Two sides with similar Round 1 story lines will meet in the ‘Match of the Round’ in the third week of PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW.
Match of the Round
Edgeworth Eagles v Adamstown Rosebud
6 pm Saturday 25th March at Jack McLaughlan Oval
Last Meeting: Heritage Cup 2017 Final: Adamstown 1 (3) Edgeworth 1 (2) at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.
Ladder: Edgeworth 7th (1pt), Adamstown 4th (1)
Edgeworth – Drew Magic 1-1 (h)
Adamstown – Drew Jets 4-4 (a)
Both Edgeworth and Adamstown were required to fight back from a goal down and a man down in their opening round encounters and neither will want to go through that again.
In a re-match of the Northern NSW 2017 Heritage Cup decider, Edgeworth gets their chance to avenge the defeat from just three weeks ago. It was a tight match that afternoon with Paul Bitz the hero for Adamstown in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 fulltime scoreline.
However, that result will mean little come Saturday, with Edgeworth seemingly back in their groove. The Eagles fighting qualities were no more evident than in their opening match against Broadmeadow where after going a man and a goal down they still managed to fight back into the contest and claim a valuable point.
Both Edgeworth and Adamstown missed out on their round two match-ups against Lambton and Hamilton respectively and both will be eager to get back on the pitch and claim some points.
Key: Will the loss of Robbie Turnbull’s experience at the back, will it affect a younger Rosebud’s outfit?
Newcastle Jets Youth v Maitland Magpies
2.30 pm Saturday 25th March at Cooks Square Park
Last Meeting: Round 13, 2016: Jets Youth 1 Maitland 1 at Cooks Square Park.
Ladder: Jets Youth 5th (1), Maitland 9th (0)
Jets Youth – Drew Rosebud 4-4 (h)
Maitland – Bye
It’s been a long wait for Maitland to finally get their season underway and they will be hoping for some sunny weather over the coming days or it may take even long. A battle against a young and fit Jets Youth side will provide a test for the Magpies in Phil Dando’s first match as head coach.
As they did last season the Jets Youth surprised many in their opening round clash with the Rosebud’s competing well and claiming a 4-4 draw. Clayton Zane probably would have been a little disappointed to not have taken the three points against a side down to ten men for the final 15 minutes of the contest.
It was the Jets’ Achilles heel last year and it was the issue in round one – their defence. They can score goals with ease, but it’s keeping tight at the back which has been the issue. Against a Maitland side with a strong defence, the Jets may not get as many chances in front of goal and leaking goals will cost them against the Magpies.
Key: How well can the Jets defend? Against a Maitland side who give away few chances themselves the Jets backline will need to be on song to keep their side in the contest.
Broadmeadow Magic v Valentine Phoenix
7 pm Saturday 25th March at Magic Park
Last Meeting: Round 16, 2016: Broadmeadow 1 Valentine 2 at Johnson Park.
Ladder: Broadmeadow 1st (4) Valentine 3rd (3)
Broadmeadow – Won Bears 2-0 (h), Drew Eagles 1-1 (a)
Valentine – Won Blues 2-1 (a)
Broadmeadow will look to quell Valentine’s strong recent record against them when they meet at Magic Park on Saturday night.
In 2016, the highly-fancied Magic outfit could only claim one point from a possible six against the Phoenix, with a 3-3 draw in round seven followed by one of the upsets of the season in round 16 where the Phoenix beat Broadmeadow 2-1.
Broadmeadow will need to be on their toes against a Valentine side with plenty of pace and be especially careful of American import Jalon Brown who impressed against Charlestown in the opening round. The Phoenix’s counter-attack caused the Blues all sorts of problems that evening and you would expect more of the same against Magic.
Key: Peter Haynes (Magic) and Jalon Brown (Phoenix). Both have been influential for their respective sides this season and their impact will be vital.
Charlestown City Blues v Lake Macquarie City Roosters
2.30 pm Sunday 26th March at Lisle Carr Oval
Last Meeting: Round 17, 2014: Charlestown 2 Lake Macquarie 1 at Lisle Carr Oval.
Ladder: Charlestown 11th (0), Lake Macquarie 6th (1)
Charlestown – Lost Phoenix 1-2 (h)
Lake Macquarie – Drew Bears 2-2 (a)
Expect plenty of goals in this match-up with the last six matches seeing an average of just over five goals scored. While there have been goals aplenty, Charlestown won five of those six matches but only outscored the Roosters 18-13 so all the matches were tight high-scoring affairs.
Both coaches were disappointed after their opening round showings and would like to turn it around here. While a loss wouldn’t be fatal at this early stage neither sides would want a slow start especially with tougher matches to come against the noted ‘big sides’.
Charlestown competed well for most of their round one clash with Valentine despite being a man down for the final 35 minutes of the match. The injury to Corey Atkinson just before the break hurt the Blues and the wet weather will give him an extra week to recover from a nasty eye injury.
Key: Desire. Conditions will be tough for football on Sunday afternoon in Charlestown so expect a hard slog.
Weston Bears v Lambton Jaffas
2.30 pm Sunday 26th March at Rockwell Automation Park
Last Meeting: Round 18, 2016: Lambton 4 Weston 1 at Arthur Edden Oval.
Ladder: Weston 8th (1) Lambton 2nd (3)
Weston – Lost Magic 0-2 (a), Drew Roosters 2-2 (h)
Lambton – Won Olympic 3-2 (a)
Lambton will be buoyed by their opening round come from behind win against fellow title contenders Hamilton and the wet weather over the weekend would have done little to dampen their spirits.
They face a Weston outfit who competed hard for 90 minutes against Broadmeadow in the only match in round two, but in the end, a red card early in the second half to centre-back Jordan Jackson crippled their chances. With the second meeting in a week against a side expected to finish in the top four will provide another good test for the young Bears and at home they should make like difficult for the Jaffas.
With the likes of Joel Griffiths, Jobe Wheelhouse and Michael Kantarovski, the Jaffas have plenty of Hyundai A-League experience across the park. Combine that with the speed of Luke Remington and Ridge Marpu down the flanks and Weston will have plenty to worry about. As well as Pat Brown – the hero of their opening round win – hasn’t even been mentioned.
Key: Weston will need to play for the full 90 minutes. Lapses hurt them against Broadmeadow last weekend and they can’t afford them against a lethal Jaffas frontline.
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