Monday, 8 June 2015

PREVIEW: Mid-Week New-FM and NPL Catch-Up Games


1st Grade: Kahibah (4th) v West Wallsend (7th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 10/6 8:00pm
Last Time They Met: West Wallsend 2-1 Kahibah (Round 1)

It's a big game for both these sides on Wednesday night as the race for the finals heats up. Kahibah are sitting in fourth, only a point clear of Cooks Hill United but with two catch-up games in the next week, the Green and Blacks can certainly consolidate a top four spot. 

The problem for Kahibah is that next week's game is against a rampaging Lakes outfit that their opponents on Wednesday experienced first-hand just a couple of days ago. The point I'm trying to make is that this is a must-win game for Kahibah, especially after a 2-0 loss to Wallsend last week.

West Wallsend started the season in great form but have seen some shaky times since then, especially in the last couple of weeks. They were frustratingly beat 2-1 by Cooks Hill on Wednesday last week before falling 8-1 to Lakes on the weekend. Another loss here would see their hopes of finals football start to slip away.

Now I know West Wallsend aren't a side that get beat 8-1 normally. They're a better side than that. The no nonsense approach by the Bluebells will surely see them raring to go on Wednesday night. Avenging the heavy loss will be top of the do list for Westy but I'm tipping the home side here. Kahibah's defensively strong and should be good enough to get the points here.

My Tip: Kahibah 2-0 West Wallsend


Under 23's: Kahibah (6th) v West Wallsend (11th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 10/6 6:00pm
Last Time They Met: West Wallsend 1-2 Kahibah (Round 1)

This is a very crucial match for the Kahibah 23's as they look to take advantage of an extra two games in hand over both Belmont-Swansea and Thornton. A win here would take them into the top four and it shouldn't be too much of a challenge against a West Wallsend side that are out of form at the moment.

The Bluebell reserves are coming off the back of a big loss to Lakes on the weekend and also went down disappointingly to Cooks Hill last Wednesday. Beating Kahibah at Kahibah Oval isn't easy in any grade and I think it'll be a backs against the wall performance required to win this one. Kahibah by a couple.

My Tip: Kahibah 3-1 West Wallsend


Under 19's: Kahibah (6th) v West Wallsend (5th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 9/6 8:00pm
Last Time They Met: West Wallsend 2-1 Kahibah (Round 1)

Kahibah's 19's have produced some good wins this season against teams below them on the ladder. The problem for them this Tuesday is that West Wallsend are above them on the table and the Green and Blacks record against higher-ranked teams isn't the best.

West Wallsend weren't too far off the pace in their 1-0 loss to a decent Cooks Hill side last week but were outclassed severely on the weekend by Lake Macquarie City. The Bluebells need to bounce back but considering they'll be coming off the back of back-to-back games and a short two day break, I'm backing the home side in this one.

My Tip: Kahibah 2-1 West Wallsend


Under 17's: Kahibah (3rd) v West Wallsend (5th)
Kickoff: Tuesday 9/6 6:15pm
Last Time They Met: West Wallsend 1-3 Kahibah (Round 1)

The Bluebell 17's do have a few decent players in their squad but have failed to produce results as of late. After going down disappointingly to Cooks Hill on Thursday night, they were absolutely blown away by top of the table Lakes on the weekend and really need to turn things around within the next couple of games.

Unfortunately for West Wallsend, this is not a game I can see them winning. Kahibah's 17's have been dominant this season and an away win against a decent Wallsend side will have them going into this one full of confidence. The Green and Blacks can overtake Cooks Hill with a win here and I think it will work out for them.

My Tip: Kahibah 4-1 West Wallsend




1st Grade: Singleton (8th) v Belmont-Swansea (6th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 10/6 8:00pm
Last Time They Met: Belmont-Swansea 1-0 Singleton

Just to start out here, I want to make a note of something. New-FM players aren't professionals and indeed work day jobs and live normal lives. The point I'm trying to make here is that making an 8pm kickoff at Singleton's Howe Park is a big effort for the Belswans' players. This is the longest road trip in the competition and I certainly don't envy the boys from Blacksmiths Oval.

The reason I made the long opening statement is that this game is one that Singleton will like their chances in as they have a huge home advantage. The Strikers have a decent record at home in recent times and despite playing out a scoreless draw with rivals Cessnock on the weekend, they'll go into this one with confidence.

Belmont-Swansea will be no easy task as they're a side with their tails up and full of confidence after stunning Valentine mid-week and surviving against Toronto-Awaba on the weekend. The winner of this will see their finals hopes boosted but the loser will begin to fall away from contention. It's a very crucial game but at home, I'm backing the Strikers.

My Tip: Singleton 2-1 Belmont-Swansea


Under 23's: Singleton (10th) v Belmont-Swansea (5th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 10/6 6:30pm
Last Time They Met: Belmont-Swansea 1-1 Singleton

Just like the 1st grade, the Belswans' 23's will have a big trip ahead of them for a 6:30pm kickoff at Singleton. No doubt there'll probably be one or two omissions for the Belswans' reserves due to work commitments or what not and against a Singleton side that upset rivals Cessnock on the weekend, this will be a tough ask for the visitors.

Looking at the table I normally wouldn't tip Singleton here but based on their result on the weekend and the fact that they drew 1-1 with Belswans last time they met, I'm going to back them to get a second-straight win for the first time in 2015.

My Tip: Singleton 2-1 Belmont-Swansea


Under 19's: Singleton (10th) v Belmont-Swansea (1st)
Kickoff: Thursday 11/6 8:00pm
Last Time They Met: Belmont-Swansea 5-0 Singleton

Again there's the disadvantage of the biggest road trip in the New-FM 1st Division upon the Belswans' 19's but this team should be a good enough to overcome a Singleton side that have struggled this season. Last time they played it finished 5-0 to the Belswans and whilst this time will be a bit closer, I think they'll get the points and remain at the top of the table.

My Tip: Singleton 1-4 Belmont-Swansea


Under 23's: Singleton (7th) v Belmont-Swansea (6th)
Kickoff: Thursday 11/6 6:30pm
Last Time They Met: Belmont-Swansea 4-1 Singleton

This isn't an easy one to predict as two sides that drew their respective games this past weekend meet at Howe Park. The Strikers haven't been too impressive as of late in the 17's and a 1-1 draw with rivals Cessnock would have only frustrated them further on the weekend.

Belmont-Swansea's 17's are a side that can knock off good sides on their day. Their 2-0 win over Cooks Hill proves just that. I'm tipping the away side to get the points but it won't be as one-sided as their 4-1 win in Round 1.

My Tip: Singleton 1-2 Belmont-Swansea




*Washed Out*

I was just in the middle of previewing these games and got a message saying games were off. Frustrating but games will be rescheduled.


Under 22's: Maitland F.C (7th) v Charlestown City (8th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 10/6 8:00pm

This is a fairly important clash between two sides that haven't hit great heights yet in 2015. A win for either could be the foundation of a rise up the league table. I saw Charlestown's game with Magic on Sunday and after conceding one they lost their confidence and went on to lose 3-0. It's important that the Blues get on the front foot in this one but I'm personally going with the home side.

My Tip: Maitland 2-1 Charlestown City


Under 19's: Maitland F.C (10th) v Charlestown City (9th)
Kickoff: Wednesday 10/6 6:30pm

This is another tough one to predict as the two bottom sides in the 19's NPL clash at Cooks Square Park. It's probably not going to be a technically good game but it could produce a goal or two as these sides try to rescue their season. If Maitland lose they'll fall further behind the eight-ball so considering that and the fact that they beat Lambton last week, I'm tipping the Magpies tonight.

My Tip: Maitland 2-1 Charlestown City

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