Thursday, 28 May 2015

PREVIEW: New-FM 1st Division Round 13

Welcome to Newysport's Round 13 preview for the New-FM 1st Division. We're starting things a bit differently this week with a preview for tonight's Under 17's and Under 19's matches between Kahibah F.C and Lake Macquarie City.

Under 17's: Kahibah F.C (3rd) v Lake Macquarie City (1st)
Kickoff: Thursday 28/5 6:15pm

If I didn't have training tonight and lived a bit closer to Kahibah I'd probably get down and watch this clash tonight between two of the best Under 17's sides in the New-FM 1st Division. 

Lakes have seen off every single test this season, 8 wins from 8 games. 40 goals and only 8 conceded. Kahibah though have won five straight and have conceded just five goals all season. Something's going to have to give tonight as these sides meet each other.

Lakes can move five points clear of Wallsend with a win and can all but seal their spot as the most dominant Under 17's side with a win against Wallsend on the weekend. Kahibah have proven themselves multiple times this season but tonight is their biggest test. I'm backing the draw but a Lakes win wouldn't surprise me at all and I can't see Kahibah getting the three points.

My Tip: Kahibah 2-2 Lakes

Under 19's: Kahibah F.C (6th) v Lake Macquarie City (4th)
Kickoff: Thursday 28/5 8:00pm

Tonight's match between Kahibah and Lakes in the Under 19's isn't the easiest to predict but looking over recent form and ladder position I'm leaning towards the visitors. Kahibah picked up a 5-2 win over Toronto-Awaba and a 7-0 win ove Cessnock but their only other recent result was a loss to a decent Cooks Hill side.

Beating Toronto and Cessnock is one thing but Lakes is a much more difficult proposition. I'm backing the away side to get over the line.

My Tip: Kahibah 1-3 Lakes


1st Grade: Valentine F.C (1st) v Cooks Hill United (5th)
Kickoff: Saturday 30/5 3:30pm

Make no doubt about it, this is the biggest match of the season so far for New-FM newcomers Cooks Hill United. After a never-ending run of away matches (excluding the washed-out match with West Wallsend) the Cookers have been up and down like a yo-yo, winning twice and losing twice. 

They were off the pace at Thornton last week and whilst they didn't deserve the 4-1 scoreline, they didn't do enough in front of goal to make things different. Sunday's 5-1 victory over Cessnock was the complete opposite of the Thornton match.

I've watched Cooks Hill all season and the way they tore apart Cessnock's defence in the first half was impressive to say the very least. They won't find it as easy against Valentine and it's no wonder with the ladder-leading Phoenix definitely the favourites for the this one.

Valentine will be keen to get back out on the park on a bright Saturday afternoon after so many wash-outs and mid-week catch-up games. It's a hugely important match for the home side as a loss could see them lose top spot to Wallsend and more importantly put a little dent in their promotion hopes.

Ironically Valentine's last match was a 5-1 victory over Cessnock City. I wouldn't be surprised if the Phoenix win this one but if Cooks Hill can start well like they did on Sunday, they could very well hand Valentine their first defeat of the season. These sides drew in Round 2 and I'm tipping the same result this time round. It should be a good match anyway and I'm hoping to catch the 2nd half if I finish my game at Kahibah earlier enough.

My Tip: Valentine 2-2 Cooks Hill United

Under 23's: Valentine F.C (1st) v Cooks Hill United (7th)
Kickoff: Saturday 30/5 1:45pm

This'll be a cracker of a match but unfortunately I won't be able to catch it as I have my own game to play at Kahibah with a 2:30 kickoff so I'll be ducking out after the 19s.

Valentine's 23's have six straight wins under their belt and with Cessnock drawing their match last with Cooks Hill last weekend, the Phoenix have a big chance to break away at the top with two games in hand. Cooks Hill though are no easybeats and there was some real steeliness in the way they came back against previously unbeaten Thornton and 2nd-placed Cessnock.

Valentine have been scoring goals for fun all season and have a +29 goal difference so this is no doubt the biggest test yet for a Cooks Hill side that have now played the top three teams in a row. The Cookers have a decent reserves side with a mixture of youth and expierence and as mentioned, they refuse to lose at the moment.

After the last two weeks I wouldn't be surprised to see the away side scrape a point from this game but I'm going to back Valentine to get over the line. They've had a great first half of the season and they'll no doubt want that to continue into the last two months of the regular season.

My Tip: Valentine 3-2 Cooks Hill United's Under 19's Match of the Round
Under 19's: Valentine F.C (2nd) v Cooks Hill United (3rd)
Kickoff: Saturday 30/5 12:00pm

This could very well be the match of the day at Cahill Oval on Saturday. The Cookers 19s will be desperate to consolidate a spot in the top four and put their irregular form as of late behind them. A 4-1 win over Cessnock City last weekend would have helped boost confidence but this is a whole different ballgame against 2nd-placed Valentine.

I've got some very good intel for this one. Valentine would be top at the moment if they didn't draw their last game with Cessnock City. The same Cessnock City that Cooks Hill overcame last week. The most important intel for this one though is that Valentine have lost just one game all season, to Cooks Hill.

A big part of me wants to tip the away side but their form isn't convincing. I'm going to tip Valentine to potentially return to the top of the table with a win here. It won't be easy but the Phoenix I think will grab the points...just.

My Tip: Valentine 2-1 Cooks Hill United

Under 17's: Valentine (9th) v Cooks Hill United (4th)
Kickoff: Saturday 30/5 10:15am

I'll try my best to get out to Cahill Oval for this one and watch a couple of games before I have to take off to my own game at Kahibah. The Cookers should be good enough to get the job done here. In the last week they've won 6-1 against Thornton and 5-0 against Cessnock. Valentine will offer a bit more than those sides but this Cooks Hill side need to keep winning to stay inside the top four in the race for finals football.

My Tip: Valentine 1-3 Cooks Hill United


1st Grade: Thornton (9th) v Cessnock City (10th)
Kickoff: Saturday 30/5 6:30pm

This is a crucial match-up for both these sides as they look to avoid the foot of the table. If Toronto win at West Wallsend this Sunday, one of these sides will drop to last regardless of the result at Thornton Park. If they draw they could potentially find themselves both in bottom spot. It's a crucial match.

Cessnock were uninspiring in the 1st half against Cooks Hill United last Sunday and deservedly went in 5-1 down at half-time. To their credit they played a better brand of football in the second half but it was still another heavy home loss for the struggling Hornets.

Thornton won their last match 4-1 over Cooks Hill and I'm tipping them to do the same on Saturday. With a couple of catch-up games up their sleeve they can take a big step away from the bottom of the table and keep their very slim finals hopes alive (mathematically they're a chance).

My Tip: Thornton 3-1 Cessnock City's Under 23's Match of the Round
Under 23's: Thornton (3rd) v Cessnock City (2nd)
Kickoff: Saturday 30/5 4:45pm

The 23's are at the other end of the table and should put on an entertaining match-up as they both look to bounce back from disappointing results against Cooks Hill. The Redbacks lost their first game of the season last week as they simply lost hold of a 3-1 lead and went down 4-3 to the Cookers. Cessnock also blew a lead but showed some class to avoid losing in a 3-3 draw with the Cookers.

Based on what I saw from both teams I really don't know which way to go but neither team can afford to lose a grip in the second half if they have the lead. I'm tipping Thornton to return to the winners circle and put the pressure on the Hornets in 2nd spot.

My Tip: Thornton 2-1 Cessnock City

Under 19's: Thornton (7th) v Cessnock City (9th)
Kickoff: Saturday 30/5 3:00pm

Cessnock's 19's showed some steel in a draw with Valentine a couple of weeks ago but were disappointing in a 4-1 loss to Cooks Hill last Sunday. Thornton on the other hand are coming off a win over the Cookers and being a home game I'm tipping them to grab the points here.

The Redbacks could move into the top half of a table with a win and after having the bye last week, they'll be keen to build some foundations for the second half of a season with a win here.

My Tip: Thornton 3-1 Cessnock City

Under 17's: Thornton (11th) v Cessnock City (10th)
Kickoff: Saturday 30/5 2:15pm

*The fixture says 2:15pm but the 19's are a 3pm so I'd think this game would actually kick off at 1:15pm. I'm not sure why Thornton Park have different kick-off times this week so if you're playing in any of the games double check with your club.

Sometimes as a previewer you have to preview some games that just don't sound very good on paper. This game is one of them. To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if these teams go all out in an attempt to avoid to bottom spot on the table.

Both will be desperate for a win and keen to put heavy losses to the same Cooks Hill side behind them. Cessnock have been light on numbers but if they can get a couple of more players in for this one I think they can get the job done. Thornton just can't buy a win at the moment in the 17s so it's the visiting Hornets for me.

My Tip: Thornton 1-2 Cessnock City


1st Grade: West Wallsend (6th) v Toronto-Awaba (11th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 3:00pm

*Revised Kickoff Time: 3pm*

Looking at the table one would consider this game to be another game where the result won't change too much but that's not the case. This is a very important match for both sides, Toronto could leave the foot of the table with a win whilst West Wallsend could potentially move into the top four.

Toronto pulled off a gutsy win over Singleton recently and are just win away from leaving bottom spot, where they've been since an opening round loss. West Wallsend won the Round 2 match at Toronto 4-2 and I'm tipping them to do the same this weekend. The Bluebells need to return to form and there's no better time to do that than this Sunday.

My Tip: West Wallsend 3-1 Toronto-Awaba

Under 23's: West Wallsend (9th) v Toronto-Awaba (10th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 12:45pm

Another one of those lower table clashes that will see the winner take a step forward and the loser take a step back. Both sides are coming off a win in their last start and being at Johnston Park, you'd think the home side will be aiming to make it a second-straight win and perhaps move away from the bottom of the table.

Toronto won the Round 2 match between these two sides 2-0 but I'm tipping the Bluebells to return the favour this time round.

My Tip: West Wallsend 2-1 Toronto-Awaba

Under 19's: West Wallsend (5th) v Toronto-Awaba (11th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 11:00am

This isn't a game West Wallsend should be losing as they meet a Toronto side that are winless in 2015. West Wallsend can't afford to drop any points as the race for the top four heats up and they should be able to overcome an out-of-form Stags line-up. These teams drew 2-2 back in Round 2 which remains Toronto's lone point for the season and it won't be an easy match for the Stags at Johnston Park on Sunday.

My Tip: West Wallsend 4-1 Toronto-Awaba

Under 19's: West Wallsend (5th) v Toronto-Awaba (8th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 9:15am

Toronto-Awaba have fallen off the wagon in the 17s recently after a strong start to the season and have been very unimpressive in their last few outings. West Wallsend on the other hand are locked in a race for the top four and can't afford to drop points this Sunday.

Toronto are in 8th and are only six points behind the Bluebells but looking at recent form I can't tip the visitors in this one.

My Tip: West Wallsend 3-1 Toronto-Awaba


1st Grade: Kahibah F.C (3rd) v Belmont-Swansea (8th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 2:30pm

Belmont-Swansea's "smash and grab raid" against Thornton in injury time took them to eighth spot on the league table but they now travel to face a Kahibah side that have won five straight games since their 2-2 draw with Valentine back in the opening month of the season.

In fact, the Green and Blacks have lost just one game all season and that was all the way back in Round 1. Their first point in the New-FM competition came a week later in a 1-1 draw with Belmont-Swansea. They face the same opposition again in much different circumstances. The visitors will be up against it in this one.

Kahibah have a very decent side and are pulling off some impressive results in their first New-FM season. Andre Gumprecht and his team have a crucial run of games coming up and could really cement a spot in the top four with a few more wins. This should be a sixth-straight win for the Kahibah boys on Sunday.

My Tip: Kahibah F.C 2-0 Belmont-Swansea

Under 23's: Kahibah F.C (6th) v Belmont-Swansea (5th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 12:45pm

Belmont-Swansea's Under 23's have a bit of form behind them after seeing off Cooks Hill 4-1 and holding what was then unbeaten Thornton to a 1-1 draw away from home. With the Belswans reserves sitting just two points outside the top four they'll been keen to grab an away win at Kahibah Oval on Sunday.

The Green and Blacks will be keen to return to the pitch ahead of a backlog of wash-out matches. They've got three matches to catch-up and will be looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Cessnock in their last outing. 

It's an important game for both sides and neither will want to loss so I'm going to split them down the middle and tip the draw. I can see it going either way but the draw was the first thing that came to mind when I looked at recent form.

My Tip: Kahibah F.C 1-1 Belmont-Swansea

Under 19's: Kahibah F.C (6th) v Belmont-Swansea (1st)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 12:45pm

Kahibah's 19's have had an indifferent season so far. They've won four and lost four and coming up against a team that hasn't tasted defeat in 2015 I'm not sure how confident I can be in the Green and Blacks' chances on Sunday afternoon.

I caught the second half of Belmont-Swansea's 4-1 win over Cooks Hill and they looked like a very decent football side so I'm tipping them to get another three points this Sunday and hold 2nd-placed Valentine off for another week.

Of course Kahibah have a catch-up game with Lakes tonight (Thursday) so as always my prediction for this game may sway a little depending on that result.

*Update*: Kahibah lost their catch-up game to Lakes 3-1. I stand by my original tip and am predicting them to lose to the same scoreline on Sunday against top of the table Belmont-Swansea.

My Tip: Kahibah F.C 1-3 Belmont-Swansea

Under 17's: Kahibah F.C (3rd) v Belmont-Swansea (6th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 9:15am

Belswans 17's have two clean sheets in their past two games but now have to take on the best defensive side in the New-FM 17's competition and arguably the best defensive team in any grade of the New-FM comp. Kahibah's 17's have conceded just five goals all season (that may change in tonight's catch-up game with Lakes) and look on track for a finals berth.

In my opinion Belswans caught Cooks Hill on an off day and their win against Thornton isn't enough to give me the confidence to back them here. The tip may change based on Kahibah's game tonight but for now it's Green and Black for my money.

*Update*: Kahibah lost their catch-up game 2-1 to Lake Macquarie and will be keen to bounce back with a win here. Original prediction stays the same!

My Tip: Kahibah F.C 2-0 Belmont-Swansea

*Note to Belswans: Bring An Away Kit!*

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------'s Match of the Round
1st Grade: Wallsend (2nd) v Lake Macquarie City (4th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 2:30pm

This is one of the biggest matches in the recent history of the Wallsend Football Club. I'm in the process of finding out what the deal is if Wallsend finish top of the table and if they can be promoted to the NPL or not. I've heard yes and no from different sources so if anyone has a solid answer let me know.

Lake Macquarie City need a win here. Valentine are starting to build a lead on their Macquarie rivals and if Lakes lose this, their promotion hopes will take another dent after a shock loss to Singleton a couple of weeks ago. The Roosters will be keen to return the action after a long spell on the sidelines and multiple wash-outs.

These sides put on a thriller 13-goal clash back in Round 2 that saw the Roosters come out 9-4 winners and honestly I can't see the craziness of that game being repeated on Sunday but you never quiet know in this competition.

The Red Devils are the form team in the New-FM competition with seven straight wins but make no doubt, this is their toughest test to date. With names like David Hodgson who's played in 1st grade NPL Grand Finals though the home side definitely have the players to get the job done on Sunday but whether they will or not is the question.

Lakes are the highest scoring side in the competition but haven't done the best job at the back with just one clean sheet so far this season. They've conceded three goals in each of their last four games and it's not something they can afford to do against Wallsend on Sunday as the Red Devils have only conceded four in their last four games.

For my tip I'm going to go out on a limb and tip Wallsend to make it eight-straight wins. Honestly it could go either way but the Red Devils will be intent on proving themselves against a strong Lakes side and I'm backing them to get the job done. Don't expect 13 goals like last time though.

My Tip: Wallsend 3-2 Lakes

Under 23's: Wallsend (8th) v Lake Macquarie City (4th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 12:45pm

Wallsend's 23's have picked up a couple of draws in recent times but against a Lakes side that will be keen to get some football played on Sunday. By the time Sunday rolls around, the Roosters would have had 18 days since their last match which is amazing considering some teams may have played three or four matches in that time.

I'm tipping the Roosters to get the job done here and stay inside the top four. It's not a game they should be losing looking at form.

My Tip: Wallsend 1-3 Lakes

Under 19's: Wallsend (8th) v Lake Macquarie City (4th)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 11:00am

Both these teams are in the same positions as their Under 23 counterparts but Wallsend's 19's do have a few more points under their belts in season 2015 so it's not as easy to predict as the reserve match. The Red Devil 19's have some decent results behind them but this will be a tough test on Sunday.

Lakes haven't played for a couple of week's but their recent 7-0 win over Singleton and 3-1 win over Cessnock says a lot about how good this side is. The Roosters won the first match between these sides 1-0 back in Round 2 and should be able to get the points again this weekend.

Lakes play a catch-up game with Kahibah tonight (Thursday) so my tip may change tomorrow based on that result.

*Update*: Lakes won their catch-up game 2-1 and should be good enough to see off a mid-table Wallsend side on Sunday.

My Tip: Wallsend 1-3 Lakes's Under 17's Match of the Round 
Under 17's: Wallsend (2nd) v Lake Macquarie City (1st)
Kickoff: Sunday 31/5 9:15am

It's a big clash between the Red Devils and the Roosters in 1st grade and also a big clash in the 17's as 2nd-placed Wallsend take on ladder-leading Lakes in the opening match of the day on Sunday at the Gardens.

Looking back at their original clash in Round 2, the Roosters saw off Wallsend 3-0 which I'm not certain they can do again this time round. Wallsend have six straight wins under their belts and have scored fourteen goals in their last two outings.

Lakes on the other hand have scored twenty in their past three games and have won eight straight to start the season. That may change tonight at Kahibah which of course I will take into mind and perhaps review this prediction tomorrow but for now I'm tipping the visitors to just get over the line.

*Update*: Lakes won their catch-up game at Kahibah 2-1 and are now 9 from 9. They'll need to back up in just two and a half days for another top of the table clash but I stand by my team. It's over to Wallsend to end the winning streak.

My Tip: Wallsend 2-3 Lakes

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