Round 23 Preview – League Two Men’s

League TWO Men's Round Preview IND 23

With the transfer window open and the battle between the top five teams heating up, as well as the fight to avoid last place, there is drama up and down the Football NSW League Two Men’s season in Round 23.

The Match of the Round this week will focus on one of those matches near the bottom when Parramatta FC hosts Gladesville Ryde Magic.


Saturday, 6th June 2024

Match of the Round: Parramatta FC vs Gladesville Ryde Magic, 5pm at Melita Stadium

Previous Meeting: Gladesville Ryde Magic 0-5 Parramatta FC

Another intriguing Match of the Round awaits when 12th-placed Parramatta FC hosts 14th-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic.

Parramatta put in a five-star performance the last time these two sides met earlier in the season and will hope to repeat the dose as they look to snap their winless streak.

Parramatta are on a six-match winless streak and will hope to turn around their fortunes this weekend.

The Eagles have lost Youssef Badr to Prospect United SC and will hope to welcome in a few new players as the window progresses as they look ahead to finishing the year strong and planning for next season, too.

Look for Parramatta to want to hurt Gladesville on the counter with pace up front as they look for a win which could see them rise as many as three places into 9th on the ladder.

Gladesville Ryde Magic, meanwhile, lost 3-0 at home to 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC in last week’s Match of the Round and will hope to respond once more as they look to return to winning ways and pick up their third win in five matches.

The Magic showed signs last week of improvement once again and will hope to take it to a Parramatta side which beat them well earlier in the season.

Revenge will be on the minds of Gladesville, who could move as much as seven points away from last place with a win this weekend.

With both teams looking to have strong ends to the season, look for both sides to want to show improvement as they hunt down the three points.


Friday, 5th June 2024

Bankstown United FC vs Newcastle Jets, 8pm at Padstow Park

Previous Meeting: Newcastle Jets 6-0 Bankstown United FC

One of the biggest matches of the season awaits when 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC host the unbeaten, league-leading Newcastle Jets at Padstow Park in a genuine six-pointer.

The Jets hit Bankstown for six the last time these two teams met, but a much different encounter can be expected this time with Bankstown knocking on the door of a 2nd-placed finish and looking to close the gap to the league-leaders.

Bankstown ran out 3-0 away winners over Gladesville Ryde Magic last week and will look to win their fifth match from their past six matches this week.

With players returning from injury, a belief in the squad and a hope to make a charge towards the end of the season, Bankstown will hope they can stay in the match early against the energetic Jets.

Expect Bankstown to make their defence a priority early – if they can hold out the young Jets side in the match, they will hope the league’s top scorer for the season in Mitchell Cross, who has 25 goals for the season, can capitalise and lead them to a famous win which would put them on 47 points, six points behind the Jets with a match in hand.

The Newcastle Jets, meanwhile, went a 21st match unbeaten this year as their invincible season kept on track.

The Jets won a fifth-straight match for the second time this season as they moved to 53 points for the season as they edged closer to the league title, which will be decided in eight weeks’ time.

Expect the Jets to want to have a fast start in the match and test Bankstown early given their 6-0 win over Bankstown in the reverse fixture as they chase a win which could see them take a 12-point lead at the top of the table.

Clashes do not come much bigger than 1st vs 2nd and this one promises to provide some special moments as the battle for the league title and promotion takes another twist.


Mounties Wanderers FC vs Inner West Hawks FC, 8pm at Cook Park (Mt Pritchard)

Previous Meeting: Inner West Hawks FC 2-3 Mounties Wanderers FC

Another big top-four clash sees 4th-placed Mounties Wanderers FC host 3rd-placed Inner West Hawks FC in a big battle for both sides’ promotion hopes this season.

Mounties held on late when these two teams met in Round Eight and will hope to put in another big performance as both teams chase down 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC.

Mounties lost back-to-back matches for the first time this season after they lost 1-0 at home to the Newcastle Jets last week and will hope that streak does not continue as they look to hunt down the top sides this season.

The Wanderers have brought in a few players to start the transfer window, with Fikret Berisha joining the club, as well as goalkeeper Harrison Myers from Inner West Hawks; however, their biggest acquisition is forward Nikola Todoroski from Granville Rage, who will look to add to his 15 goals this season for his new club.

With two matches in hand on the teams above them, Mounties will hope to close the gap to the Hawks to one point and the gap to Bankstown to two points as they look to make a late charge at the top of the table.

Inner West Hawks, meanwhile, moved to an eight-match unbeaten streak after their 3-0 away win over South Coast Flame FC last week and will hope to also keep a third-straight clean sheet when they travel to Cook Park.

There has been plenty of movement at the Hawks, with Hesan Soufi rejoining the club alongside recruit Michael Morrow from Gladesville Ryde Magic – meanwhile, Lawrence Claxton, Marcus Naoum and Peter Kontis will be unavailable for the rest of the season, while Stavros Palapanis was picked up by Fraser Park FC.

Look for the Hawks to play with enthusiasm as they look to limit Mounties away from home this week – a win could see them overtake Bankstown United FC into 2nd place as the battle for promotion heats up this season.

With plenty of new faces and enthusiasm around these two top sides, expect both to put in spirited performances as they look to keep their dreams of promotion this season alive.


Saturday, 6th June 2024

Central Coast United FC vs South Coast Flame FC, 5pm at Pluim Park

Previous Meeting: South Coast Flame FC 2-2 Central Coast United FC

A battle of the coasts sees 6th-placed Central Coast United FC host 5th-placed South Coast Flame FC this week in a big match to determine the league positioning of both sides this season.

The spoils were shared in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and another close encounter can be expected this time with both teams looking to pick up a big three points.

Central Coast United won a third-straight match last week after their 2-1 triumph away over Sydney University SFC and will hope to extend their best winning run of the season this week.

The Pirates have found their rhythm, with three-straight wins all coming by a one-goal margin, with their defensive improvements largely to thank for their success.

Expect the Pirates to put in another spirited performance with and without the ball as they chase a win which could see them close the gap to the Flame to 3 points with a match in hand.

South Coast Flame, meanwhile, fell 3-0 at home to promotion-chasing Inner West Hawks FC and will hope to respond to that defeat quickly.

Last week was just the second time this season the Flame have been unable to score in a match this season and they will hope to get back to their scoring ways this week.

A win for them Flame could see them move up into 4th place, while a loss could see them in trouble to the Pirates below them.

With a battle of the coasts promising to brew some good action, expect both teams to want to start strongly in their pursuit of the three points.


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

Previous Meeting: Hurstville FC 1-3 Hawkesbury City FC

A big mid-table clash between two teams separated by just two points on the ladder sees 11th-placed Hawkesbury City FC host 8th-placed Hurstville FC.

The Hawks picked up the three points in the Round Eight reverse fixture and will hope to complete a league double which could determine the final positions of both sides this season.

Hawkesbury recorded a tight 1-0 win away over Prospect United SC last week and will hope to win back-to-back matches as they look to have a strong end to the season.

The Hawks have had a bit of activity to start the transfer window, with Anthony Pedavoli unavailable for the rest of the season, while Alexander Murrell announced his retirement – the Hawks have brought in former Blacktown City FC under-20s player Blair Smith as a replacement.

A win for the Hawks could see them rise to as high as 8th place, while a loss could see them drop to 12th in a stacked ladder – expect them to give their all in this match as they hunt a league double.

Hurstville, meanwhile, had a bye last week and will hope to end their streak of back-to-back losses when they take to the field this weekend.

They are the side at the top of the stacked mid-table pack – on 24 points, only three points separates them from 12th-placed Parramatta FC and a lot of movement for league positions can be expected this weekend.

Look for Hurstville to want to dominate possession and chances with the ball as they hunt down their first win in three matches.

With Hawkesbury looking to build on a big last-start win and Hurstville coming back from a week off, expect both teams to play with purpose as the battle for league positions heats up.


Camden Tigers FC vs Sydney University SFC, 7pm at Ron Dine Memorial Reserve – Carbiz Stadium

Previous Meeting: Sydney University SFC 1-5 Camden Tigers FC

Both 10th-placed Camden Tigers FC and last-placed Sydney University SFC will look to end their winless streaks when they meet in Round 23.

Camden put in a five-star performance when they met in Round Eight’s Match of the Round and will hope to conjure up something similar this week, while the students will hope to reverse the dose.

Camden suffered their biggest loss of the season in their 5-0 away defeat to Fraser Park FC last week and will hope to end their seven-match winless run against the students this weekend.

The Tigers have not lost to the students in their past three head-to-head league matches and will hope to extend that streak this week – they will hope to put together a 90-minute performance this weekend to do so.

A win for the Tigers could see them rise to as high as 8th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop to 12th – expect them to come out with renewed energy this week as they chase down a big win.

Sydney University, meanwhile, lost a sixth-straight match and went 15 matches without a win after their 2-1 home loss to Central Coast United FC last week.

The students have made some good transfer business to start the window, with Samuel Paslis joining from Fraser Park FC, Dominic Abruzzese joining from UNSW FC and Joe Roddy returning from the United States.

The students will hope to continue to improve as they look to climb off the bottom of the ladder – they sit just four points behind 14th-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic.

With both teams looking to end their respective winless streaks, expect both sides to want to come out strongly as they hunt down a big victory.


Granville Rage vs Prospect United SC, 7pm at Rydalmere Park

Previous Meeting: Prospect United SC 3-1 Granville Rage

A western Sydney derby rounds out the Round 23 action when 7th-placed Granville Rage hosts 9th-placed Prospect United SC.

Prospect picked up the three points when these two teams met earlier this season and will hope to double that feat as they look to claim valuable points to gain ground on the Rage on the ladder.

Granville Rage won a fourth match from their past five as their resurgence this season continued with a 2-0 away win over Parramatta FC in another local derby and they will hope to claim bragging rights over another western Sydney neighbour this week.

The Rage lost forward Nikola Todoroski to Mounties Wanderers FC in the transfer window but will hope to replace his goals with other players from within their squad this season, such as Ante Tomic.

The Rage have only failed to score in three matches this season – expect them to want to continue their attacking flair when they host Prospect this weekend.

Prospect, meanwhile, lost a seventh match from their past eight games after they fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Hawkesbury City FC last week.

They have signed Tom Sutton in the transfer window as their new goalkeeper, while they have also picked up Youssef Badr from Parramatta FC as they look to end their bad run of form and pick up a win which could see them rise into 8th, while a loss could see them drop to as low as 12th.

Anthony Idehen scored a double the last time Prospect met the Rage – expect him to want to add to his 14 goals for the season when he takes to the field this weekend.

With bragging rights up for grabs in the derby, expect both teams to play with passion as they chase a big three points.


13th-placed Fraser Park have a bye in Round 23.


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