By Renee Valentine
Breast Cancer Awareness round. Players from each home club will wear pink socks this weekend as part of the Herald WPL fundraising round for Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF) Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).
Match of the Round
Warners Bay FC v Adamstown Rosebud FC
Sunday 2pm at John Street Oval
Last time they met: Adamstown won 4-0.
Last starts: Warners Bay lost 5-1 to Thornton on Wednesday night; Adamstown beat Wallsend 5-0 on Wednesday night.
Position on ladder: Warners Bay seventh (7 points); Adamstown second (21 points).
Warners Bay coach Jason Daniluck will head back to the drawing board in preparation for their clash with competition heavyweights Adamstown after a 5-1 loss to Thornton on Wednesday night.
“Generally our play was pretty poor,” Daniluck said. “We just didn’t hold the ball well enough. We gave away goals too easily and gave away possession too easily.”
Warners Bay have conceded 16 goals in the past three games and Daniluck was well aware of the damage Rosebud could cause this weekend if his players are not focused for the match.
“I’m hoping we show up, otherwise it could be a cricket score,” he said. “We’ve got to go up against Adamstown with a fresh mind and hopefully we’ll be in the game for a while.
“I think we can hold our own with any team but we just don’t hold it for long enough. But all is not lost yet – we’ve just got to go back to the drawing board.”
Daniluck said one positive on a dark night was the effort of 15-year-old Jade Walker in scoring Warners Bay’s sole goal against Thornton.
Meanwhile, Adamstown coach John Jiggins finally got to unveil American imports Taylor Gerstenfield and Stephanie Tuccio in their 5-0 win against Wallsend on Wednesday night.
The pair have been waiting on clearances to play and were impressive in their first outing for Rosebud.
“We had a quality backline, quality finishes, some brilliant individual goals and good team work and that’s the bottom line,” Jiggins said.
“The two Americans played and they were excellent. They’ve come in and complemented the side and we’ve got a quality side now.”
Lauren Allan scored her second hat-trick in four days and Clare Cummings added a brace against Wallsend.
Warners Bay will still be without injured goalkeeper Teagen Jones while Adamstown will be at full strength.
Thornton Redbacks FC v Merewether United FC
Saturday 2pm at Thornton Park
Last time they met: Merewether won 3-0.
Last start: Merewether beat Valentine 3-2 on Wednesday night; Thornton defeated Warners Bay 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Position on ladder: Merewether first (24 points); Thornton fifth (8 points).
Thornton bounced back from a six-goal drubbing at the hands of Adamstown to down Warners Bay 5-1 midweek and gain some much-needed confidence heading into their clash with league leaders Merewether this weekend.
Redbacks coach Alan Primmer was pleased with the way his charges responded to the six-goal capitulation against Rosebud and credited the win over Warners Bay to “a different attitude and physicality that we didn’t have on the weekend”.
Meanwhile, United continued their unbeaten streak when they came from behind for the second time in three days to down Valentine 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Merewether coach Cass Koppen praised her players’ resolve to regain the ascendancy against Phoenix and conceded “this season is only going to get tougher”.
“When we went 1-0 down we responded immediately and I was extremely happy with the character of the girls to come back and score straight away,” Koppen said.
Thornton will be without defender Jade Holz due to unavailability and United will be missing Sarah Halvorsen, Meaghan McDonald and Ellie Withers.
South Wallsend JSC v Valentine FC
Sunday 2pm at Walker Field
Last time they met: 3-3 draw.
Last start: South Wallsend lost 2-1 to Merewether last Sunday; Valentine lost 3-2 to Merewether on Wednesday night.
Position on ladder: South Wallsend sixth (7 points); Valentine third (10 points).
Crucial points will be up for grabs when these two sides meet this weekend.
Valentine forfeited a 1-0 lead in their 3-2 loss to league leaders Merewether on Wednesday night and will be keen to bounce back with a strong showing against South Wallsend to retain third place in the league.
The two teams drew last time they met and South Wallsend coach Marc Hingston was confident they were capable of getting a win this weekend.
“It was a three-all draw last time we played them and with the calibre of players they’ve got I was pretty happy with that,” he said.
“But we are determined to beat them this time around. It is important to play well against Valentine, Warners Bay and Wallsend because whoever wins the majority of those matches against each other can take third spot.”
Hingston pinpointed Valentine’s “engine room with Hannah Brewer, Gemma Pearce, Maddy Searl and Cassidy Davis” as a danger and conceded “if those four have a day out you’re in a bit of trouble”.
Valentine women’s football manager Terry Campbell was expecting a “hard game against a good, young side” this weekend.
South Wallsend welcome back captain and key player Laura Hall, who was unavailable last weekend.
Football Mid North Coast v Wallsend FC
Sunday 2pm at Fairmont Park
Last time they met: Mid North Coast won 3-0.
Last starts: Mid North Coast lost 2-0 to Valentine last Sunday; Wallsend lost 5-0 to Adamstown on Wednesday night.
Position on ladder: Mid North Coast eighth (4 points); Wallsend fourth (8 points).
Wallsend coach Rob Botham blamed “a couple of amateur mistakes” for their 5-0 loss to Adamstown on Wednesday night and remained confident of a good showing on the Mid North Coast this weekend.
“We were in it, just a couple of mistakes in a row let us down,” Botham said.
“We missed a penalty and hit the crossbar. But we are getting quicker and quicker and we’ll learn a lot from that.”
Mid North Coast won when the two sides last met but coach Matt Baker conceded Wallsend “were missing two key players last time and I’m expecting a lot stronger and a lot harder team this time”.
The home side welcome Hayley Burn back into the squad full-time – she has only played a handful of games due to other commitments – and Baker was hoping the attacking player could add some much-needed punch up front.
“She gives us another senior player in the squad. She trained really well the other night and if she can put together what she did at training, let’s hope that’s the case,” Baker said.
Baker said creativity in the final third and maintaining intensity for the full 90 minutes remained his biggest areas of concern.