PS4 NPL NNSW Round 13 Preview
Lambton Jaffas FC vs. Hamilton Olympic FC
Sat 11 July 2:30 PM
Arthur Edden Oval
In the Match of the Round for Round 13 of the Northern NSW PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues (PS4 NPL), the Lambton Jaffas host Hamilton Olympic in yet another crucial top four clash.
The 2014 Grand Final winners Lambton sit in third place on 24 points, following seven wins, three draws and just two losses.
They enter the final third of the competition on the back of five straight wins, crucial form going into a match with a team as successful as Olympic have been this year.
The side in blue and white occupied the top spot for a number of weeks, only to lose it last weekend in their first loss of the year, going down 3-1 to Edgeworth. Alongside seven wins and four draws Hamilton are a place and a point ahead of the Jaffas on 25, trailing Edgeworth by two.
Jaffas coach David Tanchevski is happy with his side’s success this season and is excited about the final six games of the competition.
‘We are in a much better position than this time last year and when you look at the games we have lost, we should have got at least a point out of them,’ he said.
‘The win on the weekend (against Weston) has given us a lot of confidence going into the match against Hamilton’.
‘We are confident, and we should be, we haven’t lost to Olympic since we came up (from NEWFM 1st Division to NPL) in 2013’.
These two heavyweights met back in a rescheduled Round 4 match on May 20, playing out a 1-1 draw. Jobe Wheelhouse opened the scoring in the first half, but a second half header from Olympic striker Kane Goodchild salvaged a point.
Since then the Jaffas have scored 17 points in eight games, and Hamilton have picked up 19, making them the two form teams of 2015 alongside leaders Edgeworth.
Hamilton will be searching for an improved performance after a flat Round 12 match against the Eagles, whereas Lambton will be looking to tighten up in their defence after conceding three in one half against Weston, so this match will have a more competitive edge to it than usual.
As usual the Match of the Round will be broadcast live on Bar TV, however the best spot to view the action come Saturday will be on the hill or in the grandstand at Arthur Edden Oval, as two of the seasons biggest sides go head to head.
Weston Workers FC vs. Newcastle Jets Youth
Sat 11 July 2:30 PM
Rockwell Automation Park
The second of two Saturday PS4 NPL matches this weekend will see the Weston Workers welcome the Jets Youth to Rockwell Automation Park as they look to put a horror Round 12 performance behind them.
The Bears went out all guns blazing against the Jaffas last Saturday, as first half goals to Garry McDermott, Wilson Edwards and Nathan Morris were cancelled out be a second half double to Jobe Wheelhouse which was split by a Luke Remington strike. The Jaffas completed their comeback as John Majurovski scored in the dying moments of the game.
It was just the fourth loss for the Bears this year, and combined with seven wins and a sole draw they are fourth on 22 points.
The loss against the Jaffas was further soured a day later when Broadmeadow defeated Maitland, closing the gap between the two sides (Magic and Weston) to two points.
The Jets won their first game in seven matches last weekend, beating South Cardiff 2-1, the score which they led by at half time.
In 2015 the Jets have surprisingly lost seven matches. Four wins and a draw have left them on 13 points in seventh spot.
These two clubs share a strong rivalry, with two thrilling matches being contested in 2014. In Round 7 the Bears were thumped 5-2 at home by the Youth side; their sole home PS4 NPL loss in over a year.
In the final round of the season Weston again hosted the Jets Youth with the Bears requiring a win to be crowned Premiers. In an enthralling match the score finished 1-1, the Jets scoring late to come from behind to win the Premiership.
This year they took part in the only Round 4 match to be played on schedule this season, and it was quite the opposite to their 2014 matches. The match played in pouring rain was locked at 0-0 at half time, then a scrappy Tom Waller goal in the second half won the Jets the three points.
The return of Braedyn Crowley has been a huge boost for the Jets Youth. Crowley missed the majority of the season so far due to injury, but since his return has scored two of the side’s four goals in the past three matches. He will need to play an instrumental role this weekend against a Bears defence looking for redemption.
Weston and the Jets Youth always put on a great match for the fans who travel to Rockwell Automation Park. The atmosphere at the ground is always intense, and this weekend will be no different as one of the strongest sides in the PS4 NPL go head to head with some of the finest youth in the region.
South Cardiff FC vs. Charlestown City Blues FC
Sun 12 July 2:30 PM
Whilst Saturday’s match between Lambton and Olympic is the Match of the Round, most eyes will be fixed on Sunday’s encounter which sees South Cardiff host Charlestown at Ulinga Oval.
The Gunners are currently sitting in last position on the PS4 NPL ladder on five points, following just one win, two draws and nine losses this season.
The Blues are just one place ahead of the Gunners on nine points, after three wins and nine losses in 2015.
As the competition’s final third begins this weekend this match becomes a must-win for both of these two struggling sides, and will shape the relegation battle with five matches remaining following Sunday’s full time whistle.
Last year Lake Macquarie were relegated with twelve points, and with Charlestown on nine a win can get them to that mark with five games remaining, ultimately putting them seven points ahead of the Gunners.
This would virtually put them out of the Gunners’ reach, however the side from Ulinga Oval will be determined not to allow this to happen.
Gunners coach Greg Asquith is looking forward to the match, suggesting it will be one of their biggest challenges of the year.
“Obviously there is no denying it’s a must win game for us,’ he said.
‘We need to maintain closeness with Charlestown, and they will be confident after beating Adamstown’.
‘It is really important that we get a result’.
Asquith has been boosted in recent weeks with several injured players returning to action. One of their two visa players Lee Ashton played a full game of Under 22’s last weekend, then backed up for 15 minutes of first grade as he continues his return from injury which is a good sign for the club.
The last time these two sides met was a rescheduled Match of the Round in Round 4 which the Gunners comfortably won 3-1.
Since then they have not recorded a point, losing eight in a row. The Blues have scored six points thanks to wins over Broadmeadow and Adamstown since then, giving them slightly better form heading into this match.
Both sides will know the importance of three points in this match, which sets up a highly anticipated affair. The two teams will both give their all for a win, so plenty of goals can be expected from the match, as well as a real competitive atmosphere.
Maitland FC vs. Edgeworth FC
Sun 12 July 2:30 PM
Cook Square Park
The second of two Sunday afternoon matches in Round 13 will see league leaders Edgeworth travel to Cook Square Park, looking to maintain their top spot.
They moved into number one last weekend, inflicting Hamilton with their first loss of the season. It was the Eagles ninth win, and alongside three losses they are on 27 points.
Maitland lost their eighth match of the year last weekend remaining in eighth position following their three wins and a draw.
Maitland’s two game winning streak was ended last weekend in a 3-0 loss to Broadmeadow Magic in disappointing circumstances. They conceded a silly penalty just before half time, and then conceded two after Magic went to ten men in the second half.
They will look to return to winning ways this weekend by making it three from four, but they have a tricky assignment in the firing Eagles.
Since their 1-0 loss away to Weston in early June Edgeworth have not been beaten, instead defeating all before them. They have qualified for the FFA Cup Round of 32, and shot to the top of the ladder.
Their goals for 2015 were to qualify for the Round of 32 and the PS4 NPL Finals. They have already achieved one, and are almost guaranteed the latter, so 2015 has already been a success for Coach Damien Zane.
He and his side will now be focused on the final six matches, more specifically, pushing on in the top spot and finishing there at the end of the season.
One player they will need to be wary of from the Maitland side this weekend is new signing Ryan Clarke. Clarke played in his first match last weekend in the loss to Broadmeadow, but impressed Coach Reece Thompson, and will only improve as he familiarises himself with the league and his team.
Maitland’s passion and desire is another danger point for the Eagles. The Magpies sat last for a long stretch of the season, but were determined to get off the bottom of the ladder, and achieved that with several important wins. They will be desperate for another over the league leaders this Sunday.
One of Edgeworth’s more significant wins this season came back in Round 4 at the hands of Maitland, beating them 4-1 in a rescheduled match in May.
Both sides play quality attacking football, moving the ball forward quick in transition, so this match should be a fast paced, exciting match up between two sides full of talented young players.
Adamstown Rosebud FC vs. Broadmeadow Magic FC
Sun 12 July 2:30 PM
The final match of Round 13 of the PS4 Northern New South Wales National Premier League is the local derby between the Adamstown Rosebud and Broadmeadow Magic.
The Buds’ 2015 resurgence came to a disappointing stop last weekend as a twelfth minute Scott Smith goal saw Charlestown defeat them 1-0.
This year Adamstown have recorded four wins, draws and losses. They are six points outside the top four, on 16 points, in sixth place.
Magic edged closer to the top four last weekend following a 3-0 defeat of Maitland. They are now just two behind Weston, but trail leaders Edgeworth by seven.
Their six wins and two draws this season see them sitting on 20 points.
A big talking point of last weekend’s win over Maitland for Broadmeadow is the sending off of left back Luke Virgili. Maitland’s Joel Wood was free on goal until John Griffiths fouled the striker, however Virgili was sent off in a case of apparent mistaken identity.
Magic coach Rob Virgili was unsure if Luke would be available for this weekend’s match, but suggested the club is appealing, and said he has left the matter in their hands.
In timely fashion for Broadmeadow’s defence veteran Josh Piddington will make his return from suspension for the away side, ‘a huge boost’ according to Virgili.
Magic are no strangers to controversy, in fact the last time these two sides met back in Round 4 a goal five minutes into stoppage time separated the sides.
Guy Bates and Matt Paul sent the Buds into the break ahead 2-0, then a Dino Fajkovic screamer and a Scott Petit header made the score 2-2. The game looked set to end a draw, however Chris Berlin scored deep into stoppage time to complete the comeback for the Magic.
These two sides have everything to play for this weekend. Broadmeadow have the chance to go into the top four, whilst the Rosebud have the chance to move even closer to the finals positions.
Those present at the match can expect a hard fought match between two sides that play extremely attractive football, who will both feel as though they deserve to be sitting higher up the table this season, and who will use this weekend’s match to prove that.