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Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic v Lambton Jaffas
Magic Park, Saturday 5.10pm
Broadmeadow Magic will face their toughest test of the season so far when they host Lambton Jaffas in the Match of the Round on Saturday.
Magic are one point clear at the top of the table after winning five of their opening first six matches. But they will face tough challenges to their unbeaten start as they take on Lambton, Maitland and Edgeworth in consecutive weeks.
Broadmeadow have been outstanding over the last month, winning four matches without conceding a goal including their 3-0 win over Adamstown Rosebud last week.
Magic have faced disappointment off the field though, with Keanu Moore handed a six-match suspension under Football Australia’s National Code of Conduct for bringing the game into disrepute following an altercation with Charlestown Azzurri’s Regan Lundy after their round three match at Lisle Carr Oval on 10 April.
Moore has already served one match and, with FFA Cup matches counting towards his suspension, he could be available for Broadmeadow’s round 11 clash with Newcastle Olympic.
Lambton meanwhile have endured a torrid week with the surprise departure of coach James Pascoe.
Pascoe resigned after five and a half seasons with the Jaffas on Monday, citing personal reasons for his decision, having helped the club win the 2017 grand final.
“I’ve got nothing but admiration for the club and I wish the Jaffas well for the future,” Pascoe said in a statement.
“After a little break, I’ll be back and enjoying the company of all of the guys that I’ve formed a strong friendship with over the five or so years I’ve been around.
“These decisions are never easy. The positive start to the season, off the foundation of a good pre-season by all of the players and coaching staff has made the call a little easier.
“Knowing that the squad is left in the experienced hands of both Bobby Naumov and Shane Pryce I believe is also a positive to ensure that the season can be successful for the Jaffas.”
The Jaffas suffered just their second defeat of the season to Newcastle Olympic last weekend and are third on the table, four points behind Magic.
Lambton will also be without midfielder Andrew Pawiak who was handed a one-match suspension after he was sent off late on in the defeat to Olympic.
Adamstown Rosebud v Maitland FC
Adamstown Oval, Saturday 2.30pm
Maitland will sniff an opportunity to climb back to the top of the NPL NNSW table when they take on Adamstown Rosebud on Saturday.
The Magpies are one point behind Broadmeadow and, with Magic facing a touch test against Lambton on Saturday evening, a win for Maitland at Adamstown Oval could see them return to the summit.
Maitland were convincing 4-0 winners over Valentine last weekend thanks to a Ty Cousins double, bouncing back strongly after their first defeat of the campaign to Weston.
Adamstown will look to cause an upset to help them climb away from the foot of the table, with Rosebud ninth following their 3-0 defeat to Broadmeadow last weekend.
Weston Workers FC v Lake Macquarie City
Rockwell Automation Park, Saturday 5pm
Weston will look to claw their way back into the top five when they host Lake Macquarie City on Saturday evening.
The Bears slipped outside the finals places on goal difference last weekend following their 2-0 defeat to Edgeworth.
Lake Macquarie will be keen to bounce back from their feisty 1-0 defeat to Charlestown Azzurri. But they will have to do it without former A-League player Nick Cowburn who was handed a two-match suspension after he was sent off in the first half against Azzurri.
Lakes are eighth on four points but are yet to taste defeat this season by more than a single goal.
A win over the Bears is a must to keep City in touch with the finals places.
Valentine FC v Edgeworth FC
CB Complex, Sunday 2.30pm
Valentine face a tough task to climb off the bottom of the table when they host reigning premiers and champions Edgeworth on Sunday.
Valentine are last after six rounds with a solitary point and are coming off the back of a 4-0 loss to Maitland.
To make matters worse, Valentine will be without captain Joel Wood for seven matches after he was suspended following his send off against the Magpies.
Wood received a five-match suspension for underarm throwing the ball which struck an assistant referee late in the match and a further two matches for foul and abusive language directed at match officials.
The experienced striker will be free to return for Valentine’s round 14 clash with Broadmeadow at Magic Park.
Valentine have scored three goals all season, with all of them coming in the same match, a 6-3 defeat to Adamstown.
Edgeworth meanwhile will be keen to keep their momentum going having won their last three matches.
The Eagles have downed Charlestown Azzurri and Weston in the last fortnight before leaving it late to eliminate New Lambton from the FFA Cup on Wednesday night.
In the battle of the Eagles against the HIT Northern League One premiers, Adam Cawley and Dylan Holz scored for Edgeworth as they downed New Lambton 2-1 to advance to the fifth round.
Charlestown Azzurri v Newcastle Olympic
Lisle Carr Oval, Sunday 4.30pm
Newcastle Olympic will look to make it four wins in a row when they travel to Lisle Carr Oval to face Charlestown Azzurri on Sunday.
Coming off the back of an impressive come from behind win over Lambton last time out, Olympic could climb as high as second with a win over Azzurri.
Charlestown ended a disappointing run with a 1-0 win over Lake Macquarie City in a spiteful clash last Friday night.
Azzurri are seventh on seven points and a win over Olympic will help them stay within touching distance of the top five.
But Charlestown are also facing suspension trouble with Regan Lundy handed an eight-match ban under Football Australia’s National Code of Conduct for bringing the game into disrepute following an altercation with Broadmeadow’s Keanu Moore after their round three match at Lisle Carr Oval on 10 April.
Azzurri will also be without Zac Lloyd who was suspended for two matches for his involvement in a melee in the first half of the win over Lakes.