NEWFM 1st Division Round 7 Preview

April 14th, 2016

Match of the Round
Cooks Hill United FC v Belmont Swansea United FC
Saturday, April 16, 2.30pm
Newcastle Athletics Field

Belmont Swansea will go back to a 4-3-3 formation with the return of centre-back Luke Cook from injury when they try to retake the competition lead against Cooks Hill in the match of the round at Newcastle Athletics Field on Saturday.

Cook started in the opening two wins of the season but missed the next two before returning to the bench in draws against Kahibah and Toronto Awaba.

Assistant coach Mick Stafford said Belswans would switch from a 3-5-2 formation used in the frustrating scoreless stalemate with Toronto Awaba last week to a 4-3-3 shape with Cook back in the centre of defence.

Hayden Hemson, who missed the draw with work commitments, is also back to bolster the Belswans bench as they look to jump back ahead of Wallsend on the table. Wallsend went a point clear of Belswans at the top of the table last week but have the bye this round.

Goalkeeper Nick Popel was a star for Belswans last week and will again need to be sharp against the Cooks Hills attack, which has scored 18 goals in just five games.

Cooks Hill sit fifth, just a point outside the top four, with nine points after a 1-0 win over South Cardiff last week. Tom Sparre scored in the win to have five goals for the season. Jackson Pett also has five goals.

Coach Blake Glennie said it will be unlikely that he will make any changes to his line-up.


Kahibah FC v West Wallsend SFC
Saturday, April 16, 2.30pm
Kahibah Oval

West Wallsend will likely be down on senior players when they face a fourth-placed Kahibah side aiming to bounce back in their first home game of the year.

Kahibah lost 3-2 to Lake Macquarie last week to drop from third to fourth place on 10 points from five games. Despite the loss, it has been a strong start to the season for Kahibah, especially considering they are yet to play at home.

They get the chance this week against a West Wallsend side missing Zac Parkes and the suspended Tye Jones. The Bluebells are likely to be also without Jarryd Jones and Jarrod Olivieri.

Tye Jones was sent off in the 2-0 loss to Thornton in the FFA Cup and received a two-game ban, which covered the 1-1 draw with Singleton last week and this week’s clash at Kahibah.

Jarryd Jones has damaged ribs and missed the Singleton match, while Olivieri battled through a calf problem to score the last-minute equaliser against the Strikers last week.

West Wallsend coach Gary Rowe said Olivieri and Jarryd Jones were “very unlikely” to play Kahibah, while left-back Parkes was away.

West Wallsend are seventh on five points from six games.

Kahibah player-coach Andre Gumprecht said all of his players from last week were fine and ready to go.


Singleton Strikers FC v Thornton Redbacks FC
Sunday, April 17, 2.30pm
Howe Park

Thornton Redbacks will be without as many as nine players when they travel to Howe Park to take on the Singleton Strikers on Sunday.

Tallan Martin, who scored Thornton’s two goals in a 5-2 loss to Wallsend last week, has joined Jamie Subat, Jason Walton, Liam Penglaze, goalkeeper Mick Hugo, Jason Thomas and Keiran Kerr on the casualty list, while attacking weapons Nathan McAllister and Ben Henry did not train on Wednesday night and are in doubt for the Singleton game.

Coach Darrel McAllister was hopeful of getting Steve Cummings back but was bracing for a tough trip to Singleton with an understrength side.

“Our depth is really getting tested at the moment, but we have some good young kids who we will give a chance and we’ll see how we go,” McAllister said.

Thornton have three points from a win over West Wallsend and sit ahead of Singleton on goal difference.

The Strikers drew 1-1 with West Wallsend last round in their first home game of the season and will this week be without goalkeeper Stuart Plant, who was sent off midway through the second half against the Bluebells.

Ryan Guihot, who came off the bench to save a penalty last week, will start, while Zane Hand returns from suspension and Rob Field is back after missing the draw with work commitments last week.

Coach David Willoughby was disappointed his side did not lead by more than one goal last week when they went a man down. Singleton have mixed losses with three 1-1 draws this year and Willoughby wanted his team to take more of their chances.

“We are still missing Corey Cleaver on leave, but everyone else is fit and preparing for our second home game of the campaign,” he said.

“Morale is high and we are working hard on tightening up our front third final passes and option-taking.”


Lake Macquarie City FC v Toronto Awaba FC
Sunday, April 17, 2.30pm
Macquarie Field

Lake Macquarie skipper Tom Walker will be a spectator when the Roosters take on a resurgent Toronto Awaba at Macquarie Field on Sunday.

Walker broke his wrist two weeks ago but played in the 3-2 win over Kahibah last week not knowing the extent of the injury.

State League veteran Sean Matthews comes into the squad for Walker and will be aiming to play his 200th game for the club this year.

The utility joins an in-form Roosters line-up who are third in 13 points from six games.

Toronto Awaba are another form team in the competition after backing up consecutive wins with a 0-0 draw over Belmont Swansea last week.

Coach Tony Jovcevski did not envisage any changes to his side, who have turned around their season after two losses to start the year.

Jovcevski is in his first season in charge at the Stags and is working with an almost entirely new line-up.

He said the group was starting to see the reward for their efforts.

“The players are respecting the coach, and I’m respecting them,” he said.

“We are working together. They are listening and learning, and it’s paying off.”

“We just need to keep it going from here, because there’s a lot of improvement in us,” Jovcevski concluded.


Cessnock City FC v South Cardiff FC
Sunday, April 17, 2.30pm
Turner Park

Cessnock City will welcome new goalkeeper Steve Anderson to their side when they return from the bye to meet South Cardiff at Turner Park.

Anderson was on the bench on debut before the bye but coach Steve Thomson said he was set to start in goals against the Gunners.

Thomson was also hopeful of Anthony Bower returning from holidays in time to play, but he said Liam Stephenson remained sidelined with a knee injury.

The Hornets have just one point, from a round-one 1-1 draw with Singleton and have struggled with players out because of injury, holidays and work commitments this year. Thomson said his last-placed side were slowly getting players back on board.

South Cardiff, meanwhile, lost 1-0 to Cooks Hill last week to stay on four points and now sit in eighth.

Gunners coach Andrew Packer said Ben McCabe would come back into his squad, while David Hecimovic would bolster the bench.

Packer said the performance against Cooks Hill was his side’s best of the season and he expected to see more improvement in the coming weeks after settling on his top line-up.


Wallsend FC – Bye

Related Topics:
1st Division Premier Competitions

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