PS4 NPL NNSW Round 17 Preview
Weston Workers FC vs. Broadmeadow Magic FC
Sun 9 August 2:30 PM
Rockwell Automation Park
Match of the Round
In a blockbuster Northern New South Wales National Premier League Match of the Round Weston Workers host Broadmeadow Magic at Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Bears began their run of three Bar TV Match of the Rounds last weekend with a momentum ruining 5-1 defeat at the hands of Hamilton Olympic.
This season the Bears have won nine games, drawing two and losing five on their way to twenty five points. One win from their last two matches will see them equal their 2014 total of thirty-two points.
They finished second with that total, however this year it may not even be enough to see them scrape into the finals series, as they are only three points clear of the fifth placed side, their Round 17 opponents Broadmeadow.
Magic began the season with a bang, sitting first after six rounds on sixteen points, undefeated with four wins and two draws. Since then they have managed just ten points from ten games, as they sit fifth after dropping out of the finals positions in Round 10.
A win this weekend will see them renter the top four with just a game remaining, which is a home fixture against the struggling Charlestown City Blues.
Magic’s latest fixture was one that got their season back on track, as braces to both Kale Bradbury and Peter Haynes along with a Dino Fajkovic strike saw them overpower the Jets Youth 5-2 at Magic Park.
It was Bradbury’s thirteenth and fourteenth goals of the season, and Fajkovic’s eleventh. Leading the goal-scoring chart for the 2015 season the pair will be required to play a starring role in their final two matches if they are to storm into the finals.
Magic will be without one of their key players in Mike Finlayson who misses the match through suspension after being sent off last weekend against his old club the Jets Youth.
The last time theses two sides met Magic gave up a 2-0 lead, and the pair were locked at 3-3 with a minute remaining when Jake Milstead stole the three points with a clinical strike.
Magic were extremely poor defensively that day, and the key to them getting the win this weekend is improving in the back third.
Likewise, Weston will need to improve in the same area. The Bears pride themselves in the back third, however they were non-existent last weekend as a Pat Brown inspired Hamilton put five past a frustrated Tim Pratt who had limited support.
Both of these sides can play great football in the midfield, in transition, and in the front third. The side who takes away three points from this match will be the one who performs the most solidly in defence.
Newcastle Jets Youth vs. Edgeworth FC
Sat 8 August 2:30 PM
Jack McLaughlin Oval
The second match on Sunday afternoon is a significant one, as league leaders Edgeworth can potentially wrap up the Premiership, or at least go a step closer when they welcome the Jets Youth to Jack McLaughlin oval on Saturday.
The pair were both in action mid week with the Eagles going down and the Jets getting a big win.
Edgeworth were clear underdogs heading into their FFA Cup Round of 32 matchup against cashed up A League outfit Melbourne City. The Eagles went ahead through a Bren Hammel penalty after Patrick Kisnorbo fouled Aaron McLoughlin insie the box in the twenty-fourth minute.
Despite the Eagles matching City for majority of the game and forcing a number of goal scoring opportunities, two Aaron Mooy pin point free kicks, one of which came in the ninety-third minute, saw the Eagles bow out 2-1.
The Edgeworth players, coaching staff, committee, supporters, and club as a whole have a lot to be proud of with their efforts on the night, and in the entire Cup competition.
The Jets won their first game in four matches last night, crushing Charlestown City Blues 4-0, and in the process ensured there will be relegation in 2015, as the Youth side can no longer finish last.
This means that Valentine, who have clinched first in the NEWFM 1st Division, will be back in the NPL after being relegated in 2013.
Last week the Eagles stamped their authority on the NPL competition, moving to thirty-six points with their twelfth win of the season, a 2-0 victory over South Cardiff. With two games remaining they have already surpassed the 2014 premiers, the Newcastle Jets Youth’s season total of thirty-four points and ten wins.
They are not guaranteed the Premiership yet however, with Hamilton Olympic close behind on thirty-three. With Olympic’s goal difference far better, four points will win the Eagles the league provided that Olympic win both of their matches.
The last time they met the Eagles won easily, 3-1, thanks to goals from Keanu Moore, Aaron McLoughlin and Brody Taylor, and they will be looking for much of the same this weekend.
Their NPL league form in the last four months has been incredible, winning nine of eleven matches as they head into the finals as the form side.
It is a given that this match is a huge one for both of these sides as it is one that will most likely define their season respectively.
The Eagles can make a real play for the Premiership with just one game remaining, whereas the Jets can put themselves in a position where they are able to play for a twentieth point in the final Round, which would restore some pride in their season after a poor 2015.
Maitland FC vs. Lambton Jaffas FC
Sun 9 August 2:30 PM
Cook Square Park
Maitland welcomes Lambton to Cook Square Park on Sunday afternoon in a match where a win would benefit both sides, in a completely different way.
The Magpies scored a late equalizer through Joel Wood last weekend to earn a draw and a point against the Charlestown City Blues, a game which coach Reece Thompson believes his side could have easily won if they took their chances.
It was their twelfth point of the season, following three wins and three draws, which sees them fighting to stay alive in ninth spot.
They have the chance to ensure they will feature in the 2016 NPL, as a win combined with a South Cardiff draw or loss would guarantee the Magpies safety from the drop zone.
The Jaffas find themselves in third again at the back end of a season, once again ruing a slow start to the season.
First place is still a narrow chance for the side from Arthur Edden Oval, however that would require Edgeworth to pick up one or no points from their last two games, and Hamilton four or less.
The Jaffas will be determined to finish their season on a high which would give them great momentum heading into the semi finals, as they look to make a third Grand Final in a row.
Having finally moved passed their injury woes in the last five rounds they are composed and last week fired a warning shot to the competition with a 6-0 thrashing of Adamstown where Alex Palozzi and John Majurovski both netted braces, and Riley McNaughton scored a cracker into the bottom left hand corner from long range.
The last match between these two sides took place in Round 8, with the Jaffas defeating the Magpies 2-1.
Lambton have already passed their 2014 tally of thirty points, with two games remaining. This weekend they will be determined to add another win to hopefully put themselves in a position to play for the Premiership, whereas the Magpies will be desperate to end their relegation battle.
With a plethora of attacking options available in both sides expect a number of goals to fly in in this match.
Charlestown City Blues FC vs. Hamilton Olympic FC
Sun 9 August 2:30 PM
Lisle Carr Oval
Charlestown feature in their last match at Lisle Carr Oval this season when they host the high flying Hamilton Olympic on Sunday afternoon in the battle of the Blues.
A disappointing 4-0 loss last night saw Charlestown remain in eight spot on the ladder, which means the highest they can finish this season if the Jets pick up just one more point.
They have won just four matches from their sixteen games, and drawn once, which leaves them on thirteen points and consequently in a relegation battle.
Hamilton currently sits in second place on the table following nine wins, six draws and a competition best one loss in 2015.
The prospect of gun Olympic striker Kane Goodchild returning to his old home ground for the first time since departing the Blues is completely overshadowed by what is at stake in this match this weekend.
A Hamilton win keeps them firmly in the hunt for the Premiership. Two wins will see them finish on thirty-nine points. With Edgeworth on thirty-six already Olympic would require the Jets Youth or Weston to defeat the side from Jack McLaughlin in their last two matches if they were to become Premiers.
Hamilton will not be worrying about Edgeworth and their matches however, aware that they need to win their two remaining matches before other results can even gather any significance.
Charlestown face a fight of their own at the other end of the table. Their loss last night means they lead Maitland by just one point, and South Cardiff by four.
If the Blues upset and defeat Edgeworth they will have acquired enough points to ensure that they will feature in the 2016 NPL season, however two more losses could see them relegated if South Cardiff win twice and Maitland pick up two or more points.
Olympic hit a slow patch between Rounds 11-15, which saw them pick up just three points out of a possible twelve, all of which came from draws.
They hit back in style in the last two rounds, smashing the Jets Youth and Weston 7-0 and 5-1 respectively, delivering a strong message to their rivals that they are competing intently for both the Premiership, and the Grand Final.
Charlestown were in some great form of their own. It took them eleven long rounds to pick up just six points, however in four before the Jets loss they picked up seven points to put themselves in the best position of the three sides fighting to avoid the drop zone.
Every match this week is huge, with the potential to change the shape of the table, but none more than this fixture.
Both of these sides would love three points for different reasons come Sunday afternoon, which will make this match an even harder fought spectacle then usual, and by the end of the match the Premiership picture and the relegation picture will both be a lot clearer.
South Cardiff FC vs. Adamstown Rosebud FC
Sun 9 August 2:30 PM
The final match of Round 17 of the NNSW NPL sees two sides who are both out of the finals picture go head to head.
One of the pair, however, has a lot to play for in this match as it could potentially be their second last in the NPL for at least a year.
South Cardiff, the home side, require at least four points from their last two matches to avoid relegation, and considering they take on the Lambton Jaffas in the final round who beat them 5-0 in their last meeting, the Gunners will be intent on picking up all three points this Sunday against the Buds.
The team from Ulinga Oval has racked up a disappointing nine points this season after just two wins and three draws.
The Rosebud’s finals chances were squashed last weekend in devastating fashion as Lambton fired six past them at Adamstown Oval, a result on which the club described as a ‘tough day’.
The Buds have scored six wins, four draws and six losses this season, already improving on their 2014 total of twenty-one points.
It is the Gunners’ last home game for the season, so they will be desperate to give their home fans something to cheer about, whilst keeping their 2016 NPL hopes alive in the process, and the Rosebud will be looking to bounce back from a huge Round 16 loss.
The side have accomplished a lot in the past five years including an epic Grand Final loss on penalties against Magic after it was 4-4 at full time, a Solo Cup win in 2011 and scoring the first goal of the FFA Cup last year.
They will give it their all in the final two games to ensure that they are no0t relegated to the NEWFM 1st Division, and that this history has the chance to be furthered in the coming seasons.
The Rosebud have the edge over the Gunners, defeating them 3-0 in Round 8 thanks to a Matt Paul double and a strike by Jordan Harrison.
Both sides will leave it all on the field come Sunday afternoon. Adamstown are looking to regain some pride after an unacceptable 6-0 loss to the Jaffas, whereas the Gunners will throw it all on the line as they look to avoid the wooden spoon and relegation.