Thursday, 9 April 2015

New-FM 1st Division Tips-Round 6

1st Grade: Belmont-Swansea (5th) v Cessnock City (7th)

All five games in the New-FM 1st Division will be played on Sunday this week with all 1st grade games to kick off at 2:30pm. This one is a mid-table clash between a Belswans side that has lost their last two and a Cessnock side that found their first win two weeks ago against struggling Toronto-Awaba.

It's tough to predict what will happen here. Belswans did get to play their match last week but Cessnock of course are fresh off of a week's break. I'm going to back the home side. They've got to turn their form around and try and keep touch with the pacesetters in this competition.

This is Cessnock's biggest match yet this season and their first against what I consider to be the 'big-four' in the New-FM league (Valentine, Lakes, West Wallsend and Belswans). They are coming off a 2-0 win over Toronto-Awaba but the Stags aren't exactly a powerhouse this season. Belmont-Swansea won't want to crash to a third-straight defeat, they'll get the job done here.

Under 23's: Belmont-Swansea (3rd) v Cessnock City (2nd)

Technically this match is 3rd versus 2nd but a look at the table sees these two teams locked in a three-way tie for top spot on the 23's table along with Lake Macquarie City. Cessnock are ahead due to a superior goal difference and have a game in hand on the 3rd-placed Belswans.

Belmont-Swansea were flying high in the Under 23's before they met their match in a 5-3 Good Friday loss at Macquarie Field. Cessnock on the other hand are unbeaten and won two straight going into last week's washout. This one though is a big test for Cessnock's 23's.

I'm tipping the home side to bounce back to form. It's a tight race at the top of the 23's table and any win is crucial at this stage as over a quarter of the season has already passed.

Under 19's: Belmont-Swansea (1st) v Cessnock City (4th)

Another grade where Belswans are flying high is the Under 19's and this side in particular have been in some impressive form. They were four from four going into last weekend's match with Lakes but were held to a high-scoring 3-3 draw at the home of the Roosters.

Cessnock though have bagged nine goals in two games and despite having a break last week, the Hornets will be a real test for this Belswans side that have so far cruised at the top of the table. 

I think this'll be a high-scoring game but there's some steel about this Belswans side and with Lakes facing a tough match against Cooks Hill, there is potential to move six points clear of the 2nd-placed Roosters, albeit with a game in hand.

Under 17's: Belmont-Swansea (9th) v Cessnock City (10th)

These teams have been so far out of form in the last few games that I wish there was a way to tip both to lose. Looking at the recent results, Belswans have conceded 16 goals in three games and even worse, Cessnock have let in 14 goals in just two games. 

Both sides need a win to try and turn their season around and there's no better time to do that than a clash with another struggling side. I'm going with the home side here.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Belmont-Swansea 3-1 Cessnock City
Under 23's: Belmont-Swansea 2-1 Cessnock City
Under 19's: Belmont-Swansea 4-2 Cessnock City
Under 17's: Belmont-Swansea 4-1 Cessnock City

1st Grade: Kahibah F.C (10th) v Singleton (8th)

Kahibah F.C are still winless in the New-FM competition and really need to start building some form before they fall too far away from the top four. I know a lot of pre-season predictions had Kahibah to find a bit of success in the New-FM 1st Division and to be honest they haven't been too far away from that first win.

Singleton recorded their first win of the season three weeks ago against local rivals Cessnock City but were outclassed by Cooks Hill United in their last match before the wash-out. I think the Strikers will struggle to get the win here in a match that very well could be moved due to the grass work at Kahibah. I'll update this post if the game is indeed moved or washed out for that matter.

Kahibah will be desperate to record their maiden New-FM win and there's no better time to do it than against Singleton.

Under 23's: Kahibah F.C (7th) v Singleton (10th)

In the 23's both teams are lacking in form. Kahibah won in Round 1 but have lost both games since then whilst Singleton have not picked up a win yet in three outings. The good thing for Singleton is they haven't been leaking too many goals so they're not too far off the pace in terms of goal difference but they've only scored once in three games so improvement is needed.

Kahibah were smashed 4-1 last time out against a mid-table Valentine side but I think they'll turn things around here. Singleton are lacking in front of goal and I think it'll cost them on Sunday.

Under 19's: Kahibah (10th) v Singleton (11th)

Who do you tip between two sides that have lost all three games this season. I'm going with Kahibah and now I'll explain why. Singleton have only scored two goals whilst Kahibah have five and in terms of goal difference, the team from the Valley are five goals behind Kahibah.

Both teams had tough games last start against in-form Valentine and Cooks Hill respectively so I think they'll both be relishing a chance to compete in a bottom of the table clash. It's a crucial game for both and I think the home side will get it done. 

Under 17's: Kahibah (5th) v Singleton (8th)

The two leading teams at both clubs right now are from the Under 17's grade. Kahibah sit in 5th whilst Singleton are in 8th and are doing a lot better than the Under 19's sides. Kahibah are coming off a 2-1 loss to a resurgent Valentine side whilst Singleton went down 1-0 to an in-form Cooks Hill side.

I'm going with another Kahibah win in this one. They hit a wall last time out against Valentine but back at home I think they'll get the three points against Singleton. The Strikers have to travel a fair way for a 9:15am kickoff and that's probably enough to give Kahibah an advantage. But in most comps, 5th v 8th, I'd tip 5th.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Kahibah 2-1 Singleton
Under 23's: Kahibah 1-0 Singleton
Under 19's: Kahibah 2-0 Singleton
Under 17's: Kahibah 2-1 Singleton

1st Grade: West Wallsend (2nd) v Valentine F.C (4th)

This is in my opinion the game of the week in the New-FM competition as West Wallsend take on fellow top four side Valentine Phoenix at Johnston Park. It should be an entertaining match-up as a win for either could potentially take them to the top of the table depending on other results.

West Wallsend managed to play their match last weekend and went down to local rivals Wallsend so they'll be hungry to bounce back against a Valentine side that were held to a 2-2 draw with Kahibah last time out. It's amazing to look at last year's results and see that Valentine put 23 goals past the Bluebells in their two match-ups. This year is a big turnaround for Westy.

In this game I'm backing the home side. West Wallsend are in need of a win after losing at home last week to their arch rivals. 

Under 23's: West Wallsend (8th) v Valentine F.C (6th)

West Wallsend picked up their first win of the campaign last week against Wallsend but face a tougher test this time out against a Valentine side that bagged four in their last outing. It's a fairly important game for both sides as a win will move either up a spot or two on the table.

It must have been a satisfying win for the Bluebells 23's last week as they pulled off their maiden win of the season and left their arch rivals in dead last but this is a bridge too far for Westy though. I think Valentine will get it done here in impressive style.

Under 19's: West Wallsend (6th) v Valentine F.C (3rd)

West Wallsend picked up their first win of the campaign last week against Wallsend but face a tougher test this time out against a Valentine side that bagged four in their last outing. It's a fairly important game for both sides as a win will move either up a spot or two on the table.

West Wallsend were unable to compete last week with the Bluebells calling off their 19's and 17's in an attempt to keep the field playable for the 1st grade. The Bluebell 19's are winless since Round 1 and have conceded six in their last two outings.

Valentine on the other hand are coming off of the back of two straight wins and I'm tipping them to do the same here. West Wallsend did win last week but Valentine have looked much more impressive in the 19's comp.

Under 17's: West Wallsend (6th) v Valentine F.C (7th)

Valentine's 17 started the season in awful form, conceding six goals in two games against Wallsend and Cooks Hill but have turned it around in recent weeks with a draw against Thornton and finally their maiden win in 2015, a 2-1 result over Kahibah last time out.

West Wallsend did pick up a 6-3 win in their last match but that was over a struggling Belswans side. I think both these teams will finish mid-table and as a result I'm going to back a draw here. They're pretty well matched.

My Tips:
1st Grade: West Wallsend 2-1 Valentine F.C
Under 23's: West Wallsend 0-4 Valentine F.C
Under 19's: West Wallsend 1-3 Valentine F.C
Under 17's: Draw 1-1

1st Grade: Lake Macquarie City (1st) v Cooks Hill United (6th)

Make no doubt about it, this is the biggest game of Cooks Hill's season so far. Away from home against the promotion favourites and the early season pacesetters is a massive test for the New-FM newcomers. 

There's nothing to lose here for the Cookers whilst a loss for Lakes will see them miss a big chance to move clear at the top of the table. I have no doubt Cooks Hill will throw everything they have at the Roosters. 

Lakes recorded a big win over Belmont-Swansea last week and I'm expecting them to do the same against the visiting Cookers this week. Yes I'm Cooks Hill through and through but this is a huge test and Lakes are eyeing off a chance to move clear at the top depending on other results.

Under 23's: Lake Macquarie City (1st) v Cooks Hill United (4th)

Just like 1st grade, this is a big game for the visiting Cooks Hill. Depending on other results, a win here could take the Cookers to the top of the Under 23's table. But that's easy said than done against a Lakes side that smashed five past previously unbeaten Belmont-Swansea last week.

Cooks Hill only scored one goal in their last match and in my opinion they'll need more than that to beat Lakes. I can't see the Cookers getting it done here, they may scrape a draw but I think it'll be another Lakes win.

Under 19's: Lake Macquarie City (2nd) v Cooks Hill United (5th)

Lakes have some real potential in the Under 19's competition. They stopped a rampaging Belmont-Swansea side last week and held them to a 3-3 draw. Lakes are unbeaten this season but the visitors are in some form too as they've won their last three games.

This'll be a high-quality game compared to most 19's matches this week and I think that Cooks Hill could sneak a draw but I'm going to tip the home side. A win would take Lakes to equal top spot depending on other results and I think they've got more goals in them than Cooks Hill do.

Under 17's: Lake Macquarie City (1st) v Cooks Hill United (2nd)

A top of the table clash in the 17's with the visiting Cooks Hill taking on a Lakes side that have won four from four this season. If this game was played in the first few weeks of the season I would have gone with the visitors. They were averaging four goals a game after two matches but have only scored twice in their last two.

Lakes defeated a poor Belswans side 5-1 last week and they're probably the favourites here. I don't want to tip against my own club in all four grades though so I'll go with a draw here. A loss will see Cooks Hill fall five points behind the ladder-leaders so I think they'll be heavily focused on keeping Lakes' chances down and trying to play a low-scoring game. 

My Tip:
1st Grade: Lakes 3-1 Cooks Hill
Under 23's: Lakes 2-1 Cooks Hill
Under 19's: Lakes 2-0 Cooks Hill
Under 17's: Draw 2-2

1st Grade: Thornton (9th) v Toronto-Awaba (11th)

Thornton were due to play their first home match of the season last week but were unfortunately denied by poor weather conditions. They return to their home ground this week with a game against bottom-of-the-table and severely lacking Toronto-Awaba.

I'm just going to say it, this is a must-win game for both sides, especially Toronto-Awaba. Thornton will be hoping to record their second win of the season ahead of a few games in the next month or so at their home ground but the Stags need something, anything. 

Toronto are having an absolute shocker this season and have a goal difference of -13 after just four games. Unfortunately for the Stags I'm going to back the home side in this one. A loss for the Redbacks would be a disappointment for them, especially against the cellar-dwellers. Thornton for mine.

Under 23's: Thornton (5th) v Toronto-Awaba (9th)

Thornton are unbeaten in the Under 23's competition so far after 3 games and they're up against a Toronto side that let in 5 goals in their last match. A win for the Redbacks would potentially send them into a top four spot with all four of the teams about Thornton to play each other this weekend.

So with that in mind, this is a very important game for the Redbacks' 23's. I'm tipping them to get the job done and I think they'll do it in style and send a warning to the four teams above them.

Under 19's: Thornton (8th) v Toronto-Awaba (9th)

Two sides that are both winless in their last two face off in the second match of the day at Thornton Park. The Redbacks weren't too far off the pace in a 1-0 loss to Wallsend last time out but haven't scored in either of their last two matches.

Toronto-Awaba on the other hand have scored twice in two games but are having trouble at the other end of the park, letting in five goals in 180 minutes of football. 

This is going to be an interesting match-up between two sides that need a win and I'm tipping the home side to do it. 

Under 17's: Thornton (11th) v Toronto-Awaba (4th)

The Redbacks are totally up against it here. They're winless in three outings and up against a side that have scored 13 goals in just two games against struggling sides in similar positions to Thornton. 

This could get ugly. Thornton are lacking in front of goal and averaging three goals against this season. Toronto-Awaba have a chance to overtake Wallsend FC into third spot with the Red Devils having the week off and I think they'll do it at Thornton on Sunday morning. A few goals should be expected in this one.

My Tips:
1st Grade: Thornton 3-1 Toronto-Awaba
Under 23's: Thornton 4-1 Toronto-Awaba
Under 19's: Thornton 2-0 Toronto-Awaba
Under 17's: Thornton 1-6 Toronto-Awaba

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