Competitions

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 12 Preview

June 30th, 2016
Photo: Sproule Sports Focus

Ben Homer

 

Match of the Round

Hamilton Olympic v Lambton Jaffas

2.30pm, Saturday 3rd July

Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Lambton 3 Hamilton 2 at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, 19th June, 2016 (Westfield FFA Cup)

Ladder: Hamilton 2nd (24pts) Lambton 8th (8)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Hamilton – Drew Rosebuds 1-1 (a), Drew Magpies 1-1 (h), Won Phoenix 5-0 (a)

Lambton – Lost Magic 4-2 (h), Lost Eagles 5-0 (a), Drew Jets 1-1 (h)

Bottom Line

Lambton and Hamilton do battle for the second time in two weeks after the Jaffas’ upset Olympic in a 3-2 victory in the Westfield FFA Cup. Tight matches have been the trend between these two sides with 3 draws being played out between the sides in their last five PlayStation® 4 National Premier League Northern NSW clashes.

The only results in the competition which were not drawn in those five were Hamilton’s 2-1 victory in the 1st leg of the finals last season and their 3-0 win over the Jaffas in round 3 this season. The last time the Jaffas beat Olympic in PlayStation® 4 NPL competition was back in 2014.

Hamilton started the season on fire, with seven wins in a row following their round one draw with Maitland. However, in recent weeks Olympic haven’t been taking their chances in front of goal and have surrendered their lead atop of the ladder to Edgeworth. Two draws against Maitland and Adamstown have hurt their minor premiership chances.

However, a dominant win on Wednesday against Charlestown will give Hamilton’s frontline some much-needed confidence going into the weekend. Kane Goodchild got back on the scoresheet on Sunday and grabbed one as well on Wednesday, and he will be key to Hamilton’s hopes. If Lambton are not able to contain him – as they didn’t in round 3 when he scored a hat-trick – Hamilton will be hard to stop.

Lambton, on the other hand, looked to be struggling after a 5-0 defeat to Edgeworth in round 10. But, a return to form against Hamilton followed by a promising showing against Magic will give Lambton confidence going into the match against Olympic. A midweek win over Weston has breathed some life back into their finals hopes.

Goals have been Lambton’s undoing, scoring at just over one goal a game. But, those stats will matter little on Sunday. As evidenced in the Westfield FFA Cup, if Lambton turns up with the attitude and determination they did two weeks ago, they will give themselves every chance of claiming the win.

What the Coaches Said:

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“They were very good in the second half in the FFA Cup. We’ve just got to replicate what we did in the first 30 minutes. We’re starting games really well at the minute, but we are just in a little lull at the minutes. At the moment we are just not being clinical. Go back five or six weeks ago we were creating plenty of chances and scoring goals, but at the moment we are scoring goals and just not finishing them.”

“Last year we didn’t play on the FFA Cup weekend and thought [we lost a bit of form] because we didn’t play in a fortnight, and now this year we have played and have a few bumps and bruises. I think it’s just about not taking for granted our position on the table.”

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“I don’t think the match against Hamilton [in the FFA Cup] will have much influence on this one. That’s because we are relatively decimated at the moment. I really don’t know at this stage what [players] I am going to have to put out against Hamilton. When you’ve got three or four of your best 11 out, it will affect you.”

“Someone’s misfortune is normally someone’s opportunity and this is a real opportunity for the young boys to stand up. You expect nothing less than massive amounts of enthusiasm and energy when you get some young boys in the team.”

Key: Kane Goodchild. If he is allowed the freedom he was offered in round 3, Lambton will find it tough to make it back to back wins against Olympic.

 

Valentine Phoenix v Adamstown Rosebuds

3pm, Saturday 2nd July

Blacksmiths Oval

Last Meeting: Adamstown 2 Valentine 0 at Adamstown Oval, 24th April, 2016

Ladder: Valentine 7th (11) Adamstown 9th (8)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Valentine – Won Maitland 1-0 (a), Lost Jets 4-3 (a), Won Blues 3-2 (h)

Adamstown – Drew Olympic 1-1 (h), Drew Magic 3-3 (h), Won Bears 2-1 (h)

Bottom Line

This is a crucial match for both sides in their aspirations for the top four. A win for Valentine and they will just be one win outside the top four while Adamstown will have to win this one if they are to have any hope of making the finals.

Valentine have been up and down all season, but have won two of their last three and will be full of confidence defensively after keeping their first clean sheet of the season against the Magpies in Maitland. In an interesting sidenote to the clash, Matt Paul lines up against his former club for the first time this season, and it will be interesting to see whether it will bring out the best in him.

In their match earlier in the season Valentine struggled to contain Chris Berlin, who has been in outstanding form of late, scoring two goals and having a hand in another against Magic, and against Hamilton he won the penalty which Alex Read scored. As well as Berlin, Thom Lino has caused problems up front for opposition defences and Valentine will need to be on the lookout for those two.

Adamstown’s form has improved in the last few weeks, and they are undefeated in three of their last four matches. A 2-0 loss to Edgeworth was by no means an embarrassment for the Rosebuds, with the score at 1-0 for most of the contest. Keigo Moriyasu grabbing a late opportunistic goal from distance to seal the points for the Eagles.

Defence is where Adamstown have been their strongest of late, conceding just five goals in their last four matches, at just over one goal a game – a welcome change from the 28 goals they conceded in their opening seven matches at an average of four goals per game. If they can show the same steel defensively against the Phoenix, it will go a long way to getting them the points.

Owen Littlewood is out through suspension due to yellow card accumulation for Adamstown while Thom Lino makes his return from suspension.

What the Coaches Said:

Sam Griffin (Valentine Assistant)

“[Last match] They took their time and slowed the game down and broke when they had to and scored two decent goals. Chances wise I think we still created six to eight chances throughout the game but our execution was pretty poor. That was the big thing abut that game, I remember the amount of passes that went over the sideline and it wasn’t good enough.”

Graham Law (Adamstown Coach)

“I though the [last match against them] was a pretty dominant performance from us. I thought 2-0 probably shaded them a little bit. We’ve just come through what many would perceive, but not me, as a really hard run with Magic, Hamilton, Edgeworth and have come out with our heads held high.”

“It will be difficult of the Belswans’ pitch, it’s a small park and a very sandy surface. It doesn’t greatly suit our game to an extent, as we like to get the ball moving, and pass the ball, so we might have to adapt a little bit to the pitch, but then so will they.”

Key: Valentine played arguably their worst match of the season against Adamstown in their last clash. Was it just themselves or do they not like playing the Rosebuds?

 

Broadmeadow Magic v Weston Workers Bears

2.30pm Sunday 3rd July

Magic Park

Last Meeting: Weston 0 Broadmeadow 0 at Rockwell Automation Park, 24th April, 2016

Ladder: Broadmeadow 3rd (22) Weston 10th (2)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Broadmeadow – Won Jaffas 4-2 (a), Won Magpies 3-0 (h), Drew Rosebud 3-3 (a)

Weston – Lost Eagles 3-0 (h), Lost Jets 3-0 (a), Lost Rosebud 2-1 (a)

Bottom Line

While both sides sit at opposite ends of the ladder, their last match was a tight contest at Weston and gave an indication of just how strong Weston’s defence has been at stages this season – the 6th best in the competition.

In fact, the last six contests have been split between the sides, Weston winning two, Magic two, and two draws. Broadmeadow have actually only won one match in the last five between the sides and the last time they beat Weston at Magic Park was 2013. Who could forget last year’s match at Magic Park? Jake Milsteed scoring the winner for the Bears in stoppage time for a 4-3 win, after being down 2-0 early on in the match.

Weston’s ability in front of goal has gone downhill since then and it seems that if they are to have any hope of claiming the three points at Magic Park on Sunday they will need multiple goals – coming up against the equal best-attacking side in the competition. And their attacking form of late – with just one goal from general play since round one – doesn’t bode well.

However, a goal against the Jaffas midweek will no doubt give the Bears some confidence going into the weekend’s clash, with Rurik Pereira grabbing his first goal of the season.

For Broadmeadow, since their 3-1 defeat to Hamilton, their attack has come to life. With 17 goals scored in their five matches since then. James Virgili has been almost unstoppable of late, scoring a goal and setting up another as he took his goal scoring tally to 12 for the season against Lambton on the weekend.

Kale Bradbury also got his 8th of the season on the weekend, and containing those two will help Weston go a long way to getting points out of the match. But don’t discount the likes of Peter Haynes, Michael Kantarovski and Shane Paul in the midfield who have all been outstanding at different times this season.

 What the Coaches Said:

Bobby Naumov (Broadmeadow)

“Every game now is important. We set out a target a couple of weeks ago, we need to win and we drew with Adamstown which was disappointing, but we beat Maitland and we needed that. And we beat Lambton which was massive for us. We needed that win on the weekend as it sort of kills off Jaffas a little bit and we start getting closer to the top end than the edge of the four.”

“Any side is going to be hard, and if you don’t play well it will make things difficult. We’ve just got to look at trying to win every game or as many as we possibly can and where we finish then takes care of itself.”

Trevor Morris (Weston)

“People look at the results and say ‘you must be disappointed,’ which we are, but we are working so hard at training and we are doing things to try and rectify it. We just need to keep working hard to turn it around and the boys are doing that.”

Key: Broadmeadow’s attack was not able to get through Weston in round three, and with the quality they have in the front third they can’t afford not to score here or a top two spot could go begging.

 

Charlestown City Blues v Maitland Magpies

2.30pm Sunday 3rd July

Lisle Carr Oval

Last Meeting: Maitland 1 Charlestown 1 at Cooks Square Park, April 24th, 2016

Ladder: Charlestown 6th (14) Maitland 4th (16)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Charlestown – Lost Olympic 6-0 (a), Lost Jets 4-0 (h), Lost Phoenix 3-2 (a)

Maitland – Lost Phoenix 1-0 (h), Lost Magic 3-0 (a), Drew Olympic 1-1 (a)

Bottom Line

In terms of the top four, this is a huge match. A loss for Charlestown and their finals hopes could be over as a five-point gap from the top four with six matches to play could be difficult to reel in. A win for the Blues though and they will take the fourth spot from Maitland – provided the Jets Youth don’t beat Edgeworth.

This match is also important in terms of momentum and confidence, which is low on both sides at the moment. Maitland haven’t won since round 7 and are four matches without a victory. For Charlestown, their record is worse of late, with five straight losses seeing them slip from the top two to now 6th spot on the ladder. But, the Blues have played some tough opponents of late.

Matches against Edgeworth, Hamilton and Broadmeadow as well as an improving Jets Youth side were always going to be tough. But, the manner of the losses is what would have worried coach Shane Pryce. Six goals conceded against Edgeworth and Hamilton and four goals conceded against the Jets and Broadmeadow were the major concern.

Maitland have also had a tough run of late, playing against Hamilton, Edgeworth and Broadmeadow as well. However, coach Steve Piggott was most disappointed with Maitland’s attack on the weekend against Valentine. Piggott said ‘I don’t know where we are going to get a goal from’ after the loss to the Phoenix.

There is no doubt Ryan Clarke will take the time to gel in matches with the rest of his side, having missed the opening nine matches of the competition, and it remains to be seen whether he can spark the Magpies spluttering attack. Ben Martin’s injury on the weekend was a major blow to Maitland and with a lack of options up front Maitland may still struggle in the attacking third.

Key: Confidence. Whichever side can put their past results behind them on Sunday will get their season back on track.

 

Edgeworth Eagles v Jets Youth

2.45pm Sunday 3rd July at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Edgeworth 4 Jets Youth 2 at Jack McLaughlan Oval, 22nd April, 2016

Ladder: Edgeworth 1st (28) Jets Youth 5th (14)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Edgeworth – Won Rosebud 2-0 (h), Won Bears 3-0 (a), Won Jaffas 5-0 (h)

Jets Youth – Won Blues 4-0 (a), Won Phoenix 4-3 (h), Won Bears 3-0 (h)

Bottom Line

This match has all the hallmarks of what should be a cracking showdown at Jack McLaughlan Oval this Sunday. Edgeworth have won six straight since their loss at the hands of Hamilton Olympic, while the Jets Youth have won three straight and have lost just one of their last six matches.

Little is said about Edgeworth’s defence, with much of the focus on Hamilton Olympic’s backline over the opening 11 rounds of the season. However, the Eagles have only conceded two goals in their last six matches and haven’t conceded in their last three matches.

With Pat Wheeler, Josh Evans and Dom Bizzarri playing in the crucial centre back roles at various times throughout the season, they have helped the Eagles to the second best defence in the competition. With Wheeler out on Sunday, it will be up to Evans and Bizzarri to keep the Jets young guns at bay, and with the likes of Krisitan Brymora, Cody Carroll and Cameron Joice it will be a tough task.

Daniel McBreen is out for the Eagles, which will be somewhat of a blow to the Eagles attack. But, with Keigo Moriyasu scoring a double midweek and Bren Hammel and Dylan Holz getting on the scoresheet on Sunday against Weston there is plenty of attacking arsenal for the home side.

This match provides a great opportunity for the Jets Youth to see just home much they have improved since their round three match-up and once again the toughest challenge will be the lack of size and strength they will take into the game which comes with being a youth team.

But, what they lack in size they make up for in speed and skill and if the Jets front men are allowed enough space they will cause the Eagles plenty of problems at the back as they did in round three when they scored two goals.

What the Coaches Said:

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“It’s going to be at the end of a tough week, and it’s probably not the best team to be playing at the end of a tough week, to be honest. That’s where hopefully our squad can kick in and we can freshen a few blokes up. I expect it to be a pretty fast-paced and entertaining match.”

“We’ve been quite good defensively, conceding two goals in the last six games, and on the weekend we kept Weston to one shot on target. We’re never going to look as far as goal conceded as the best defensive team. I think a bit of that has got to do with how attacking we are.”

Clayton Zane (Jets Youth)

“We are not having trouble creating chances. Against Edgeworth, we know that will not be as easy. They are a club that has had success. We played them in the first round and we know what their strengths are

 Key: With the Jets Youth improving every week, especially in defence, keeping Edgeworth’s competition best attack quiet will crucial to their chances of an upset.

Related Topics:
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