Monday, 18 May 2015

PREVIEW: Mid-Week NPL & New-FM


1st Grade: Hamilton (3rd) v Lambton (6th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 7:00pm

If there's one catch-up game you should catch this week it's this one as two of Newcastle's best clubs face off at Darling St Oval. There's a small factor playing into the game as the two goalkeepers who switched clubs in pre-season clash for the first time. Danny Ireland, formerly of the Jaffas and now with Hamilton faces off against Brad Swancott, the man he replaced between the sticks at Olympic.

The Jaffas would surely have been disappointed not to get a result against a ten-man Edgeworth last week and will be keen to avenge their last start loss. Olympic are not going to be an easy task for the Jaffas. The boys from Hamilton are undefeated this season and are coming off a big win over the Jets Youth last weekend.

It's going to be a high-attacking match with both sides possessing some top-shelf goalscorers in their ranks. It's a tough call to make but I can't tip against Hamilton at the moment. They've been impressive in 2015 and being at home I think they'll be a tad too strong. Could be wrong though.

My Tip: Hamilton 3-2 Lambton


Under 22's: Hamilton (6th) v Lambton (5th)
Kickoff: Thursday 21st May 7:45pm

This is another tough one to predict as two sides who have had indifferent form recently meet in the Under 22's clash. Hamilton lost to the top of the table Jets last week whilst the Jaffas were kept scoreless in a 0-0 draw with 2nd-placed Edgeworth. Being a Hamilton home game I won't tip against them but I will back the draw. These sides are reasonably even so a draw sounds like a good prediction.

My Tip: Hamilton 1-1 Lambton


Under 19's: Hamilton (3rd) v Lambton (8th)
Kickoff: Thursday 21st May 6:00pm

The Under 19's match is a bit easier to split as 3rd-place Hamilton meet with 8th-place Lambton. The Jaffas had four put past them by Edgeworth and Broadmeadow in recent weeks and whilst they did beat Charlestown, I don't like their chances against Hamilton. Olympic's 19's are unbeaten in four games and are fresh after their game was postponed on the weekend. It should be a routine win here for the home side.

My Tip: Hamilton 3-0 Lambton




1st Grade: Charlestown City (8th) v South Cardiff (9th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 7:00pm

Yes it's only a third of the way into the season and there's still a while to go but this game is a hugely important one for both Charlestown and South Cardiff. Whilst Maitland are at the foot of the table and struggling to produce results, these two sides aren't doing much better and worry will no doubt be starting to weigh on their minds.

I watched South Cardiff's match with Broadmeadow on Sunday and after an impressive first half they completed fell away in the second stanza as Magic ran rampant and put four past the Gunners. Charlestown weren't much better as they went down to Weston 3-1 at home. It's certainly not a crisis for either clubs by any means but a win would be a relief for either side.

I honestly don't know which way to go but I've got a feeling the Blues will stand tall at the end of the night. In my opinion Maitland are the favourites for the drop to New-FM but these two sides won't be too far off on current form. I think Charlestown will win and get what could turn out to be a crucial three points.

My Tip: Charlestown 3-1 South Cardiff


Under 22's: Charlestown (9th) v South Cardiff (8th)
Kickoff: Thursday 21st May 7:45pm

I have absolutely no idea what caused South Cardiff's reserves to lose 8-1 last week but this week should be a lot better as they meet a struggling Charlestown side. In saying that, I don't think the Gunners will cop a flogging but I'm still going to tip the home side to get the points. Neither team have good form but the Gunners are letting in too many goals for my liking.

My Tip: Charlestown 3-1 South Cardiff


Under 19's: Charlestown (6th) v South Cardiff (9th)
Kickoff: Thursday 21st May 6:00pm

I'm going to back Charlestown to get the points in the Under 19's clash as well. South Cardiff copped six at Magic last week and have only won once this season. Charlestown weren't too far off the pace against Weston on the weekend and will be looking to bounce back to form after two straight losses.

My Tip: Charlestown 2-0 South Cardiff




1st Grade: Edgeworth (5th) v Maitland (10th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 7:30pm

Maitland's return to the top flight isn't going to plan so far as they sit bottom and winless after five games. It doesn't get any easier for the Magpies as they now travel to Jack McLaughlan Oval on Wednesday night to meet an Edgeworth side that pulled off a gutsy ten-man victory over Lambton on the weekend.

I'd like to give Maitland a hope here but honestly Edgeworth shouldn't be dropping points here. The Magpies won't go down fighting but this is a tough opponent for the boys from Maitland. Edgeworth by a few.

My Tip: Edgeworth 4-0 Maitland


Under 19's: Edgeworth (4th) v Maitland (10th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 5:30pm

It's also going to be a tough test for Maitland in the Under 19's as they clash with 4th-placed Edgeworth. The Eagles have bagged eight goals in two games and shouldn't have too many issues against a team that got beat 5-1 last time out. The Eagles should be comfortable here.

My Tip: Edgeworth 4-1 Maitland




1st Grade: Kahibah (4th) v Cessnock City (9th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 8:00pm

This is a hugely important game for Kahibah as they look to extend their unbeaten run to five and overcome an out of form Cessnock City side. Kahibah could drop out of the top four if they lose on Wednesday night and after seeing them play last week I just can't imagine the Greens dropping points here.

Cessnock City have been letting in goals left, right and centre as of late and whilst I can't see Kahibah scoring too many they should still be strong enough both in attack and more importantly in defence to get the job done and make it five straight wins.

My Tip: Kahibah 2-0 Cessnock City


Under 23's: Kahibah (6th) v Cessnock City (2nd)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 6:00pm

Cessnock's Under 23's have been impressive this season but have hit a wall in recent weeks with a 2-2 draw against Wallsend followed by a heavy 5-1 loss to ladder-leading Valentine on the weekend. The Hornets will be looking for a return to form and whether or not they can get it at Kahibah is the question.

Kahibah's reserves haven't tasted defeat in a while but this is a challenging clash against a dangerous Cessnock side. I'm going to back the visitors to get the job done but I don't have too much confidence in doing so.

My Tip: Kahibah 1-2 Cessnock City


Under 19's: Kahibah (9th) v Cessnock City (7th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 19th May 8:00pm

It'll be a tight clash in the 19's as two sides who haven't hit many great heights this season clash at Kahibah Oval. The home side are coming off the back of a loss to a decent Cooks Hill side whilst Cessnock pulled off a big result by holding top of the table Valentine to a 2-2 draw. It's with that in mind that makes me tip the away side.

My Tip: Kahibah 1-2 Cessnock City


Under 17's: Kahibah (3rd) v Cessnock City (10th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 19th May 6:00pm

Kahibah's Under 17's are one of the form teams in the competition and are the strongest defensive side in the entire New-FM division. They've let in just four goals in seven outings and they shouldn't have too much trouble against a Cessnock side that have conceded 47 goals in nine games. Green and black all the way in this one.

My Tip: Kahibah 3-1 Cessnock City



1st Grade: Thornton (10th) v Cooks Hill (7th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 8:00pm

This Round 5 clash has been washed out three times now and surely after six weeks it's about time it gets played. Anyway, Thornton are certainly out of form at the moment. After seemingly turning a corner in a gutsy 3-3 draw with West Wallsend, the Redbacks were demolished 5-0 by Singleton last Wednesday night and fell 2-1 to the Belswans on the weekend.

Cooks Hill on the other hand will be keen to get back to winning ways after a tight loss to Kahibah last Wednesday night. The visitors will be fresh off the bye which will no doubt play a part in this one. If one thing costs the Cookers last week it was transitioning into the final third. I think having the weekend off would have allowed Warren Spink's men to work on their weaknesses.

Thornton desperately need a win to move away from Toronto-Awaba at the bottom of the table and after some disappointing results at home this season, the Redbacks will not want to fall to 7th defeat in nine outings. Unfortunately for the home side I think the visitors will be too strong here.

Cooks Hill were closing in on a top four spot until last week's loss to Kahibah and have so far fared reasonably well against the lower-table teams. I can't see it being a blowout but as I said I think the visitors will get the points here.

My Tip: Thornton 1-3 Cooks Hill


Under 23's: Thornton (3rd) v Cooks Hill (7th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 6:00pm

It's going to be a tough test for an out of form Cooks Hill 23's side. I've caught their last two games and to be honest I'm not sure if they can match it with third-place Thornton. The Cookers weren't too far off the pace in last Wednesday's loss to Kahibah but they were outclassed across the park in a 4-1 loss to Belmont-Swansea last weekend.

My tip here is going to be the home side as they look to overtake Cessnock into second place and most importantly cement a spot inside the top four as the season passes the halfway point. 

My Tip: Thornton 2-1 Cooks Hill


Under 19's: Thornton (8th) v Cooks Hill (4th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 19th May 8:00pm

Cooks Hill have a very decent side in the Under 19's which is impressive considering a few of them are actually from the Under 17's side. Anyway a 4-1 loss to Belswans last week was put behind them with the Cookers seeing off Kahibah 3-1 in Tuesday's catch-up fixture.

Thornton went down to Belmont-Swansea on the weekend and against a fresh Cooks Hill outfit I think the home side will struggle. Cooks Hill can cement a spot in the top four with a win and they should be able to do it.

My Tip: Thornton 1-3 Cooks Hill


Under 17's: Thornton (11th) v Cooks Hill (5th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 19th May 6:00pm

Thornton's 17's haven't won a game this season and I don't like their chances against a Cooks Hill side that will be desperate to turn their recent form around. The Cookers 17's have fallen to back to back losses and really need to pick up the points here to stay in touch with the top four. It should be a comfortable win but you never quiet know.

My Tip: Thornton 0-4 Cooks Hill




1st Grade: Singleton (6th) v Toronto-Awaba (11th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 7:50pm

There couldn't be a better time to play cellar-dwellers Toronto-Awaba for the Singleton Strikers. They've turned their early season form around and with the addition of main man Kieren Delaney, the Strikers are now one of the form teams in the division.

Toronto-Awaba can't buy a win at the moment and against a resurgent Singleton side, I just cannot see the Stags getting anything out of this week's catch-up game. Singleton can move into the top four with a win albeit with a couple of extra games played. Singleton should get the points here.

My Tip: Singleton 3-0 Toronto-Awaba


Under 23's: Singleton (11th) v Toronto-Awaba (9th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 20th May 6:15pm

Singleton's reserves were unlucky not to get something out of their clash with West Wallsend on Sunday but will no doubt be fired up for a clash with a Toronto side that isn't enjoying much success as of late. This is an important match for the Strikers reserves and a good chance to get their first win of the season. I'm going with the draw though.

My Tip: Singleton 1-1 Toronto-Awaba


Under 19's: Singleton (11th) v Toronto-Awaba (10th)
Kickoff: Thursday 21st May 7:50pm

What do you say about a game between two sides that have combined for just a point in eighteen games and have a combined -46 goal differential? I don't know which way to go here so I'm just going to back the draw and get onto the next game. Hopefully one of these sides can pick up the points and record their maiden win of the season.

My Tip: Singleton 1-1 Toronto-Awaba


Under 17's: Singleton (8th) v Toronto-Awaba (7th)
Kickoff: Thursday 21st May 6:15pm

These two sides are out of form at the moment and it's a tad hard to predict which one may or may not get the points on Thursday night. I'm going to back the home side as they were close to getting a result against West Wallsend last week and Toronto are making the long trip up to Singleton after losing 7-4 to Wallsend on Sunday. Anything could happen though.

My Tip: Singleton 2-1 Toronto-Awaba




1st Grade: Valentine F.C (1st) v Belmont-Swansea (8th)
Kickoff: T.B.C

The ladder-leaders are back in action after Saturday's big win over Cessnock city and will like their chances in this catch-up game with Belmont-Swansea. The Belswans pulled off a crazy stoppage time win last week against Thornton and from all reports were lucky to leave Thornton Park with a win.

This game will be a huge test for the Belswans' defence as they meet a Valentine side that are scoring goals for fun as of late. The Phoenix are unbeaten in 2015 and will surely be too strong for the visitors in this one. Hopefully the boys in green can prove me wrong but Valentine are looking intent on promotion and they could take another step towards that this week.

My Tip: Valentine 5-1 Belmont-Swansea


Under 23's: Valentine F.C (1st) v Belmont-Swansea (5th)
Kickoff: T.B.C

The Valentine 23's are also leading the way at the top of the table and will be full of confidence after seeing off 2nd-placed Cessnock 5-1 on the weekend. Belmont-Swansea were held by Thornton on Sunday and will need to be near perfect if they want to overcome a strong Valentine side in this one. The Phoenix 23's should be a bit too strong.

My Tip: Valentine 3-1 Belmont-Swansea


Under 19's: Valentine F.C (2nd) v Belmont-Swansea (1st)
Kickoff: T.B.C

*CANCELLED*



Under 17's: Valentine F.C (9th) v Belmont-Swansea (6th)
Kickoff: T.B.C

*CANCELLED*

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