By Blake Jarrett
Match of the Round
Maitland FC vs. Weston Workers FC
Sun 10 May 2:30 PM
Cooks Square Park
The Northern New South Wales PS4 National Premier Leagues will be desperate to complete its first full round in three weeks this weekend, especially as the first Coalfields Derby in twelve years is set to take place.
Maitland FC welcome the Weston Workers Bears to Cook Square Park on Sunday, in what promises to be the biggest derby clash in many years in the top Northern NSW league.
Making this fixture even more significant is that it is Reece Thompson’s first match in charge of a club he has been involved in for many years, most recently assisting 2014 coach Graham Law to a NEWFM 1st Division double and promotion, then assisting the departed Chris Turner in the first two matches of the PS4 NPL season.
Thompson was frustrated after the Magpies’ midweek match against the Jets Youth was postponed for the second and third times, but is relishing this weekend’s clash.
‘I have been around the guys for a long time and I have been heavily involved all season, so it will be an easy transition,’ he said.
‘We have only played two games, and it will be our first in three weeks, and as far as injuries are concerned we are at full strength and ready to go’.
Weston enters Round 5 in second position, trailing Broadmeadow only by goal difference, having played the most matches of all ten teams this season. They won their midweek Round 3 catch up game 2-1 against South Cardiff, coming from behind thanks to goals from Nathan Morris and Troy Hearfield.
Weston will be without midfielder Rob McBeth, after he was sent off in that match following a scuffle on the ground just after half time with Gunners forward Sean Clerke.
This match should attract a huge crowd, which will provide an immense atmosphere. If you cannot get to Cook Square Park to watch it from the stands, then tune in on Bar TV’s coverage live from 2.25pm here.
Lambton Jaffas FC vs. Broadmeaow Magic FC
Sat 9 May 2:30 PM
Arthur Edden Oval
In the opening fixture of Round 5 league leaders Broadmeadow Magic travel to Arthur Edden Oval where they face rivals Lambton Jaffas on Saturday afternoon.
In recent times, these two sides have a short but fierce rivalry. In 2013 the Jaffas fell victims to Broadmeadow 4-1 in the NBN State League Grand Final. Fast forward a year and a half later to the third round of the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup and it was Broadmeadow again who were victorious, knocking the Jaffas out of the competition with a 2-0 win.
This season Lambton have only managed to play two matches, their last being a 2-1 defeat three weeks ago in Round 2 to Weston. Their other fixture was a 3-2 win against the Jets Youth.
Broadmeadow sit at the top of the pack following two big wins over Maitland and Edgeworth, and a stalemate with Hamilton back in the first round of the competition.
Broadmeadow Magic pair Kale Bradbury and Dino Fajkovic return to their former home ground of Arthur Edden Oval, where they enjoyed a successful Grand Final winning season in 2014 with the Jaffas. The pair has been on fire in the opening weeks of the competition and will be looking to continue this against their old teammates.
The Jaffas only have one player missing this weekend, and that is Michael Sessions, a rock at the back for the side. They have conceded four goals in two games this season without him, so their main test this weekend will be to stand strong as a unit at the back against the firing Bradbury and Fajkovic.
One other test they may face this weekend according to coach David Tanchevski is being under done ‘with no match fitness and limited training over the past few weeks’.
‘The last game feels like an eternity ago,’ he said.
‘The boys are absolutely champing at the bit to get out there though, and training has been very sharp. The boys are super keen and are really looking forward to it’.
Despite both sides’ lack of match fitness and preparation in recent weeks this will be a quality match between two of the competition’s heavyweights.
Adamstown Rosebud FC vs. Edgeworth FC
Sun 10 May 2:30 PM
The second match this Sunday sees both Adamstown and Edgeworth compete in their fourth match of the season, at Adamstown Oval.
Adamstown picked up another point during the week in an exciting 2-2 draw at home to Hamilton Olympic. The Buds opened the scoring in the 13th minute as Guy Bates superbly chipped Olympic keeper Josh Cox from outside the 18 yard box. A Kane Goodchild goal either side of the half time break saw Olympic look to have had the game wrapped up, however a superb free kick into the top left hand corner by Bates in stoppage time to complete a double salvaged a point for the Buds.
Having drawn their Round 1 match to Weston, and lost their second round match to Charlestown, Rosebud enters Round 5 still searching for their first win of 2015.
Edgeworth managed to compete in their first three fixtures, scoring one win and two losses, but were washed out last weekend. They begin this match in sixth place, but could climb back into the top four with a win.
The Buds are still in ninth position which they will be eager to better come Sunday afternoon, and Coach Graham Law is feeling confident.
‘Last night was a very even game. Hamilton were exceptional in the first half, then we changed our tactics and were the better side in the second half,’ he said in regards to Wednesday night’s draw with Hamilton.
‘I am have confidence in the boys, however in every round you have to turn up or you will get beat. It is a very strong competition and that is just the way it is’.
Law also commended his striker Bates who scored two ‘exceptional goals’ against Hamilton, and suggested that the side will begin to win more games when they improve in the other two thirds of the park.
Eagles defender Ayden Brice will be missing again this weekend, after he picked up his second red card of the season in Round 3.
Stu Musialik and Roger Dowdell are the only two Rosebud players missing this weekend.
Last season, two fixtures between these two sides only produced three goals in two matches, with Adamstown winning 1-0 in Round 9 followed by a 1-1 draw in Round 16.
Expect both sides to raise the tempo this season, beginning with this weekend, as both have boosted in the middle and front thirds, playing with greater attacking style.
Newcastle Jets Youth vs. Charlestown City Blues FC
Sun 10 May 2:30 PM
Lisle Carr Oval
The Newcastle Jets Youth travel to Charlestown in Round 5, challenging the Blues at Lisle Carr Oval, intent on maintaining their spot in the Northern NSW PS4 NPL top four.
The Jets enter the round on a high after a gritty 1-0 win over Weston last Saturday. Their midweek Round 3 catch up game was postponed a second and third time on Tuesday and Wednesday, so they will be searching for their second win this weekend after they started their season with a loss, a draw and a win respectively.
Charlestown will be looking to continue the form they discovered in a Round 2 win over Adamstown, where they piled on four goals compared to Rosebud’s two. The Blues last two matches were postponed and they have yet to play a make up game yet, leaving them in seventh.
These two sides met twice in the 2014 season. In Round 5 the Jets were victorious 3-2, then in Round 14 the tables were turned as the Blues handed the Jets their biggest loss of the season in a 5-0 drubbing.
This Sunday the Jets Youth will be extremely understrength, missing four key players in Braeden Crowley, Brandon Lundy, and Beau McDonald, as well as Reece Papas who was sent off last weekend against Weston.
Charlestown will again be without Matt Tull and Joel Witherden, two key members of their side.
Despite the number of players missing from both sides in this match, this will still be a competitive fixture given the depth of both sides, and will be an interesting event for all present at Lisle Carr Oval.
South Cardiff FC vs. Hamilton Olympic FC
Sun 19 Apr 2:30 PM
The final match of Round 5 sees South Cardiff welcome Hamilton Olympic to Ulinga Oval.
South Cardiff were defeated 2-1 by a ten man Weston side on Wednesday night, despite going ahead for the first time this season, after Mitch Wallace scored five minutes in. A Nathan Morris penalty and Troy Hearfield header sealed the loss for the Gunners.
A worrying sign from that match was South Cardiff’s inability to break down the Bears defence, so this weekend will be a tough test against a side who have already kept two clean sheets.
Hamilton were denied a second win of the season on Wednesday night in their rescheduled Round 3 match against Adamstown. The Buds went up 1-0, however a Kane Goodchild double seemed to have handed Olympic the lead, only before Guy Bates scored a free kick in injury time to see the match end two goals apiece.
The draw is Hamilton’s second of the season, and combined with a 2-0 win in Round 2 they sit in third, on five points.
South Cardiff is currently eighth on two points, only ahead of Adamstown by goal difference.
The Gunners and Olympic clashed twice last season, with each picking up three points. Olympic prevailed 4-2 in Round 1, and then South Cardiff responded with a 2-1 win in Round 10.
Looking forward to this weekend’s match against the Gunners, Olympic coach Mick Bolch suggested the only player in doubt for the match is Mason Campbell. It is no secret, however, that the side from Darling Street Oval has the depth to fill the void.
They were without key defender Cody Lucas in their midweek match against Adamstown due to a chest infection, but he expects to be fit and ready for Sunday’s match. Danny Ireland also missed the match but will also be back on Sunday. In a boost for the side however, fellow key defender Kyle Hodges made a return, albeit from the bench.
The match will be quite significant for Olympic 2015 signing Jamie Byrnes who made a name for himself in the top flight with the Gunners, his best season at Ulinga Oval being last year where he scored ten goals in 15 appearances.
South Cardiff are hoping that Matt Grey will be fit and ready for the match, after playing in the Under 22s 4-0 midweek victory over Weston, due to his recovery from an injury.
This fixture should be a physical, end-to-end game between two sides who are both keen to pick up their first win in several weeks.