The first coalfields derby will take place at Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday as part of the ‘Match of the Round’ in PlayStation® 4 NPL Northern NSW and there is plenty of interest in this one.
Match of the Round
Weston Workers v Maitland Magpies
Sunday, May 22, 2.30pm
Rockwell Automation Park
You would be excused for thinking which side is which, with the amount of transfers over the off season between these two sides.
Steve Piggott returns to Rockwell Automation Park for the first time as a PlayStation 4 NPL first grade coach since he left Weston after guiding them to the 2014 Grand Final.
Carl Thornton, Liam Thornton, Brock Oakley and Tim Pratt all played for Weston last season and return to their old stomping ground, while both of Weston’s goalkeepers Benn Kelly and James Wand take on their former side.
Last season the two derbies where tight tense affairs where the only goal from 180 minutes of football was scored by Weston’s Troy Hearfield at Cooks Square Park in Round 5. However this year they will be looking at their other attack as Hearfield is no longer, which will include the likes of Gary McDermott and Mick Ryan.
The sides are at opposite ends of the ladder to where they were last season, with Weston currently sitting last with their only points from two draws. Maitland on the other hand haven’t been defeated this season, with three wins and three draws from their opening six matches.
Key: Weston’s attack. After a spluttering start of the year in attack, if Weston’s front men can fire against their rivals, an upset could be on the cards.
Newcastle Jets Youth v Hamilton Olympic
Saturday, May 21, 2.30pm
Darling Street Oval
After a confidence boosting win in Round 6 of the PlayStation 4 NPL, the Newcastle Jets Youth side will meet an in form Hamilton Olympic side in Round 7.
After leaking 20 goals in their opening five matches the Jets produced a solid defensive performance against Adamstown, recording their first clean sheet for 2016. The Jets attack has been less of a concern, already scoring 12 goals so far this season. It was Krisitan Brymora who was the star for the Jets Youth, as he grabbed a hat-trick and went to equal first in the leading scorers of the 2016 PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW.
Brymora will once again be key for the Jets against an Olympic side who sits atop the ladder, with an outstanding defensive record. Cameron Joice will also be another important player for the Jets if they are to cause a major upset.
Hamilton Olympic, have been outstanding since their opening round stalemate with Maitland at a windy Cooks Square Park. Since then Michael Bolch’s side has grabbed 15 points from 5 matches, including knocking off Edgeworth 3-2 in Round 5 and then taking down Broadmeadow last weekend 3-1.
The questions for Olympic will be whether they can keep the good form going, after a couple of tough matches against quality opposition. The young Jets’ attack has been firing of late and Hamilton with the best defence in the competition currently – conceding just 4 goals in 6 matches – will not want to take them lightly.
Key: Against a side with plenty of pace in attack, can Kyle Hodges marshal his defence to keep the Jets’ young guns quiet?
Lambton Jaffas v Adamstown Rosebud
Saturday, May 21, 2.30pm
Arthur Edden Oval
The Lambton Jaffas will be looking for their first points at home in 2016, when they return to Arthur Edden Oval for their Round 7 clash with Adamstown.
With 3 losses to open their account in front of the Jaffas faithful, Lambton will want to turn things around and bridge the gap starting to appear on the ladder between themselves and the top 5 sides. The Jaffas so far in 2016 have been far from disappointing as their solitary win and draw suggest.
They were in front against Edgeworth in the opening round until the final ten minutes and with a bit more luck against Broadmeadow in Round 2 they could easily have snatched at least a point. A point at Maitland on the weekend, suggests they are up with the quality of the leading pack and a win looks just around the corner.
For Adamstown, a 3-0 loss to the Jets Youth side on Sunday was a bitter pill to swallow for coach Graham Law.
Key: John Majurovski and Chris Berlin. In both side’s they recorded 2-0 wins against Valentine this season, both were on the scoresheet. Can one of these experienced campaigners inspire their side to a much needed victory?
Broadmeadow Magic v Valentine Phoenix
Sunday, May 22, 2.30pm
After an undefeated start to the year before a loss to rivals Hamilton last weekend, Broadmeadow Magic will be looking to get their first win over Valentine since they were relegated in 2013.
Broadmeadow, after being unable to shake the monkey off their back against Hamilton, will no doubt be keen to avenge the loss back in front of their home fans. The loss last weekend saw them slip outside the top 4 for the first time this season.
For Valentine, this represents the 2nd week of three tough matches for the Phoenix. They went down 4-0 to Edgeworth last weekend, before meeting Hamilton Olympic next weekend.
Key: If Valentine’s backline are unable to keep the likes of Kale Bradbury, Peter Haynes and James Virgili quiet, it could be a long afternoon for them.
Edgeworth Eagles v Charlestown City Blues
Sunday, May 22, 2.45pm
Jack McLaughlan Oval
An intriguing fixture on Sunday afternoon sees the undefeated Charlestown travel to Edgeworth to meet the Eagles.
After 6 rounds the visitors sit in second place on the ladder, with four wins and two draws. This match marks the beginning of a three-week test for Shane Pryce’s men. They meet Broadmeadow next weekend, before travelling to Hamilton in Round nine. Written off at the start of the year by many, Charlestown have proved their doubters wrong over the opening six rounds of the season.
For Edgeworth, so far their season has gone to the script, the only blip has been a 3-2 loss to top of the table Hamilton. A result which Damian Zane and his side will probably not look at with too much disappointment, as it is better to lose in round 5, than in August and September when the title is on the line.
Key: Charlestown’s Defence. So far outstanding in 2016, but they will face its toughest test against the Eagles. If Todd McSorley and his defensive partners produce an outstanding display, Charlestown will go a long way to keeping their undefeated run going.
CLICK HERE for a full preview of the Round 7 matches.