Competitions

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 8 Preview

May 26th, 2016
Photo: Sproule Sports Focus

Ben Homer

Match of the Round

Maitland Magpies v Edgeworth Eagles

Sunday May 29, 2.30pm

Cooks Square Park

Last Meeting: Maitland 0 Edgeworth 2 at Cooks Square Park, July 12, 2015.

Ladder: Maitland 3rd (15pts) Edgeworth 2nd (16pts)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Maitland – Won Weston (a) 3-0, Drew Jaffas (h) 0-0, Won Jets (h) 4-1

Edgeworth – Won Blues (h) 6-1, Won Phoenix (a) 4-0, Lost Olympic (h) 3-2

Bottom Line

Second meets third this Sunday afternoon as part of the ‘Match of the Round’ in the 2016 PlayStation® 4 National Premier League Northern NSW competition and both Edgeworth and Maitland will be looking to keep pace with ladder leaders Hamilton Olympic.

The home side come into this clash after an undefeated run across the opening seven rounds which has seen them claim 4 wins and 3 draws and will be full of confidence after disposing of their rivals Weston last weekend in a clinical 3-0 win.

While Matt Crowell will remain on the sidelines for some time with a hernia, Dean Heffernan’s first full match since being suspended in Round 2 brought, a goal for himself and a clean sheet to boot. Heffernan’s move to the centre of defence looks a good one, however Edgeworth’s attack will ask more questions of the Magpies defence than Weston’s did last weekend.

Carl Thornton has continued his impressive form in his move into the midfield and his ability to drop back and defend has further shored up Maitland’s defence.

For Edgeworth their start to the season has also been very impressive, their only hiccup being a 3-2 loss to Hamilton Olympic. Brody Taylor and Keanu Moore both grabbed a brace on Sunday against Charlestown and will be crucial this weekend against a Maitland defensive unit which has been difficult to break down.

Keigo Moriyasu produced another spectacular free kick last round and Maitland will be looking to reduce the amount of free kicks they give within Moriyasu’s range. Daniel McBreen will also be back for Edgeworth in another boost for their front third.

While Edgeworth’s attack has drawn all the attention, their defence has gone mostly unnoticed. Josh Evans and Pat Wheeler at the back have been great for the Eagles all year and have helped the Eagles to boast the third best defensive record in the league, with just 8 goals conceded in 7 matches. That is only behind their opponents Maitland (5) and first placed Hamilton (4).

What the Coaches Said:

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“I think some people will be surprised that Maitland are up near the top of the ladder. Once I knew Steve Piggott was taking charge, I knew they would be. I tipped them at the start of the year to make the top 4.”

“Piggo is pretty astute and I think he will try to nullify our pace. They sat fairly deep against Hamilton in Round 1 and I expect they may do the same. But, he might surprise me and come out at us. We just need to worry about ourselves. I back us, that if we are at our best, we can beat anyone.”

Steve Piggott (Maitland)

“I was very happy on the weekend, their discipline, keeping clean sheets and only 5 goals conceded [for the year]. It’s a tough assignment playing Edgeworth. I still tip them to be the best side in the competition. They have mobility everywhere and they are sharp. The secret for us is to stop them scoring goals.”

Key: Cooks Square Park has been a hard place to score goals this year, so how well can Edgeworth adapt to the normally windy conditions at Maitland?

Join myself and Declan Payne live on BarTV from 2.30pm.

 

Lambton Jaffas v Jets Youth

Saturday May 28, 2.30pm

Arthur Edden Oval

Last Meeting: Jets Youth 2 Lambton 3 at Arthur Edden Oval, June 13, 2015.

Ladder: Lambton 6th (7pts), Jets Youth 8th (4pts)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Lambton – Won Rosebud (h) 3-0, Drew Magpies (a) 0-0, Lost Blues (h) 3-1

Jets Youth – Lost Olympic (h) 5-0, Won Rosebud (a) 3-0, Lost Magpies (a) 4-1

Bottom Line

These two sides have treated us to some tight contests over the last two seasons. In their four most recent clashes, one goal has separated the sides, the Jets however have only won one of those matches.

The Lambton Jaffas have returned to form in recent weeks with 2 wins, a draw and a loss from their last four matches, which followed on from 3 losses to start the season.

Coach James Pascoe’s style is now starting to show in a Jaffas’ line-up with a mix of the old and new and a charge for the top 4 looks like it has begun. Last weekend saw their most dominant performance when they disposed of Adamstown 5-0 at home.

Luke Remington scored his first goal of the season in that match and went on to grab a hat-trick, as the

PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW Player of the Year in 2015 found form. If he can bring that kind of performance against the Jets, it could be a tough afternoon for their young defence.

For the Jets, they copped a 5-0 thumping from Hamilton Olympic last weekend, but the score line probably didn’t reflect the chances the young side created. Kristan Brymora, once again, was impressive up front, but trying to put one past Danny Ireland in the Hamilton goal proved a task which was too difficult.

Its was individual errors at the back which cost them against Hamilton, who were prepared to sit deep and strike when the Jets made a mistake. Lambton, normally like to control the ball, so it will be interesting to see if James Pascoe’s side take that same approach against a side that likes to do the same.

Caio DeGodoy will be a key for the Jets at the back, his size, strength and overall performances have been a major shining light for the Jets, in a season where they have conceded more than 3 goals a game on average.

What the Coaches Said:

Clayton Zane (Jets)

“Our strategy doesn’t really change. We set out to control games with the ball and pretty much every game, on the weekend it was a bit closer to 50-50 but every other match we have controlled the game and had most of the ball. Obviously still dealing with counter attacks is an issue with us, but we want to be the team on the front foot in every game we play.”

Key: The Jets taking their chances. They created plenty against Hamilton last week but couldn’t breach Danny Ireland’s defences. With a defence conceding more than three a game, the Jets need some goals this week.

 

Valentine Phoenix v Hamilton Olympic

Saturday May 28 3.00pm

Cahill Oval

Last Meeting: Hamilton 5 Valentine 0 at Darling Street Oval, June 16, 2013.

Ladder: Valentine 7th (5pts), Hamilton 1st (19pts)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Valentine – Drew Magic (a) 3-3, Lost Eagles (h) 4-0, Won Bears (a) 2-1

Hamilton – Won Jets (h) 5-0, Won Magic (h), 3-1, Won Eagles (a) 3-2

Bottom Line

Valentine come into this match with plenty of confidence after giving Broadmeadow Magic a huge scare last weekend, leading 3-2 with 20 minutes left on the clock, but unfortunately for the Phoenix they couldn’t hold on. The clash with Hamilton will be the final week of a three-week examination of the Phoenix, after they met Edgeworth in Round 6.

After being thumped by Edgeworth they responded outstandingly last week and the Phoenix will not want to undo all the good work of last weekend with a poor showing in front of their home faithful.

Matt Paul will play his second match for the Phoenix after transferring over from Adamstown a week ago. Assistant coach Sam Griffin said Paul was ‘terrific’ against Magic and there is no doubt he will be better off after a few more training sessions with his new side.

Hamilton have been unstoppable so far this season and will want to keep their winning streak alive against Valentine which has now stretched to 6 matches. Incredibly, Olympic have only lost 3 of their last 28 PlayStation 4 NPL matches.

Olympic have the best defence and attack in the competition, in defence they have just conceded 4 goals in their opening 7 games and in attack they have scored 21. Kane Goodchild scored his second hat-trick of the season against the Jets Youth and Valentine will need to be wary of the competition’s leading striker.

Valentine will need to work out how to beat Danny Ireland and interestingly enough they have one man who has beaten Ireland in their line-up in Matt Paul. Paul is just one of 4 players to put one past Ireland this year, and he scored for Adamstown back in Round 2 in their 3-1 loss to Olympic.

In an interesting side note Hamilton coach Mick Bolch meets his former club Valentine, who he left in 2009.

What the Coaches Said:

Sam Griffin (Valentine Assistant)

“To beat Hamilton, we probably need to have respect for the ball, create and build pressure. We did it for stages against Magic and we looked good when we held onto it and camped ourselves in their half. Even if we are not getting a shot away, we are keeping pressure on them and maybe forcing them into a mistake.”

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“Defensively we are going really well. Conceding four goals in the first seven games is really good and we have done a fair bit of work in defence. But, I’m impressed with how the boys have stepped up to the plate. We have lost Mason Campbell, Marcus Duncan and Andrew Swan hasn’t played a game and now Tommy Davies has left.”

“The guys are just adapting to what we need and contributing to the team across the park. Tommy Spencer in the middle of the park, flies under the radar a bit, he is very creative and skilful on the ball and has probably had a hand in 30% of our goals the year. But, the competition for spots is what is really driving the squad.”

Key: Can Valentine put the disappointment of not claiming a victory against Magic behind them and put on a similar fighting display in front of their home fans?

 

Adamstown Rosebud v Weston Workers Bears

Sunday May 29, 2.30pm

Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: Weston 1 Adamstown 2 at Rockwell Automation Park, June 13, 2015.

Ladder: Adamstown 9th (3pts) Weston 10th (2pts)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Adamstown – Lost Jaffas (a) 5-0, Lost Jets (h) 3-0, Lost Maitland (h) 6-1

Weston – Lost Maitland (h) 3-0, Lost Blues (a) 1-0, Lost Phoenix (h) 2-1

Bottom Line

Both Adamstown and Weston will be looking to halt a four match losing run, which has seen both teams slide to the bottom of the ladder in the PlayStation 4 NPL.

On the scoreboard, Adamstown were thumped by Lambton last weekend but in the contest they were right in the game for the opening 60 minutes, only being down 1-0 at the time. The Rosebud’s will be aiming to bring that type of performance against a Bear’s side who also have also struggled this year.

Adamstown’s defence is a big concern, as they have leaked 26 goals across the 7 matches played so far. Their young centre backs in Owen Littlewood and Dylan Schrauder are still developing their combination and will be keen to keep Weston quiet.

Weston’s performance in the final third has been their major concern this season, scoring just one goal in their last 6 matches, which was from the penalty spot. Last weekend, they played against a Maitland side who were down to 10 men for more than half of the game and struggled to create chances.

Gary McDermott, has been the most impressive for the Bears upfront and he scored a hat-trick in Round 1 against the Jets and the visitors will no doubt be looking to him in attack. The Bear’s defence has been solid this season, Greg Anderson at the back has been outstanding and he will be another key man for Weston.

Mick Ryan returns for Weston after missing the derby with Maitland.

What the Coaches Said:

Graham Law (Adamstown)

“Weston are in the same position as us. They have been depleted this year and are building a new squad. Some of the games I have seen of Weston this year, I watch every game on BarTV, they just haven’t had a stroke of luck.”

“One thing I’ll say is that they are honest boys, they are putting in their all in for this club and we just need to get a break.”

Trevor Morris (Weston)

“If the older, senior blokes aren’t performing, we will give the younger guys a go. They have had their chance, 7 games, no wins. Surely you wouldn’t disagree if we were to drop them and give the young blokes a go. There is only one way to get experience and that is play.”

Key: Heart. Its been a tough season for both clubs and whichever team wants it more will get the job done at Adamstown.

 

Charlestown City Blues v Broadmeadow Magic

Sunday May 29, 2.30pm

Lisle Carr Oval.

Last Meeting: Broadmeadow 2 Charlestown 0 at Magic Park, August 8, 2015.

Ladder: Broadmeadow 5th (12pts) Charlestown 4th (14pts)

Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):

Charlestown – Lost Eagles (a) 6-1, Won Bears (h) 1-0, Won Jaffas (a) 3-1

Broadmeadow – Drew Phoenix (h) 3-3, Lost Olympic (a) 3-1, Won Jets (a) 4-1

Bottom Line

Charlestown City Blues return home to Lisle Carr Oval in Round 8 keen to put the disappointment of their first loss of the season behind them in their 6-1 defeat at Edgeworth.

The Blues record against Broadmeadow is better than most sides in the competition, with Charlestown winning 3 of their last 5 matches against Magic and 2 of their last 3. They haven’t lost against Broadmeadow at Lisle Carr Oval since 2013 and Shane Pryce will be hoping his side can keep that good run alive.

Charlestown were right in the contest with Edgeworth for much of the match in Round 6, with Charlestown only down 2-1 after 66 minutes. But, a 4 goal blitz in the final 24 minutes hurt the Blues and their so far very good defensive record in 2016.

Charlestown will have to be wary in the first half especially, with 8 of Broadmeadow last 11 goals coming in the first half of matches.

After three wins and two draws from their opening five matches Broadmeadow were entrenched in the top four, however they have fallen outside the finals spots in the last couple of weeks following a 3-1 defeat at Hamilton followed by a draw with Valentine.

If Broadmeadow drop 3 points to Charlestown a gap of a least 3 points will appear between them and the top four, which is a position they don’t want to be in. Co-coach Bobby Naumov was disappointed that Broadmeadow didn’t take enough of their chances against Valentine in front of goal, however their defence is also a concern, as they have leaked 3 goals in their last 2 matches.

What the Coaches Said:

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“I don’t think the match against Edgeworth is a true indication of where we are at. It’s a wake up call. They are a lot better than us at the moment, but we have got room to improve. 6-1 is embarrassing to us. That really hurt and cut a few of the senior players up.”

“I think it will be a cracker of a game in my mind, because Broadmeadow are looking to erase last weekend and we are definitely looking to improve from last week. You’ve got to be mentally prepared and physically prepared at the start of the whistle. The pace that they have got out wide, has been obviously working for them, as that’s where they have been getting their early goals and we will look to nullify that.

Bobby Naumov (Broadmeadow)

“Charlestown have been the surprise team this year. They got smacked last weekend and that can be a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes teams react differently after a loss.”

“We just need to worry about ourselves, every game you drop points, the following weeks become must win to keep in touch with the top teams. We need to get on a role ASAP.”

Key: The first half. 8 of Magic’s last 11 goals have come in the first half. If Charlestown can weather the early storm, this will go down to the wire.

Related Topics:
NPL Premier Competitions

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