PS4 NPL NNSW Round 19 Preview

It’s a case of last chance saloon for the Magpies this weekend, with anything less than a victory against the Roosters extinguishing their hopes of a finals appearance.

Match of the Round
Lake Macquarie Roosters v Maitland Magpies
2.30pm Sunday 23rd July at Macquarie Field
Last Meeting:
 Round 8, 2017: Maitland 1 Lakes 0 at Cooks Square Park.
Ladder: Lakes 7th (22), Maitland 6th (25)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Maitland – Drew Phoenix 2-2 (a), Won Bears 3-2 (a), Lost Eagles 1-2 (h)
Lakes – Lost Jets 0-5 (a), Won Rosebud 3-1 (h), Won Blues 2-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Last weekend, a frustrating draw with a ten-man Valentine increased the gap between Maitland and the top four to six points.

It’s been a difficult period for the Magpies, who since beating Broadmeadow 7-0 in round nine, have won just three of their eight matches since.

After that victory, Maitland sat second on the ladder and it has been a downward slide ever since, as they have slipped to sixth.

Lake Macquarie will celebrate Old Boy’s Day on Sunday and will be keen for a victory to send both their past and present players home in good spirits.

The Roosters had the bye last weekend before meeting the Jets Youth on Tuesday night, where they were dismantled 5-0.

However, before the weekend off the Roosters had an improved run of form, following a mid-season slump.

They won just one of eight matches through the middle portion of the season and experienced a similar slide on the ladder to the Magpies. After four rounds, Lakes were first, but now sit seventh.

Lakes then won two straight, including a 3-1 victory over Adamstown Rosebud where they rocketed out of the blocks to lead 3-0 inside the opening 31 minutes, before the defeat to the Jets.

With their season on the line, Maitland are expected to win on Sunday, but on Old Boy’s Day and with striker Sam Walker re-discovering his early season form in recent weeks, the Roosters will push the Magpies all the way.

Key: It’s do or die. Can Maitland keep their season alive?

 

Lambton Jaffas v Adamstown Rosebud
2.30pm Saturday 22nd July at Arthur Edden Oval
Last Meeting:
 FFA Cup, Round 5, 2017: Adamstown 0 Lambton 1 at Adamstown Oval.
Ladder: Lambton 2nd (33), Adamstown 9th (13)

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

Bottom Line

A spluttering Lambton Jaffas side meet Adamstown Rosebud in the opening match of round 19 of the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW this Saturday.

The Jaffas have lost form just at the wrong time of their campaign, and they have won just one of their last four to fall from top spot on the ladder and lose the initiative in the race for the minor premiership.

Injuries crippled Lambton on the weekend against Charlestown including Joel Griffiths (calf), Luke Remington (hip flexor), Nathan Morris (knee) and Pat Brown (elbow).

The injuries forced Lambton to play the final minutes with just ten men, and adds to the already injured Jobe Wheelhouse (ankle) on the sidelines.

Wheelhouse has proved to be a significant loss for Lambton who have won just two of five in his absence.

Their opponents Adamstown seemed to be heading in the right direction after consecutive victories over Weston and Valentine.

However, in recent weeks, defeats to Lake Macquarie where they didn’t show up in the opening half-hour and a 3-0 loss to Broadmeadow last weekend have stalled their progress.

Key: Can Lambton find some much-needed form, confidence and come out of the clash injury-free?

 

Charlestown City Blues v Edgeworth Eagles
6pm Saturday 22nd July at Lisle Carr Oval
Last Meeting:
 Round 8, 2017: Edgeworth 2 Charlestown 0 at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Ladder: Charlestown 8th (16), Edgeworth 1st (33)

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

Bottom Line

Edgeworth will be aiming to return to the winner’s circle and keep ahead in the minor premiership race when they face Charlestown in the first Saturday evening fixture since April.

Last weekend Edgeworth were ground down by Hamilton, who simply gave them no room to work with on the small Darling Street pitch.

The Eagles chances were few and far between and the only goal came courtesy of a penalty from the boot of Kane Goodchild.

The fixture is the beginning of what will be a busy week for the Eagles, who play three matches.

After the match with Charlestown, they will play South Melbourne in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 in Melbourne, before meeting Weston at home next Saturday.

While Edgeworth have a busy end to the season, Charlestown have a relative light one by comparison. The Blues have just three matches left this season, with finals now mathematically impossible.

They have showed grit and determination against top four sides in their last two matches, going down 2-1 to Hamilton in round 17, before last weekend sharing the points with Lambton Jaffas.

Key: With the minor premiership on the line can Damian Zane’s Eagles win these crunch matches as they have the last two seasons?

 

Weston Bears v Hamilton Olympic
2.30pm Sunday 23rd July at Rockwell Automation Park
Last Meeting:
 Round 8, 2017: Hamilton 2 Weston 0 at Darling Street Oval.
Ladder: Weston 11th (7), Hamilton 4th (31)

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

Bottom Line

If the wooden spoon is to be avoided by the Bears, it is becoming must-win territory after last weekend’s tight defeat to the Jets Youth.

Weston deserved to hold their heads up high last Tuesday when they harassed and harried the Newcastle Jets A-League side at Weston.

It seemed that performance would be the catalyst for them to get some victories and climb off the bottom of the table in their remaining five matches.

But, again on the weekend the Bears couldn’t quite do the job against the Jets Youth. An unfortunate own goal scored by Jordan Jackson put them behind the eight ball early and they just couldn’t find a route back into the match.

This weekend a strong and physical Hamilton side are in town, brimming with confidence after a victory over Edgeworth last weekend. It will be another tough test for the young Bears.

While Olympic haven’t been at their best this season, three points have been achieved with monotonous regularity through the back half of the season.

Hamilton have lost just one of their last 12 and now incredibly sit just two points off top spot.

Key: The last two seasons Hamilton haven’t backed up victories over Edgeworth with three points the week after. Can they buck that trend on Sunday?

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