PS4 NPL NNSW Round 15 Preview

Top four ambitions will go on the line in this weekend’s ‘Match of the Round’ when Maitland meet Hamilton at Darling Street Oval.

Match of the Round

Hamilton Olympic v Maitland Magpies
2.30pm Sunday 25th June at Darling Street Oval
Last Meeting:
 Round 4, 2017: Maitland 0 Hamilton 2 at Cooks Square Park.
Ladder: Hamilton 4th (21pts), Maitland 5th (20)

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

Bottom Line

Just a point separates the sides with both having played 12 matches, and three points on Sunday could make all the difference in the race for the top four.

Hamilton come into the fixture fresh from the bye, and having missed the Westfield FFA Cup weekend, Olympic will not have played a competitive match in three weeks.

It has given Mick Bolch’s side the chance to freshen up and get over any niggles or injuries as they gear up for a huge eight matches to end the regular season.

After a run of three straight matches in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NNSW without a victory, Maitland has grown in confidence following a competitive performance against Edgeworth in the Westfield FFA Cup where they pushed the Eagles all the way in a 1-0 defeat.

The Magpies have taken that good form back into the league season where they dismantled the Jets Youth on Sunday in style, winning 6-1.

Key: How will Hamilton start after three weeks without a match in the PS4 NPL?


Charlestown City Blues v Newcastle Jets Youth
2.30pm Saturday 24th June at Lisle Carr Oval
Last Meeting:
 Round 4, 2017: Jets Youth 1 Charlestown 4 at Lisle Carr Oval.
Ladder: Charlestown 8th (12), Jets Youth 9th (9)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Charlestown – Drew Magpies 1-1 (a), Lost Phoenix 1-3 (a), Lost Bears 0-3 (a)
Jets – Lost Magpies 1-6 (a), Won Rosebud 3-2 (a), Won Jaffas 2-1 (a)

Bottom Line

Two sides in need of three points meet at Lisle Carr Oval on Sunday, with the Blues looking to win for the first time since April and the Jets Youth eager to erase last weekend’s defeat from their minds.

After two straight victories in the PS4 NPL NNSW, it seemed the Jets Youth would climb up the table over the back half of the season. However, on Sunday those hopes seemed to take a dive as Maitland provided the young Jets with a reality check.

The Magpies put six past them on a sodden pitch which didn’t suit the Jets’ style and with heavy pitches expected to be a feature of the final eight rounds, it may get tough for the Jets Youth.

Coach Clayton Zane has conceded the loss of striker Kristian Brymora is a significant one for his side, with Brymora bringing a physical presence, which is crucial against sides of which most bring greater size than the Jets.

While their opponents Charlestown have brought in some youth over the previous weeks, the experienced core of their squad remains the same with Matt Tull and Dan Casciaroli the important cogs in the midfield along with the attacking prowess of Rene Ferguson in the front third.

Key: Can the Jets Youth respond to last weekend’s thumping handed out by Maitland?


Valentine Phoenix v Lambton Jaffas
2.30pm Saturday 24th June at Cahill Oval
Last Meeting:
 Round 4, 2017: Lambton 2 Valentine 3 at Arthur Edden Oval
Ladder: Valentine 3rd (25), Lambton 1st (29)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Valentine – Lost Magic 1-3 (h), Won Roosters 1-0 (h), Won Blues 3-1 (h)
Lambton – Won Bears 5-0 (h), Won Eagles 2-0 (a), Won Olympic 3-2 (h)

Bottom Line

After their loss to the Jets Youth in round ten Lambton have returned to form in style, scoring ten goals in three matches since the defeat and going two points clear at the top of the PS4 NPL NNSW ladder.

The Jaffas thumped the Bears on Saturday, and what was even more impressive was their ability not to rely on one source for their goals with four different Jaffas’ players scoring on the weekend.

The visitors will be eager to beat their bogey side of late who have won their last two matches against them. Valentine won 3-2 last year in round 13 and won 3-2 earlier this season against the Jaffas.

For Valentine, Saturday’s match marks the end of five consecutive matches at Cahill Oval in the PS4 NPL NNSW. The Phoenix had an unblemished record on the ground this year, before their defeat to Broadmeadow Magic on Saturday.

While Valentine had won three straight matches before the game against Magic and looked set to secure a spot in the finals, a loss in the Westfield FFA Cup, followed by the loss on the weekend just seems to have shaken the Phoenix.

They were sitting eight points clear of fifth-placed Maitland before last weekend, but after both the Magpies and Magic won that gap has been reduced to five. A win this weekend is crucial for the Phoenix to ensure they keep the chasing teams at bay.

Key: After two losses in a row, can the Phoenix turn it around against a Lambton side who has struggled against them recently?


Lake Macquarie Roosters v Broadmeadow Magic
2.30pm Sunday 25th June at Macquarie Field
Last Meeting:
 Round 4, 2017: Broadmeadow 1 Lake Macquarie 4 at Magic Park.
Ladder: Lakes 7th (16), Broadmeadow 6th (18)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Broadmeadow – Won Phoenix 3-1 (a), Won Bears 4-1 (a), Lost Eagles 0-3 (a)
Lakes – Lost Phoenix 0-1 (a), Won Bears 2-0 (h), Lost Eagles 1-2 (h)

Bottom Line

Broadmeadow will look to make it a hat-trick of wins in the PS4 NPL NNSW for the first time in 2017 when they meet Lake Macquarie on Sunday afternoon.

Magic have piled on the goals in their last two matches in the league scoring four in their victory over Weston in round 13 and three on the weekend against Valentine.

Broadmeadow’s two PS4 NPL NNSW victories have bookended two strong performances in the Westfield FFA Cup when they racked up four and three goals respectively in their round six and seven fixtures.

They seem to be playing with greater width, allowing James Virgili and Kale Bradbury more space on the flanks and it certainly showed against the Phoenix, with Virgili scoring twice.

Lake Macquarie come into the match fresh from a three-week break, with byes and wet weather affecting their schedule.

Lakes have gone loss, win, loss over their last three matches so if you believe in that trend a win is due this weekend.

Key: Can Broadmeadow’s front third continue their strong form against Lakes?


Weston Bears v Adamstown Rosebud
2.30pm Sunday 25th June at Rockwell Automation Park
Last Meeting:
 Round 4, 2017: Adamstown 3 Weston 3 at Adamstown Oval.
Ladder: Weston 10th (7), Adamstown 11th (7)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Adamstown – Lost Olympic 0-3 (a), Lost Jets 2-3 (h), Won Magpies 3-1 (h)
Weston – Lost Jaffas 0-5 (a), Lost Magic 1-4 (h), Lost Roosters 0-2 (a)

Bottom Line

For the second season running Weston and Adamstown are in a battle to avoid the wooden spoon, and while there are still plenty of matches left in the season a win this weekend for either club could go a long way to ensuring they finish the season strongly.

The Bears will be looking to for a strong performance at home after a difficult week which included a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the ladder leading Lambton Jaffas.

Weston have been unable to get themselves going again after a heart-breaking last minute defeat at Valentine in round 11.

The weekend before Weston put in one of their best performances of the season in a 3-0 win over Charlestown but have since lost four straight.

Since the round 10 victory, the Bears have conceded 13 goals in four matches – including nine in the past two – and a return home could be just the boost they need.

Like the Bears, Adamstown put in one of their best performances of the season against Maitland in round 11 and have struggled since.

Key: Can Adamstown tighten up at the back, after conceding three goals in each of their last three matches?


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