Tuesday, 30 June 2015

PREVIEW: Mid-Week Catch-Up Games

Under 22's: Hamilton Olympic (4th) v Charlestown City (9th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 30/6 7:45pm

This is the third time I'll be previewing this game so apoligies if the write-up feels forced or rushed as I'm not the biggest fan of covering catch-up games that continuously get washed out. Anyway This should be easy enough for the fourth-placed Hamilton Olympic. Their form is fairly consistent whilst Charlestown haven't hit great heights this season.

My Tip: Hamilton 3-0 Charlestown

Under 19's: Hamilton Olympic (3rd) v Charlestown City (7th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 30/6 6:00pm

This is a crunch game for both these sides in the 19's tonight. Hamilton can go within a point of top of the table Weston if they win whilst a loss for Charlestown would do a fair bit of harm to their already slim finals chances. The Blues got a win over Lambton on the weekend but beating Hamilton will be a tough ask.

My Tip: Hamilton 3-1 Charlestown


1st Grade: Toronto-Awaba (11th) v Lake Macquarie City (3rd)
Kickoff: Wednesday 1/7 7:45pm
Last Time They Met: Lake Macquarie City 6-1 Toronto-Awaba

I may make my way out to this game tomorrow night as it's a fairly important clash that affects both ends of the New-FM 1st Division table. Toronto-Awaba were starting to pick up a decent result here or there but were crushed 8-2 by Valentine on the weekend just gone so their confidence will be low going into this clash with a desperate Lake Macquarie City side.

The Roosters kept their run towards promotion in tact with a 4-1 victory at Cessnock on Sunday and if they want to play NPL football next season, they can't afford to lose this and if they play to their potential, they won't lose this. It's not a game they can take easily though.

Last time these sides met, Lakes were 6-1 victors and a scoreline like that wouldn't surprise me if the promotion-chasing Roosters can play as well as they have in some of their big wins this season. Wallsend dropped two vital points on the weekend and the ball is in Lakes' court when it comes to promotion. 

If Lakes win their two remaining catch-up games against Toronto tomorrow and Wallsend next Wednesday they'll be on top of the table. I'm tipping them to win on Wednesday night.

My Tip: Toronto-Awaba 2-5 Lake Macquarie City

Under 23's: Toronto-Awaba (10th) v Lake Macquarie City (2nd)
Kickoff: Wednesday 1/7 6:00pm
Last Time They Met: Lake Macquarie City 5-1 Toronto-Awaba

Toronto-Awaba's 23's will be up against it when Lakes come to Lyall Peacock Field tomorrow night. The Stags went down 6-0 to Valentine on the weekend and considering they lost 5-1 when these sides met on the opening day of the season, they'll no doubt be in for a challenge in this one.

With the form top of the table Valentine F.C are in, the Roosters need to win this one to stay alive in the minor premiership race. Of course it'll still be possible for Lakes to win the title even with a loss tomorrow night but it'll be a much harder challenge considering Valentine have only dropped three points this season. Lakes for the win here.

My Tip: Toronto-Awaba 1-4 Lake Macquarie City


1st Grade: University F.C (3rd) v Beresfield United (1st)
Kickoff: Tuesday 30/6 7:30pm

*Venue is actually University No.2 Oval (not Ray Watt Oval!)

This is an interesting match-up as both sides will collide again this weekend at Beresfield. Tonight they play at Ray Watt Oval and with the Uni coming off an 8-1 victory over Barnsley, they'll be confident of their chances against the unbeaten league-leaders.

Beresfield got the job done with a 5-2 victory at Swansea on the weekend so they too go into this clash with belief. Something's going to have to give tonight and it may just be the Eagles' unbeaten streak. The Uni would love nothing more than to do the double over Beresfield in the space of five days. I'm tipping a draw tonight as I really can't split them.

My Tip: University F.C 2-2 Beresfield United


1st Grade: Garden Suburb (9th) v Dudley-Redhead (8th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 1/7 8:10pm

Just like the other ZPL catch-up game, these sides will meet again on the weekend so it's a crucial six-pointer of sorts for both clubs. First up is the game at Garden Suburb and the Kingfishers will be full of confidence after downing Mayfield United last weekend in the upset of the round. Dudley are out of sorts and went down to Cardiff on the weekend. 

If Garden Suburb are to make a late end of season run and attempt to make the finals, it must start tomorrow night. After the big win on the weekend, I'm going to tip the Kingfishers to record a second-straight victory tomorrow night. It'll be close though.

My Tip: Garden Suburb 2-1 Dudley-Redhead


1st Grade: Westlakes Wildcats (10th) v Kotara South (6th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 30/6 8:00pm

The Westlakes Wildcats will be full of confidence after their stunning victory over Cooks Hill United on the weekend but they'll need to play in a similar style to Saturday's upset if they're to knock off the hungry Tigers from Kotara South. The team in black and orange could jump to temporary second with a win tonight so it's important for them to get a result.

Westlakes on the other hand can jump off of the bottom of the table with just a point but they too will be seeking a win, looking to make it two-straight and begin to turn their season around. Kotara South are a decent side and if they play to their best standard I think they'll leave Rathmines with the three points tonight.

These teams will meet on the weekend as well so it's an important few days for both sides.

My Tip: Westlakes 1-3 Kotara South


1st Grade: Morisset United (2nd) v Cooks Hill United (1st)
Kickoff: Wednesday 1/7 8:00pm

The long-awaited clash between top of the table ZL1 sides Morisset and Cooks Hill will take centre stage at Bernie Goodwin Oval tomorrow night. I've got absolutely no idea who to go with here. I am of course a Cooks Hill player and supporter but don't know or have too much to do with the ZL1 guys. I've heard they're a quality outfit though.

The shock loss to Westlakes will have Cooks Hill knowing only their best will get them over the line in this one. Morisset will be annoyed that they failed to get all three points from Charlestown on the weekend and at home in front of their fans I think the Strikers will make amends.

My Tip: Morisset 2-1 Cooks Hill


1st Grade: Tenambit (10th) v Kurri Kurri (9th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 30/6 8:00pm

It's two bottom of the table clashes in the space of a week for these sides and could very well determine who takes home the dreaded wooden spoon when the dust clears at the end of the season. It's not very often you get a chance to play the same side in the space of a week and for Tenambit, there's no better time to take on Kurri than after their maiden win of 2015 on the weekend.

Kurri's game was postponed on the weekend so they have the extra-game advantage and the extra few days rest over their opponents but their form says they're struggling at the moment. Tenambit tested Muswellbrook and beat Maryland-Fletcher on the weekend. This is a hugely important game for the Sharks and they're my tip to win it.

My Tip: Tenambit 2-1 Kurri Kurri


1st Grade: Medowie (5th) v University F.C (3rd)
Kickoff: Wednesday 1/7 7:00pm

Medowie were put to the sword by their local rivals and ladder-leaders Raymond Terrace on the weekend and they'll need a much-improved effort tomorrow night if they want to overcome a very strong University side. The ZL2 Uni side are sitting third and will be fresh after the weekend off. 

That combined with their form is forcing me to favour the visitors in this one. Medowie will give it their best shot but I think the Uni will be a tad too strong. I could very well be wrong though.

*Note: You may notice my jersey graphics are now appearing for the Zone catch-up games. It's taken a while to find jerseys for each team and I must apoligise for the horrific jersey design I came up with on Microsoft Paint. I'm not an artist and won't ever be with efforts like that. If it's too small in the graphic below, then here's a close-up...it's a shocker! Get an easier jersey to draw!

Zone League Jerseys:

I'm adding jersey graphics for the Zone Football League and am adding extra teams around the clock as I find the time. Here's what I have so far, message me on Facebook if any are wrong or if you have the colours of a team I haven't got.

Raymond Terrace (ZL2)              Swansea (ZPL)

Tenambit (ZL2)               Westlakes (ZL1)

Hunter Simba (ZL2)               Kahibah (ZL3)


 Kotara South (ZL1)           Kurri Kurri (ZL2)

Mayfield Utd (ZL3)              Mayfield Utd (ZPL)


Medowie (ZL2)                  Merewether Adv (ZL2)


Morisset (ZL1)                 Muswellbrook (ZL2)


New Lambton (ZL3)          New Lambton (ZPL)


Newcastle Suns (ZL1)        RAAF Williamtown (ZL2)


University (ZPL)                 Wallsend (ZL3)


Beresfield Utd (ZPL)             Cooks Hill Utd (ZL1)


Dudley-Redhead (ZL3)          Dudley-Redhead (ZPL)


Garden Suburb (ZPL)        Hamilton Olympic (ZL2)


Monday, 29 June 2015

REVIEW: Zone Football League Round 11

The Wrap-Up (Zone Premier League Round 11)

The top four had a major reshuffle over the course of the last few days in the Zone Premier League. The biggest win of the weekend came at Ray Watt Oval as the University demolished Barnsley 8-1. The Bulldogs' have struggled this season and Saturday was one of their toughest days yet. Credit to Uni though who cement a top four spot with the win and boost their goal difference.

Top of the table Beresfield United remained undefeated and recorded their seventh win of the season, winning 5-2 at Swansea. the high-flying Eagles will be delighted with the result in the Garden Suburb v Mayfield game and will know that they are favourites for some silverware this season. Not a good result for Swansea though as they missed a glorious chance to gain some ground on the top four.

In the upset of the round, Garden Suburb pulled off the unthinkable and defeated last season's Grand Finalists Mayfield United. The loss costs Mayfield hugely as they now drop to fourth and only New Lambton's shock loss prevented the Tigers from falling out of the top four. The Kingfishers now move five clear of Barnsley at the bottom of the table with this impressive win.

As mentioned, New Lambton were handed a shock loss as well, going down to the Newcastle Suns. The Eagles are now out of the top four and looking a very slim chance of defending their minor premiership from last season. The Suns though boosted their finals hopes and with a big run at the back end of the season, the team from Connolly Park could still make finals.

The Suns however lost their mid-week game against Cardiff City 5-3. With this win and the gutsy 1-0 win over Dudley-Redhead on the weekend, the Tigers suddenly find themselves in second-place, albeit with an extra game played over the University. Still, Cardiff's form is starting to come together and it couldn't happen at a better time with some of the other top four sides faltering this weekend.


The Wrap-Up (Zone League One Round 11)

Warners Bay dumped the Stockton Sharks out of the top four with their 2-1 win on Saturday. It was some revenge for the Panthers who lost to Stockton back in Round 2. With a victory over Morisset under their belts, Warners Bay are definitely still a chance of winning the minor premiership.

In the shock of the round, Westlakes Wildcats upset a depleted Cooks Hill United side. I say depleted because Cooks Hill were missing a few players but with the depth they have it's still a massive victory for the Wildcats. Westlakes scored as many goals on Saturday as they had in nine previous games this season. Congrats on the big scalp of the current ladder-leaders.

Jesmond F.C I've been told were somewhat lucky to escape with a win over Beresfield F.C in what I've also been told was a scrappy game played on a fairly heavy pitch. The Rams though won't care about the score only the win as it lifts them into third place.

Kotara South won an eight-goal thriller last time they met Nelson Bay and this time round they won in a ten-goal thriller. The Bay were gallant and managed to bag four goals, their best single-game haul of the season but it still wasn't enough to down a Kotara South side that desperately needed the three points.

In another fairly major upset, previously ladder-leaders Morisset United were held to a thrilling 4-4 draw by 7th-placed Charlestown. The Hammers didn't back down from their much more fancied opponents and gained a very decent point. Still they would have wanted a win as they still remain a fair way out of the top four.


The Wrap-Up (Zone League Two Round 11)

If anyone wanted to question Raymond Terrace's spot on the top of the table then they definitely don't have a leg to stand on now after the Rangers defeated local rivals Medowie 8-1 at King Park. Medowie had been in some decent form as of late but they were no match for the ladder-leaders. Raymond Terrace are the form side of the comp and are averaging over four goals a game.

At long last and after coming close on a couple of previous occasions, the Tenambit Sharks have picked up their first win of the 2015 season, a 1-0 win over Maryland-Fletcher. The Sharks should be very pleased with this one as the Bulldogs were coming off a decent win over Kurri mid-week.

Talking about Kurri, their match with 3rd-placed University was postponed. Not a good result for a Uni side that already have a few games to catch-up on. In yet another Zone League shocker, Hunter Simba were downed 2-1 at Jesmond Park by Merewether Advance. Last time the sides met, Simba hammered Merewether but it was some sweet revenge this time round for Advance.

Muswellbrook were no match for 2nd-placed Hamilton Olympic, going down 7-0 on their home turf however the Eagles did manage to pick up a mid-week win over Tenambit, a result that lifted them above Kurri Kurri on the table. Kurri themselves played mid-week and went down 4-1 to Maryland-Fletcher.


The Wrap-Up (Zone League Three Round 11)

In ZL3, New Lambton FC picked up their biggest win of the season, stunning top of the table Dudley-Redhead 3-0 at Alder Park. It was a convincing win for New Lambton and one that will make Dudley think twice about their minor premiership hopes.

I correctly predicted Mayfield to go down 7-0 and knew it'd be a tough ask for the out of form Tigers to down Kahibah. The Green and Blacks were a too good on the day and kept their top four spot alive with the big win.

Games at Edgeworth (v RAAF Williamtown) and Jesmond (v Abermain) were both postponed. On Sunday, Mayfield United bounced back from that 7-0 loss to record their long-awaited first win of the season, a 1-0 win over Abermain. It was a decent win for the Tigers and one that lifts them above the Abermain Rams on the table. This doesn't seem to be a good year for either of the Rams' sides in ZL3 with Abermain and Jesmond rounding out the table.

In Sunday's other catch-up game, the RAAF side destroyed Jesmond F.C 10-0 at Tomaree. I don't normally use the word 'destroyed' but there's not too many other adjectives I could use here. I'm sure there's more to the result (Jesmond missing players, red cards, etc.) but without any news from the game I can't really comment. A massive win for the RAAF though.