Round 24 Preview – League Two Men’s

a man holding a football ball

The battle for the top two will continue to heat up in Round 24 of the 2024 Football NSW League Two Men’s season, with a big clash headlining this week’s action.

The Match of the Round this week is a crucial one as 3rd-placed Inner West Hawks FC host 2nd-placed Bankstown United FC in a massive match for the promotion-playoff spot.


Saturday, 13th July 2024

Match of the Round: Inner West Hawks FC vs Bankstown United FC, 7pm at Arlington Oval

Previous Meeting: Bankstown United FC 4-0 Inner West Hawks FC

With the season coming towards the final 20% after this weekend, clashes between 3rd and 2nd become more and more crucial, and that is what the Match of the Round this week holds between Inner West Hawks FC and Bankstown United FC.

Bankstown ran out 4-0 winners in the reverse fixture earlier this season but with both teams flying high, a much closer encounter can be expected this time around.

Inner West Hawks FC had their away match to 5th-placed Mounties Wanderers FC washed out last week but and the hosts will hope to keep a third-straight clean sheet when they host Bankstown this weekend.

Takuma Hirano’s hat-trick in the previous round moved him to 19 goals for the season and the forward will hope to add to that tally, while the return of Hesan Soufi to the squad, as well as the addition of Michael Morrow, adds depth to a team hoping to battle for promotion this season.

A win for the Hawks would move them ahead of Bankstown by two points as the battle for 2nd heats up, while a loss could see them fall four points behind as a genuine six-pointer brews.

Bankstown United, meanwhile, lost a second match from their past four after they fell 3-0 at home to the unbeaten, league-leading Newcastle Jets last week but will hope to respond quickly as their attention shifts to the team immediately below them on the ladder.

They will be without defender Daniel Slane after his red card last week and will look to fill his spot despite still missing a few other key players due to injury.

A win for Bankstown could see them build a potential four-point lead over 3rd-place as they look to avoid any late-season hiccups in their battle for promotion.

The winner between the Hawks and Bankstown will put themselves in a better position heading into the final part of the season in terms of promotion hopes and neither side will want to give an inch in this match.


Central Coast United FC vs Camden Tigers FC, 5pm at Pluim Park

Previous Meeting: Camden Tigers FC 2-1 Central Coast United FC

With 6th-placed Central Coast United FC looking to respond to a last-start defeat and 10th-placed Camden Tigers FC hoping to end their eight-match winless streak, this matchup promises to deliver plenty of action.

There was late drama the last time these two sides met earlier in the season, where two goals in the final five minutes from Camden saw them come from behind for a 2-1 win at home over the Pirates.

Central Coast United had their three-match winning streak ended by 4th-placed South Coast Flame FC last week and will hope to find a response as they look to continue their rise up the ladder.

The Pirates will look to dictate the play with the ball and will hope to find the back of the net with the chances they create this week as they look for an improvement on last week.

A win for the Pirates would see them strengthen their position on 6th place on the ladder, while a loss would leave them vulnerable to 7th-placed Granville Rage behind them.

Camden Tigers, meanwhile, suffered a third-straight loss after they fell 1-0 at home to last-placed Sydney University SFC last week and will look to continue to work hard to turn around the rut they are in.

Abdu Elmir and Jack Harris were the heroes for Camden the last time they played the Pirates, scoring two goals in the final ten minutes to secure victory – expect Camden to put up a fight until the end as they chase their first win in nine matches.

A win for Camden could see them rise up to as high as 8th on the ladder, while a loss could see them drop to as low as 13th.

With both teams looking to respond to defeats, expect an open match where neither side will want to give up the fight as they chase the three points.


Sydney University SFC vs Parramatta FC, 5pm at Sydney University Football Ground

Previous Meeting: Parramatta FC 3-1 Sydney University SFC

A big clash for pride near the bottom of the ladder sees last-placed Sydney University SFC host 13th-placed Parramatta FC.

Parramatta came away with the three points in the reverse fixture thanks to a 3-1 home win and will hope to complete the league double as they chase a big win this season.

Sydney University ended their 15-match winless streak in a big way after their 1-0 away win over 10th-placed Camden Tigers FC last week and will hope to build on that as they chase back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Joe Roddy was the hero for the students last week, who will hope to build confidence after their first win since Round Three saw them gain hope in their battle to avoid last-place.

A win for University this week could see them overtake Gladesville Ryde Magic back into 14th place pending other results – with pride up for grabs and a want to improve for the players as motivation, the students will hope to take that next step up this week.

Parramatta, meanwhile, had their match against Gladesville Ryde Magic washed out last week and will hope to end their six-match winless run as they chase their first win since Round 13 when they take to the field this weekend.

The Eagles will look to soar with pace up front this weekend and will hope to complete the league double when they host the students.

A win for Parramatta could see them rise as many as four places on the ladder into 9th as they look to take a big step towards having an improved end to the season.

With plenty of pride on the line between these two sides, expect both teams to have players out there wanting to prove and improve themselves as the competition closes nearer to the end-point.


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

Previous Meeting: Fraser Park FC 5-1 Gladesville Ryde Magic

Two teams looking to have an improved end to the season will do battle when 14th-placed Gladesville Ryde Magic host 12th-placed Fraser Park FC.

Fraser Park put in a five-star performance the last time these two sides met and will hope to complete the league double as they look to chase down a raft of teams just ahead of them on the ladder.

Gladesville Ryde Magic fell 3-0 to promotion-chasing Bankstown United FC in their last match and after their away match to Parramatta FC was postponed last week, they will hope to be refreshed and ready to take on Fraser Park.

The Magic will be hopeful of picking up their fifth win of the season this week, while they remain one of two teams to have not drawn a match this season, from their 19 matches played so far.

Before this match, however, they host 4th-placed Mounties Wanderers FC and will hope to cause a big upset and shake up the promotion race with a victory, before they play Fraser Park.

Fraser Park had a bye in Round 23 but picked up a big 5-1 home win over Hurstville FC in their midweek Round 17 catch-up match, where a hat-trick from Francis Mcalpine and a goal each from Christian Dos Santos and new signing Stavros Palapanis led them to a big win.

The visitors have won back-to-back matches for the first time this season and continued their strong scoring season – they have scored in all-but two matches this season.

With plenty of matches in hand on the teams above them, Fraser Park will hope to have those sides looking over their shoulders as Fraser Park look to have a positive end to the season.

With both teams looking to hit some form to end the season, with players wanting to impress, this match should provide some goal action as the two teams chase the three points.


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

Previous Meeting: Granville Rage 6-1 Hawkesbury City FC

With a big difference in matches played and plenty of time left to make inroads on the league ladder this season, both 7th-placed Granville Rage and 11th-placed Hawkesbury City FC will hope to grab a big win this weekend.

The Rage hit the Hawks for six when these two teams met in the reverse fixture and both sides will be wary of the other when they take to the field this weekend.

Hawkesbury City had their home match against Hurstville FC washed out last week and will hope to return refreshed and ready to take on Granville this weekend.

The Hawks are hunting down back-to-back wins for the second time this season and will hope to exact revenge on a team which inflicted one of their heaviest losses of the season on them last time out.

Hawkesbury will hope to be compact defensively as they chase their fifth clean sheet of the season and a win which could see them rise to as high as 8th with matches in hand on the teams around them.

Granville Rage, meanwhile, came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Prospect United SC last week and will hope to build another unbeaten run.

Despite losing Nikola Todoroski to Mounties Wanderers FC, the Rage still have a raft of attacking options, including Timothy Borg-Williams, who scored two goals against the Hawks in the reverse fixture.

A win for the Rage could see them overtake Central Coast United FC into 6th-place, while a loss could leave them open to dropping places to the teams behind them in the weeks ahead.

With recent history showing there should be plenty of goals between these two sides, neither will want to give anything away easily as they hunt down the victory.


South Coast Flame FC vs Mounties Wanderers FC, 7pm at Sir Ian McLennan Oval

Previous Meeting: South Coast Flame FC 3-3 Mounties Wanderers FC

A big 4th vs 5th clash between South Coast Flame FC and Mounties Wanderers FC this week will see both sides want to continue their push towards the promotion playoff position of 2nd.

Honours were even in an exciting 3-3 draw the last time these two sides met, where a stoppage-time goal from Anthony Vastag earned Mounties a point on the road that day.

South Coast Flame got back on track in their pursuit of 2nd after a last-minute 1-0 away win over Central Coast United FC last week and will hope to win a fourth match from their past five as they look to hold off the teams around them.

Michael Trajkovski’s late goal last week brought him to 25 for the season as he continued to strengthen his position in the golden boot race and he will hope to lead his side to more glory this week.

With Mounties quick on the counter-attack, the Flame defence will need to be ready, while their midfield will need to do their jobs well to track player runs.

Mounties Wanderers, meanwhile, has their home match to Inner West Hawks FC last week washed out but are involved in plenty of football action this week.

They also travel to face Gladesville Ryde Magic in a mid-week Round 18 catch-up match and will hope to go into their clash with the Flame ahead of them on the ladder if they can grab the three points.

With at least two, up to three, matches in hand on the teams above them, Mounties’ destiny is in their own hands as they look to distinguish the Flame this weekend with their pace and power.

With both teams in the hunt for promotion this season, this match holds a lot of weight for both teams as they look to make a statement.


Hurstville FC vs Prospect United SC, 7pm at Penshurst Park

Previous Meeting: Prospect United SC 0-4 Hurstville FC

The final match of Round 24 sees 8th-placed Hurstville FC host 9th-placed Prospect United SC in a big mid-table battle.

Hurstville ran out 4-0 winners the last time these two sides met and will hope to complete the league double as they chase a strong end to the season.

Hurstville had their match away to Hawkesbury City FC washed out last week but played a Round 17 catch-up match away to Fraser Park FC, where they lost 5-1.

That loss put Hurstville on a three-match losing streak and they will hope to turn that around this weekend as they look for a strong end to the season.

A win for Hurstville could see them move within two points of 7th-placed Granville Rage, while a loss could see them drop to as low as 13th in a tight mid-table pack.

Prospect United, meanwhile, let a lead slip in their 1-1 draw away to Granville Rage last week and will hope to get back to winning ways this weekend.

Prospect will hope to play with high intensity, creating many chances as they hunt down the three points away from home.

A win for Prospect could also see them move to within two points of 7th-placed Granville Rage, while a loss could also see them drop to as low as 13th.

With plenty to play for in a tightly-packed mid-table, both sides will want to give their all as they chase the three points.


The league-leading Newcastle Jets have a bye in Round 24.


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