Edgeworth Eagles FC (1) vs. Broadmeadow Magic FC (4)
Semi Final 1 Leg 2 (3-3 on aggregate)
Sat 29 August 2:30 PM
Jack McLaughlan Oval
The first of the two Northern NSW PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues (PS4 NPL) Semi Final second legs takes place at Jack McLaughlan Oval as the fourth ranked Broadmeadow host Premiers Edgeworth in the second of their two-leg tie.
Edgeworth enters the match with a narrow advantage. Whilst the sides are currently locked 3-3 on aggregate, the Eagles are slightly better off considering they have three away goals to their name.
That 3-3 aggregate score came out of a highly entertaining clash between these two sides last Saturday at Magic Park.
Edgeworth’s Bren Hammel put his side ahead from the penalty spot in the first half, but Kale Bradbury sent the sides into the break at one apiece. Two quick fire goals from Brenton Olzomer and Dylan Holz put the Eagles in the driver’s seat early in the second half, however they were cancelled out by a Peter Haynes penalty and Bradbury’s second of his brace.
There were several key players missing from that match, as Magic were without Chris Berlin, Scott Petit and Daniel Casciaroli, and Edgeworth were without Pat Wheeler.
Petit, Casciaroli and Wheeler will all return this weekend, however Chris Berlin will not return in 2015 due to a rib injury.
Magic’s midfield and defence will be on the alert for the Eagles quick transition play, an area where Coach Rob Virgili thought Edgeworth did well in the first leg.
‘They’ve got quality where they break really early and they punished us twice in the space of (two) minutes. We have to be aware of their quick break and be a little more organized in that area.’
‘There won’t be much to change,’ he added.
The 3-3 score, with Edgeworth having three away goals does not worry Virgili, who suggested that his side now only need a one goal victory after their courageous fight back.
‘It’s going to come down to whoever takes their chances. We aren’t worried about them and I’m sure they won’t be worried about us’.
The draw leaves Magic undefeated in their last four matches and Edgeworth in their last five. Both of these sides know how to win games, and more importantly how not to lose.
Both will be looking for a repeat performance of their attack last Saturday whilst attempting to improve defensively.
This will be another highly intriguing Semi Final leg, between two of the hottest sides in 2015, both more than worthy of playing off in the biggest game of the year; the Grand Final.
Lambton Jaffas FC (2) vs. Hamilton Olympic FC (3)
Semi Final 2 Leg 2 (Hamilton lead 2-1 on aggregate)
Sun 30 August 2:30 PM
Arthur Edden Oval
The second of the two Semi Final second legs of the PS4 NPL will take place at Arthur Edden Oval on Sunday afternoon as Lambton Jaffas look to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Hamilton Olympic.
After finishing third Olympic hosted last weekend’s match against the second placed Jaffas, and in that match gained a slight advantage as a Jacob Bailey first half header sent them into the break ahead 1-0, then a Kane Goodchild header on the hour mark made it 2-0.
Peter McPherson salvaged a late but possibly crucial goal on the back of a brilliant one-two with John Majurovski to make the score 2-1.
Despite picking up a head wound in the match on Sunday, Hamilton attacker Pat Brown who scored a hat trick at the start of the month against Weston will be available for this weekend’s match.
The away goal for the Jaffas means that a 1-0 win on Sunday would see them progress, so if they grab an early goal it is well and truly game on.
This is a factor that Hamilton coach Mick Bolch is unmoved by, suggesting his side will be preparing to, and will turn up Sunday ready to play for a win.
‘We won’t be thinking about the lead and the away goal rule at all this week,’ he said.
‘We will go into the next leg as if it is 0-0 and play to win that match’.
A 2-1 win for the Jaffas would send the match into extra time and possibly penalty shootouts which both of these sides know a lot about, after playing two finals matches in 2013 against each other, both of which went to shootouts.
Bolch and David Tanchevski were in charge of Hamilton and Lambton that year respectively, and joked prior to the first leg about how they are sick of coming up against one another in finals.
Both keepers were involved in those two matches, however Danny Ireland was part of the winning side on both occasions, the Lambton Jaffas. Swancott who was at Olympic in that season will be hoping that if it comes to a shootout that his new club, the Jaffas reign supreme.
Both keepers however, and the ten players in front of them, will be desperate to ensure that it does not come to that stage, and that their team progresses to the Grand Final in the ninety-minutes of normal time.
It will be an entertaining affair between two of the heavyweights of 2015, and is a must-see game heading into the conclusion of the 2015 season.