Competitions

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 6 Preview

April 13th, 2017
PHOTO: Sproule Sports Focus

Ben Homer

Match of the Round

Lambton Jaffas v Broadmeadow Magic

5 pm Friday 14th April at Arthur Edden Oval

Last Meeting: Round 11, 2016: Broadmeadow 4 Lambton 2 at Arthur Edden Oval

Ladder: Lambton 1st (10pts), Broadmeadow 6th (7)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Lambton – Won Roosters 4-0 (a), Lost Phoenix 2-3 (h), Won Eagles 2-1 (h)

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

Bottom Line

Lambton will be looking to make it back-to-back victories for the first time in Season 2017 when they take on Broadmeadow Magic at home in a Good Friday clash between two of the pre-season favourites for the title.

Broadmeadow will be trying to avoid a third straight defeat – something which hasn’t happened since 2015 when they lost four straight.

The two sides come into the match with contrasting form, but with similar headaches in the goalkeeping department. Both sides first choice keepers – Brad Swancott (Lambton) and Niko Giantsopolous (Magic) – will both miss the match due to suspension.

In the form department, Lambton has had the better of the recent results after bouncing back from their loss to Valentine in round four, with a dominant 4-0 victory against Lake Macquarie last weekend.

Broadmeadow come into the match licking their wounds after a physical encounter against Charlestown where they went down in the final five minutes. It was an improved performance from their display in the 4-1 loss to Lakes the week before but Magic still came away empty handed.

While both sides have conceded eight goals this season, Lambton have been by far the better in the attacking third, scoring 13 goals in their five matches including six in their last two. In comparison, Broadmeadow have managed just seven and only one in their last two matches.

Broadmeadow will need to be wary of Lambton’s attacking weapons in Pat Brown and Joel Griffiths. Both have been on song in front of goal, and combine that with Luke Remington who showed his class on Sunday with a blistering strike from outside the box.

What the Coaches Said:

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“They are a team with some weapons. Virgili and Bradbury and Fajkovic is back as well and Haynes. All those sorts of players, you have got to be on your toes that is for sure. They will be stinging from their last couple of results that’s for sure.”

“We’re growing as a team and certainly the first half [against Lakes] was how we like to play for 90 minutes in each and every game. Of course, other teams don’t let you do that, but it sort of gave everyone a glimpse of the potential of the group.”

Ruben Zadkovich (Broadmeadow)

“To be honest I’m very disappointed with the results and even with our performance in many ways. We are still very early days and I’m not playing the same football they were playing last year and I’m not preaching the same things. I’m throwing up some different challenges to the boys and some things they have adapted well and some things they are still finding hard.”

“I’m also trying to change some old habits and I know old habits die hard so I know that change is not going to happen overnight. We’ve got to be patient with it, but there is definitely no panic from us. We are right in the mix and we have proven it with a draw away from home against Edgeworth and a win at home against Valentine, and Valentine have gone and already taken Lambton as a scalp.”

Key: Pat Brown. He’s scored in four of the Jaffas five matches this season and when he has scored this year, the Jaffas haven’t lost.

 

Maitland Magpies v Weston Bears

2.30 pm Friday 14th April at Cooks Square Park

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2016: Maitland 3 Weston 2 at Cooks Square Park

Ladder: Maitland 4th (7), Weston 9th (3)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Maitland – Won Blues 2-1 (a), Drew Eagles 0-0 (a) Won Jets 4-2 (a)

Weston – Drew Rosebud 3-3 (a), Drew Jaffas 2-2 (h), Lost Magic 0-2 (a)

Bottom Line

Steve Piggott returns to Cooks Square Park to coach against his most recent former side in what shapes us as a crucial Good Friday contest for both sides.

Maitland remains the only unbeaten side after five rounds of the competition, and while the Magpies have only played three matches they have performed well thus far.

While they may have had some luck go their way against Edgeworth on Saturday night with offside calls, they were still able to hold last year’s best-attacking side scoreless and that is no mean feat.

A 2-1 midweek victory against Charlestown has seen the Magpies soar into the top four. With the three sides above them having played five matches Maitland have a great opportunity to climb to the top of the ladder in the coming weeks. If results go their way this week they may even have the top spot before the weekend is out.

For Weston, they are just one of three sides left in the competition yet to claim a win this season. While they haven’t notched a win in four matches, they have only lost one match – a  2-0 defeat against Broadmeadow in round two – and have looked cohesive and well organised across their four matches.

The Bears will come into the match fresh from the bye, compared to the Magpies who will play their fourth match in ten days when they line up on Friday afternoon to take on the Bears. How much of a bearing the fatigue factor has remains to be seen.

Squad-wise both sides are close to full strength with Ryan Clarke (hamstring) a chance to return for Maitland, while Jacob Golding remains sidelined for the Bears.

What the Coaches Said:

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“It’s amazing, isn’t it. Three games, none at home and two wins and a draw at the defending champions. It’s not bad, is it! {While it’s a derby] it’s a just another day at the office and they are coming thick and fast. The players in my experience prefer to play than train and they are such a good bunch, they are adaptable.”

“I told them last night they have been magnificent since I have been involved. They have just done what is required and they are not professionals but they have done a really good professional job, I’ll tell you. They would put some professionals to shame.”

Steve Piggott (Weston)

“We’ll just have to be super, super good at execution this week. They are a good strong physical side, with plenty of experience and we are going to have to be at our best if we are any chance of getting a ‘w’.”

“We ran through a few things, [in the week off] changed a few people into different roles and had a look at a few things. Again, execution was our worry [in our trial match] we probably should have scored five or six. I said to the boys we can no longer just be looked at as underdogs. We have just got to aim up and get our first victory and move on from there. We’ve had about eight or nine games together so there are no excuses now.”

Key: With their fourth match in the days, will the short turnarounds take their toll on Maitland?

 

Newcastle Jets Youth v Edgeworth Eagles

2.30 pm Saturday 15th April at Macquarie Field

Last Meeting: Round 12, 2016: Edgeworth 4 Jets Youth 2 at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Ladder: Jets 11th (1), Edgeworth 8th (5)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

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

Eagles – Drew Magpies 0-0 (h), Lost Jaffas 1-2 (a), Won Rosebud 6-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Since Damian Zane began his tenure as Edgeworth Eagles coach back in 2015, they have never gone three matches without a win. This weekend the Jets Youth get an opportunity to put Edgeworth under some real pressure.

If the Jets Youth do manage to claim a victory or even share the points with the Eagles, many will look at that statistic as a negative. For the present, that is probably valid, but on reflection, it shows just how high Edgeworth have set the bar over the last two seasons and just how exceptionally consistent they have been.

Over recent weeks Edgeworth have struggled in front of goal, and while you could say they were unlucky with offsides last weekend, Zane will want his side to be more clinical. It is by no means doom and gloom for Edgeworth.

At this stage last year they had drawn against Broadmeadow and lost to Hamilton in consecutive weeks and still went on to win the title.

For the Jets, their significant problem is the amount of goals they have conceded in four matches. In all four matches this year the Jets have conceded four goals to make it 16 all up.

While their attack has been good enough – averaging two goal per game – their defence is letting them down and they can’t afford another disappointing effort at the back against Edgeworth or they may just play the defending Premiers back into attacking form.

Edgeworth will be at full strength for the match, while for the Jets Ryan Smith and Tyson Jackson (both ankles) are in doubt.

What the Coaches Said:

Clayton Zane (Jets Youth)

“We don’t look too far ahead in terms of what we are up against. For us, it’s still looking after what we need to improve first and foremost cause I think scoring goals has not been a problem for us again but conceding has. It’s not a bad time for us to play them if they are a little bit goal shy at the moment but for us, it will just be about manning up from a physical point in the back third.”

“I’ve thrown two boys that didn’t play [at the back] last year into the mix and they have had to step up and it’s the first time they have played regularly. They both didn’t play regularly in this team last year as they are younger boys. Mitch Dobson and Pat Langlois have done a really good job. They have listened to how we want to play out and they have implemented that.”

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“I had a look on the weekend and we had numbers [in the box] but it’s just guys making the same runs and when we did have good runs, the delivery wasn’t good enough. We had 23 crosses [against Maitland] and I had 13 down as poor and six as ok and that’s not good enough. I don’t think we are playing poorly at all, it’s just being better in the final third.”

“I don’t think we’ve been great in the final third so [knowing the amount of goals the Jets have conceded] shouldn’t be an issue. To be honest I haven’t even mentioned them this week so far. Our play has been fine. We’re defending well and our build-up play has been good. It’s just that final pass, the final cross, making the right runs [that we need to get right].

Key: Can Edgeworth iron out their attacking yips against a Jets side with a tendency to leak goals?

 

Hamilton Olympic v Charlestown City Blues

6 pm Saturday 15th April at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 18, 2016: Hamilton 3 Charlestown 0 at Lisle Carr Oval

Ladder: Hamilton 7th (6), Charlestown 5th (7)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Hamilton – Won Jets 4-1 (h), Won Rosebud 1-0 (a), Lost Jaffas 2-3 (h)

Charlestown – Lost Magpies 1-2 (h), Won Magic 1-0 (h), Won Jets 4-1 (a)

Bottom Line

It has been all Hamilton in the last four clashes between the two sides, as Olympic have racked up the goals and tightened the screws at the back when they have taken on Charlestown of late.

Hamilton’s Scott Smith comes up against his former club for the first time and his strong form for Olympic in front of goal will make it even more difficult for Charlestown as they look to end their poor recent record against Olympic.

It has been all one-way traffic since Smith’s former partner in crime at the Blues, and current teammate at Olympic – Kane Goodchild – left the club at the start of the 2015 season.

Since last year’s golden boot left Charlestown, Hamilton have won all four matches by a combined margin of 18-3 including 6-0 and 3-0 victories against the Blues in 2016. Of Hamilton’s last 18 goals against Charlestown, Goodchild has scored five.

The last time Charlestown defeated Hamilton was back in 2014. Kane Goodchild scored at Darling Street that afternoon and the Blues got the job done 1-0.

Charlestown’s recent form has been very good and while a 2-1 loss to Maitland on Tuesday will be disappointing they showed plenty of fight – something that was missing early in the season.

Their win on the weekend against Broadmeadow will have given the Blues plenty of confidence, but the big question of Charlestown this weekend will be whether they can put their recent run of form against Olympic behind them.

In a boost for Olympic, Kane Goodchild (work) will return to the side.

What the Coaches Said:

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“They had a great win from last weekend against Broadmeadow Magic. You can’t take your eye of them, they’ve got plenty of quality. Matt Tull is doing really well. Josh Maguire is pulling the strings for them in the number ten and has scored a couple of cracking free kicks so far this year. They’ve got strengths all over the park.”

“We’ve just got to build on what we did against the Jets. I thought the first two goals we scored against the Jets were two of the best goals I’ve seen this year, in team effort. I think the second goal we strung 13 or 14 passes together before Tommy Spencer scored the goal. So, we are doing well with the ball.”

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“[The response] has been terrific [over the last two weeks]. They are a great group of guys who have shown that they can turn up and win a football game and that they are willing to put the effort in and the attitude and the commitment has been good over the last two weeks.”

Key: Can Charlestown cure their case of the blues against Olympic?

 

 

Adamstown Rosebud v Lake Macquarie City Roosters

2.30 pm Sunday 9th April at Lisle Carr Oval

Last Meeting: Round 14, 2014: Adamstown 5 Lake Macquarie 2

Ladder: Adamstown 10th (2), Lake Macquarie 3rd (8)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Adamstown – Lost Phoenix 0-2 (a), Drew Bears 3-3 (h), Lost Eagles 0-6 (a).

Lakes – Lost Jaffas 0-4 (h), Won Magic 4-1 (a), Drew Blues 1-1 (a)

Bottom Line

A season which promised so much just over a month ago has quickly gone pear-shaped for Adamstown Rosebud.

While the season is far from over, Pete McGuinness’ side is in desperate need of a victory if not to keep themselves in touch with the sides above them, but to restore some confidence which has taken a battering lately.

Adamstown were impressive in the opening 20 minutes at Edgeworth until Daniel Yaxley was sent from the ground and from that moment the Rosebud’s have seemed to lose their way. A 6-0 hiding followed the next week by a second half fade out against Weston – where they gave up a 3-1 lead – hurt them significantly and against Valentine they lacked creativity in the front third.

The Rosebud’s come up against a Lakes side which may be still reeling from the 4-0 hiding they copped at the hands of Lambton on Sunday afternoon. It was a severe reality check for the Roosters after an undefeated run to the season and there may be no better time like the present for Adamstown to take on Lake Macquarie.

While Lakes will be aiming to return to the winners’ circle, they will also be looking to end seven long years between victories against Adamstown. Their last win was back in 2010, a 6-5 victory a Macquarie Field.

In more bad news for Adamstown, defender Daniel Yaxley left the club during the week citing work commitments. Zaell Ford and Jordan Harrison (both away) will miss the match while Dayne Pawlik returns to the Rosebud side this week. For Lakes, Justin Broadley (broken toe) is out.

What the Coaches Said:

Pete McGuinness (Adamstown)

“It’s been a bad couple of weeks, not just for us, but for everyone, trying to train when you have problems to iron out and you can’t get on a pitch. It hasn’t been ideal.”

“There are some things that are evident that we are not doing well, which doesn’t allow us to complete what we are trying to achieve, trying to keep the ball, trying to execute in the front third which had been difficult because we haven’t had a venue to do that.”

Anthony Richards (Lakes)

“The [boy’s confidence] is still pretty good. I reckon last night they trained harder than they have ever trained so they are still a happy bunch and they are still training hard. There is a good vibe in the camp and the boys get on really well so there are no problems. They have moved one.”

“It is important to make sure we don’t have any battle scars from [the Lambton match] and we are good to go again. If you dwell on it too much, this competition has proven that the sides that haven’t [been predicted] to do well are doing well and the really good sides can fall over at any stage.

Key: The bounce-back factor. Will Lakes respond with a strong performance after their 4-0 loss to Lambton?

 

 

Related Topics:
NPL Premier Competitions

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