PS4 NPL NNSW Round 15 Preview

Photo: Sproule Sports Focus

Ben Homer

Match of the Round

Broadmeadow Magic v Hamilton Olympic

2.30pm Sunday 24th July at Magic Park

Last Meeting: Hamilton 3 Broadmeadow 1 at Darling Street Oval, Sunday 15th May 2016

Ladder: Broadmeadow 3rd (28) Hamilton 1st (34)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Broadmeadow – Won Jets Youth 10-2 (h), Lost Eagles 2-0 (a), Won Bears 1-0 (h)

Hamilton – Won Eagles 3-1 (h), Won Bears 3-1 (a), Drew Jaffas 2-2 (h)

Bottom Line

After some mixed results through the middle of the season, both Hamilton and Broadmeadow have returned to form in recent weeks.

Broadmeadow went through a poor run of form after their loss to Olympic in round six, as they won just two of five matches. Olympic also had a disappointing run of form where they won just one of four matches. Since then Magic have won four of their last five, while Hamilton have won three of their last four.

Hamilton have dominated this rivalry over the last three years, with Broadmeadow’s last win coming back in 2013 courtesy of a late Peter Haynes screamer in a 6-5 victory. Since that moment it has been all Olympic, with five wins and a draw in the last six matches the sides have played.

In fact, it has been their ability to keep Broadmeadow’s attack quiet over that period which has been the most impressive stat. Magic have scored just three goals in their last six meetings with Hamilton, in comparison Hamilton have scored 12 in those same matches.

Hamilton’s watertight defence this season seems once again to be the important factor in this match, and they will need to be at their best after Broadmeadow put 10 past the Jets Youth last weekend. Broadmeadow’s attack will be full of confidence after that performance, but this weekend will be much more of a test.

Just a week and a half ago, Magic struggled to break down an Edgeworth side that Olympic put three goals past on the weekend. If Magic want to prove that they are good enough to beat one of the top two sides in Edgeworth and Hamilton, this is their last chance before the finals to do so.

Hamilton defender Grant Brown should play on the weekend after coming off injured against Edgeworth on Sunday with a burner. Shane Paul returns from suspension while Matt Hoole (ankle) may return from injury. Michael Finlayson (medial ligament) is still a couple of weeks away and Alex Kantarovski has re-injured his hamstring and will remain on the sidelines for a few more weeks. Jon Griffiths is also out with a suspension.

 What the Coaches Said:

 Rob Virgili (Broadmeadow)

“First and foremost we have to turn up and compete. I don’t think, to be honest, there is much between the sides. I know that have probably got it over us, it's probably the mentality, we just need to believe in ourselves a bit more. We don’t even think about [our recent record against them], it's not in our camp. It's just a matter of competing with them.”

“We dominated the first 25 minutes of our first game against them. We scored to lead 1-0, but we conceded virtually straight after that and let them back into the game. After halftime, they came out with their tails up and went on with it. In about 90% of our games in the first 25 minutes, we just haven’t capitalised on our chances. We tend to dominate sides in the first 25 minutes, but we need to capitalise on it a bit more.”

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“It was a great result on the weekend and to get a second win against [Edgeworth] this year was really good. I thought on the weekend we held our composure really well and played for the full 90 minutes which we haven’t been doing all year.”

“I don’t think what has happened [in the head to head] over the last couple of years counts for much. They are coming off a great win – 10-2 – last weekend so they are obviously in the white hot form in front of goals at the moment which is always their danger. Moving Leo Bertos to the centre of the park has really helped us with our shape and our composure, just with that discipline he brings. He and Jacob Bailey have really done well in the middle of the park for us.”

 Key: Broadmeadow’s attack has been disappointing when playing Hamilton of late, and it will need to change this weekend if they are to beat their rivals.

 

Edgeworth Eagles v Valentine Phoenix

2.45pm, Saturday 23rd July at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Edgeworth 4 Valentine 0 at Cahill Oval, Saturday 14th May 2016

Ladder: Edgeworth 2nd (34pts) Valentine 6th (15)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Edgeworth – Lost Olympic 3-1 (a), Won Magic 2-0 (h), Won Jets Youth 4-2 (h)

Valentine – Drew Bears 2-2 (h), Won Jaffas 3-2 (a), Lost Rosebud 2-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Both Edgeworth and Valentine will be looking to return to the winner’s circle after a recording disappointing results last weekend. Edgeworth went down to rivals Hamilton Olympic who have now beaten them twice this season, while the Phoenix were held to a 2-2 draw against the last placed Weston Bears.

The head to head between these sides reads heavily in the Eagles’ favour, with Valentine last recording a win over Edgeworth in 2011 – a 1-0 victory at Cahill Oval. Since then Edgeworth have won five straight matches by a combined scoreline of 15-2 so Valentine will need to overcome recent history in this one.

Edgeworth’s attack was kept relatively quiet against Hamilton on the weekend and will be looking to return to form against a side they put four goals past back in round six. The usual suspects of Keigo Moriyasu, Daniel McBreen, Keanu Moore will be asking plenty of questions up front and Aden Gardner has stepped up in a big way over the last few weeks with two goals in his last three games.

For Valentine, they will once again look to former Eagles striker Brenton Olzomer, as well as other attacking signing in 2016 in Matt Paul. After two goals last weekend Paul will be looking to continue his goalscoring form against Edgeworth.

But, as it has been all season Valentine’s backline will be key to the result in this match. They leaked four goals in the last match between the sides and can’t afford that kind of performance at the back if they want to claim an upset win here.

Alex Tserepas (broken ankle) remains sidelined for the Phoenix, but there is hope he may return before the season's end. For Edgeworth, they remain unchanged from the side that played Olympic on Sunday.

 What the Coaches Said:

 Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“We have set a goal to get 12 points and see what happens. As far as chasing goal difference, the difference is five goals and in four games that is tough to make up. I told the players to concentrate game by game to get the three points. I said to them ‘If you lose the competition with 46 points, you must be the unluckiest side in the history of this competition’.”

“Valentine are a pretty tight unit and they have probably exceeded expectations. A lot of people were saying they would be lucky to win a game when they first came up. Reece Pettit is a good young player and Brenton [Olzomer] I have noticed has been a bit injured of late. Matt Paul has been a big pickup and has been quite dangerous for them.”

Sam Griffin (Valentine Assistant)

“I think because they are so quick everywhere we need to compact them a bit and put more pressure on everywhere because they cut through us too easily last time. So if we can get in tighter and make them go around it might give us a little bit of leeway.”

“From the dead ball this year we have been atrocious. They haven’t been up to the standard that you need and against a side like Edgeworth where we are probably not going to create as many chances as they are when we get corners and free kicks we need to take advantage of it.”

Key: Defence. Both sides conceded too many goals last weekend and need to be on song at the back on Saturday.

 

Lambton Jaffas v Maitland Magpies

2.30pm, Saturday 23rd July at Arthur Edden Oval

Last Meeting: Maitland 0 Lambton 0 at Cooks Square Park, Sunday 15th May 2016

Ladder: Lambton 8th (13) Maitland 4th (22)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Lambton – Drew Blues 0-0 (a), Lost Phoenix 3-2 (h), Drew Olympic 2-2 (a)

Maitland – Won Rosebuds 4-2 (h), Won Blues 2-0 (a), Lost Phoenix 1-0 (h)

Bottom Line

It's hard to get a read on the Jaffas this season with seven losses this season mixed with three wins and four draws. They have drawn will Hamilton (1st), Maitland (4th), and Charlestown (5th) in 2016, and had a narrow loss to Broadmeadow (2nd) in round two. While in other matches they were beaten 5-0 by Edgeworth (2nd) in round 10, 3-0 by Hamilton in round 3 and Broadmeadow 4-2 in round 11. In reality, it will depend on which Lambton will turn up.

Maitland have put the sacking of coach Steve Piggott behind them with a 4-2 win at home last weekend against Adamstown and have returned to form in the last two weeks with two wins after a five-week stretch where they didn’t win a match.

Based on their ladder positions coming into the game Maitland will start as favourites, however, history is not on their side. Since their promotion in 2014, the sides have played each other three times for two wins to Lambton and a draw, 0-0 in round six. It was a tight and dour affair that afternoon at a windy Cooks Square Park, and better conditions at Arthur Edden Oval on Saturday should create a more exciting affair.

Ryan Clarke will be no doubt be a key man for the Magpies who netted his first two goals of the season in the match against Adamstown and Lambton’s defence will need to be on the lookout for both Clarke and fellow Maitland speedster Matt Comerford.

For Lambton, Ben Hay has been a key man for them the last few weeks with the former Jets Youth midfielder one of the shining lights for the Jaffas in what has otherwise been a disappointing NPL season. Joel Wood will also be looking for a big game against his former side.

For the Magpies, Jordan Elphick comes into the side for Jye McKellar who is out of the match with tonsillitis.

 What the Coaches Said:

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“Ryan Clarke is a guy I have a huge amount of respect for and he provides a whole new threat. The last game we played good football against them without having that cutting edge. They are probably in a bit better shape than us in terms of availability of key players. It will be a tight game this weekend, I’ve got no doubt about that.”

“We’ll start to use the remaining few NPL games as preparation for the FFA Cup. Regarding our tactical approach, there will be one eye on the opposition as well as what’s coming down the track and we’ll work on a couple of things we will look to implement in Tasmania.”

Reece Thompson (Maitland Assistant)

“[In round six] we probably didn’t deserve a point out of the game. They completely bossed the game and we sat back and allowed players like Jobe [Wheelhouse] and [Pete] McPherson to have too much ball. Joel Wood and [John] Majurovski got in between the lines of our defence and caused a bit of trouble.”

“This match will be a little bit different with Jobe out and hopefully, we can press and bit more and play more of an attacking style. We won’t be letting them dominate the game again. We need to cut the supply off to John Majurovski and Joel Wood. We’ll try and make them go long and we have some guys at the back who should win the fifty fifties.”

Key: With only one win this season at Arthur Edden Oval, can Lambton send their fans home happy this weekend?

 

Newcastle Jets Youth v Adamstown Rosebud

2.30pm Sunday 24th July at Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: Jets Youth 3 Adamstown 0 at Adamstown Oval, Sunday 15th May 2016

Ladder: Jets Youth 7th (14) Adamstown 9th (11)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Jets Youth – Lost Magic 10-2 (a), Lost Eagles 4-2 (a), Won Blues 4-0 (a)

Adamstown – Lost Magpies 4-2 (a), Lost Blues 3-1 (h), Won Phoenix 2-0 (a)

 Bottom Line

Just as the Jets Youth side seemed to be rising towards a top four spot, they have come back to earth with a thud. First, a disappointing last ten minutes against Edgeworth in round 13 saw the drop all three points, before a recording breaking performance for all the wrong reasons against Broadmeadow on the weekend.

Though without five senior players against the 3rd placed Magic, it was always going to be a tough ask for the young Jets and they will desperately be seeking a strong performance against Adamstown to erase the embarrassment of last weekend.

Rosebud also have their own problems to worry about, as they received their third red card in a row on Sunday when Owen Littlewood was sent off for touching the referee. That follows Dayne Pawlik the previous week and Thom Lino the week before who were given their marching orders. Once again Adamstown were right in the contest leading 2-1 before the red card was given to Littlewood.

Since Adamstown’s promotion at the end of the 2013 season, the sides have met on five occasions for three wins to the Jets and two to Rosebud, however, the Rosebud’s have won two of the last three matches between the sides. Their only loss in those three was in round six this season when they were beaten 3-0 courtesy of a hat-trick from Krisitan Brymora.

Both sides are out of finals contention, with Adamstown 11 points adrift off the top four with just four matches left – mathematically they still have a chance, but it would take a miracle for them to make to finals. The Jets Youth will also not play finals due to their need to prepare for their NYL season, so this could be an entertaining clash.

For the Jets Youth, defender Caio DeGodoy (illness) will most likely miss the match, Cameron Holzheimer (strained calf) could return as could Ryan Ensor (strained calf). Striker Cameron Joice also could return, but Antonee Burke is out for the season with a stress fracture in his foot.

The Rosebud’s will be a missing host of players with Dayne Pawlik and Owen Littlewood both suspended, Hakan Canli (holiday), Jordan Harrison (hamstring), and Scott Carter (thigh) all out of the weekend’s match.

What the Coaches Said:

 Clayton Zane (Jets Youth)

“The squad we put out on the weekend, we never set out to put that there. We played the players we had available. I always try and put out what I think is the best team for that particular game. Part of the challenge for me is certain games I look at it as an opportunity to blood young ones and other games I know I need a more resilient team. Every week we endeavour to put out our best side, and last weekend we had players out for reasons no one at the club could control.”

 “We’ll definitely have a stronger squad this weekend. Although Adamstown didn’t win on the weekend it seems like their game was there to be won. They look very organised and it looks like they have changes their system in recent weeks and they have taken points of Broadmeadow and Olympic. I’m expecting a lot tougher game than we had in round six.”

Graham Law (Adamstown)

“This weekend, it really depends on what team the Jets put out. We are thin on numbers, so I’ll be playing a young side and I’m seriously considering blooding a few youngsters this weekend. For the remainder of the season we just need to be as competitive as we can. This is no reason why we can’t finish fifth. We just need to push on and try and finish as high as we can.”

“I could probably write a novel about hard luck stories this year. But, in first grade, it’s all about results and everything else is irrelevant. You can play terrible for 18 games and win every game and win the competition and it’s a good season.”

Key: Discipline. Adamstown need to get through this match with 11 men on the park or the young Jets will find them wanting.

 

Weston Workers Bears v Charlestown City Blues

2.30pm Sunday 24th July at Rockwell Automation Park

Last Meeting: Charlestown 1 Weston 0 at Lisle Carr Oval, Sunday 15th May 2016

Ladder: Weston 10th (3) Charlestown 5th (18)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Weston – Drew Phoenix 2-2 (a), Lost Olympic 3-1 (h), Lost Magic 1-0 (a)

Charlestown – Drew Jaffas 0-0 (h), Won Rosebuds 3-1 (a), Lost Magpies 2-0 (h)

Bottom Line

If Charlestown want to make the finals this year, it has now come down to winning every one of their final four matches. Coming up against last-placed Weston is a match they really need to win considering their final three matches are against Edgeworth, Broadmeadow and Hamilton. Many would not give them a chance, but the Blues have proven many wrong this season and they shouldn’t be written off.

The Bears have dominated the last four matches these two sides have played winning three of the four and scoring eight goals to three in the process. But, in their only match this season Charlestown scrapped out a 1-0 victory and Shane Pryce’s men will be looking to do the same at one of the toughest away venues in the PlayStation NPL Northern NSW.

In the last month, Weston have threatened to snatch their first win of 2016, and coach Trevor Morris will be desperate for his side’s first win of the campaign. The last side which went through an entire season in a Northern NSW First Grade competition without a victory was Toronto Awaba Stags back in 2010, where they finished the 21 match season with one draw and 20 losses.

Weston went so close last weekend in a 2-2 draw with Valentine and were very unlucky not to a least have grabbed a point at Magic Park a couple of weeks ago. It seems like a win is just around a corner, but it has been goals which have been the issue all season.

They still haven’t reached doubled figures, with just nine goals in their 14 matches, and simply to win matches you need to score goals, which just hasn’t happened regularly enough for the Bears this season. Injuries and players leaving as well haven’t helped the cause, but the emergence of some young talent in Lachlan Rowan, Isaac Peek, and Jake Barner have been shining lights for Weston in an otherwise season to forget.

Trent Partridge return for suspension for the Bears and Jordan Jackson is out with suspension.

 What the Coaches Said:

 Trevor Morris (Weston)

“Our confidence has been good the last five or six weeks. We have played the top four sides and it's just the soft goals which we are giving away which are hurting us. I can’t fault their effort or commitment, the attitude at training has been great – no one is missing training. The only thing that is missing is a win and a team song. I’m quite proud of what we are doing and how well we are working.”

“Charlestown has got everything to play for, their still a chance of making the semis and we are desperate to earn some respect. We want to make it as hard as we can for them. I’m not worried about what Charlestown can do, I’m worried about what we do. Everyone knows that we are going through a tough spell and I hope that all the fans can see what a breath of fresh air the young boys are who have been promoted.”

 Key: Weston has come so close against in away matches against Valentine and Broadmeadow in recent weeks. Can they conjure up another gallant performance in front of their home fans?




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