PS4 NPL NNSW Round 5 Preview

It’s a top of the table clash on Sunday afternoon when the Lambton Jaffas head to Macquarie Field to play a PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW match for the first time since 2014.

Lake Macquarie Roosters v Lambton Jaffas
2.30pm Sunday 9th April at Macquarie Field
Match of the Round

Last Meeting: Round 11, 2014: Lambton 5 Lake Macquarie 2 at Arthur Edden Oval.
Ladder: Lake Macquarie 1st (8pts), Lambton 2nd (7)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Lake Macquarie – Won Magic 4-1 (a), Won Phoenix 3-0 (h), Drew Blues 1-1 (a)
Lambton – Lost Phoenix 2-3 (h), Won Eagles 2-1 (h), Drew Bears 2-2 (a)

Bottom Line

The Roosters are soaring after an unbelievable start to their 2017 campaign, and they remain the only undefeated side in the competition, except Maitland who haven’t played a match.

After two matches without a goal, many wondered whether Sam Walker would find his goal scoring touch again including former Lakes coach and now BarTV commentator Chris Turner who “offered to take him down to the park”.

Walker responded in fine style scoring five goals in his last two outings including an incredible hat-trick against one of the competition favourites in Broadmeadow Magic. You could scarcely believe what unfolded last Sunday afternoon as a Walker-inspired Lakes crushed Broadmeadow 4-1.

They meet a Jaffas side who saw the polar opposites of agony and ecstasy in the space of just four days. After beating two-time defending Premiers Edgeworth on Wednesday night the Jaffas were quickly brought down to earth when Valentine came from behind to beat them 3-2.

Key: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Can Lake Macquarie continue to do the old proverb justice?


Edgeworth Eagles v Maitland FC
7.30 pm Saturday 8th April at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Semi Final 2nd Leg, 2016: Edgeworth 2 Maitland 1 at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Ladder: Edgeworth 5th (4), Maitland 7th (3)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Maitland – Won Jets 4-2 (a)
Edgeworth – Lost Jaffas 1-2 (a), Won Rosebud 6-0 (h), Drew Magic 1-1 (h)

Bottom Line

Both sides return to the scene of last year’s dramatic semi-final second leg where Maitland went within centimetres of reaching the Grand Final. Keigo Moriyasu’s late strike was the difference between the sides that afternoon as Edgeworth marched on and the rest is history.

Edgeworth’s start to the season seemed to be going along like clockwork after a ten-man renaissance against Broadmeadow followed by a ruthless thumping of a wasteful Adamstown. But, the smooth start hit a snag last week when Lambton took them down 2-1 at Arthur Edden Oval.

Damian Zane says the loss has spurred on his side and re-energised them for what is to come in the remainder of the season. After having last weekend off with the bye, expect the Eagles to come into this one ready and raring to go.

Meanwhile, as some sides in the competition have played up to four matches, Maitland have just played the one competitive PS4 NPL Northern NSW match.

Key: With just two days between matches and after playing on the synthetic fields at Lake Macquarie against the Jets, will Maitland have the fuel in the tank to take down the Eagles?


Valentine Phoenix v Adamstown Rosebud
2.30 pm Saturday 8th April at Cahill Oval

Last Meeting: Round 12, 2016: Adamstown 2 Valentine 0 at Blacksmiths Oval.
Ladder: Valentine 4th (6), Adamstown 10th (2)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Valentine – Won Jaffas 3-2 (a), Lost Roosters 0-3 (a), Lost Magic 2-3 (a)
Adamstown – Drew Bears 3-3 (h), Lost Olympic 0-1 (h), Lost Eagles 0-6 (a)

Bottom Line

It has taken a while but finally, Valentine will be allowed back onto Cahill Oval to play their first home match of the 2017 season. While it will be good for the Phoenix to return home, their record in the top flight isn’t great.

Out of four of their matches at Cahill last season, Valentine didn’t win any before they moved their matches away from the ground. They conceded 14 in those four matches and scored just two and whether their home demons will hang around in 2017 remains to be seen.

If you take out their midweek disappointment against Lakes where they were taken down 3-0, Valentine have been very good so far this season. Wins against Charlestown and Lambton and a credible loss to Broadmeadow hold them in good stead for a match against an Adamstown side who just lack confidence at the moment.

Expectations were high for the Rosebud’s after winning the Heritage Cup in the pre-season, but the shine has come off in recent weeks. While they did very well to fight back and claim a point in round one with just ten men, the last three matches have been major disappointments.

Key: Can Valentine rid Cahill Oval of the demons which plagued them last season?


Hamilton Olympic v Newcastle Jets Youth
6 pm Saturday 8th April at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2016: Hamilton 1 Jets Youth 0 at Darling Street Oval.
Ladder: Hamilton 8th (3), Jets Youth 11th (1)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):
Hamilton – Won Rosebud 1-0 (a), Lost Jaffas 2-3 (h)
Jets – Lost Magpies 2-4 (h), Lost Blues 1-4 (h), Drew Rosebud 4-4 (h)

Bottom Line

Hamilton have put the Jets Youth to the sword on the last three occasions by a combined margin of 13-0 and while the last match featured just the one goal, it has been the Jets inability to deal with Hamilton’s physicality which has led to Olympic’s nine-game unbeaten record against the Jets.

After starting the year on fire in the opening 45 minutes against the Jaffas, Olympic let Lambton back into the contest in the second half, conceding three goals and losing 3-2.

With an older side, the talk of their ‘ageing squad’ began to grow louder after the second half collapse, especially after the injury to young midfielder Rhys Cooper late in their opening match. But, Hamilton quelled that talk – for the moment – with a last minute win against Adamstown in round three.

The Jets Youth have scored plenty and conceded 12 goals at an average of four a game in their three matches so far and it’s something which has become a trait of the young Jets.

Key: Physicality. The Jets have struggled with Olympic’s strength up front losing the last three matches between the sides by a combined score of 13-0. Hamilton’s Kane Goodchild scored five of those.


Charlestown City Blues v Broadmeadow Magic
2.30pm Sunday 9th April at Lisle Carr Oval

Last Meeting: Round 17, 2016: Charlestown 3 Broadmeadow 2 at Magic Park.
Ladder: Charlestown 6th (4), Broadmeadow 3rd (7)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):
Charlestown – Won Jets 4-1 (a), Drew Roosters 1-1 (h), Lost Phoenix 1-2 (h)
Broadmeadow – Lost Roosters 1-4 (h), Won Phoenix 3-2 (h), Won Bears 2-0 (h)

Bottom Line

Ruben Zadkovich will be hoping for a similar response from his troops that Shane Pryce received out of his side on the weekend after Broadmeadow fell to Lake Macquarie in round four. It ended a six-game unbeaten run against Lakes and Zadkovich’s unbeaten run in the PS4 NPL with Broadmeadow.

Magic certainly had their chances in the 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Roosters, especially in the first half with Kale Bradbury and James Virgili going close on a number of occasions.

Bradbury, Magic’s second top scorer last season with 17 goals, has struggled with confidence this season and hasn’t found the back of the net in the opening four matches, while Virgili has scored just two. At this point last season both had three each to their name.

Zadkovich brought key men Shane Paul, Jon Griffiths and Peter Haynes on from the bench against Lakes, so you would expect at least two of them to return to the starting side this weekend.

Charlestown responded strongly to a lacklustre start to the season last weekend as they put the Jets to the sword in the final 15 minutes, when they scored three goals to win 4-1.

Key: How will Broadmeadow respond from last week’s upset loss to Lakes?


CLICK HERE for a full Round 5 preview.