Competitions

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 17 Preview

July 7th, 2017
PHOTO: SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS

BEN HOMER 

Match of the Round

Broadmeadow Magic v Lambton Jaffas

2.30pm Sunday 9th July at Magic Park

Last Meeting: Round 6, 2017: Lambton 1 Broadmeadow 1 at Arthur Edden Oval.

Ladder: Broadmeadow 5th (24pts), Lambton 1st (32)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Broadmeadow – Won Blues 2-0 (h), Won Phoenix 3-1 (a), Won Bears 4-1 (a)

Lambton – Won Roosters 3-1 (h), Lost Phoenix 1-2 (a), Won Bears 5-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Broadmeadow Magic will look to win their seventh consecutive match in all competitions when they host Lambton in this weekend’s ‘Match of the Round’.

Magic have proved an unstoppable force of late and while they have piled on the goals – 19 in their last six matches – defensively they have been rock solid as well, conceding just three times during the same period.

Last weekend they recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Charlestown which coach Ruben Zadkovich thought could have been more. Magic’s all round domination of sides recently sets up a mouth-watering contest against the league leaders.

To put their recent form in context, the closest any side has got to Broadmeadow over their last six matches is two goals – in a 3-1 win over Valentine and last weekend against the Blues.

Their opponents Lambton who boast one of the premier squads in the competition, won’t be overawed by Broadmeadow’s recent form. They will feel they have the talent and temperament to end Magic’s winning run.

After an upset loss to Valentine in round 15 the Jaffas returned to form on the weekend against Lake Macquarie, meaning Lambton have responded with a win on every occasion this season, where the week before they suffered defeat.

Earlier in the season, the two sides met in a cracking twilight contest on Good Friday where they were unable to be separated after both received and penalty and converted it during the second half.

With both sides boasting strong rosters, Magic’s recent form and home ground advantage means they will enter as slight favourites on Sunday. But, everything points to an almightily close contest.

What the Coaches Said:

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“Good venue, two good sides. I think all the ingredients are there for it to be an absolute ripper so we’re well and truly looking forward to this one. It’ll be great.”

“I think obviously, [Broadmeadow] have stopped conceding silly goals I suppose if I can put it that way. I thought the first game that we played against them for probably an hour in that match, they played the best football that we have come up against all year. They’ve had a bit of horror run at home for a while where they have conceded a hell of a lot of goals. They’ve stopped conceding and that has been a big part of [their strong form].”

Key: Broadmeadow’s defence has been rock solid over their previous six wins. Can they keep it watertight against the best attacking side in the competition?

Weston Bears v Maitland Magpies

2.30pm Saturday 8th July at Rockwell Automation Park

Last Meeting: Round 6, 2017: Maitland 1 Weston 0 at Cooks Square Park.

Ladder: Weston 11th (7), Maitland 6th (21)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Weston – Lost Rosebud 0-2 (h), Lost Jaffas 0-5 (a), Lost Magic 1-4 (h)

Maitland –  Lost Eagles 1-2 (h), Drew Olympic 2-2 (a) Won Jets 6-1 (h)

Bottom Line

Weston and Maitland will meet in their third “El Classicoal” of the season at Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday, with the Bears aiming to break a five-match winless run against the Magpies.

Since the Magpies were promoted to the PlayStation®4 NPL NNSW in 2015, the sides have met five times, with Weston winning the first derby. Since then, Maitland have won three PS4 NPL fixtures, drawn one and defeated the Bears 3-2 in the first Westfield FFA Cup meeting between the sides earlier in 2017.

Maitland come into the game stinging after a heart-stopping 2-1 home defeat to Edgeworth. Will Bower – who was born and bred in Maitland – scored in the last-minute condemning the Magpies to their 20th consecutive top grade match with a victory against the Eagles.

The defeat also had a significant impact on the Magpies finals hopes. They now sit four points off a top four spot and it is paramount they win this weekend.

Weston just haven’t been able to get themselves going again after their round 10 victory over Charlestown. Since that afternoon, the Bears have lost five games straight and have conceded 15 goals in their last five encounters.

The young Bears are down on confidence and are in desperate need of a boost. A derby battle at home against their local rivals may just give them the lift they need.

While defensively Weston have been poor, in attack they have managed just two goals in their last five matches and haven’t scored in nearly three-and-a-half hours of football.

With no relegation, there is little pressure on Weston and plenty on Maitland. The Magpies are raging hot favourites, but how they respond after a gut-retching defeat last weekend will be the real test.

What the Coaches Said:

Steve Piggott (Weston)

“There are no surprises, it’s just who performs on the day. We’ve had a couple of tight matches against [Maitland]. They’re physically stronger than us. There is no doubt about that. If they put their best eleven out they are favourites every day. Physically we’ll get pushed off the ball a bit. In the last couple of matches against them, we’ve probably made some mistakes at the back playing out that they have punished us for.”

“Hopefully we can get it right most of the time, this time and maybe not give them a gift or two and won’t have to fight back with two late goals. We’ve looked at the games we’ve played against them, we know what we’ve got to do, it’s just about doing it for 90 minutes for us.”

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“There’s no easy games in the competition. Derby games have that little special edge as well, so they’ll be up for it. We are depleted with our some of our squad being away so we’ve just got to make sure we’ve got our best 11 on the park and just go and do the business.”

“We said all season, in the short competition that we have, only 20 games, you don’t want to lose any or you want to lose the bare minimum. We’ve lost five and we don’t really want to lose any more or then it will make it tough for us. We’ve just got to go out there and do the business and see what other results happen. But, we’ve got to do the business ourselves. If we don’t do it ourselves well, we won’t get what we want.”

Key: Maitland have conceded four goals in the last 15 minutes of matches, in their past three games. Can the young Bears keep in the contest early and strike late?

 

Edgeworth Eagles v Newcastle Jets Youth

2.30pm Sunday 9th July at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Round 6, 2017: Edgeworth 1 Jets Youth 0 at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Ladder: Edgeworth 3rd (30), Jets Youth 10th (9)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Edgeworth – Won Magpies 2-1 (a), Won Rosebud 3-0 (a), Lost Jaffas 0-2 (h)

Jets – Lost Phoenix (a), Lost Olympic 1-2 (h), Lost Blues 0-4 (a)

Bottom Line

The Jets Youth will look to build on improved performances against Hamilton and Valentine during the week when they take on the defending premiers at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday afternoon.

The Jets performance against Hamilton was their best in three weeks after successive heavy defeats against Maitland and Charlestown and you would expect they will be up for a clash with Edgeworth.

Mark Moric starred for the Jets on Saturday scoring his third goal of the season and causing problems all afternoon for the Hamilton defence.

He then backed up Saturday’s showing with a brace against Valentine midweek and with Kristian Brymora’s departure from the club, expect Moric to continue to play a significant role for the Jets in their final five matches.

Their opponents Edgeworth have continued to plug away, winning their fourth match in a row on Sunday against Maitland in dramatic fashion.

Youngster Will Bower struck in stoppage time to ensure the Eagles would take all three points. The win was a crucial one for Edgeworth who sit in third, just two points off top spot with a game in hand on the competition leading Jaffas.

Recent history has shown that the Jets Youth put in strong performances against the Eagles, with their last four matches being tight encounters.

Last season Edgeworth won both matches 4-2 against the Jets, but in the corresponding fixture, last season the Jets lead 2-1 with ten minutes to go only to go down 4-2. Earlier this season, the Eagles edged out the Jets 1-0.

With the premiership race, incredibly tight Edgeworth need to win this one and are raging hot favourites to do so.

What the Coaches Said:

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“I think Lawrie might be in charge this week, so you’d imagine they are going to come out fired up if you are playing in front of the CEO. They were all over Hamilton [last weekend] the bits I’ve seen. Bolchy [Olympic coach Mick Bolch] said they were flat so it’s hard to tell whether there are problems at Olympic or did the Jets play well?”

“The teams that went through the emotion of the cup, I bet you they didn’t do that well [last weekend]. I know the Gold Coast they’re leading their comp and they lost. South Melbourne lost. I said to someone, it’s just human nature. The players are distracted. You can talk about what you want. The draw was on Thursday and every one of those players were glued to their phone or TV watching the draw and then talking about South Melbourne instead of Maitland. For us, that [win last weekend] is probably the biggest three points of the year.

Key: Can Edgeworth put their Westfield FFA Cup distractions aside against the Jets?

 

Charlestown City Blues v Hamilton Olympic

2.30pm Sunday 9th July at Lisle Carr Oval

Last Meeting: Round 6, 2017: Hamilton 1 Charlestown 2 at Darling Street Oval.

Ladder: Charlestown 8th (15), Hamilton 4th (25)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Charlestown – Lost Roosters 0-2 (a), Lost Magic 0-2 (a), Won Jets 4-0 (h)

Hamilton – Won Jets 2-1 (a), Drew Magpies 2-2 (h), Won Rosebud 3-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Hamilton teetered on the brink of defeat last weekend against the Jets Youth and will want to hope their “worst performance of the season” according to coach Mick Bolch is well and truly behind them.

Andrew Swan and Rhys Cooper were the saviours for Olympic last weekend as each scored in the final 15 minutes to spare Hamilton’s blushes and keep them in pole position for a finals berth.

While Olympic’s form has been patchy of late, they have only lost one of their last 10 PS4 NPL matches since the defeat to Charlestown in round six. With new signing Reece Papas getting some time to gel with the team on the weekend and at training he will only be better for the run.

Charlestown were always going to be up against it at Magic Park last weekend against a Broadmeadow side who have looked unstoppable of late.

But, the Blues rolled up their sleeves and put in a strong performance. Rene Ferguson caused problems aplenty for the Magic defence, while goalkeeper Nathan Archbold – recruited Broadmeadow – made some brilliant saves to keeper them in the game.

Midweek the Blues went down in another tight contest – 2-0 to the Roosters to leave them in 8th place with five matches left to play.

A win for Olympic and they could consolidate the fourth spot on the ladder, however, defeat could drop them out of the four.

The margins are so very tight at this time of the season and Hamilton will be favourites to continue their march towards a finals spot.

What the Coaches Said:

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“I guess, there is a comparison between the predicaments at both clubs. Bolchy and I are moving on at the end of the year, one to another job and I’m not going anywhere yet. It’s pretty hard on both sides on the coin to walk into a dressing room and demand and expect the best from your players because of the situation we are in.”

“I really think this is anyone’s game. We’ve got a home game and I did mention before that the response from my guys against Maitland a few games ago was brilliant. I think it’s up for grabs for anyone to be honest. I don’t want us to roll over, we’ve still got jobs to do and the boys still have contracts to play for and win bonuses. The players have been brilliant.”

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“[Charlestown] haven’t been travelling brilliantly the last few weeks, but I’m sure they’ll be up. There always up playing Olympic and a few of their old boys. They’re a different side with Josh Maguire playing. He gives them that little bit of leadership and ex-factor in the front third.”

“There are a lot of distractions at the moment and as a group, we just need to focus on football and the job at hand again. [The distractions] have probably been spoken about too much, to be honest. It’s always going to be there. The paper again this week, you had Grant Brown signing for Charlestown. The players and myself both have a job to do for Hamilton Olympic for the rest of the year and that has got to be our number one priority every time we take the field.”

Key: With both coaches leaving at the season’s end, which team can put their off-field distractions to the side?

 

Lake Macquarie City Roosters v Adamstown Rosebud

2.30pm Sunday 9th July at Macquarie Field

Last Meeting: Round 6, 2017: Adamstown 1 Lake Macquarie 2 at Adamstown Oval.

Ladder: Lakes 7th (19), Adamstown 9th (13)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Lakes – Won Blues 2-0 (h), Lost Jaffas 1-3 (a), Lost Magic 0-3 (h)

Adamstown – Won Phoenix 4-2 (h), Won Bears 3-0 (a), Lost Eagles 0-3 (h)

Bottom Line

The Rosebud’s have roared back to life in the last two weeks and will shoot for a third consecutive victory – an achievement not matched since 2015 – when they travel to Lake Macquarie on Sunday afternoon.

It really will depend on which Rosebud outfit turns up on Sunday. Will it be the one which was so disappointing in the first half last weekend against Valentine or the side that turned it on to score four goals in the final half-an-hour of the same match?

The win against the Phoenix was the first-time Adamstown have recorded consecutive victories since 2015.

Lake Macquarie have seemed to have lost traction of late after they slumped to their third consecutive loss on the weekend against Lambton. But, a midweek victory over Charlestown was just what the doctored ordered for the Roosters.

A goal from Sam Walker on Wednesday night ensured he sits just one goal off top spot in the Golden Boot standings, and if he can inspire Lakes to a victory on Sunday, finals may not be out of the question.

The last time these two sides met, it was a tight encounter with Lakes coming away with a 2-1 victory – their first against Adamstown since 2010.

Roosters midfielder Blake Green starred that day and his impact on matches cannot be underestimated. Green has scored five goals in 2017 and when he has found the back of the net Lakes have not lost.

With all the momentum and form in their favour, Adamstown will head to Macquarie Field as favourites, although expect a tight encounter.

What the Coaches Said:

Anthony Richards (Lake Macquarie)

“I don’t think it’s been a disappointing run of form, but a disappointing run of results. We weren’t playing too bad along the way. I thought we did quite well against Jaffas on the weekend. It was only their little bit of quality that beat us and against the Magic again it was only a couple of little lapses that hurt us. But, overall I wasn’t too concerned with how we went. But, it was good to get the points [against Charlestown].”

“[Adamstown] are going really well. Any side that changes their coach quite often become dangerous. They’ve got the evergreen Stu Musialik in there pulling the strings and Alex Read whether he is a centre back or striker he is a good player. In round one we were quite lucky to get the win that day. They played really well and we were just good enough to take our chances when they came.”

Nick Webb (Adamstown)

“[Lakes] are a quality side. They love playing on the counter and we’ve got to be very, very careful of not being short at the back to be quite honest. They created numerous chances [against Charlestown] and could have [scored] a lot more really.”

“We’ve just got to be better on the ball and we’ve just got to show a lot more commitment for the 90 minutes like we did in that last 45 [against Valentine]. We’ve got to come out and want to play and show some confidence. We’re not a bad side, we are certainly not a terrible side so we’ve just got to show that confidence and that desire to want the ball like we have at training.”

Key: Consistency. Can the Rosebud’s build of their second half performance against Valentine or was it a flash in the pan?

Related Topics:
NPL Premier Competitions

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