NPL Women’s NNSW Round Nine Preview: Adamstown look to build on momentum against struggling Eagles

May 19th, 2022

 Andrew Parkinson

 Sproule Sports Focus

Match of the Round
New Lambton FC v Adamstown Rosebud JFC
Alder Park, Sunday 3.40pm

New Lambton will be desperate to cause an upset to kick start their season when the Eagles host Adamstown Rosebud on Sunday.

The Eagles welcome Adamstown to Alder Park for the match of the round rooted to the bottom of the table with six losses from as many games.

New Lambton also suffered a humbling 16-0 defeat to Warners Bay in their rescheduled round eight match on Tuesday night.

Adriana Konjarski scored six goals for Warners Bay while Lauren Allen netted a hat-trick. There were also doubles for Cass Davis, Elodie Dagg and Tara Andrews while Zoe Horgan notched after coming off the bench.

The thrashing leaves New Lambton with a -64 goal difference after six games. But they remain only behind Mid Coast FC on goal difference with Middies also yet to register a point having played five games.

Adamstown will be buoyed from producing the shock result of the season so far with their impressive 1-0 victory over Broadmeadow Magic last weekend.

Kiarra Lewis’ outstanding counterattack goal just before the hour mark gave Rosebud a much-needed victory while also ending Broadmeadow’s perfect start to the campaign.

The win left Adamstown in fifth place, two points behind Charlestown Azzurri, though Rosebud are the only team in the competition to play their full complement of fixtures.

While Ryan Campbell’s side have scored the second-most goals in the competition, it is Adamstown’s defence which has contributed to their inconsistent start to the season.

Rosebud have conceded 25 goals, the third-most in the league. Adamstown will be focused on achieving a clean sheet against struggling New Lambton, with the opportunity to improve their healthy goal difference compared to the teams around them on the table.

Adamstown thrashed New Lambton 8-0 when the sides met in round two thanks to doubles from Kimberly Trappett and Mia Bales.

Broadmeadow Magic v Charlestown Azzurri
Magic Park, Friday 8pm

Broadmeadow Magic will look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they host Charlestown Azzurri on Friday night.

Magic’s perfect start to the campaign was ended last week when they fell 1-0 to Adamstown Rosebud.

Broadmeadow also fell from top spot on the table in the process thanks to Warners Bay’s demolition of New Lambton on Tuesday night, with the Panthers now one point clear at the summit having played one game more.

Magic downed Azzurri 3-1 when they met in round two thanks to a Lucy Jerram double but they will have to overcome a Charlestown side full of confidence.

Azzurri were impressive in their 1-0 win over Newcastle Olympic on Saturday night, with a stunning Courtney Anderson goal just past the hour mark helping Charlestown maintain their place in the top four.

Azzurri are fourth on 12 points, two clear of Adamstown. But Charlestown will need to keep winning to keep Rosebud at bay, with Adamstown full of confidence themselves after their surprise win over Magic.

Azzurri coach Niko Papaspiropoulos said Magic’s defeat to Adamstown showed Broadmeadow were beatable this season.

“Now that [Broadmeadow have] lost if anyone was worried they were invincible [Adamstown] have shown they aren’t,” Papaspiropoulos said.

“But that’s not to say they’re not a very capable side. They’ll be looking to bounce back very quickly after a loss.

“I have full faith in the squad we’ve assembled we can take it to any team. We need to make sure we turn up on the day and put in a solid performance. Against good quality sides you can’t afford not to be ready.”

Papaspiropoulos said while Magic were undoubtedly one of the heavyweight teams in the competition, Azzurri would mostly stick to their principles in hope of springing an upset.

“They’ve got quality across the park and they’re very disciplined in defence,” Papaspiropoulos said.

“They’ve got a great defensive record. We’ve played them once before [this season] so we’re aware of their quality and their threats.

“We need a controlled performance, dictate the tempo where we can and control the areas where they get the ball. And make sure we don’t allow any of their key players to get into too many dangerous areas. The middle of the park will go a long way to [deciding the match].

“I think whenever you play a team you always adjust a little bit. You don’t want to throw away your playing style or football philosophy entirely but you need to be mindful and make tweaks and adjustments to who you play each week.

“We’ll do some analysis and have a look as a coaching staff and if we feel we need to adjust the structure we’ll decide upon that. But at the end of the day you can only control what you can control and we need to be positive, aggressive and go in with confidence.”

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

Maitland coach David Walker will continue his pursuit of the complete 90-minute performance when the Magpies host Newcastle Olympic on Saturday.

The Magpies will be fresh after seeing their round eight match against Mid Coast FC postponed due to wet weather.

Maitland have been outstanding in the opening weeks of the campaign, sitting third on 15 points having lost just one match.

But the Magpies have two matches in hand on leaders Warners Bay and sit just four points behind the Panthers.

Their early success has been built on an electric attack and an equally miserly defence. The Magpies have scored 30 goals in six games, conceding just 10.

But Walker’s goal is to see more consistency in his side not just week to week but during games, with a full 90-minute performance the main objective.

“It’s about ensuring no complacency and playing to our own standards,” Walker said.

“We’ve still got a few key areas we want to dominate games so that will continue to be the focus.

“It’s more about us building towards having that complete performance. So far, regardless of where we are on the table, we’re yet to put together a full 90 minutes. We’ve had good patches in different areas of different games.

“For example to be honest I thought we played better in the loss to Warners Bay than we did in the win over New Lambton. The energy, the pressure we applied to the opposition, our structure was also better.

“It can always be a challenge when you’re playing a team that has some top quality players. But in general the group stepped up [against Warners Bay] so I’m looking for us to play with that same amount of intensity regardless of the opposition.”

Newcastle Olympic conversely have suffered a disappointing start to the campaign.

The perennial heavyweights are languishing in sixth place on the table, six points behind fourth-placed Charlestown Azzurri.

Olympic have lost five of their seven games, the latest coming in a 1-0 defeat to Azzurri on Saturday night.

Another defeat could see them fall further away from the finals places, with a win vital to keep in touch with the top four.

Olympic will not take much solace from the round two meeting between the sides, with Maitland running out comfortable 5-0 winners thanks to a Sophie Stapleford hat-trick.

The match will be played as part of a combined NPLW-NPLM afternoon at Cooks Square Park, with Maitland and Olympic to meet in NPLW and NPLM reserve grade and first grade fixtures.

Mid Coast FC v Warners Bay FC
Taree Zone Field, Saturday 7pm

Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins is hopeful the best is yet to come from his high-profile recruits, with the Panthers facing the trip north to face Mid Coast FC on Saturday night.

Newcastle Jets A-Leagues Women players Cass Davis, Lauren Allen and Tara Andrews joined Warners Bay this season and have already made a strong impact, with the Panthers climbing to the top of the table thanks to their 16-0 thrashing of New Lambton on Tuesday night.

Davis, Allen and Andrews all had a say in the rescheduled round eight fixture, with Allen scoring a hat-trick and Davis and Allen notching doubles.

But Atkins believes while the trio have already had a strong start to life at Warners Bay, the best could be yet to come.

“Obviously with three girls like that it’s going to help you. They trained with us before they could play with us as well [due to A-Leagues regulations]. So their impact on the squad goes back further than just the games we’ve played so far,” Atkins said.

“Tara was injured and hadn’t played a significant amount of time. She still probably isn’t at 100 per cent fitness yet. So what she has produced so far is encouraging.

“Lauren and Cass still missed a lot of football as well. And not playing games means the match fitness is not quite there. So they’re getting better and better each week.

“The other girls are obviously really excited to have them here as well which creates a really good atmosphere within the group.”

Another player benefitting from the trio’s addition is striker Adriana Konjarski. The forward has been prolific so far this season, scoring 23 goals already including six in just 53 minutes against New Lambton.

“AJ is thriving herself. She’s such a clever player. She’s getting better each game as well,” Atkins said.

“I think she’s understanding how those girls play and they’re understanding how she plays as well. She’s learning every week and they are really gelling on the pitch which is obviously great for us.”

Mid Coast will be fresh after their round eight match against Maitland was postponed last weekend.

Middies are yet to secure a point from their five matches played and are only above bottom of the table New Lambton on goal difference.

Warners Bay ran out 6-0 winners when the sides met in round two with Konjarski scoring four goals.

Related Topics:
NPL Women's NNSW Round Nine Preview

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