Herald WPL Round 4 Preview

March 31st, 2016

Renee Valentine

Adamstown v Thornton

At Adamstown No.2 Oval

Sunday, March 27 – 2.15pm First Grade kick off

Last start: Adamstown beat Warners Bay 5-1; Thornton lost 7-0 to Merewether.

Adamstown coach Ben Herron is expecting a fired-up Thornton when they play host to the Redbacks this weekend.

Thornton opened their 2016 campaign with a 3-1 win over Mid North Coast but last weekend were on the receiving end of a 7-0 rout by defending champions Merewether.

“I’ve known Al [Thornton coach Alan Primmer] for a few years now and I’m expecting a bit of a bounce back; no one likes to lie down after a 7-0 defeat and I expect they’ll have a point to prove,” Herron said.

Adamstown will carry momentum into the clash – they have made an unbeaten start to the season with wins over Merewether and Warners Bay and a draw with Wallsend.

Herron has an unchanged squad available for the clash and welcomes strong competition for starting positions.

Thornton will be without injured left-back Ashley Vickery (ankle) and coach Alan Primmer suggested he may make some subtle positional changes to counteract the loss.

Primmer said “there were a few girls second-guessing themselves” at training during the week but he was emphasising the fact that it was just one game and they had a new task to look up to for this weekend.

He expected the addition of Rhali Dobson this season would add some potency to Rosebud but suggested the smaller field of Adamstown No.2 might work in their favour to keep Dobson quiet if they hold their defensive structure.


Warners Bay v Wallsend

At Evans Park

Sunday, March 27 – 2.15pm First Grade kick off

Last start: Warners Bay lost 5-1 to Adamstown; Wallsend beat Mid North Coast 6-0.

Warners Bay will try to put a disrupted couple of weeks of training behind them when they chase their first points of the season against an unbeaten Wallsend side.

The Bay’s home ground is being reseeded and coach Leon Davis has been frustrated by the lack of a decent venue to train on in the interim and suggested they were still a few weeks off finding their feet.

Wallsend were well-drilled and near flawless in their 6-0 win over Mid North coast last weekend but coach Marc Hingston felt they could have been even more ruthless in front of goal and predicted goal accuracy would be the key to this match.

“We’re taking absolutely no notice of that result [5-1 loss to Adamstown] last week,” Hingston said.

“They are a quality side. Both teams play an attacking game and I think whoever is the most clinical in the front third will be the story of the game, and whichever goalkeeper is most on their game.”

Both sides have potent attacking power. Wallsend’s Jenna Kingsley scored four goals and could have had more against the Middies while Warners Bay have fellow W-league players Cassidy Davis and Adriana Jones in their arsenal.

Last week the Warners Bay coach rued his side’s poor conversion rate, saying they created more chances than Adamstown despite the four-goal loss but had too many shots off target.

Davis was working on a new game plan for this weekend and was keeping his cards close to his chest but indicated he would be having a “closer look at where player’s strengths are and will design a plan around that”.

“Wallsend have obviously got good form, they’ve got some quality players and have been scoring some good goals, so we are expecting a tough game,” Davis said.

Libby Copus-Brown (knee) did not play last weekend and remains in doubt for Wallsend along with MJ Mason, who sustained a hamstring injury against Mid North Coast.

Warners Bay should welcome back central defender Laura Rapley, who was unavailable last weekend.


South Wallsend v Merewether

At Walker Fields

Sunday, March 27 – 2.15pm First Grade kick off

Last starts: South Wallsend drew 3-3 with Mid North Coast; Merewether beat Thornton 7-0.

South Wallsend player-coach Elyce Bates said they would play like they had nothing to lose as they prepared to host defending champions Merewether in their first home game of the year.

“I think the thing we’ve got going for us is that we’re the underdogs a bit still and we don’t have anything to lose at this stage,” Bates said.

“Being the first home game is another big thing for us.”

Bates will instruct her side to shut down any potential long-range strikes and recognised Merewether had no shortage of attacking options.

Merewether coach Cassie Koppen was wary of South Wallsend’s unknown factor.

“I do know Gemma Pearce and Maddy Searl are always going to be in a competitive side and will be danger players,” Koppen said.

“I know they’re probably going to play an attacking style of football and we’ll need to shut down the danger players quickly and don’t give them any room to move.

“I would also expect some of the Valentine players from last year who are playing there to be seeking some revenge on us after the grand final,” Koppen concluded.

Merewether welcome back midfielder Jane McDonald but are still without injured trio Claire Mansfield, Carolina Cacic and Hannah Sunasky.

South Wallsend forward Laynee Field and midfielder Kirralee Gardner are yet to take the field due to injury this season and remain in doubt for this clash.

Both coaches are expecting to rely on several of their younger squad members to fill the breach this weekend.


Mid North Coast have the bye


Points table: Wallsend 7, Adamstown 7, Merewether 6, Thornton 3, South Wallsend 1, Mid North Coast 1, Warners Bay 0.

Leading scorers: Jenna Kingsley 7, Naomi Abbott 3, Jasmin Courtenay 3, Sarah Halvorsen 2, Laura Austin 2, Bianca Mason 2, Leticia Quinlan 2, Lori Depczynski 2, Olivia Trinka 2, Rhali Dobson 2, Maddison Stockham 1, Sarah Moore 1, Jamee Ellis 1, Jane McDonald 1, Nadja Squires 1, Sophie Jones 1, Briony Halcombe 1, Cassidy Davis 1.


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