NPL NNSW Round 12 Preview

June 24th, 2021

 Sproule Sports Focus

Round Sponsor: NSW Government

Match of the Round

Maitland FC v Newcastle Olympic
Cooks Square Park, Sunday 2.30pm

Maitland will look to all but end Newcastle Olympic’s premiership hopes when they meet on Sunday.

Olympic arrive at Cooks Square Park in fifth place on 16 points, six behind Maitland and eight behind leaders Lambton.

But Joel Griffiths’ side have two matches in hand on the Magpies and one game in hand on the rest of the top five. A good run of form towards the season’s climax could have Olympic in premiership contention.

Olympic have not played a league match since 5 June when struggling Adamstown Rosebud upset them 2-0. But they used that frustration to fuel their progression to the FFA Cup national round of 32 with wins over Lambton and Coffs City United across the June long weekend.

Olympic then saw their round 11 match against Broadmeadow washed out last weekend, with the clash rescheduled for Darling Street on Wednesday 30 June.

The Magpies finally got back to winning ways last week as they edged out Lake Macquarie City 1-0 thanks to James Thompson’s classy winner. It was a much-needed victory for Michael Bolch’s side after the Magpies had crashed from the top of the table to third after they took just one point from their previous three matches.

Maitland got the better of Olympic when they met at Darling Street in round three, with a Sean Pratt double helping the Magpies to a 4-2 victory.

Adamstown Rosebud v Weston Workers FC
Adamstown Oval, Saturday 2.30pm

Weston face another must-win clash when they take on Adamstown Rosebud on Saturday.

The Bears travel to Adamstown Oval having needed a 94th minute Nathan Morris penalty to down bottom of the table Valentine last weekend in the Weston captain’s 300th first grade game to keep their fading finals hopes alive.

Weston are sixth and only two points behind fifth-placed Newcastle Olympic. But the Bears have played two games more than Olympic and will need a stellar run of form over the second half of the campaign to play finals football.

The Bears will also be backing up from their deflating 2-1 FFA Cup exit to Broadmeadow on Wednesday night.

Adamstown have shown signs of improvement in their last two games having upset Olympic and drawn with Charlestown Azzurri. Though they would have been disappointed with the result against Azzurri having thrown away a two-goal lead to draw 3-3.

Rosebud are ninth, four points behind Lake Macquarie City and five clear of last-placed Valentine.

Leo Bertos’ side will look to complete the league double over Adamstown having won the round three fixture 2-0 at Rockwell Automation Park thanks to goals from Connor Heydon and Aaron Niyonkuru despite being reduced to 10 men following Liam Wilson’s early send off.

Valentine FC v Lambton Jaffas
CB Complex, Sunday 2.30pm

Lambton will look to continue their march towards the premiership when they take on struggling Valentine on Sunday.

Jaffas arrive at CB Complex top of the table after 11 rounds, one point clear of Broadmeadow.

Lambton are also fresh having had their round 11 clash with Edgeworth washed out last weekend, with the match rescheduled for Saturday 24 July.

The Jaffas are in excellent form in the league having won their last four matches in a row, their 1-0 FFA Cup exit to Newcastle Olympic their only recent blip.

Valentine suffered another heartbreaking defeat last weekend as they conceded a 94th minute penalty to go down 2-1 to Weston.

Adam Hughes’ side remain last and the only side in the competition without a win so far in 2021.

Valentine will be buoyed by their round three effort against the competition heavyweights, with Lambton only sneaking home thanks to a late Kale Bradbery goal.

Edgeworth FC v Lake Macquarie City
Jack McLaughlan Oval, Sunday 2.30pm

Edgeworth’s bid for another premiership will go on the line when they host Lake Macquarie City on Sunday.

The Eagles are fourth with 18 points, six behind leaders Lambton.

Michael Bridges’ side will be fresh having seen their round 11 clash with the Jaffas washed out last weekend.

Edgeworth have been in hot form in the league to overcome a slow start to the season, winning five of their last six matches. That run included an impressive come from behind effort against Maitland last time out, with Josh Rose’s hat-trick securing a 4-2 victory.

Lakes have endured a difficult June, having been eliminated from the FFA Cup by Coffs City United on penalties and losing twice in the league including last week’s 1-0 defeat to Maitland.

Josh Rufo’s side have slipped to eighth on 11 points and need to turn around their form quickly if they are to make a late charge for the finals. They will also be without goalkeeper Shayne Van As who will serve a one-match suspension following his send off against the Magpies.

But Lakes will take heart from the round three clash between the pair with City downing Edgeworth 3-2 thanks to Kaman Bol’s injury time winner.

Broadmeadow Magic v Charlestown Azzurri
Magic Park, Sunday 2.30pm

Broadmeadow will look to keep the pressure on leaders Lambton when they host Charlestown Azzurri on Sunday.

Magic are one point behind the Jaffas and, despite seeing their round 11 clash with Newcastle Olympic washed out last weekend, will enter the match in a positive mind frame.

Damian Zane’s side advanced to the FFA Cup national round of 32 on Wednesday night when they downed Weston 2-1 thanks to Luke Virgili’s late goal.

Charlestown’s finals hopes are fading following their 3-3 draw with Adamstown last weekend, with Azzurri seventh with 12 points, four behind Newcastle Olympic who have a game in hand.

It was a fiery clash when the pair met in round three with Charlestown’s Regan Lundy and Broadmeadow’s Jon Griffiths sent off at Lisle Carr Oval.

Keanu Moore scored an injury time winner as Magic downed Azzurri 1-0.

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