PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Sunday, May 14
Match of the Round
Adamstown v South Wallsend
At Adamstown Oval, 2.30pm
Last start: Adamstown beat Thornton 2-0 last night; South Wallsend beat Mid North Coast 3-1 on Sunday.
Last time they met: Drew 1-1 in round three.
Position on ladder: Adamstown fourth, eight points; South Wallsend fifth, seven points.
Squad news: Former Westfield W-League Jets players Gemma Pearce is out through unavailability for South Wallsend, who should otherwise be near full strength. Adamstown are likely to welcome back Kate Lindsay from 12 months out through injury.
What the coaches say: South Wallsend coach Gary Wilson believes if the Wolves play to their potential they are a chance to take the points in this one.
“Every game is hard for us,” Wilson said. “If we concentrate and we do our best then we’ll always be in the game.”
Wilson said South Wallsend continues to improve with each outing and is encouraged by the signs of former Westfield W-League Jets player Stacey Day.
“Stacey is doing well,” he said. “She’s still not at her top fitness, nowhere near it, probably about 60 percent.
“But she’s scoring goals and creating stuff and if she can get close to 100 per cent by end of year, then the signs are really promising.”
Adamstown coach Lou D’Amico said his side will take confidence out of their 2-0 win over Thornton last night.
“I thought we played well, dominated possession and we kept our composure,” D’Amico said.
He was expecting another close game with South Wallsend.
Bottom line: Adamstown have not had the best couple of weeks. They conceded 20 goals in three big losses in the space of eight days but finally broke through for their second win of the season in a 2-0 victory over Thornton last night. The win should provide a much-needed confidence boost for the young side, who moved into fourth place after beating the Redbacks. This game puts the fourth-placed Buds against the fifth-placed Wolves and both teams will be desperate for competition points as the league heads towards the season midway point. South Wallsend will also be buoyed by their second win of the season too and this match looks set to be an arm wrestle. Gemma Pearce will be a big loss for South Wallsend but Stacey Day is having more and more impact with every appearance she makes. This game is likely to be decided by whoever takes their chances in front of goal.
Merewether v Wallsend
At Myamblah Oval, 2.15pm
Last start: Merewether beat Adamstown 9-1 and Wallsend lost 8-0 to Warners Bay on Sunday.
Last time they met: Merewether won 3-2 in round three.
Position on ladder: Merewether first, 24 points; Wallsend sixth, five points.
Squad news: Wallsend are without Westfield W-League Jets player Libby Copus-Brown through injury and Casey Smith is unavailable while Merewether will be without Alison Logue, Sarah Halvorsen, Lori Depczynski and Hannah Sunasky. Leticia Quinlan is under an injury cloud.
What the coaches say: Wallsend assistant coach Strat Kapalos said a strong start to the match is imperative against the league heavyweights.
“We are expecting a tough game,” Kapalos said.
“Merewether play an aggressive and physical game; their style of play brings them success and they have talent across the park.
“We must compete and not get ourselves into a situation of chasing the game as we did last weekend.”
Merewether coach Cass Koppen was not reading anything into the Red Devils’ eight-goal rout at the hands of Warners Bay as she prepared her unbeaten squad for this one.
“Wallsend are always a very tough side,” she said.
“They’re very physical and they’re the sort of team that you just can’t let your guard down against, as we saw last time when we were leading 3-1 then they scored and all of a sudden it was game on.
“We are going to have to be switched on for full 90 minutes and defend a bit better this time around.”
Bottom line: Merewether are cruising along, unbeaten and at the top of the table while Wallsend have managed just one win so far this season. They thumped Thornton 8-1 in a midweek clash last week but were then on the receiving end of an eight-goal loss on Sunday. The Red Devils have some quality players and showed last time they played the league leaders they are dangerous on the counter-attack and can score from anywhere. Merewether are hard to go past for the win in this one but don’t read much into the differing statistics of these two sides. Wallsend, on their day, can take down any side – they just need to be more clinical in the final third.
Thornton v Warners Bay
At Thornton Park, 2.15pm
Last start: Thornton lost 2-0 to Adamstown last night; Warners Bay beat Wallsend 8-0 last Sunday.
Last time they met: Warners Bay won 3-1 in round three.
Position on ladder: Warners Bay second, 21 points; Thornton last, zero points.
Squad news: Warners Bay Sophie Stapleford returns after missing two matches while key defender Brooke Miller is carrying an injury but is expected to still play. Redbacks welcome Kristy Martin’s return to the squad.
What the coaches say: Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis will adopt a beware the wounded Redback approach.
“From last time we played them, they defended really well against us, so I think it will be about trying to break them down and not concede,” Davis said.
“Last time we played they were beating us 1-0 … they’ve got nothing to lose, so they’re going to throw anything at any team.
“They need a win, so I’ll be making sure our girls turn up and are ready from the start like last week.”
Thornton coach Alan Primmer said his charges should take some confidence from an improved performance despite a 2-0 loss to Adamstown last night as well as from their round-one effort against Warners Bay.
“I think the performance against Adamstown will provide a bit of a boost,” Primmer said.
“Last time we played Warners Bay, they didn’t hit the lead until about the 80th minute and even though we are on bottom of the table we’ve pushed the top two sides more than anyone.”
Bottom line: This looks on paper like another one-sided affair, especially given recent results of these two sides. But, as Thornton coach Al Primmer has pointed out, the Redbacks’ strongest performances this year have actually come against competition heavyweights Merewether and Warners Bay. The young side are inconsistent, which can also mean danger for their opponents. Warners Bay, with the players they have, should win this one easily but three points is not a given against a hard-working, young Thornton side.
Mid North Coast – bye.
Points table: Merewether 24, Warners Bay 21, Mid North Coast 10, Adamstown 8, South Wallsend 7, Wallsend 5, Thornton 0.