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Match of the Round
Maitland FC v Edgeworth FC
Cooks Square Park, Saturday 2.30pm
Maitland will look to avoid back-to-back defeats when they host Edgeworth on Saturday.
The Magpies welcome the Eagles to Cooks Square Park needing to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to Lambton last weekend which saw the Jaffas replace Maitland at the top of the table.
Maitland downed Edgeworth when the teams met in the opening round thanks to Flynn Goodman’s 64th minute winner at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
That victory gave the Magpies some sort of revenge for their grand final defeat to Edgeworth last season as the Eagles secured their premiership-championship double.
As well as bragging rights Maitland could also return to the top of the table if they down Edgeworth and other results go their way.
The Eagles though will also be desperate to bounce back having fallen 2-1 to Broadmeadow last weekend.
That defeat saw Michael Bridges’ side slip to fifth, six points behind leaders Lambton.
The reigning premiers and champions will not just be looking up the table given their need to keep in touch with the Jaffas in the premiership race but also looking down, with Lake Macquarie City and Weston four points behind and desperate to snatch a finals place for themselves.
Adamstown Rosebud v Newcastle Olympic
Adamstown Oval, Saturday 2.30pm
Newcastle Olympic will look to keep their five-game unbeaten run alive when they take on Adamstown Rosebud on Saturday.
Olympic travel to Adamstown Oval having climbed to fourth, five points behind leaders Lambton. Joel Griffiths’ side also have a game in hand on the others in the top five, leaving them in striking distance of the Jaffas.
Olympic left it late to down struggling Valentine last weekend as Jared Muller’s 83rd minute winner sealed a valuable three points.
Muller and captain Rhys Cooper scored doubles when Olympic hosted Adamstown in round one as they thrashed Rosebud 6-2.
Though if Olympic are to complete a double over Adamstown they may have to do it without another goal scorer from their opening round win after Ryan Griffiths limped off after half an hour with a hamstring injury last weekend.
Adamstown were disappointed to go down 3-1 to Lake Macquarie City at home last weekend. They will also be without Oliver Davies after he was sent off against Lakes.
Rosebud remain ninth, one point above bottom of the table Valentine.
Lambton Jaffas v Weston Workers FC
Arthur Edden Oval, Saturday 2.30pm
Lambton will sniff an opportunity to further strengthen their place at the top of the table when they host Weston on Saturday.
The Jaffas climbed to first place with an impressive 2-1 win over Maitland last weekend with Lambton replacing the Magpies at the summit in the process thanks to Tom Waller’s 82nd minute winner.
Lambton will be keen to repeat their opening day victory over Weston as they thrashed the Bears 7-1, with Weston unable to navigate the Jaffas’ press.
The Jaffas have done well to steady the ship since the departure of coach James Pascoe and will look to secure another valuable three points at Arthur Edden Oval to continue their march towards the premiership.
Weston meanwhile have steadily improved from that round one hammering.
Leo Bertos’ side are seventh, four points outside the top five. The Bears could have easily been occupying a top five place, having thrown away two-goal leads in their last two matches to draw with Newcastle Olympic and Charlestown Azzurri.
Their draw at home to Charlestown last week was particularly painful. Weston had led thanks to goals from Mitch Dobson and Connor Heydon only for Azzurri goalkeeper Nathan Archbold to score a dramatic 95th minute equaliser.
Valentine FC v Charlestown Azzurri
CB Complex, Sunday 2.30pm
Valentine will look to finally secure their first win of the campaign when they host Charlestown Azzurri on Sunday.
Adam Hughes’ side welcome Charlestown to CB Complex sitting at the bottom of the table, yet to claim a victory in 2021.
They have two points, one of which they earned from their scoreless round one draw with Azzurri.
Valentine were seven minutes away from adding another point to their tally last weekend, only for Jared Muller to score an 83rd minute winner for Newcastle Olympic to condemn Valentine to their seventh defeat of the season.
Charlestown meanwhile showed great character to come from two-goals down to draw 2-2 with Weston last weekend thanks to goalkeeper Nathan Archbold’s incredible 95th minute equaliser.
Graham Law’s side are eighth with eight points, seven points outside the top five. But Charlestown have a match in hand against Newcastle Olympic up their sleeve, meaning they remain an outside chance of making a late charge for a finals place should they be able to put a decent run of form together.
Broadmeadow Magic v Lake Macquarie City
Magic Park, Sunday 4.30pm
Broadmeadow will look to keep the pressure on Lambton at the top of the table when they host Lake Macquarie City on Sunday.
Magic welcome Lakes to Magic Park having downed reigning premiers and champions Edgeworth last week to climb to second, one point behind the Jaffas.
James Virgili and Jon Griffiths scored for Damian Zane’s side to secure an important three points against the Eagles, though they will be looking to go one better than the last time they met Lakes.
Broadmeadow needed a 93rd minute equaliser from substitute Luke Callen to secure a thrilling 2-2 draw with Lakes in Zane’s first match in charge of Magic on the opening day of the season.
Lakes will be looking to keep their own momentum going having gone unbeaten in their last three matches including their 3-1 victory over Adamstown Rosebud last weekend.
Veteran striker John Majurovski was in sparkling form as Josh Rufo’s side climbed to sixth, four points outside the top five.
Majurovski scored Lakes’ equaliser before laying on Campbell Ross’ match sealer with 20 minutes to play.
An upset against competition heavyweights Broadmeadow would make a statement to the rest of the competition that Lakes, who ran last in 2020, are more than just a nuisance in 2021.