PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
South Wallsend v Wallsend
At Walker Fields
Sunday, June 3, 2.15pm
Last start: South Wallsend beat Thornton 2-0, Wallsend drew 2-2 with Mid North Coast, both last round.
Last time they met: They drew 1-1 on May 17.
Position on ladder: Wallsend sixth, seven points; South Wallsend fifth, 11 points
Squad news: Wallsend welcome back Kally Lewis from suspension and South Wallsend Maddy Searl. The pair were sent off after an incident the last time these two sides met. The Wolves will also have Gemma Pearce back in action after missing the past couple of games through unavailability and Erin Wilson is also expected to get some game time.
What the coaches say: Gary Wilson predicts this game to be won in the middle of the park, where he rated Red Devils captain Keely Gawthrop as “dangerous”, and expects a tough match between two sides desperate for competition points.
“They’re a better side than where they are sitting,” Wilson said.
“There should be some real feeling in the match and we are looking forward to the game.”
Wallsend assistant coach Strat Kapalos was looking forward to having their strongest squad this season and said they must “turn good football into points”.
“We need to limit Southy in transition and limit the options to players like Georgia Amess, who are dangerous in behind our backline,” Kapalos said.
Bottom line: This match looks set for a classic local showdown. Both of these sides have quality in their midst but have under-achieved so far this season. But as the competition heads towards the end of the second round, both know it is desperation stakes in terms of starting to collect competition points if they want to be around come finals time. They are both at near full strength for the first time in a number of weeks and there shouldn’t be too much separating these two.
Adamstown v Thornton
At Adamstown Oval
Sunday, June 3, 2.30pm
Last start: Adamstown beat Mid North Coast 6-0 in round 11, Thornton lost 2-0 to South Wallsend on Saturday.
Last time they met: Adamstown won 2-0 in round six.
Position on ladder: Adamstown third, 14 points; Thornton last, three points.
Squad news: Lauren Allen is poised to make her return for Rosebud. She has been playing college football in the United States and is back on summer break. Adamstown captain Clare Cummings will play her 100th WPL match, all which have been for the Buds. Thornton welcome the return of danger player Sophie Milton after she missed the last game through unavailability. The Redbacks also have a few minor complaints from last weekend’s match and coach Robbie Richardson will assess his squad after training tonight.
What the coaches say: Adamstown coach Lou D’Amico said “it is going to be a special day” as the club celebrate Cummings’ milestone but rated this as a must-win game.
“We just need to win; we need the three points,” D’Amico said.
“They’re not a bad side and we expect they will be resilient.”
He also said the addition of Allen would be a “boost” to Adamstown’s attack.
Thornton coach Robbie Richardson said he may have to tweak his side slightly ahead of this one but felt they would take a lot of confidence out of a close clash with South Wallsend last weekend.
He also suggested he may bring through some 18s players and was expected a fired up Adamstown.
“They will be obviously geared up for a big one with it being Clare Cummings’ 100th game,” Richardson said.
Bottom line: It is hard to go past Adamstown for this one. There is the return of proven goalscorer Lauren Allen, which will add some spark up front, as well as it being a milestone match for captain Clare Cummings. Rosebud will be fired up and ready to deliver their courageous captain a win in her 100th WPL appearance. But Thornton will certainly make them fight for it. The Redbacks have had some tight matches with some of the top teams in the competition and were well in last weekend’s match. Sophie Milton’s addition will give them a boost. Adamstown would be favoured to win this one but write off Thornton at your own peril.
Merewether v Mid North Coast
At Myamblah Oval
Sunday, June 3, 2.15pm
Last start: Merewether lost 1-0 to Warners Bay; Mid North Coast drew 2-2 with Wallsend.
Last time they met: Merewether won 2-1.
Position on ladder: Merewether second, 27 points; Mid North Coast fourth, 11 points.
Squad news: Mid North Coast will be at full strength. Merewether welcome back Jane McDonald and Lori Depczynski.
What the coaches say: Mid North Coast Mick Day suggested playing the competition heavyweights would give them a good gauge on how they are travelling as the league heads towards the business end of the season.
“Although we were disappointed with our draw result last weekend we did achieve goals that we had set for that game, so I guess if you discount the five minutes we blinked we had a great game,” Day said.
“Merewether are a class outfit and this will be a good test for us.”
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen said United needed “to pick up our game” after they were beaten 1-0 by Warners Bay in a top-of-the-table clash last weekend.
“It will be good to have everyone back on board and to have some strength coming off the bench,” she said.
“We had the bare 11 last week and have had a disrupted few weeks which has restricted things, but still there are no excuses.
“Everyone is going to want to beat us and we have to pick things up a bit.
“Mid North Coast have got a lot of experienced WPL players who’ve got a lot to prove and they also need to get some points, so we expect a tough match.”
Bottom line: Mid North Coast will be desperate for the win to stay in the top four while Merewether will be keen to get back into the winners’ circle after their first loss since the season started. The return of Jane McDonald and Lori Depczynski will add discipline and composure to United, who at times rushed their plays last weekend. United always seem to struggle against Mid North Coast and the visitors boast former plenty in quality in the likes of Merewether players Sophie Jones, Shannon Day and Imogene Tomasone. This looks set to be an arm wrestle.
Warners Bay – bye
This weekend Northern NSW Football’s premier competitions, the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues, Herald Women’s Premier League and NEWFM Northern League One will support prostate cancer awareness with the Men’s Health Round to take place this weekend on June 3rd and 4th.
Donations can be made at participating club match days or online at https://give.everydayhero.com/au/play-for-prostate-Health
Points table: Warners Bay 30, Merewether 27, Adamstown 14, Mid North Coast 11, South Wallsend 11, Wallsend 7, Thornton 3.