Two sides who would have been expected to claim more than just a point between them in the opening round meet in the ‘Match of the Round’ in Round 2 of PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW and it shapes as a crucial match for both sides.
Match of the Round
Adamstown Rosebud v Hamilton Olympic
6 pm Saturday 18th March at Adamstown Oval
Last Meeting: Round 11, 2016: Adamstown 1 (Read (p) 24’) Hamilton 1 (Goodchild 7’)
Ladder: Adamstown 3rd (1pt) Hamilton 10th (0)
Last Start: Adamstown – Drew Jets 4-4 (a), Hamilton – Lost Jaffas 2-3 (h)
Neither Olympic nor the Rosebud’s can afford to drop points in this fixture, with just only two sides winning last weekend, grabbing the three points early in the competition will be essential for either side.
The Rosebud’s come into the match after a pulsating 4-all draw with the Jets Youth where both sides showed their attacking prowess but at the same time made evident to other sides the leakiness of their respective defences.
After going down to ten men, just after going down 3-2, Adamstown will be proud of the character they showed to claim a point, but they will be unable to show the same ill-discipline against Olympic.
Key: The second half. Adamstown scored three goals last weekend. Hamilton scored none. Olympic can’t afford another second half fade-out or questions will begin to be asked.
Lambton Jaffas v Edgeworth Eagles
2.30 pm Saturday 18th March at Arthur Edden Oval
Last Meeting: Round 10, 2016: Edgeworth 5 (Hammel 27’, 90+2’, Moore 49’, Moriyasu 81’, 88’) Lambton 0 at Jack McLaughlan Oval
Ladder: Lambton 1st (3) Edgeworth 8th (1)
Last Start: Lambton – Won Olympic 3-2 (a), Edgeworth – Drew Magic 1-1 (h)
Edgeworth meet a resurgent Lambton in the opening match of round two and this is sure to be a tight contest with not much between the sides on paper.
The Jaffas last match against the Eagles was probably one of their most disappointing of last season. In most of their matches against the top four sides, last season Lambton gave a very good account of themselves but not in round 10 at Jack McLaughlan Oval. They were brushed aside 5-0 and they will look to erase those memories on Saturday.
It’s been four matches and two and a half years since Edgeworth last tasted defeat against the Jaffas, which was back in Lambton’s Championship winning season in 2014. A win here for Lambton would be huge and to go five points clear of the Eagles after just two matches would do a lot for their premiership aspirations.
Lambton’s performance against Hamilton was the tale of two halves, with the Jaffas very disappointing in the first half before coming out in the second and controlling the match on their way to a late 3-2 victory.
Key: Can Edgeworth cope with Lambton’s pace out wide in Luke Remington and Ridge Marpu?
Broadmeadow Magic v Weston Bears
6 pm Saturday 18th March at Magic Park
Last Meeting: Round 12, 2016: Broadmeadow 1 (Virgili (p) 58’) Weston 0 at Magic Park.
Ladder: Broadmeadow 7th (1) Weston 6th (1)
Last Start: Broadmeadow – Drew Eagles 1-1 (a), Weston – Drew Roosters 1-1 (h)
Weston’s young side will face a tough test when they face off against Broadmeadow Magic on Saturday night. After a fighting display against the Roosters, the young Bears will look to take the battle to Broadmeadow.
The recent fixtures between the sides have been low scoring affairs, with the last three matches between the sides only producing 2 goals and even though the Bears finished dead last in 2016, when they met Broadmeadow each time they took it to them having a 0-0 draw in Weston and only going down 1-0 at Magic Park in a controversial match.
The last time the Bears won, was back in 2015 – and what a thrilling contest it was. Down 2-0 early on the Bears fought back to win 4-3 courtesy of a late Jake Millsteed winner. Millsteed scored the Bears opener last weekend and will have fond memories of the ground.
Broadmeadow will come into the match a little disappointed after giving up their 1-0 advantage to a ten man Edgeworth side. New recruit Scott Robertson gave away a penalty in the final quarter hour of the match and Keigo Moriyasu made no mistake as they shared the points.
Key: Weston will be no pushovers here and Broadmeadow cannot afford to take them lightly.
Charlestown City Blues v Maitland Magpies
2.30 pm Sunday 19th March at Lisle Carr Oval
Last Meeting: Round 12, 2016: Maitland 2 (M.Thompson (p) 18’, 78’) Charlestown 0 at Lisle Carr Oval.
Ladder: Charlestown 11th (0) Maitland 9th (0)
Last Start: Charlestown – Lost Phoenix 1-2 (h), Maitland – Bye
Maitland gets their season underway against Charlestown after having the bye in the opening round and will be looking for a positive start under new coach Phil Dando.
Dando has arrived at the eleventh hour after Maitland were in need of a coach with a B-Licence after Dean Heffernan stepped down from his player/coach role in the off-season due to work commitments. Matt Thompson has been doing most of the work with the side in the pre-season so expect the coaching decision to not have too much of an impact on the Magpies.
With new signings Josh Dutton-Black (UK), Shane Cansdell-Sheriff (Manly) and Andrew Pawiak (Jets Youth) Maitland should be in the hunt come to the end of the season and now with the coaching worries all sorted, the side can focus on the season ahead.
Key: Maitland’s defence was outstanding last season but found it tough in front of goal at times. If they can start well in attack here, they will only grow in confidence.
Lake Macquarie City Roosters v Valentine Phoenix
2.30 pm Sunday 19th March at Macquarie Field
Last Meeting: NewFM Division Round 19, 2015: Valentine 4 (S.McGinley x 3, Adcock x 1) Lake Macquarie 0 at Macquarie Field.
Ladder: Lake Macquarie 5th (1) Valentine 2nd (3)
Last Start: Lake Macquarie – Drew Bears 1-1 (a), Valentine – Won Blues 2-1 (a)
Valentine travels to Macquarie Field on Sunday afternoon for the first top grade local derby in two years. The home side will be looking to erase the memories of 2015 where they and the Phoenix battled it out for promotion to the PlayStation 4 NPL Norther NSW.
Valentine won both matches that year and in the final wash-up, those two results would be the difference between promotion and staying in the NewFM Division. Their last meeting would have been the most painful for the Roosters, as Valentine piled on the pain in a 4-0 victory.
The Phoenix started off the season with a solid 2-1 victory away against Charlestown. US import Jalon Brown was outstanding for the visitors on Saturday night posing questions of the Charlestown defence all evening. The Roosters will need to be wary of him come Sunday.
Key: Can the Roosters cope with Valentine’s lethal pace in the front third?
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