Talking Points: Round 9
Lambton’s depth is tested, Hamilton go back-to-back
Expected to be one of the contenders for the premiership this season, Lambton has fallen four points behind the top four after eight games played.
There’s still plenty on the line and a run at the top spot isn’t beyond the realms of possibility, however, with a number of absences in the side due to injury and travel Lambton don’t have as much of that depth which they boasted at season’s start.
A midweek FFA Cup trip out to Cessnock may give coach James Pascoe the opportunity to experiment with some of the younger players out of the under 20’s and on the fringes of the first-grade squad, and see who is capable of making the step up.
Many have found themselves in disbelief at Hamilton’s position outside the top four given their perennial position inside the finals spots (they’ve missed out once in the last five seasons) but it looks like Olympic could be on their way back.
Two wins on the trot have propelled Hamilton up the ladder into sixth but still two wins off the four. Next weekend is one of the biggest matchups in local football – Olympic host Broadmeadow Magic.
Maitland find a way through, Lakes short but strong
A first win on the road (in just their second match away from home) couldn’t have come at a better time for the Magpies, who have a chance of shooting into first place next weekend.
That task is a mighty one as they host Lambton on Sunday afternoon, but they’ll have the slight advantage of no midweek FFA Cup clash to juggle.
The return of Matt Comerford and minutes in his legs was welcome news for boss Michael Bolch, who credited his solid performance and believes his side will only improve in attack with the winger back in the side.
Lakes has barely played a match without Tom or Sam Walker involved in recent years but it was that way at the weekend, and the absence of the side’s two leaders may have played a role in the defeat.
Things don’t get any easier at the weekend with a trip to Edgeworth on the cards, but coach Nick Webb has said their midweek FFA Cup clash with Charlestown is a good opportunity to rest some players and give opportunities to others.
Charlestown injury crisis gets worse, Valentine sit last
Two goals to Scott Smith were enough to do the damage for the Blues at the weekend and send them back to the top of the pile but given the bye next weekend and the teams on their tail they could be back in fourth by next Sunday.
Injury news makes for bad reading for Charlestown fans, after injuries to Riley McNaughton and Kane Goodchild were confirmed worse than first thought.
Kevin Davidson also went down in some pain at the weekend, but the expected return of Daniel Minors after the bye will be music to Blues’ ears.
Weston’s midweek win over Jets Youth pushed Valentine to the bottom of the ladder, and they remain there now after losing in the second half on Sunday.
A chance at redemption will come in the form of the FFA Cup on Wednesday night, but up against an Edgeworth side which is traditionally strong in the cup it will be interesting to see if Valentine chooses to focus on the league instead.
Edgeworth stunned, Adamstown continue to improve
Top of the league and unbeaten since round one, Edgeworth were heavy favourites heading into Sunday’s match despite the good form of their opposition.
A solitary goal condemned the league leaders to defeat and a slide down to fourth on the ladder, but definitely still within touching distance of the top.
With a Wednesday night FFA Cup clash against Valentine sandwiched in between Sunday’s loss and next weekend’s clash with Lakes, the Eagles aren’t short of opportunities to get back into the winners’ circle.
Four wins from their last four, three in the league, and Adamstown are well and truly one of the form teams of the competition right now after knocking off two of the league’s best.
Edgeworth and Charlestown are in the rear-view mirror now for Rosebud, who coach Cansdell-Sherriff says are continuing to gel and build every week. A tricky cup assignment against Raymond Terrace during the week could see them into round six of the FFA Cup.
Magic man Oxborrow marks his return, Jets Youth have a bad week
Back in red for the first time since a goal scoring farewell against Maitland back in round 20 last season, Mitch Oxborrow made his presence known on Sunday.
Two goals and an assist in the 4-2 win over Jets Youth demonstrated just why his coach Ruben Zadkovich rates him as one of the best young footballers in the country.
It was a positive result for Magic who was without a host of attacking players and may make the potential rotation for their midweek cup clash with Thornton an easier prospect.
Jets Youth played their third match in eight days on Sunday, and it turned out to be their third, and heaviest, loss in that period.
A trip to the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens this weekend is in the offing for Jets Youth, who will be hoping to take something away from the competition and come back an improved side.