Herald Women’s Premier League Round 17 Preview

June 28th, 2018




Match of the Round

South Wallsend v New Lambton

Sunday 1st June, 2:30 pm

Walker Fields

Last start: South Wallsend drew 1-1 with Wallsend on Wednesday night, New Lambton lost 3-1 to Warners Bay

Position on ladder: South Wallsend 5th, 6 points; New Lambton 3rd, 21 points

Squad news

South Wallsend welcome back Gabrielle Brodie and new recruit Gema Simon will play her first match for the Wolves. New Lambton are expected to be at full strength.

What the coaches say

New Lambton coach Keelan Hamilton said his side isn’t focused on anything in particular but hoping to do the simple things well.

“For us, it’s about long-term development and continuing to improve on those smaller aspects that make a big difference,” Hamilton said.

“Sass Seaborn has been a dangerous player in the league for a number of years now and with Gema Simon coming into the squad, they will be a very tough opponent.

“They are a good quality side with plenty of experienced players and they beat us last time so we know the challenge ahead of us.

“We will need to be switched on and focused from the beginning because Southy are quick off the mark, but we are confident we can get the result we want.”

South Wallsend coach Brad Parkes believed four games in two weeks is a demanding schedule but his side is up for the task.

“Last time we played New Lambton, it was an end to end game, with Tara Andrews and Georgia Amess being standout players,” Parkes said.

“They are a young side with a few experienced players and can quickly make you pay if you lose focus, so it’s important we are in it from the beginning.

“I think the key for us is to stay tight defensively and if we can limit their key players, we have a good chance of winning on Sunday.”

Bottom line

It’s a do or die match for South Wallsend who are desperate for the points to keep their hopes of playing finals football alive. The points difference on the ladder between these two teams speaks an unkind story for the Wolves, but that won’t be a factor on Sunday afternoon. Last time these two sides met, it was a goal scoring affair, with South Wallsend walking away with a 6-5 victory. Both sides have quality in their ranks and are quick off the mark, which makes being clinical in front of goal likely to be the deciding factor.


Wallsend v Merewether

Sunday 1st June, 2:30 pm

The Gardens

Last start: Wallsend drew 1-1 with South Wallsend, Merewether drew 2-2 with Warners Bay

Position on ladder: Wallsend 4th, 7 points; Merewether 2nd, 22 points

Squad news

Wallsend is still without Laura Hall and both Georgia Minors and Brooke Summers are in doubt.

What the coaches say

Wallsend coach Marc Hingston said his side has prepared well and is feeling confident heading into an important match.

“Our biggest downfall this year has been losing the ball in dangerous areas,” Hingston said.

“We have periods of dominance where we play really well but then we sort of lose ourselves a little bit.

“Merewether has too many good players with great counter-attacking abilities and they thrive on loose balls near the box.

“It’s definitely something we have been aware of but we need to have control in the first two thirds so we can be more adventurous in the final third.

“I think this game is more about individual battles and we need to make sure we have someone confident marking Rhali out of the game because she is a quality player.

“They have a strong midfield who can play balls in behind so for us, isolating their midfield will shut down their strike power up front and that will be a big focus for us.

Bottom line

Wallsend hasn’t recorded a victory over Merewether since 2016 in round 21 and narrowly holds the fourth spot on the ladder. The facts may have it appear as a one-sided affair, but it is anything but, with Wallsend recording a 1-1 draw with South Wallsend last night. This match will come down to attacking opportunities and moving the ball effectively through the midfield to create chances. Both sides have shown goalscoring form, with the battle likely to be won in the front third.


Adamstown v Warners Bay

Sunday 1st June, 2:30 pm

Adamstown No.1 Oval

Last start: Adamstown drew 1-1 with Merewether, Warners Bay beat New Lambton 3-1.

Position on ladder: Adamstown last, 5 points; Warners Bay 1st, 29 points

Squad news

Adamstown goalkeeper Olivia Sneddon is in doubt to make her return and Chelsea Lucas is out with a season-ending knee injury. Tayla Gregory will miss the game due to work commitments with a replacement still to be decided.

What the coaches say

Adamstown coach Paul Devitis said playing Merewether and Warners Bay back to back is beneficial as they are similar in both attack and defence.

“Warners Bay are a very tough opponent because their midfield is so strong,” Devitis said.

“Players like Cass and Tara are always dangerous and they can put a good ball through to Jenna who finishes well.

“It’s important for us to be disciplined and play for 90 minutes because when we put in a complete performance, we can compete with the top teams.

“We obviously need goals and with a side like Warners Bay, you probably need a couple of goals to put the game to bed.

“It’s going to be great to watch Lauren and Jenna go head to head because both players are quite similar with how they play and finish. The girls and I are definitely looking forward to it.”

Warners Bay player-coach Cass Davis wasn’t focusing on their position on the ladder heading into the game.

“Adamstown is a quality side and we are well aware of how dangerous they can be,” Davis said.

“They are strong across the park and they have Lauren up front who is definitely a key player that we need to mark well because she is their main goal scorer.

“We are looking forward to playing them again because it’s always a good game of football and they are a great team to play against.”

Bottom line

Warners Bay may appear as clear-cut winners on paper given their position on the ladder, but Adamstown has caused headaches in the past for the competition heavyweights. The two sides couldn’t be separated in round three and the Buds defence worked tirelessly to contain dangerous striker Jenna Kingsley, which is difficult to do. Adamstown has a mix of young and experienced players which can be beneficial when going up against a team full of energy and smart play. This battle will be won up front, with the key match-up being Jenna Kingsley v Lauren Allan. Both sides have their work cut out for them defensively but are capable of taking the three points.

Related Topics:
Premier Competitions WPL

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