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1st Grade: Cooks Hill United (5th) v West Wallsend (4th)
This is a fairly big game for the home side as they look to close the gap between themselves and the top four. A win here would see Cooks Hill gain a big chance to move above the Bluebells with a game in hand over West Wallsend to be played at Thornton next Wednesday night.
West Wallsend were demolished by Valentine 6-0 three weeks ago but bounced back to a 2-0 away win over Cessnock City in their last outing. The Bluebells will like their chances this week but against a Cooks Hill side that bagged six last time out, it will be a tough ask.
The Bluebells have had a much improved 2015 compared to their efforts last year and full credit has to go the West Wallsend community for keeping their club alive and it's good to see them finding success. This is a big game for them as they look to cement their spot in the top four.
The Cookers have gained confidence over the course of the season and their fluency is improving week by week. Cooks Hill have not lost a game at home this season and I'm tipping them to keep that streak alive on the weekend. It won't be another 6-1 win but I can see the home side grabbing the points.
Under 23's: Cooks Hill United (6th) v West Wallsend (10th)
I was going through my results page and discovered that Cooks Hill have won eight straight home games across all four grades. In fact only twice have Cooks Hill lost a New-FM game on home turf and that was the 23's and 19's on the opening day of the season.
Cooks Hill's 23's won 4-1 in their last outing whilst the Bluebells were outdone by Cessnock. With that in mind I'm tipping the home side to grab a win here against a West Wallsend 23's side that have struggled in season 2015.
Under 19's: Cooks Hill United (3rd) v West Wallsend (7th)
Cooks Hill's 19's haven't lost since the opening day of the season but will find a challenge in a West Wallsend side that got the best of Cessnock City last time out. This will be a crucial match-up for both sides as it could take West Wallsend towards a top four side while a win for Cooks Hill would see them consolidate their spot in the top four.
I'm backing the home side as they're in some good form and haven't conceded in over 270 minutes of football. It won't be a one-sided match-up but I consider this Cooks Hill side good enough to get the job done this Saturday.
Under 17's: Cooks Hill United (2nd) v West Wallsend (4th)
Two sides that are in the top four will clash in the opening match of the day on Saturday. Cooks Hill are in second place and only Lake Macquarie City have got the better of the Cookers 17's this season. West Wallsend's 17's have won three straight and scored 14 goals in that time so they're a good chance here.
West Wallsend can move closer to the top of the table with a win here but I'm not confident to back them against the Cookers here. It'll be a tight game but a home win is my prediction in this round 9 clash.
1st Grade: Cooks Hill United 2-1 West Wallsend
Under 23's: Cooks Hill United 4-1 West Wallsend
Under 19's: Cooks Hill United 2-0 West Wallsend
Under 17's: Cooks Hill United 2-1 West Wallsend
1st Grade: Valentine F.C (1st) v Belmont-Swansea (7th)
The ladder-leaders host Belmont-Swansea on Saturday at the later time of 3:30pm and haven't lost yet in season 2015. A win against former pacesetters Lake Macquarie City last week proved that the Phoenix are the real deal this season as they look to rejoin the top flight in season 2016.
Belmont-Swansea were lucky to have their match go ahead last week but couldn't avoid losing to an in-form Wallsend side. This week they face an even tougher test against a side that have scored a bucketload of goals over the course of season so far.
A wise man would tip the Phoenix to extend their good form and you'd have to be very optimistic to back the Belswans in this one. It could be a tough day at the office for the visitors.
Under 23's: Valentine F.C (1st) v Belmont-Swansea (5th)
Valentine's 23's are the form team in any grade of the New-FM competition at the moment. 21 goals in four games and a two points lead at the top of the table. Just think about that for a moment, 21 goals in four games, that's an average of 5.2 goals every game at the moment. Incredible.
Belmont-Swansea's 23's know how to score. 2 goals against both Lakes and Cessnock but they conceded five in both of those matches. And then last week they couldn't get past lowly Wallsend. I'm sure even the Belswans players themselves know they're up for a challenge this weekend.
In my opinion there's no way Valentine don't win this game. They're in much too good form and if they play like they've played in the last month or so this could be another four or five goal haul.
Under 19's: Valentine F.C (1st) v Belmont-Swansea (2nd)
Another Valentine team occupying top spot on the table but Belmont-Swansea's Under 19's side are no easybeats and in fact they're yet to lose in 2015. This is potentially the match of the day at Cahill Oval on Saturday and with their records combining for 50 goals in fourteen matches it could very well be a high-scoring affair.
I'm going to tip a draw as I simply cannot come up with a winner here. Neither team will want a draw but I can't split them. High-scoring draw is going to be my prediction here.
Under 17's: Valentine F.C (9th) v Belmont-Swansea (7th)
Finally, a Valentine team that's not topping the table and it's a bit strange how considering the massive junior base they have at Cahill Oval, their Under 17 New-FM team has just one win from seven outings. Belmont-Swansea however have three wins, one of which was a big 4-3 result against Wallsend last week.
Valentine will need to improve in front of goal if they want a result this weekend. They've scored just six goals in seven games and are facing a team that have scored 22 in the same time frame. Belmont-Swansea for the win is the way I'll go here.
1st Grade: Valentine F.C 5-2 Belmont-Swansea
Under 23's: Valentine F.C 5-1 Belmont-Swansea
Under 19's: Valentine F.C 3-3 Belmont-Swansea
Under 17's: Valentine F.C 0-2 Belmont-Swansea
1st Grade: Singleton (9th) v Toronto-Awaba (11th)
Two teams desperate for a win will clash at Howe Park on Sunday afternoon. Singleton's only win of the season came against Cessnock in Round 3 whilst the Stags picked up a win against Thornton in Round 6.
I've seen both these teams play this season and was much more impressed by Singleton than I was Toronto. The Stags were awful in their 6-1 loss to Cooks Hill two weeks ago and unless things change for them, they'll be on the opposite end of a few more defeats this season.
Whether Singleton can get the points or not is a different question but after two close 3-2 losses, I think the time is now for the Strikers to pick up a home win and break their five game winless streak.
Under 23's: Singleton (11th) v Toronto-Awaba (8th)
The last time either of these teams won a game was all the way back in Round 2 when Toronto-Awaba beat West Wallsend. Singleton on the other hand are winless in 2015 and really need to pick up the three points against the visiting Stags on Sunday.
The Strikers 23's have scored just three goals in six games and that is their main problem at the moment. A win will move them off the foot of the table and this is a great chance for them to grab it. Toronto-Awaba went down 4-1 to Cooks Hill last time out but the result could go either way here. I'm going with the home side but not in confidence.
Under 19's: Singleton (11th) v Toronto-Awaba (10th)
Talk about a bottom of the table clash, neither of these sides have produced a win in season 2015 and have let in 35 goals between them. I won't go on too much about this one but Toronto-Awaba haven't scored in their last two outings which is enough to make me favour the home side to grab the points. Not by much though.
Under 17's: Singleton (8th) v Toronto-Awaba (6th)
Toronto-Awaba were booted out of the top four by Cooks Hill last time out and the 4-0 defeat would have damaged the belief in this Toronto side. I'm not confident they're good enough though to bounce back this weekend. I don't think the Stags will lose but a draw is the way I'll go.
1st Grade: Singleton 2-1 Toronto-Awaba
Under 23's: Singleton 1-0 Toronto-Awaba
Under 19's: Singleton 1-0 Toronto-Awaba
Under 17's: Singleton 1-1 Toronto-Awaba
1st Grade: Wallsend (2nd) v Kahibah F.C (6th)
This will be an intriguing match-up at the Gardens on Saturday as high-flying Wallsend take on fellow promoted side Kahibah FC. The visiting side have recorded back to back wins but against a Red Devils outfit that have won five on the trot this will no doubt be one of Kahibah's biggest tests to date.
I'm confident in Wallsend here. They've recruited well and it's now showing on the field with the results they've picked up over the last month and a half. Whether or not the Gardens can be an NPL venue is another question but at this stage, I think the Red Devils are a serious contender to win some silverware this season. They should get the job done this weekend.
Under 23's: Wallsend (9th) v Kahibah (7th)
This is a tough one to predict as a Wallsend side that have finally broken their bad form with a win and a draw in their past two outings clash with a Kahibah side that have also picked up a win and a draw over the last three weeks.
It's with those results in mind that I tip a draw here. Both these teams drew their last match 1-1 and I think it'll be a fair result given their positions on the league table.
Under 19's: Wallsend (6th) v Kahibah (9th)
Kahibah's 19's have won their last two outings and depending on the wet weather, they'll be keen to get out on the field after being washed out last weekend. I only mention that because Wallsend's 19's were fortunate enough to play last week and I see that as a fitness advantage.
I'm going with the home side only because they put four past Singleton the other week and were decent against a strong Belswans side last weekend at Blacksmiths Oval.
Under 17's: Wallsend (5th) v Kahibah (3rd)
Wallsend's 17's fell to an unfortunate 4-3 loss to Belmont-Swansea last week and will be keen to return to form against Kahibah on Sunday morning. The problem for the Red Devils though is that Kahibah are defensively the best team in the Under 17's competition and one could argue that they're the best in the whole New-FM, indeed they are on goals conceded.
The 17's from Kahibah smashed eight past Thornton in their last outing but Thornton isn't as strong as Wallsend. The Red Devils' 17's will be keen to return to their home ground which was the scene of their two best games of the season, a 5-1 defeat of Thornton and a 1-1 draw against a strong Cooks Hill side. It's hard to go past the visitors though. Kahibah by one or two.
1st Grade: Wallsend 2-1 Kahibah
Under 23's: Wallsend 1-1 Kahibah
Under 19's: Wallsend 1-0 Kahibah
Under 17's: Wallsend 0-2 Kahibah
1st Grade: Thornton (10th) v Lake Macquarie City (3rd)
After a good hour and a half, I've arrived at my final preview for Round 9 and it's the Thornton Redbacks hosting the Lake Macquarie City Roosters at Thornton Park, depending on the weather of course.
Lakes lost a top of the table clash with Valentine two weeks ago and will no doubt be keen to get back on the pitch after letting in a late goal at Cahill Oval that afternoon. Losing like that would have hurt and I have no doubt the Roosters will be fired up this Sunday.
Thornton have lost two straight home games and haven't won since Round 2. This is a bridge too far in my opinion for the Redbacks. Lakes to get the points here and most likely comfortably.
Under 23's: Thornton (4th) v Lake Macquarie City (3rd)
Thornton's 23's are doing well this season and currently sit in fourth spot. They would have been disappointed not to get all three points against Kahibah two weeks ago and will be keen to jump the Roosters on the table and move further into the top four.
Lakes though are coming off of a heavy 6-2 defeat to high-flying Valentine and will also be looking at turning a last-start loss into a win this weekend. It's with that in mind that I tip a draw for Sunday. I was leaning towards Lakes but I'm not confident enough to back them.
Under 19's: Thornton (8th) v Lake Macquarie City (4th)
Lakes Under 19's will be desperate for a win as their last victory came all the way back in Round 3. In that time there's been a washout, a bye and three games against all three teams that sit above them on the table. This weekend is an easier assignment for the Roosters.
Thornton weren't too far off the pace in their 2-1 loss to Kahibah but I'm going with the visitors here. The Roosters know how to win across all four grades and are always a pretty safe tip. Don't be surprised by the upset but Lakes for my money.
Under 17's: Thornton (11th) v Lake Macquarie City (1st)
It's first versus last in the Under 17's and Thornton will be truly up against it in this one against a Lake Macquarie City side that have bagged 13 goals in their last two games. Thornton meanwhile were demolished 8-0 by Kahibah last time out and whilst I normally don't predict landslides, I can't resist it here. If form mean anything, Lakes by a lot.
1st Grade: Thornton 0-4 Lake Macquarie City
Under 23's: Thornton 2-2 Lake Macquarie City
Under 19's: Thornton 1-2 Lake Macquarie City
Under 17's: Thornton 1-8 Lake Macquarie City