Match of the Round
Cessnock City Hornets FC v Cooks Hill United FC
Turner Park, Sunday 2.30pm
Cooks Hill United coach David Tanchevski is way of the challenge Cessnock City will pose at home in the round four Match of the Round on Sunday.
Cooks Hill make the journey to the refurbished Turner Park looking simply to get time on the pitch after having a disrupted start to the campaign.
A wash out in round one, a bye in round two and the week off for the Easter long weekend mean Cooks Hill have only played one match in the first month of the competition so far.
Their bad luck continued midweek when Kurri Kurri JSC forfeited the FFA Cup third round match scheduled between the clubs leaving Cooks Hill short of match sharpness.
“Cessnock look like they’ve being done quite well so far,” Cooks Hill head coach David Tanchevski said.
“Turner Park is always a tough place to go. They are always good at home.
“We’re looking forward to getting another match under the belt.”
While Cooks Hill have struggled to get out on the park they haven’t struggled once they are out there, thrashing South Cardiff 6-1 in round three last weekend.
Cody Carroll should return to the Cooks Hill side after a stint with injury.
Cessnock are coming off a tight 1-0 defeat to West Wallsend with the Hornets suffering yet more injuries, severely testing their squad depth.
“Getting a full team on the pitch is aim number one,” Cessnock coach Michael Gatt said.
“We will continue to stick to the game plan and do our best with the players we have available.”
Singleton Strikers v West Wallsend SFC
Howe Park, Saturday 2.30pm
Fourth-placed Singleton host third-placed West Wallsend in what should be a competitive match between the sides.
Both with two wins to their name, each team will be looking for the win to prove their position early in the competition.
Reigning champions Singleton are coming off a 2-1 win over Kahibah in round three.
The Strikers should have four of their players back who missed out on the Kahibah game, with the three who were sent off in the FFA Cup match against Thornton now having served their suspensions.
Singleton coach Brendan Slade said his side would hope to keep possession for longer periods of time against West Wallsend.
“It will be a tough game but it would good to get a win over West Wallsend,” Slade said.
“[They key for us] will be trying to contain Josh Carroll and Luke Willard who are in good form.”
West Wallsend are coming off a victory over Cessnock which makes it two wins from two outings for the Bluebells.
West Wallsend downed a spirited Warners Bay side 3-2 in their FFA Cup third round clash on Tuesday night but coach Darren Sills was not happy with how his side performed.
“It is not the easiest of away games to get the points [at Singleton],” Sills said.
“We still haven’t played our best football yet. Hopefully we improve this weekend.
“We’ve still got some injuries around the squad with three players in doubt.”
Thornton Redbacks FC v Toronto Awaba FC
Thornton Park, Saturday 5pm
Toronto Awaba will look for their first points of the season when they travel to Thornton Park to take on the Redbacks.
Thornton are coming off a hard fought 3-1 loss to top of the table New Lambton but should line up with more strength as three players who were absent for last weekend’s game return.
Thornton failed to beat Toronto last season but will hope to change that streak on Saturday.
“Our aim is to concentrate a lot better this week,” Thornton co coach Scott Winslade said.
“We need to go out with a lot more belief.
“It is always a very physical game and we hope to let our football do the talking.”
South Cardiff FC v Belmont Swansea United
Ulinga Oval, Sunday 2.45pm
South Cardiff host a well-rested Belmont Swansea United on Sunday after BelSwans enjoyed the round three bye following the Easter long weekend break.
South Cardiff will look to bounce back after suffering a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Cooks Hill United last weekend.
The Gunners head into the match coming off playing Westlakes Wildcats in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night.
BelSwans will look to build on their 7-3 trouncing of Toronto Awaba in the FFA Cup last time out. The result should give Andre Gumprecht’s side confidence as they line up this weekend with a full squad, with every player on deck.
“It will be a very different game for us. They are coming from some mixed results. We are expecting a focused and hardworking team,” Gumprecht said.
“It is early days. Every team, every club are finding their form and it is the same for us.”
Wallsend FC v Kahibah FC
The Gardens, Sunday 6.30pm
Wallsend are coming off a convincing win over Toronto Awaba in which they found their scoring boots, finding the back of the net four times.
Kahibah will look for their first points of the season after a close battle played against Singleton.
Wallsend should have a full squad who are fit and ready to play. After a win at home, despite being the away team against Toronto Awaba, the Red Devils will look for another positive result at The Gardens.
With some new players coming into the squad this year, the team has been working on gelling together and creating new combinations.
Craig Tslembis has prepared his side to be weary of how lethal their opponents can be from set pieces.
Kahibah will look to get “all bodies on deck and hopefully get a good result,” according to coach Mat Moncrieff.
As Kahibah prepare for the weekend they have kept in mind the unique style of football Wallsend play and hope they can beat it.
The Rams also aim to be more clinical in front of goal as they have only found the back of the net once so far this campaign.