Hamilton Olympic FC vs. Broadmeadow Magic FC
Sun 14 June 2:30 PM
Darling Street Oval
Match of the Round
The Northern NSW PS4 National Premier Leagues Match of the Round is the third top four match to headline a round in three weeks, as leaders Hamilton take on their traditional rivals Broadmeadow Magic.
Hamilton have won six and drawn three in their opening nine matches. They are first on 21 points, leading second placed Weston by two points.
Broadmeadow trail their Round 10 opponents by four points. They have won five matches this season, and combined with a pair of draws and losses they sit in fourth spot on 17 points.
The first half of the season has been bright for Hamilton. This time last season they were third, but had recorded two less wins, a loss, scored less and conceded more. A second half of the season collapse saw them finish outside the top five, and consequently miss out on the finals. This was something they vowed to change this year, and they are certainly on the right track to featuring in the post regular season matches.
Olympic coach Mick Bolch suggested at the start of the season that there was an increased focus on defense throughout the off-season. This has showed in the first half of the season, conceding an equal league best of just ten from nine games.
They hold another record in the 2015 PS4 NPL season, being the only undefeated team left in the competition.
The side in blue and white were concerned last week as goal from Maitland skipper Blake Thompson saw the Magpies go ahead in their Round 9 match, however Kane Goodchild continued his hot scoring run and equalised, and then Simon Mooney scored a 77th minute winner.
Just like Hamilton, Magic have been superior in 2015, improving in all areas including wins, losses, goals for and against, and points compared to nine rounds of 2014.
They started the season in dominant fashion, and after seven rounds they were first, on five wins and two draws, scoring at over three goals a game. Since then they have lost to both Weston and Charlestown, 4-3 and 1-0 respectively, and slipped to fourth.
Broadmeadow’s sudden drop highlights the competitiveness of the 2015 PS4 NPL season. No side has the luxury of taking first place, or any top four spot for granted. The top four is extremely tight, and two quality outfits in Lambton and Adamstown have hit form and are close behind, waiting to capitalise.
Hamilton and Broadmeadow faced off in a highly anticipated Round 1 match back in April, then ended in disappointment for both clubs’ players, fans and coaches, as the match ended in a scoreless draw. These two rivals have everything to play for this weekend, so a high level of excitement and passion will be present, and hopefully the crowd is treated to a few goals.
Newcastle Jets Youth vs. Lambton Jaffas FC
Sat 13 June 2:30 PM
Arthur Edden Oval
The opening match of the Northern NSW PS4 National Premier Leagues sees the Newcastle Jets Youth travel to Arthur Edden Oval to challenge the Jaffas for the second time this year.
Lambton finished the second half of the season in a fierce manner, winning their Round 9 match against South Cardiff 5-0 and declaring to the top four sides that a typical Jaffas second half of the season resurgence is on its way.
Luke Remington bagged a double in that win with the first two goals of the match, and then goals to Alex Palozzi, John Majurovski and Michael Bridges completed the victory.
They have had another slow start this season, but have recently started to turn that around. They are in fifth position following four wins, three draws and two losses.
The Newcastle Jets Youth are currently three places outside the top four after a disappointing start to the 2015 season. They have won three matches, drawn one and lost five.
They finished Round 5 in second position, however since then have lost four from four, sliding down the ladder to seventh place. They would be extremely disappointed with this given that they only lost four matches all season in 2014.
The most recent loss came last Saturday at the hands of Adamstown. Tom Waller put the Jets ahead and it seemed as though it might have been their day, however goals either side of half time for the Buds saw the Jets lose again.
In that match the Jets again lined up without Braedyn Crowley, Nick Cowburn and Brandon Lundy, all of whom are quality players in their respective positions and possess the potential to turn around the Jets’ losing run.
The club as a whole had one of it’s more positive weeks in recent times, as a number of players committed to the club, and Westfield W-League star Emily van Egmond won a start for Australia in a courageous 3-1 loss to the USA in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Jets Youth will be determined to cap this off on Saturday with not only a win, but also a good performance.
These two sides competed against one another four times in the past year, of which the Jaffas proudly won three. Their most recent win was in Round 1 this year when they prevailed 3-2. The Jets’ Beau McDonald opened the scoring, however a flurry of Jaffas goals by Alex Palozzi, Peter McPherson and John Majurovski put the home side ahead at half time. Michael Kantarovski scored the only goal of the second half.
The margin in three of those games has been one goal, with the other being two in a Jaffas 2-0 win in 2014, and therefore this match should be extremely tight and competitive. A win would do the Jaffas a world of good in regards to their top four push, however the Jets Youth will be determined not to make it five losses in a row.
Weston Workers FC vs. Adamstown Rosebud FC
Sat 13 June 2:30 PM
Rockwell Automation Park
In the second of two key Saturday afternoon matches Weston Workers host Adamstown Rosebud at Rockwell Automation Park.
Weston begin the second half of the season where they finished 2014, in second. They have won six times, drawn just once and lost twice. This has them sitting on 19 points, just two behind leaders Hamilton.
The Bears have affirmed their top four position in recent weeks, with late winners in their 4-3 win over Broadmeadow and 1-0 win over Edgeworth, both of whom are also top four sides.
This weekend they are hoping to welcome back James Monie and Jason Cowburn, however will be without Rob Macbeth who was sent off for the second time this season last weekend.
After the win against Edgeworth assistant coach Darren Sills suggested his side were quite flat compared to their win over Magic the weekend prior, and their training sessions throughout the week.
Sills went onto suggest that the side’s position on the ladder is no surprise.
‘We haven’t changed a real lot (from 2014). Obviously Trevor is now the head coach, Connor Evans is gone and Mick Ryan retired, but we have brought in some other players that a doing a real good job, but it’s been a core group of players here at Weston for a long time’.
Tim Pratt was the man of the match in last weekend’s clash, making a huge number of saves, many of which were extremely crucial. The win was his third clean sheet of the nine-week-old season, compared to just one last year in 18 games.
The Rosebud are in extremely hot form heading into this match. They suffered a slow early start to the season but have won four of their last three matches, the other being a draw. This undefeated run has seen them jump from ninth on two points, to sixth on twelve, just five points outside the top four.
New signing Nick Hills continued his more than successful transition into the Buds side in last weekend’s win over the Jets Youth, scoring again with a great volley, the goal that got the side the three points.
As is the case in the Match of the Round between Magic and Olympic, these two sides played out a scoreless draw in Round 1, but with both in great form this match should be a very entertaining affair.
Maitland FC vs. South Cardiff FC
Sun 14 June 2:30 PM
Cook Square Park
The match at Maitland this week is one of the most significant in Round 10, as it will determine which of the two sides, Maitland or South Cardiff, will not only finish the round in last, but begin the second half of the season there.
The Magpies are currently on the bottom of the ladder after just one win, one draw and seven losses.
They recorded their first win three weeks ago against Charlestown, and have since gone agonisingly close in 2-1 losses to Lambton and Hamilton.
Ben Martin will return to the side after a week off, which will be handy for the home side who have struggled in front of goal this year, scoring just twelve goals in nine games.
Their opponents on Sunday have conceded the competition most of 28, so Martin’s inclusion will assist as they look to exploit the Gunners’ defence.
A win and two draws puts the Gunners just a point and a position ahead of their Round 10 opponents. Combined with their six losses they are in ninth on five points.
The side from Ulinga Oval has been plagued with injury this season. This weekend they are without seven players including Dean Kelley, Lee Ashton, Mitch Wallace, Matt Whilesmith, Mat Grey, Alex Brandrick and Fletcher Price. They could also be without Nathan Stevens and Sam Parker who are in doubt, although Stevens returned last weekend.
After a number of close games where they could have gotten away with a point or three had they taken their chances, it finally hit a turning point last Sunday; a negative one at that as Lambton thumped them 5-0 on their home turf.
Maitland’s sole draw and one of the Gunners’ two came in Round 1, coincidently against one another. Joel Wood put the Magpies ahead by two at the half time break with a brace, but South Cardiff clawed their way back in the second and the match finished 2-2.
That match was significant as it was a chance for both sides to begin the season on a high. This match is far more significant as it provides both sides with a huge chance to either move off, or away from the drop zone.
Charlestown City Blues FC vs. Edgeworth FC
Sun 14 June 2:30 PM
Lisle Carr Oval
In the final match of Round 10 of the Northern NSW PS4 National Premier Leagues, Charlestown City Blues host the Edgeworth Eagles at Lisle Carr Oval.
The Blues lifted themselves off the bottom of the table, recording just their second win in Round 9. Combined with seven losses, the joint most in the competition, they sit in a not so comfortable eighth with South Cardiff and Maitland one and two points behind them respectively.
Edgeworth’s five match winning streak ended last week with a 1-0 defeat to Weston, as they conceded uncharacteristically from a set piece late in the game.
That result sees them drop from second to third. They have won six this season, and lost just three, and are three points away from the leaders.
The six victories have come against each of the sides inside the bottom six. Whilst it is imperative to beat the sides below you, Coach Damien Zane is concerned as they were defeated by all of their fellow top three sides.
‘We’ve still got a point to prove. I know we’ve knocked off Lambton but we’ve lost to three of the other teams that are in the four,’ he said
Zane described last weekend’s loss to Weston as ‘very’ frustrating, and lamented his side’s inability to take their chances on the day.
‘I’ve been here as a player before, I know what it is like, if you don’t take your chances it comes back to bit you,’ he said.
‘We played pretty well but luck was not on our side’.
The Blues will be looking to create some momentum after the huge 1-0 win against Broadmeadow last weekend courtesy of a Ben Hughes penalty.
It was just their second win after a horror start to the season that has seen them emerge as a favourite to finish in the last placed relegation spot.
The Blues do not believe this is the case however, and their victory over Magic proves their courage and resilience is at a high. Another win over a top four side in Edgeworth this weekend would give the Blues a world of confidence, and could spark a major comeback as they look to make the finals for a second year in a row.
These two sides kicked off the PS4 NPL season back in April on a cold Friday night, with the Eagles cruising to a 4-0 victory. The Blues are determined not to allow this to happen again on Sunday, and even more determined to pick up the three points on their home turf.