PS4 NPL NNSW Round 7 Preview

PS4 NPL NNSW Round 7 Preview
-
Two sides who were expected to be in or at least around the top four by this stage of the season are suddenly under pressure with last year's Premiers sitting in eight and Hamilton in seventh.

Match of the Round

Edgeworth Eagles v Hamilton Olympic
6pm Saturday 22nd April at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Round 14, 2016: Hamilton 3 Edgeworth 1 at Darling Street Oval.
Ladder: Edgeworth 8th (5), Hamilton 4th (9)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Edgeworth – Drew Magpies 0-0 (h), Lost Jaffas 1-2 (a), Won Rosebud 6-0 (h)
Hamilton – Won Magpies 2-0 (a), Lost Blues 1-2 (h), Won Jets 4-1 (h)

Bottom Line

This shapes as a crucial match for both sides and a loss here will leave them with some catching up to do.

Edgeworth starting the season in positive fashion, taking a point away from a clash with Broadmeadow Magic, before crushing the hapless Adamstown Rosebud. Since then a loss to the Jaffas and a draw with Maitland – where they dominated large periods – has seen them fall down the ladder.

Key: Mick Bolch. He has been the only coach to defeat Damian Zane on more than one occasion since Zane began coaching in the PS4 NPL. Can he mastermind another triumph on enemy territory?

 

Maitland Magpies v Valentine Phoenix
7.30 pm Saturday 22nd April at Cooks Square Park

Last Meeting: Round 11, 2016: Maitland 0 Valentine 1 at Cooks Square Park.
Ladder: Maitland 6th (7), Weston 9th (3)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Maitland – Lost Olympic 0-2 (h), Won Blues 2-1 (a), Drew Eagles 0-0 (a)
Valentine – Won Rosebud 2-0 (a), Won Jaffas 3-2 (a), Lost Lakes 0-3 (a)

Bottom Line

Two rivals from the 2014 NewFM League season where Maitland were promoted and Valentine was forced to wait another season for their chance in the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW; the Magpies and the Phoenix have played some classics over the years.

There were no matches more dramatic in the 2016 season that the round two contest involving these two foes. Wilson Edwards (Valentine) and former Maitland player-coach Dean Heffernan were given their marching orders in the 25th minute after a scuffle in a match filled with plenty of niggles.

Matt Thompson blocked a clearance from Phoenix keeper Beyhan Irmarko, controlled and scored in the final minute to win the match for the Magpies in one of the matches of the season. The Phoenix returned to serve in round 11 with a 1-0 win to ensure the ledger is all square in the PS4 NPL Northern NSW.

Key: Consistency. After keeping their first PS4 NPL Northern NSW clean sheet last match against Adamstown, can Valentine maKe it two from two and three wins in a row?

 

Weston Bears v Newcastle Jets Youth
2.30pm Sunday 22nd April at Rockwell Automation Park

Last Meeting: Round 10, 2016: Jets Youth 3 Weston 0 at Rockwell Automation Park.
Ladder: Weston 9th (3), Jets Youth 11th (1)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Jets – Lost Olympic 1-4 (a), Lost Magpies 2-4 (h), Lost Blues 1-4 (h)
Weston – Drew Rosebud 3-3 (a), Drew Jaffas 2-2 (h), Lost Magic 0-2 (a)

Bottom Line

Two of the youngest sides in the competition do battle on Sunday afternoon as both look to climb off the bottom rungs of the ladder and move into the mid-table.

While just two points separate the sides, over their four matches, Weston have looked the better of the two – losing just once. That was against Broadmeadow in round two. The Bears have been competitive in all matches it has just been their inability to strike the killer blow and claim the three points which has hurt them so far this season.

They have shown grit, character and determination in coming from behind to take a point from matches against Lambton and Adamstown but it is their finishing which Steve Piggott wants to improve which will take them to the next level.

Key: Can the Jets put a stop to their leaky defence?

 

Charlestown City Blues v Lambton Jaffas
2.30pm Sunday 22nd April at Lisle Carr Oval

Last Meeting: Round 14, 2016: Charlestown 0 Lambton 0 at Lisle Carr Oval.
Ladder: Charlestown 3rd (10), Lambton 1st (11)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Charlestown – Won Olympic 2-1 (a) Lost Magpies 1-2 (h), Won Magic 1-0 (h)
Lambton – Drew Magic 1-1 (h), Won Roosters 4-0 (a), Lost Phoenix 2-3 (h)

Bottom Line

A resurgent Charlestown outfit meet a Jaffas side who sit top of the ladder and looking for consistency. While the Jaffas sit atop the table after six matches, they haven’t won consecutive matches this season.

Charlestown have responded emphatically after a slow start to the season to win three of their last four matches which has seen them surge up to third spot – just one point off the first placed Jaffas.

Having a game plan is one part of the puzzle, but sticking to it is an entirely different challenge and last weekend Charlestown did it superbly.

Key: Can Lambton cope with the loss of Brown and Griffiths who have contributed 11 of their 14 goals this season?

 

Adamstown Rosebud v Broadmeadow Magic
2.30pm Tuesday 25th April at Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: Round 10, 2016: Adamstown 3 Broadmeadow 3 at Adamstown Oval
Ladder: Adamstown 10th (2), Broadmeadow 6th (8)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Adamstown – Lost Roosters 1-2 (h), Lost Phoenix 0-2 (a), Drew Bears 3-3 (h)
Broadmeadow – Drew Jaffas 1-1 (a), Lost Blues 0-1 (a), Lost Roosters 1-4 (h)

Bottom Line

Adamstown are in a rut and they just can’t find a way out of it. With three wins out of their last 24 PS4 NPL Northern NSW matches, it has been a horror last year for the most successful club in Northern NSW.

But, in between all that disappointment, Adamstown won the inaugural NNSWF Heritage Cup this season. So where has it all gone wrong for the proud club? At the back, it seems.

Errors coming out of their own defensive third have crippled the Rosebuds and apart from the Jets Youth, they have the worst games to goals conceded ratio in the league – conceding on average three goals a game.

Key: A Winning Mentality. Adamstown needs to develop one and fast.

 

CLICK HERE for a full Round 7 preview.