By Blake Jarrett
**Please note Lambton Jaffas v Adamstown Rosebud fixtures have been moved to Sunday 24th May with the previous kick off times standing**
**Please note Jets Youth v Broadmeadow Magic First Grade will now take place on Monday 25th May at 7pm, all other grades postponed**
Match of the Round
South Cardiff FC vs. Edgeworth FC
Sun 24 May 2:30 PM
The Northern New South Wales PS4 National Premier Leagues Match of the Round sees South Cardiff Gunners host Edgeworth Eagles at Ulinga Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners enter the round in eighth place, after winning last night against Charlestown at Lisle Carr Oval, and advancing to five points.
The first half of the match only produced one goal as Ash Balcomb drove a cracking shot into the bottom left hand corner to put the Gunners ahead at half time. Jung Sang-deok and Nick Russell scored early in the second half to go ahead 3-0. They conceded midway through the second half but held on comfortably to win 3-1.
The Gunners were without an astonishing six players in last night’s match, including Sean Clerke, Matt Grey, Dean Kelley, Cameron Herring, Matt Darr and Lee Ashton. Nathan Stevens returned from injury however he came off the bench.
Edgeworth also played last night, defeating Maitland 4-1, moving up the ladder into fourth position. Brody Taylor, Justin Tannock, Keanu Moore and Brenton Olzomer all netted for the Eagles, who scored an impressive 13th goal in six matches.
Bren Hammel missed Wednesday night’s match against Maitland through suspension, and they were also without Bray Smith through work commitments. They welcomed back Aiden Bryce from suspension who came off the bench.
Both sides will be desperate to regain a number of the familiar faces missing last night for this weekend’s clash.
South Cardiff have been disappointing in their opening six matches winning just one game so far. They have come up against all three of the top three sides, going ahead against three, Weston, Hamilton and Broadmeadow, all of which they gave up then went on to lose.
Coach Greg Asquith is desperate for another win, having only picked up one in the first third of the season.
‘At the moment we have a fair few boys carrying knocks. We just really need to win and get some momentum,’ he said after the match against Magic. That is exactly what they did last night, and now the challenge is to use the win to build momentum.
The Gunners will be boosted this weekend by the return of Phil Bures to the club, who returns after a year and a half away from the club.
‘Phil gives us a lot of extra leadership,’ Asquith said.
‘We have a very young backline so he’ll help us there and take a bit of pressure off some of the younger boys, who to their credit have been doing well’.
Damian Zane identified this week as a crucial one in their season, as this Sunday marks their third match in a week. His goal was to have ‘a good start to the week’ and that is exactly what the side has done picking up the maximum six points. They will be looking to make it nine out of nine on Sunday afternoon.
Having entered the top four, not a lot is concerning Zane at the moment, however one major worry he has is the fact the side has received three red cards in six matches. When discussing Bren Hammel’s sending off on Sunday against Lambton he was thankful it benefited his side, but suggested that would not always be the case.
These two sides are traditionally huge rivals, however this match will be about more than 90 minutes of football come Sunday as the two clubs are brought together by tragedy. Prior to the match there will be a minute silence for Sam Taylor, a loyal South Cardiff and Newcastle Jets fan, who tragically passed during the week. Sam had family connections to both the Gunners and the Eagles and will dearly missed by the Newcastle football community.
The match will broadcast live this Sunday, as Bar TV’s weekly coverage continues following the Broadmeadow Magic vs. Jets Youth match on Friday evening.
Newcastle Jets Youth vs. Broadmeadow Magic FC
Mon 25 May 7:00 PM
The match between Broadmeadow Magic and the Newcastle Jets Youth may not be the Match of the Round, however it is a massive clash and will be broadcast live on Bar TV for those who cannot make it to Magic Park on Friday night.
Magic begin Round 7 on top of the ladder following four wins and two draws. They are on 14 points and alongside Hamilton Olympic, are one of two teams that have not been beaten yet this season.
The Jets Youth had their winning streak ended on the weekend by Hamilton Olympic, losing 2-1 to the inform side. That loss left the Jets in fourth place on ten points, however they dropped to fifth last night after Edgeworth cruised past Maitland 4-1
Broadmeadow have been firing in recent weeks, scoring 18 goals in six games, an average of three per game. New signings Kale Bradbury and Dino Fajkovic has scored a combined twelve goals for the club this season, of the 18 they have produced. Fajkovic has six of those, and Bradbury also has six.
At the other end of the park however, Magic have only kept one clean sheet and that was in a Round 1 0-0 draw against Hamilton Olympic. Their focus in this match will be not only to continue their hot scoring run, but also not to concede.
These two heavyweights clashed twice in 2014 with the Jets picking up all six available points. In Round 3 they prevailed 1-0, and in Round 12 a more convincing 3-0.
Magic will be hoping their 2015 form can help them pick up their first win over the Youth side in over a year come Friday night, and remain at the head of the pack in the NNSW PS4 NPL.
This match is the ideal way to begin Round 7, as the competition enters the second third of the season. The game will be end-to-end and fast paced, but also showcase some of the finest quality the NNSW PS4 National Premier League has to offer.
Lambton Jaffas FC vs. Adamstown Rosebud FC
Sun 24 May 2:30 PM
Arthur Edden Oval
Adamstown will again compete in the only Saturday fixture of the round, this week taking on Lambton Jaffas away from home.
The Jaffas have had a disappointing week. In their matches last Sunday against Edgeworth and last night against Hamilton they went ahead both times through Jobe Wheelhouse goals, only to throw away five points as they lost to the Eagles and drew with Olympic.
They are currently sixth on eight points after a duo of wins, draws and losses, and trail the fourth placed Edgeworth by four points.
Adamstown are in a worse predicament, sitting on five points from six rounds, however will be full of confidence after their first win of the season last Saturday against Maitland on home soil.
The Jaffas have been boosted by the return of Michael Sessions and he will play a key role on Saturday. The Jaffas however will be sweating over the fitness of Tommy Smart who left the field early last night through injury.
Adamstown are well and truly back on track injury wise, after missing several key players early in the season due to a heavy workload that included a tiring 5-4 Westfield FFA Cup win over Charlestown.
They will again look to the experience and form of striker Guy Bates who has been one of the competition’s most effective signings so far in the first third of the season, playing a part in the majority of Adamstown’s nine goals whether it be through assists or him scoring himself.
Despite a slow start to the year Jaffas coach David Tanchevski believes the only disappointing part in the season so far is the loss to Weston in Round 2, where he believes his team were the better side however lost the match 2-1.
‘We have been better than last year, but there is still a lot of room for improvement,’ he went on to say.
Lambton have made several squad changes after their slow start to the season, headed by the signing of former South Cardiff and more recently Hamilton Olympic striker Jamie Byrnes.
The Jaffas will be inspired by their dominance over the Rosebud in the 2014 season. In Round 7 they cruised past them 5-0 with ease, then in Round 18 they gave themselves some confidence heading into the finals with a 2-0 win.
Come Saturday Adamstown will certainly be looking to avenge for those two defeats where they could not manage to find the net, however the home side will be intent on inflicting similar pain and regaining some momentum and stability.
Maitland FC vs. Charlestown City Blues FC
Sun 24 May 2:30 PM
Cooks Square Park
Maitland welcomes Charlestown on Sunday afternoon in a must win clash between two sides really struggling for form.
The Magpies are yet to win a game this season and are stuck in last place. They have recorded just one point which was on the opening day with a 2-2 draw against South Cardiff, but have since lost five in a row.
They will be fatigued after playing their fourth game in eleven days last night. Unfortunately for the side it was their fourth loss in eleven days, as they bowed out 4-1 to Edgeworth. Ben Martin scored late in the game for the Magpies.
Charlestown were also beaten comprehensively last night, falling 3-1 to South Cardiff. They looked as though they may have mounted a come back after scoring when 3-0 down, however that was not to be.
The loss was the Blues’ fifth of the season, and combined with one win they sit in ninth spot on just three points.
The 3-1 loss was amazingly the Blues’ fourth 3-1 loss in four games, after losing to that score line to the Jets, Lambton and Weston prior to the South Cardiff clash. They will be looking to overcome this on Sunday, and move five points clear of the last placed Maitland.
Reece Thompson was understandably disappointed after his side’s loss last night to Edgeworth, and is still searching for his first win as Head Coach.
The Magpies will be hoping to welcome back Matt Thompson who missed last night through injury.
Charlestown will also be hoping to welcome back an experienced member of the side in Scott Smith. Smith miss last night’s match against the Gunners and it was evident as they struggled to offer much going forward. Rene Ferguson did a good job at the point however he is certainly most effective down the left hand sideline.
The loser of this clash will be in a world of pain on Sunday afternoon, so both Shane Pryce and Reece Thompson will have their sides prepared for the match. It is a must win game, and will consequently be passionate and physical, and there could be a number of goals scored.
Weston Workers FC vs. Hamilton Olympic FC
Sun 24 May 2:30 PM
Rockwell Automation Park
The final match of Round 7 of the NNSW PS4 National Premier Leagues is a huge top four clash as second placed Weston take on third placed Hamilton.
Weston has played six matches this season, of which they have won four, and recorded one draw and one loss. They are on 13 points, just one short of leaders Broadmeadow.
Hamilton has also played six, still undefeated after winning three and drawing three. They trail the Bears by just one point so can overtake them this weekend with a win.
Hamilton played their Round 4 catch up game last night against Lambton, taking away a valuable point in a 1-1 draw. Jobe Wheelhouse opened the scoring for the Jaffas in the first half, but a second half header to Kane Goodchild won the point.
This game is extremely significant for one Bear in particular who is taking part in a milestone match. Robbie Turnbull, a clubman through and through, will step out onto the pitch for his 200th match in the black and white stripes this weekend, and Coach Trevor Morris could only find positive words to describe him.
‘Robbie is enthusiastic, he is passionate and he gives 100 percent whether it be at training or in games,’ Morris said.
‘He has it all and he really loves the game’.
Looking forward to the match, Morris believes his side has some improving to do after conceding from another set piece last weekend, with Rene Ferguson this time the man to do the damage as he scored a consolation goal for the Blues.
Another coach who holds concerns for defending set pieces is Hamilton coach Mick Bolch.
Bolch was disappointed in last weekend’s 2-1 win over the Jets Youth as Michael Kantarovski popped up to head in a corner.
‘We have conceded just five goals this season which is a positive, however four have been from set pieces which I am not happy with,’ Bolch said.
During the week several roster changes occurred for these two clubs. The Bears announced the signing of former Broadmeadow Magic and Central Coast Mariners keeper Adam Pearce. Hamilton offloaded striker Jamie Byrnes to Lambton, and welcome back Greg Anderson who was out injured.
In 2014 the Bears and Olympic clashed twice, both recording a win. In Round 4 Weston recorded a narrow 3-2 win, then in the return fixture Olympic eased to a 3-0 victory, in Round 13.
This match is a huge event, which should produce plenty of goals, action and passion, and is the ideal fixture to wrap up Round 7 of the Northern PS4 National Premier Leagues.