Competitions

NEWFM 1st Division Round 6 Preview

April 7th, 2016

 

Match of the Round

Cooks Hills United FC v South Cardiff FC

Saturday, April 9, 2.30pm

Newcastle Athletics Field

Mid-table teams Cooks Hill and South Cardiff are aiming to shore up their defence in the push for higher honours when they clash in the NewFM First Division match of the round on Saturday at Newcastle Athletics Field.

Cooks Hills are fresh from the bye and sit fifth on six points from four games. They have had 7-4 and 7-2 wins over Cessnock City and Toronto Awaba respectively but lost to Wallsend 2-1 and Kahibah 7-2.

Despite retaining only three players from last year’s team, new coach Blake Glennie has found instant success with his potent attack but had a difficult time finding the right mix at the back.

He believes Cooks Hill should show their true colours in the next month.

“Consistency has been our biggest problem,” Glennie said.

“In the front third we’ve been really good and scored some great goals, but the hard thing has been that it’s basically a completely new team.

“I’ve been trying to find the best line-up. The two holding midfielders and back four have been chopped and changed and even though we’ve had players unavailable at times, I’ve got to put my hand up for that a bit.

“That’s no excuse. We shouldn’t have conceded some of the goals we have, but I think I’ve got those positions sorted now and I think over the next three to four weeks we should get some consistency.”

Strengthening Cooks Hill’s defence is the acquisition of Adamstown under-22 goalkeeper Jack Symons, who Glennie said would soon come into the first-grade side.

South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer had similar frustrations with his side’s defence in a 2-1 loss to Toronto Awaba last week.

Packer said his players went away from the game plan at the back and paid the price to go two goals down before scoring late. The defeat left the Gunners in eighth on four points from five games.

Defender Cameron Treweek returns to bolster Packer’s squad, while midfield presence Winstone Oku is back from suspension. Drew Chapman came off with a shoulder injury early in last week’s loss and is in doubt for the Cooks Hill game. Teenager Adam Nicholas impressed as his replacement and is set to keep his place in the team.

 

Belmont Swansea United FC v Toronto Awaba FC

Saturday, April 9, 2.30pm

Blacksmiths Oval

Belmont Swansea will be out to defend their unbeaten start to the season against a resurgent Toronto Awaba on Saturday at Blacksmiths Oval.

Belswans came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Kahibah last week and stay top of the league.

Coach Brad Paul expected little change in his line-up after they came through the top-of-the-table clash unscathed.

“We should be pretty much the same line-up as last week,” Paul said.

“There’s a couple of players with niggles, but they should be fine.

“We had Josh O’Bryan return to training this week, but Matt Carroll and Kyle Wilson are still unavailable.”

They face a Stags side flying high after back-to-back wins either side of the bye to be sixth on six points.

After heavy losses to Wallsend and Cooks Hill, Tony Jovcevski’s new-look side defeated Cessnock City 4-2 and South Cardiff 2-1 but will need to improve again to challenge an in-form Belswans.

 

West Wallsend SFS v Singleton Strikers FC

Saturday, April 9, 2.30pm

Johnston Park

West Wallsend will be without Tye Jones and potentially three other senior players for the clash with Singleton on Saturday at Johnston Park after a costly FFA Cup loss midweek.

Jones will be suspended after receiving two yellow cards in the 2-0 defeat to Thornton Redbacks on Wednesday night at Thornton Park, while Jarrod Olivieri and Jarryd Jones were injured. Olivieri hurt his calf and Jones his ribs and both could miss the Singleton game. Goalkeeper Tyler Warren is also in doubt after picking up a cork in the 3-2 loss to Thornton in the NewFM First Division last Sunday.

Singleton, meanwhile, have picked up an import to bolster their midfield as they aim to hit back from a 6-0 loss to Lake Macquarie last week.

Sam Ford, an English-born midfielder from Brunei, received his international transfer clearance this week and will replace the suspended Zane Hand against the Bluebells.

Hand picked up two yellow cards last week inside half an hour as the Roosters displayed their firepower.

Corey Cleaver is unavailable for Singleton but coach David Willoughby said they were otherwise full strength and keen to bounce back against West Wallsend.

“The playing group are looking forward to Westy on Saturday,” Willoughby said.

“They trained very well on Tuesday with a high intensity.”

 

Lake Macquarie City FC v Kahibah FC 

Sunday, April 10, 2.30pm

Macquarie Field

Lake Macquarie and Kahibah are confident of overcoming niggling injuries to field unchanged sides when they clash at Macquarie Field on Sunday in one of the most anticipated matches of the season so far.

Kahibah and Lake Macquarie have scored 19 goals each in four and five games respectively and sit inside the top four.

Kahibah are unbeaten in 2016 after an outstanding debut in the league last year when fourth, while Lake Macquarie were second in 2015 and have recruited well under new coach Anthony Richards.

Last year’s leading goalscorer, Sam Walker, has an ankle problem which has restricted him to 45 minutes in each of the past two games for Lake Macquarie, while Kahibah player-coach Andre Gumprecht came off with a tight calf in the 2-2 draw with Belswans last week.

However, Gumprecht and Richards reported no likely changes to their line-ups for the round six clash.

Gumprecht conceded his side and were lucky to get away with a draw against a fast-finishing Belswans despite leading 2-0, while Richards was pleased with the performance in a 6-0 away win over Singleton last round.

 

Thornton Redbacks FC v Wallsend FC

Sunday, April 10, 2.30pm

Thornton Park

Second-placed Wallsend travel to meet a battle-weary Thornton Redbacks on Sunday.

Thornton defeated West Wallsend 2-0 on Wednesday night in their postponed FFA Cup match, which came three days after their 3-2 win over the Bluebells in the NewFM First Division.

Jacob Robinson scored Thornton’s goals in the knockout win midweek and although coach Darrel McAllister said his side picked up no major injuries in the game, the Redbacks were finding it tough.

“It looks like we’ll have a few out,” McAllister said.

“There’s no injuries from the game, only the weekend’s game and a few are battle-weary from playing both games, which were pretty physical.”

Wallsend coach Josh Rufo, whose side defeated Cessnock City 2-0 last week, said the Red Devils had no injury concerns and were at full strength for the match.

The defending major premiers are second on 12 points from five games, while Thornton scored their first points of the season with the victory over West Wallsend.

 

Cessnock City FC – Bye

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