Warners Bay v South Wallsend
Sunday, April 16, 2.15pm
At John St Oval
Last start: Warners Bay beat Thornton 5-0; South Wallsend lost 2-0 to Adamstown
Coach Leon Davis hopes Warners Bay can continue the form which netted their first win of the season last weekend but was wary of a South Wallsend side who appear close to registering their own breakthrough victory.
“Obviously they’ve got a team that hasn’t quite hit their straps yet, hopefully they don’t hit them on Sunday,” Davis said.
South Wallsend have been steadily improving with each outing and
player-coach Elyce Bates felt the addition of strike weapon Laynee Field this weekend could be prove the catalyst for their first win.
“She trained for the first time in a few weeks on Tuesday night and at this stage it looks like she’ll be starting,” Bates said.
“The girls who have been playing up there, that is not their usual position, so it will be good to have Laynee back.
“She will be handy to have as our hit man.”
Bates made some positional changes for their round-five match-up with Adamstown and indicated she would stick to the same side for Warners Bay.
“We definitely played better and created some better chances,” she said.
“Warners Bay have got a few key players and we’ll be looking to definitely shut them out of the game, but I think we can match it with them.”
Finishing their chances remains South Wallsend’s biggest issue. They have not scored a goal since their three-all draw with Mid North Coast in round two.
Warners Bay are still without Taylah Smith (injury) and goalkeeper Nikki Dieter (unavailability) but Davis expected to field an unchanged side from their dominant 5-0 win over Thornton.
He also expected the fact both sides have players from Valentine’s grand final side of last year would add some excitement to the clash.
Thornton v Wallsend
Sunday, April 16, 2.15pm
At Thornton Park
Last start: Thornton were beaten 5-0 by Warners Bay; Wallsend are coming off the bye but had a one-all draw with Warners Bay in their last outing.
Wallsend coach Marc Hingston has issued his team the challenge of producing a strong 90-minute performance against Thornton this weekend to set themselves up for some tough games ahead.
The Red Devils sit third after an unbeaten start to the season but have defending champions Merewether and competition pace-setters Adamstown both looming in coming weeks.
“In all four games so far we have played well in patches but we want a strong performance for 90 minutes to give us confidence heading into the next three games of Merewether, Southy and Adamstown,” Hingston said.
That did not mean they were expecting an easy game against the Redbacks and Hingston remained wary of their round-six opponents.
“They can play some really good football,” Hingston said.
“They have a fantastic coach and have enough there to cause some damage if we are not on our game.
“And I am sure they will be up for a big performance after last weekend, so we need to perform well,” Hingston concluded.
Wallsend welcome back Jets striker Libby Copus-Brown after a three-week absence due to injury but Keely Gawthrop (quadriceps) and Taylah Wilks (knee) are both in doubt.
Thornton have players Ashley Vickery and Naomi Abbott in doubt through injury.
Redbacks coach Alan Primmer was expecting a “young and quick” side from Wallsend and thought “Marc will have them playing fairly high tempo”.
“We had a good session on Tuesday night and spoke about a few of the defensive frailties from the game last weekend,” Primmer said.
“We’ve just got to try to respect the ball more, which is a common theme,” Primmer concluded.
Adamstown v Mid North Coast
Sunday, April 16, 2.15pm
At Adamstown No.2 Oval
Last start: Adamstown beat South Wallsend 2-0; Mid North Coast lost 1-0 to Merewether
Mid North Coast coach Matt Baker said his side “must go into the game with a positive attitude that we can win this game” as they chase their first victory this year.
He acknowledged it would be a tough task taking points off competition pace-setters Adamstown but said they had taken heart from a strong showing in a 1-0 loss to defending champions Merewether last weekend.
“If we can improve on the last game we should create some good chances in front of goals but we need to be more aggressive inside the box to capitalise on those chances,” Baker said.
“Jannah Gillet’s first game as captain this year was a solid performance and she led the girls well. Let’s hope she continues to lead this young team around and show the leadership required by a captain.”
Baker will name an unchanged squad while Rosebud will be without defender Taylor Gregory through unavailability.
Adamstown coach Ben Herron was not taking any notice of Mid North Coast’s position on the ladder as they prepared to host the young side.
“We’re a bit wary of Mid North Coast, who we understand play an energetic style of football and have the ability to take the game to us, so we need to make sure we are switched on,” Herron said.
“We will be trying to keep on going how we’ve been going and this week we have talked about how we need to capitalise on those chances we are creating to give ourselves a bit of breathing space in games and not leave games in the balance,” Herron concluded.
Merewether have the bye
Herald WPL Points Table: Adamstown 13, Merewether 12, Wallsend 8, Warners Bay 4, Thornton 3, Mid North Coast 1, South Wallsend 1.