NEWFM 1st Division Round 2 Preview

March 10th, 2016

Lake Macquarie City FC v Wallsend FC
Sunday March 13, 2.30pm
Macquarie Field 

​Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards expects his players’ disappointment in their performance in last week’s 4-3 loss to Belmont Swansea to bring out an improved effort against Wallsend on Sunday in Round Two of the NewFM First Division competition.

​The Roosters, last year’s runners-up in the minor premiership, are tipped to be among the top sides again this year under new coach Richards but they were below par in the season opener. Down 4-1, they scored twice late to bring respectability to the score line.

Despite the performance, Richards did not expect to make changes to his line-up, which came through the match unscathed.

“We were just cruising along and all of a sudden it was 4-1,” he said.

“It was fairly even in play but they were just a lot keener than us. I think our guys were waiting for someone else to do something and they just expected it to happen.

“It’s not good enough but they were very disappointed in themselves and I’m sure they will want to turn it around.”

Wallsend, meanwhile, started with a 4-1 win over a determined 10-man Toronto-Awaba with goals to Jake Kepreotes (2), Paul Wheeler and Chris Gazzard.

Coach Josh Rufo was pleased with the performance and this week he welcomes back Daniel Rufo and veteran striker David Hodgson, who were unavailable for the opener.

Rufo did not believe he would make too many changes sides to his squad, which is almost identical to the one which won the grand final last year and finished just behind the Roosters on the table.

Wallsend had more wins than Lake Macquarie in their return to first division last year and both clubs have high hopes of premiership glory this year and a place in the 2017 National Premier League, ensuring a fierce battle on Sunday in the match of the round.


Belmont Swansea United FC v West Wallsend FC
Saturday March 12, 2.30pm
​Blacksmiths Oval

​Belmont Swansea and West Wallsend are on a high after claiming big scalps in round one and coming through without major injury or incident.

West Wallsend, the ‘wooden spooners’ last year, toppled South Cardiff 3-2 in the Gunners’ first match in the second-tier following their last-place finish in the 2015 NPL.

Belmont Swansea overcame the pre-season loss of incoming coach Graham Jones ​to shock Lake Macquarie 4-3.

Coach Brad Paul was thrilled with the performance and believed his side would be competitive against all opposition this season if they kept the same positive frame of mind.

​Paul said Belmont Swansea should have Captain Joel Shearer and new recruit Mitch Haasnoot, who has come over from Charlestown City, back this week.

“We’re in a good position with plenty of players competing for spots,” Paul said.

​West Wallsend coach Gary Rowe was happy with his side’s first-up win but believed they should have scored more goals after often getting in behind South Cardiff’s defence.

Tye Jones, who scored from the spot against South Cardiff, is out this week, along with Jarryd Jones. Bryson Cox comes in for West Wallsend, who look set for a tougher challenge in round two. ​


South Cardiff FC ​v Thornton Redbacks FC
​Sunday March 13, 2.30​pm
​Ulinga Park

​Thornton Redbacks make their first appearance of the season after having the round one bye and coach Darrel McAllister is on guard against a new-look South Cardiff.

Thornton finished eighth last year after making the finals the previous campaign and have boosted their roster at both ends of the park this year.

Long-time Weston striker Jamie Subat and speedster Ben Henry, who was at Maitland last year, have joined Thornton, along with centre-back Kieran Kerr, a RAAF employee new to the area.

“Last year we didn’t score enough goals and we had a young backline,” McAllister said.

“​We’ve added to the areas we needed to, we’ve had a good pre-season and hopefully that carries over into the competition​.”

Despite South Cardiff’s opening loss, McAllister was wary of the rebuilding Gunners.

“They are a young side and they have brought in some new players, and in a way that makes them more of a worry than the sides you know about,” he said.

​”We’ll just go there prepared, be on guard early and go from there.”

South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer did not expect to make changes to his line-up, who he said needed to learn quickly against more experienced opponents this season.


 Toronto-Awaba FC v​ ​Cooks Hill United FC
Sunday March 13​​,​ 2.30pm
Lyall Peacock Field

Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie will look to new signings Aiden Palozzi and Zac Douglas to give his side a boost against Toronto-Awaba after their 7-2 loss to Kahibah in round one.

Kahibah won the second half 5-0 to expose the inexperience of Cooks Hill in hot conditions last week but Glennie was excited about the additions of former Lambton Jaffas Palozzi and Douglas.

He said they would be among four likely changes to the side. The others were the addition of Jackson Pett and Tim Rogers.

“Aiden and Zac should help us enormously,” Glennie said.

“They are quality players, but also their experience of playing in a higher division will be important for us.”

Toronto-Awaba coach Tony Jovcevski ​was proud of his side’s effort in a 4-1 loss to Wallsend last week but they face another test this week.

The Stags will be without goalscorer Nick Roberts, who was sent off early in the second half against Wallsend for a second yellow card and is suspended.

Toronto-Awaba were 1-1 with Wallsend before the send-off and Jovcevski said his players never stopped trying against the class opposition.

Jovcevski said he was likely to be missing other players through injury and work but his squad would “give it a shot” again.


 Cessnock City FC v Kahibah FC
Sunday March ​13​, 2.30pm
Turner Park 1 

​Cessnock City coach Stephen Thomson hopes an encouraging first-up effort can help his side overcome the loss of four players this week against a red-hot Kahibah.

A 10-man Cessnock had a 1-1 draw with Singleton Strikers in stifling heat last week but they will be without Anthony Bower and at least three other players for round two.

Bower was sent off with about 10 minutes remaining last week for a second yellow card and is suspended. Thomson expected at least three other players to be out for work and injury reasons but said the squad would take confidence from the opening-round display.

“We’re going to be light on for a few weeks with a lot of people away, but we’ve picked up a few players as well,” Thomson said.

“We played well last week and had good structure in the midfield. A few people wrote us off after our FFA Cup results but I think we showed we’ll be competitive this year.”

​Kahibah captain-coach Andre Gumprecht said his side would be without Colvin Williams for six to eight weeks because of torn ankle ligaments.

However, Kahibah welcome back Andrew Darr and Jarrod Penfold, who missed the first-round win with work and family commitments.​


​Singleton Strikers FC – Bye


Related Topics:
1st Division Premier Competitions

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