PS4 NPL NNSW Round 10 Preview

Two of the form sides of the competition meet this weekend in the ‘Match of the Round’ with both undefeated in their last five matches.

Match of the Round
Edgeworth Eagles v Valentine Phoenix
2.30pm Sunday 14th May at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Round 15, 2016: Edgeworth 4 Valentine 2 at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.
Ladder: Edgeworth 4th (15pts), Valentine 3rd (16)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Edgeworth – Won Bears 2-1 (a), Won Blues 2-0 (h), Won Jets 1-0 (a)
Valentine – Drew Olympic 1-1 (h), Won Jets 1-0 (a), Won Magpies 4-0 (a)

Bottom Line

After a sluggish start to the season, Edgeworth has responded over the last three weeks with three wins which have seen them soar inside the top four. They now sit just a point behind the third-placed Phoenix and just two points off the first-placed Lambton Jaffas.

A side that seemed to be cracking under pressure against Hamilton in round seven when veteran Daniel McBreen was sent off and coach Damian Zane almost followed him, they have responded in a way that will surprise no one who has witnessed their performances over the last two seasons.

But, after all the improvement of the last three weeks, they can’t afford a defeat against Valentine. A loss against the Phoenix will make the premiership race more difficult, considering they will have to reel in a star-studded Lambton line-up.

Key: It’s all in the mind. Valentine has shown their ability to match it with the top guns this season. Can they continue to do so against the Eagles?


Newcastle Jets Youth v Broadmeadow Magic
2.30pm Saturday 13th May at Magic Park

Last Meeting: Round 17, 2016: Hamilton 2 Valentine 2 at Darling Street Oval.
Ladder: Broadmeadow 8th (9), Jets Youth 11th (3)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Jets – Drew Roosters 3-3 (a), Lost Phoenix 0-1 (a), Lost Eagles 0-1 (h)
Broadmeadow – Lost Magpies 0-7 (h), Drew Rosebuds 0-0 (a), Drew Jaffas 1-1 (a)

Bottom Line

Many are still trying to come to terms with what quite happened on Sunday afternoon to Broadmeadow Magic. A match that most expected would be a tough, low-scoring and hard-fought contest quickly turned pear-shaped.

Maitland were imperious on Sunday, and led by the calming Matt Thompson in midfielder they were simply unstoppable. Some days in sport the opposition is just too good and Maitland was just that on Sunday.

What really has been missing for Magic lately is their ability to score from open play and even score in general. In the league, they have gone seven hours without a goal in open play, and more than three hours without a goal at all.

Their opponents the Jets Youth haven’t had the same issues scoring, it has been in defence where they have continued to leak goals. They have conceded 23 in eight games at almost three a game, and statistics will tell you it is very difficult to win matches with that kind of defence.

Key: Goals. Broadmeadow is in need of some in the league. They have scored just once in seven hours of play.


Weston Workers Bears v Charlestown City Blues
2.30pm Sunday 14th May at Rockwell Automation Park

Last Meeting: Round 15, 2016: Weston 2 Charlestown 3 at Rockwell Automation Park
Ladder: Weston 9th (4), Charlestown 7th (11)

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

Bottom Line

With Daniel Laiman (knee), Matt Tull (quad), Josh Maguire (groin) and Jarryd Johnson (hamstring) Charlestown have ticked just about every box for injuries to the lower half of the body.

Once again, their young brigade with be called on to step up again against another youthful outfit in Weston.

With regular starters missing on the weekend, Charlestown fought hard against Adamstown in what was described as a scrappy match at Lisle Carr Oval. The young Blues went within minutes of claiming all three points in a positive result for the future.

Charlestown may not have claimed a victory in their last three matches, but they have performed admirably with a tight loss to the table-topping Jaffas, followed by a tight loss to Edgeworth and followed by the draw with Adamstown.

Key: Playing for 90 minutes. Steve Piggott has stressed it to his squad. Can the Bears put it together on Sunday?


Hamilton Olympic v Lake Macquarie City Roosters
2.30pm Sunday 14th May at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 12, 2014: Lake Macquarie 5 Hamilton 1 at Macquarie Field.
Ladder: Hamilton 5th (14), Lakes 6th (12)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Hamilton – Drew Phoenix 1-1 (a), Won Bears 2-0 (h), Drew Eagles 1-1 (a)
Lakes – Drew Jets 3-3 (h), Lost Magpies 0-1 (a), Won Rosebud 2-1 (a)

Bottom Line

Hamilton will be keen to get themselves back into the winner's circle this weekend after a three-week period where they haven’t been firing on all cylinders.

They were brilliant in their round four catch-up match against Maitland three weeks ago, but, since then they have only won once in three matches on route to slipping out of the top four.

If the last three weeks is the worst Olympic will play all season, that will please Mick Bolch. They haven’t lost, and still have Rhys Cooper, Andrew Swan and Danny Ireland to welcome back to the side in the coming weeks.

Lake Macquarie too has stuttered recently after flying out of the blocks at the start of the season, however, coach Anthony Richards says his side much prefers to be the underdogs.

Key: Kane Goodchild and Scott Smith. Combined they have scored eight this season. Six of those have come at Darling Street. Can they strike again at home?


Maitland FC v Lambton Jaffas
2.30pm Sunday 14th May at Cooks Square Park

Last Meeting: Round 15, 2016: Lambton 1 Maitland 4 at Arthur Edden Oval.
Ladder: Maitland 2nd (16), Lambton 1st (17)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Maitland – Won Magic 7-0 (a), Won Roosters 1-0 (h), Won Bears 1-0 (h)
Lambton – Won Rosebud 3-1 (a), Won Blues 2-1 (a), Drew Magic 1-1 (h)

Bottom Line

A top of the table clash worthy of ‘Match of the Round’ billing this match could prove crucial in the race to the premiership. It’s a six-point match and if one side can claim all three points it will put them in the box seat come to the halfway point of the season.

There is little more to say about the Magpies than they were brilliant on the weekend. Matt Thompson was the conductor and combined with Josh Dutton-Black on the left edge and Ryan Clarke on the right, Maitland were an unstoppable force.

They were the lowest scoring side coming into the match, so to score seven goals was a surprise in a fixture many thought would be tight. They now boast the second-best attack in the competition, while their defence is the third-best after eight matches.

Lambton will be fresh after the bye and it will be interesting to see whether the week off has given them a chance to get over some bumps and bruises from the opening two months or whether they may come out a little rusty.

Key: How will Lambton respond after the week off? Will they be fresher and faster or will they be a bit rusty to start the match?


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