By Blake Jarrett
Edgeworth FC vs. Lambton Jaffas FC
Sun 17 May 1:30 PM
Jack McLaughlan Oval
Match of the Round
The Northern New South Wales PS4 National Premier Leagues Match of the Round is set to be a massive event as Edgeworth host the Lambton Jaffas, continuing a rivalry that developed in 2014.
Edgeworth have played four matches this season, winning two and losing two. They are on six points, just two points outside the top four.
The Jaffas are even closer to the top four, as they boast one more point than their Round 6 opponents. The Jaffas have managed two wins, a draw and a loss in their opening four matches, and are fifth on seven points.
Everyone apart from Michael Sessions was available for selection for the Jaffas in their midweek match, a 3-1 win over Charlestown on Wednesday night, which is a positive for coach Dave Tanchevski.
He revealed some positive news about his key defender following the side’s 2-2 draw to Broadmeadow.
‘Sesh (Sessions) will not be ready for the match against Charlestown but hopefully he will be right to make the bench on Sunday against Edgeworth. That is something we are looking at,’ he said.
Elaborating on the Round 6 fixture away from home, Tanchevski suggested that he believes the match against Edgeworth will be a tough game, however he is confident his side will be up for the clash.
Eagles coach Damien Zane has felt his own good fortune in terms of his side’s defense last weekend as well.
‘We played very well and I was happy that we kept the clean sheet,’ he said after his sides 2-0 win over Adamstown.
‘Pat Wheeler and Josh Evans were rocks at the back. Josh Evans’ move to the backline was one that had to be made. Lochie Pasquale stepping up and performing well in the midfield on his debut has made that move a whole lot easier for us’.
Looking forward to Sunday’s match against the Jaffas, Zane is relishing the chance to coach the Eagles to their first win over the side since their promotion in 2013.
‘I don’t think we’ve beaten them since they came up to the NPL so we need to change that,’ he said.
‘They are tough to beat, and Jobe Wheelhouse is a major reason, he is a class above. He works hard and is looking really fit at the moment’.
‘We need to take care of ourselves and not worry about them. It should be a good game I look forward to it’.
Last season the sides only produced three goals in their two matches. In Round 6 they played out a 0-0 draw at Arthur Edden Oval, and in Round 15 the Jaffas won 2-1 at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
With both sides defending well this season Sunday’s Match of the Round could well be another low scoring event, and therefore both sides will need to be switched on and clinical in the front third.
Adamstown Rosebud FC vs. Maitland FC
Sat 16 May 2:30 PM
Adamstown welcome Maitland to Adamstown Oval in the only Round 6 match to be played on Saturday this weekend.
This is a must win clash between two sides who have failed to record a win in nine games between them.
Adamstown have played five of those, losing three and drawing twice, and are stuck in ninth on two points.
The Buds’ most recent loss came on Tuesday night. They led 2-0 at half time against Broadmeadow away from home through goals from Guy Bates and Dayne Pawlik. Magic scored three second half goals though, with the last coming in the 95th minute, which crushed the Buds players and Coach Graham Law.
Maitland are also struggling, sitting last on just one point. Of their four matches after being promoted from the NEWFM 1st Division, Maitland have experienced little success, drawing one and losing three.
They too played midweek, losing 4-2 to the Jets Youth on Wednesday night. Ben Martin and Blake Thompson both scored for the Magpies but it was not enough as Radovan Pavicevic and Antonee Burke both recorded doubles.
Reece Thompson’s first two games as First Grade coach happened to be against the 2014 Premiers and runners up, so he will be hoping that this weekend’s match up against the lower ranked Adamstown who are also struggling for a win will see him record his first victory.
In saying that, Adamstown are a side that is certainly underachieving. Guy Bates is performing sensationally, leading from the front. Rosebud have scored six goals, which is more than second placed Weston. They are being let down in the defensive third however, conceding eleven goals.
The Buds will be aware that once they fix these defensive problems the wins will come thick and fast, and this weekend’s match against Maitland is the perfect opportunity.
The last time these two sides met was Sunday 1st September 2013 in the NEWFM 1st Division Grand Final. Adamstown won that match 2-1. During that season results were mixed in this fixture, with a draw, an Adamstown win, and a Maitland win.
Competition between the two sides has been traditionally strong, and that looks set to continue this weekend, as the two sides desperately push to record their first win of 2015.
Hamilton Olympic FC vs. Newcastle Jets Youth
Sun 17 May 1:30 PM
Darling Street Oval
Hamilton Olympic welcome the Newcastle Jets Youth in the second match on Sunday in what should be an extremely interesting contest.
The home side are in fourth position on eight points, having won two and drawn two of their opening four matches. If results go their way this weekend they can finish the round in first.
The Jets Youth continued their winning run last night, making it three on the trot with their 4-2 victory over Maitland. Braces to both Radovan Pavicevic and Antonee Burke saw the Jets advance to second place on the ladder.
They started off the season with a loss and a draw, however those three wins have propelled them to second, with a total of ten competition points.
Mick Bolch is aware of the threat that the young Jets side his Hamilton team will come up against on Sunday pose, and knows the home side will need to be alert.
‘The Jets are a sharp young side full of talent,’ he said.
‘We definitely have to be on our game if we are going to get a result. They play a disciplined game, and we need to be at our best on Sunday’.
His side have the potential and ability to end the Jets’ current hot streak. Olympic is one of only two teams who have not been defeated this year, and they have already kept two clean sheets in four games.
To add to their impressive start, Hamilton are also at a luxury in regards to player availability. Kyle Hodges has returned, giving Bolch a full squad to choose from. Tom Davies and Matt Swan were substituted on Sunday against the Gunners with injury, however both will be available for Round 6.
These two teams met twice in 2014, drawing twice, 1-1 in Round 9 and 2-2 in Round 16, which highlights the competitiveness between the pair.
There was some positive news around the Jets camp during the week, as Coach Peter McGuinness picked up the Westfield W-League Coach of the Year for the 2014 season, an award that was well deserved for his efforts in turning around a side that picked up just one point the season before, to one that only just missed out on the finals in 2014.
He will have his head back in the PS4 NPL this weekend as his Jets side look to make it four from four, and hopefully jump to the top of the table in the process.
Charlestown City Blues FC vs. Weston Workers FC
Sun 17 May 1:30 PM
Lisle Carr Oval
Charlestown take on Weston on Sunday, aware that a win is essential after a slow start to their season.
The Blues have played four matches, winning just one and losing their remaining three. This has left them five points outside the top four in seventh position.
They missed out on a perfect opportunity to gain some points during the week, when they were defeated by Lambton 3-1 away from home on Wednesday night. Daniel Bird scored the Blues’ lone goal.
The Bears on the other hand are enjoying a stellar start to their season. They have played five matches, three of which they have picked up maximum points. They have drawn one, and lost one, which leaves them in third place, only trailing the Jets Youth by goal difference.
Bears coach Trevor Morris has been impressed with his side defensively in their opening five games, in which they have produced two clean sheets and conceded a competition best of three.
‘We did a lot of work pre season on our defensive shape and structure, and to the boys credit it takes a lot of hard work and courage to make it work and they have done that really well,’ he said.
‘Tim Pratt has been working hard, he’s the hardest trainer in the club and he never misses a session. The harder you work the luckier you get and Pratty is living proof of that’.
Morris also suggested after the match against Maitland that his side had a lot of knocks after playing three games in eight days, so this week would involve lots of recovery sessions. It will be interesting to see how they shape up on Sunday, missing at least Jason Cowburn and Rob McBeth.
These two teams were involved in two high scoring affairs last season drawing 3-3 in Round 9, and Weston winning 4-1 in Round 16 and the crowd at Lisle Carr Oval will be hoping it will see more of that this Sunday afternoon.
Broadmeadow Magic FC vs. South Cardiff FC
Sun 17 May 2:00 PM
The final match of Round 6 will see the battle of the Reds, as Broadmeadow Magic play host to South Cardiff Gunners at Magic Park.
Magic sit comfortably in first position, on eleven points after five games having won three matches and drawn two.
The most recent result for Broadmeadow was a 3-2 win over Adamstown on Tuesday night in their rescheduled Round 4 tie. The Rosebud went into the break ahead 2-0 after goals from Guy Bates and Dayne Pawlik, however second half goals to Dino Fajkovic, Scott Petit cancelled them out. It looked set to finish a draw, but deep into injury time Chris Berlin popped up for a winner, keeping Magic at the top of the ladder.
Magic’s win over Adamstown on Tuesday night was even more impressive as they were without three defensive options in Luke Virgili, Jon Griffiths and Rhys Tippet. They boast a number of attacking choices in their top 20, however wins without those three players showcases the depth the leaders have in all areas of their squad.
The Gunners have not experienced a successful start like their Round 6 opponents. They are currently in eighth position on the ladder, having drawn two and lost two of their first four games.
Form might contribute to the result of this match on Sunday afternoon. Magic will enter the round high on confidence after Berlin’s late winner on Tuesday, whereas South Cardiff’s two matches that both ended in defeats will see them down on confidence. The test will be for Magic to use it to their advantage, and for South Cardiff to overcome this
Gunners coach Greg Asquith was disappointed after his side’s 5-2 defeat to Hamilton, and rightly so as the score was 2-2 with 30 minutes remaining and the three points were at an arms length.
‘We need to learn from what happened today (Sunday)’ he said.
‘Individual errors are costing us games, so we need to make sure we are on our game against Magic. We generally lift against them, but now we have to’.
In saying that however, South Cardiff have a giant reason to feel confident, with the announcement midweek that they had captured the signature of former defender Phil Bures. Bures adds size, strength and leadership at the back for the Gunners. He will not be available until Round 7 however, so will not feature on Sunday.
Asquith’s comments about the Gunners lifting against Magic are reflected in their 2014 results. South Cardiff picked up the three points in Round 5 with a 2-1 win, then the sides shared the points with a 1-1 draw in Round 14.
This match will be physical and both sides will be intense in the front third, and therefore it should be a fascinating game, the perfect way to complete Round 6 of the Northern NSW PS4 National Premier Leagues.