirates’ Geordie Howe picked up the ball following a period of pressure where University failed to clear their lines – he took a shot on from 25 yards out and found the back of the net to secure a late 2-1 win for the visitors, which also secured back-to-back 2-1 wins over University as they completed the league double.

The loss for University kept them in last place on eight points as their search for their third win of the season continued, while the win for Central Coast was their third in a row and saw them remain in 6th place on 32 points, but they moved to within six points of 5th-placed South Coast Flame FC with a match in hand.

Sydney University will hope to put in a positive performance when they travel to face 10th-placed Camden Tigers FC next week, while Central Coast United will hunt down a fourth-straight win when they host 5th-placed South Coast Flame FC in a crucial match for the league positions of the two sides this season.

Sydney University SFC 1 (Jesse Hirschowitz 28’)

Central Coast United FC 2 (Cayleb Muray 5’; Geordie Howe 85’)


Fraser Park FC 5-0 Camden Tigers FC

Following a three-week break due to rain-affected matches for Fraser Park, they returned to action in a big way with a five-star, 5-0 win over Camden Tigers FC.

Fraser Park held the ball well early but found it difficult to break down the Camden backline, until they broke the deadlock in the 34th minute when Shu Torihara unleashed a rocket of a shot from range to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Six minutes later, new singing Stavros Palapanis got on the end of a ball from Matthew Lecce and slotted the ball home to double Fraser Park’s lead ahead of half-time.

Francis Mcalpine scored within two minutes of the second half starting for Fraser Park as he gave them a 3-0 lead early in the second stanza.

Matthew Lecce added a fourth goal for Fraser Park when he spotted Camden goalkeeper, Joshua Glasson, off his line and fired a shot on goal from 40 yards which found the back of the net.

New Fraser Park signing Harry Skotadis came on in the 68th minute and had his first goal for the club seven minutes later when he received the ball on halfway, beat his defender and slotted the ball in at the left post to give Fraser Park a 5-0 home win over Camden in a form of revenge after Camden had beaten them 4-0 earlier in the season.

Despite Camden having 20 shots to 12 in the contest, Fraser Park were clinical in their win as they collected the three points.

The win for Fraser Park ensured they broke their two-match losing streak as they stayed in 13th place but moved on to 18 points, while the loss for Camden meant they moved to seven matches without a win as they stayed on 22 points in 10th place.

Fraser Park will have another week off as they have the bye in Round 22, while Camden will look to end their winless run when they host last-placed Sydney University SFC.

Fraser Park FC 5 (Shu Torihara 34’; Stavros Palapanis 40’; Francis Mcalpine 47’; Matthew Lecce 68’; Harry Skotadis 75’)

Camden Tigers FC 0


Prospect United SC 0-1 Hawkesbury City FC

Hawkesbury City FC picked up a big win in a stacked mid-table clash after a lone goal gave them a 1-0 away win over Prospect United SC.

In a first half where Hawkesbury had the momentum, neither side was able to grab a goal as the two teams went into half-time level at 0-0.

Prospect came out brightly in the second half, but Hawkesbury hit the lead in the 65th minute following a corner, where Harry Drew finished off a combination play inside the Prospect box to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

In the final 20 minutes, Prospect had four good chances to grab a goal in the match, particularly to recruit Youssef Badr, who had a shot from outside the box, which was saved at full stretch by Hawkesbury goalkeeper, Jai Whitton.

Prospect’s best chance to level the match came in the final ten minutes via a penalty after Jacob Micallef was fouled in the box – Anthony Idehen stepped up to take it, but his shot was saved by Whitton, who did well to keep his clean sheet in the match as Hawkesbury ran out 1-0 winners.

The win for Hawkesbury ended a run of back-to-back defeats as they rose up one spot to 11th place on the ladder with 22 points, while the loss for Prospect saw them lose back-to-back matches as they stayed in 9th place on 23 points.

Hawkesbury will look to gain ground in a packed mid table as they host 8th-placed Hurstville FC next week, while Prospect will hope to pick up the three points when they travel to face Granville Rage in Round 23.

Prospect United SC 0

Hawkesbury City FC 1 (Harry Drew 65’)


South Coast Flame FC 0-3 Inner West Hawks FC

A big clash to end Round 22 saw a hat-trick hero as Inner West Hawks FC boosted their promotion hopes and dent South Coast Flame FC’s promotion push with a big 3-0 away win over the Flame in a physical match.

Both teams sparred in the early exchanges with an early chance for the Flame’s Jyden Harb the early highlight after he had a headed effort saved by Hawks’ goalkeeper, Gene Marantos.

The Hawks headed over the goal minutes later through Tomohiro Ishi, before Takuma Hirano opened the scoring for Inner West in the 16th minute after he pressed and won the ball off Flame goalkeeper, Rocco Zinnato, and put the ball into the empty net to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

Inner West were denied a second goal midway through the first half when Angelo Pezzano cut out a pass in the middle of the field and played a ball to Takuma Hirano – a big tackle from the Flame’s Like Hoefsloot denied him from having a big chance in the match.

The Hawks doubled their lead in the 27th minute when their forward line pressed the Flame defence and a misplaced pass fell to the returning Hesan Soufi, who played the ball to Hirano before he slotted it away for his second of the match for a 2-0 lead.

The Flames’ best chance of the first half fell to Yianni Perkatis, who took a touch and fired a shot towards the top corner, but Marantos pulled off a save at full stretch to deny him.

Hirano and Yianni Fragogiannis had big chances for their respective sides before the break, but it was the Hawks who took a 2-0 lead into half-time.

The Flame had a chance in the second half when Harb took on a shot from range which went over the goal, before Hirano flicked an effort on goal but was unable to find the back of the net.

The Hawks defence stood strong and Marantos continued to make saves, including one off a deflected shot from Namito Tsuchiya with 15 minutes to go in the match.

Inner West wrapped up the match in the 86th minute when captain Sidhya Malhotra intercepted the ball in midfield and played the ball to Hirano in behind the Flame’s defence – he made no mistake as he scored his hat-trick and his 19th goal of the season as the Hawks ran out 3-0 winners and completed the league double.

The win for the Hawks saw them stay in 3rd place on 43 points, one point behind 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC, while their lead over 4th-placed Mounties Wanderers FC increased to four points; the Flame, meanwhile, stayed in 5th place on 38 points.

Inner West Hawks will hope to continue their charge for potential promotion this season when they travel to face 4th-placed Mounties Wanderers FC in a crucial top-four clash, while the Flame will hope to keep up with the top four when they travel up the coast to face 6th-placed Central Coast United FC in Round 23.

South Coast Flame FC 0

Inner West Hawks FC 3 (Takuma Hirano 16’; 27’; 86’)


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