Match of the Round
Charlestown Azzurri v Lake Macquarie City
Lisle Carr Oval – Sunday 2.30pm
A timely win will be on offer in round four’s match of the round with Charlestown Azzurri and Lake Macquarie to collide at Lisle Carr Oval.
Two clubs who find themselves winless and at the bottom of the ladder after two full rounds of football will be desperate to notch an important three points, adding to Sunday’s must-win fixture.
Charlestown almost pulled off their first result of the season in their rescheduled round three match against Edgeworth on Monday, eventually going down 1-0 to a late Eagles goal.
The Azzurri will take some confidence out of the game against the defending champions as they head into their showdown with the Roosters, feeling they should have taken away something from the match having had a high volume of chances.
Due to the round three washouts, Lake Macquarie’s latest result was a 4-1 defeat to Maitland while their round three match against Adamstown will be played on 5 August.
The Roosters will also look to counteract their poor away record having only won one game in their last 10 matches on the road.
Charlestown dominated the fixtures in the previous two clashes, including a 4-1 victory over the Roosters at Lisle Carr Oval, although both teams look vastly different from this time last year.
Charlestown coach Graham Law said a breakthrough result was on its way.
“All three games we’ve been in and were all winnable which gives me confidence and this young team, along with the experience we still have, are good enough to win games and turn the corner,” Law said.
“We just didn’t take our chances [against Edgeworth] and against the good teams you are likely to get punished.
“I think it’s more about us getting on the front foot on what we can do this weekend and none of my teams will take anyone lightly.”
Lambton Jaffas v Newcastle Olympic
Arthur Edden Oval – Saturday 2.30pm
A Newcastle-football rivalry will start round four action with Lambton playing host to Newcastle Olympic at Arthur Edden Oval.
After missing out on a game last weekend the squads will be determined to put in a strong performance to get back into winning form.
The Jaffas have had a mixed start with a win and a loss to start the season while Olympic has started positively with a win and a draw.
It will be an interesting match-up on Saturday, with Lambton and Newcastle both having high expectations for the year while adding to the competitiveness of a cross-town rivalry.
The home side will be without key attacker Luke Remington due to suspension from the Weston fixture while Olympic will be missing captain Kyle Hodges who is also facing time on the sideline.
Olympic has a poor record against Lambton, with the blue and white having only won one out of the last 10 fixtures against the Jaffas.
Lambton is a team looking to rebound from their last result and coach James Pascoe said he knows his team will have to contest for the entirety.
“The Weston defeat was a tough pill to swallow… if you take the individual errors out of it we could have won the game by a couple of goals so the message is to stay positive and be resilient,” Pascoe said.
“I think it’s a pretty stock standard 4-4-2 [Newcastle Olympic are] playing. It provides good cover and balance across the whole pitch both with and without the ball, so I don’t expect them to change a whole lot from their first two games.
“It will be a 95-minute game. They won’t take a backward step, it will be a close one and we need to do everything we can to get the three points.”
Adamstown Rosebud v Weston Workers
Adamstown Oval – Sunday 2.30pm
Weston will travel to Adamstown Oval to face Adamstown Rosebud on Sunday in a match-up between two exciting teams.
The youthful Rosebuds have started positively with an opening day win but followed it up with a tough 3-1 loss to Edgeworth in round two.
The Bears however will be looking to pick up where they left off, downing Lambton Jaffas 3-2 in a thrilling round two encounter.
It was Leo Bertos’ first win in charge of his new team, who will now be hoping to build on that huge result with another three points against the Rosebuds.
Weston defeated Adamstown twice last season, which comprised of a 4-2 triumph at Adamstown Oval.
The two sides boast electrifying, young attackers who can change a game in an instant, therefore the game may come down to the best defensive outfit on the day.
Maitland Magpies v Valentine Phoenix
Cooks Square Park – Sunday 2.30pm
Maitland will do battle with Valentine on Sunday with the visitors hoping to spring an upset on last season’s premiers.
The Magpies were imposing in their 4-1 win over Lake Macquarie last start to continue their sensational unbeaten home record which has stretched to 13 games in a row.
Valentine was left to rue a golden chance to gather their first three points of the new season after conceding a late goal to draw 2-2 with Newcastle Olympic away from home in round two.
Maitland did the double over Valentine last season as the two finished at opposite ends of the table. Maitland are fourth on the table, with the Phoenix eighth.
The orange and navy’s last win at Cooks Square Park was in 2017 when they won 4-0.
Broadmeadow Magic v Edgeworth Eagles
Magic Park – Sunday 2.30pm
A battle of two premiership heavyweights will take place at Magic Park on Sunday with Broadmeadow to take on Edgeworth in a top-of-the-table clash.
This encounter is always a huge match-up in the National Premier League NNSW calendar combining the two previous championship-winning clubs – Broadmeadow in 2018 and Edgeworth in 2019.
The Eagles have a new interim coach at the helm with player Josh Rose taking over the role from Keelan Hamilton who departed the club only three games into his tenure.
Hamilton’s last game in charge of the Eagles was a 1-0 win over Charlestown on Monday which saw them remain unbeaten and climb to the top of the ladder due to a late goal from striker Kristian Brymora.
On the other side, Broadmeadow has impressed in their opening two games and continued their perfect start to the competition with a 3-1 victory over Azzurri in round two.
Magic’s attack has been in fine form notching eight goals in two games but will be up against a strong Eagles defence who have kept back-to-back clean sheets.
This titanic clash will certainly throw up some intriguing storylines and key individual battles across the park. While it is still only early days in the new season, first spot will still be on the line.
The two line-ups will know the significance of a massive result on Sunday while Broadmeadow Magic coach Anthony Richards said he knows his team will be ready for a big game.
“Edgeworth has been one of the better sides of the competition for the last 10 years. It will be good for our young guys to test themselves against probably the best side in the competition,” Richards said.
“We’ll back ourselves to do well. Everyone’s fit, ready to go and excited.
“We’re under no allusion it will be a tough game and hopefully it will be a great game to come and watch as a spectator.
“It is only three points. We don’t see it as a six-point game or nothing like that but we’ll be trying our best to take them.”