Friday, 3 July 2015

PREVIEW: NNSW NPL Round 12's Match of the Round
1st Grade: Edgeworth F.C (2nd) v Hamilton Olympic (1st)
Kickoff: Sunday 5/7 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Hamilton 2-0 Edgeworth

After what was arguably the biggest week in the history of the Edgeworth Football Club, drawing Australia's richest club Melbourne City in the FFA Cup, they have to turn their focus to what is in my opinion the clash of the season so far in the Northern NSW NPL.

I've seen both these sides play three times this season and each time I'm left impressed, especially by Edgeworth who I think have improved a lot this season and not just their results but their actual style of play. They've got some quality players, including a couple of youngsters who'll only get better with time.

Olympic too have a very strong side and look destined for some sort of silverware at the end of the season. They were held to a 2-2 draw by Adamstown for the second time this season last week so they'll no doubt be keen to avoid losing top spot and pick up three points on Sunday.

Hamilton are yet to lose in eleven games this season although they have lost competitively this season, to Edgeworth in the FFA Cup. My tip on Sunday is going to be the draw though. I just don't think there's too much separating these sides and the draw was the first thing that came to mind.

My Tip: Edgeworth 2-2 Hamilton's Under 22 Match of the Round
Under 22's: Edgeworth F.C (1st) v Hamilton Olympic (4th)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Hamilton 2-5 Edgeworth

With a mid-week win over Maitland, the Eagles' reserves moved to the top of the Under 22 NPL table. Last time they met Hamilton they were 5-2 victors so confidence will be through the roof at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday. The form of these two sides has been rather equal as of late so I think this match will end closer then their Round 2 clash but I think it's going to be another win for the top of the table Eagles.

My Tip: Edgeworth 2-1 Hamilton's Under 19 Match of the Round
Under 19's: Edgeworth F.C (5th) v Hamilton Olympic (2nd)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Hamilton 3-3 Edgeworth

The recent form of both these sides is very hard to split, both won big last week and both are travelling well as of late. Add the fact that they drew 3-3 back in Round 2 and I think I could have good grounds on backing a draw in this one. The Eagles will be desperate for a win to maybe move into the top four but it'll be tough to get past Hamilton. Draw for my money.

My Tip: Edgeworth 2-2 Hamilton


1st Grade: Lambton Jaffas (4th) v Weston Workers (3rd)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Weston 2-1 Lambton

If ever there was a week to name two 'Matches of the Round' then this week would be the week. Two top four clashes in the space of two days sounds great and I may even try to get to this one tomorrow as it should be a high-quality clash between two very strong sides.

Every week I refer to Lambton having a slow start to the season but that's a distant memory and with four-straight wins under their belts, the Jaffas will be looking to avenge their Round 2 loss to Weston where they were downed 2-1 by the Bears.

Weston were flying high with wins over Broadmeadow and Edgeworth until a 2-1 loss to Adamstown brought that purple patch to an end. They got the job done against South Cardiff last week but a 1-0 result over the bottom-placed Gunners certainly isn't too convincing.

With Broadmeadow's season slowly spirally out of control, the Jaffas could keep their four-point buffer and perhaps move seven clear of the 5th-placed side with a win on Saturday. The thought and plan at Arthur Edden Oval though won't be about that gap between 4th and 5th, it'll be about just winning this game.

I'm tipping the Jaffas as they seem to be in some good form as of late and as mentioned I'll try and get there for this one as it should be an entertaining clash.

My Tip: Lambton 3-2 Weston

Under 22's: Lambton Jaffas (2nd) v Weston Workers (5th)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Weston 2-2 Lambton

Both these sides produced impressive wins last weekend but it's Weston who I think are in a tad better form as of late. If this game was at Weston, I'd tip the Bears but it's not so I'm going to go with a draw. They drew 2-all when they met back in Round 2 and I'm going to go for the same scoreline tomorrow.

My Tip: Lambton 2-2 Weston

Under 19's: Lambton Jaffas (6th) v Weston Workers (1st)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Weston 3-0 Lambton

Weston were comfortable 3-0 winners last time they played Lambton, they're top of the table and they're coming off the back of an emphatic 8-2 over South Cardiff. The Bears are on fire in the Under 19's and I can't see that stopping against an out-of-form Lambton side.

My Tip: Lambton 1-4 Weston 


1st Grade: Newcastle Jets Youth (7th) v South Cardiff (10th)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: South Cardiff 3-3 Jets Youth

Make no mistake about it, this is one of the biggest games of the season for South Cardiff. With Maitland finding some form recently, the relegation-battle is seemingly down to two so every game is crucial for the Gunners and of course 9th-placed Charlestown City.

The reason I'm making such a big deal about Saturday's game is because the Jets Youth are lacking for form at the moment and just can't buy a win. The young Jets have fallen from top four contention (even though they can't play finals) to eleven points outside the top four. It's been a form slump to say the very least.

South Cardiff drew 3-3 with the Jets last time out and I think a win on Saturday could turn the tables and put the pressure on Charlestown in the race to avoid relegation. The Gunners I heard were decent in their 1-0 loss to Weston and if they can get their full compliment on the field for some games, I think they can avoid the drop. I'm tipping the Gunners on Saturday.

My Tip: Jets Youth 1-2 South Cardiff

Under 22's: Emerging Jets U/18's (3rd) v South Cardiff (7th)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: South Cardiff 3-2 Emerging Jets U/18's

Just like the Under 19's, this fixture is one I can't see South Cardiff winning. The Gunners' reserves beat the Under 18 Jets last time they met but their record against top four sides recently has been unappealing for a lack of a better term. They lost heavily to Weston last week and unless they turn things around, I think they'll go down again on Saturday.

My Tip: Emerging Jets U/18's 3-1 South Cardiff

Under 19's: Emerging Jets U/16's (4th) v South Cardiff (8th)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 11:00am
Last Time They Met: South Cardiff 1-2 Emerging Jets U/16's

South Cardiff's Under 19's have had an irregular season to say the very least and coming off the back of a 8-2 loss to the ladder-leaders Weston, I can't say I give them too much hope of overcoming the in-form Emerging Jets Under 16's. The young Jets are only one point clear of fifth-placed Edgeworth and need to keep winning to stay alive in the top four.

My Tip: Emerging Jets 16's 3-1 South Cardiff


1st Grade: Adamstown Rosebud (6th) v Charlestown City Blues (9th)
Kickoff: Sunday 4/7 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Charlestown 4-2 Adamstown

Twice these sides have met competitively this season and twice they've put on an entertaining match-up. The two games have combined for 15 goals (although one game was an FFA Cup tie.) Charlestown won the NPL match 4-2 back in Round 2 but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see that scoreline reversed on Sunday.

Charlestown City are deep in a relegation dogfight with South Cardiff and they can't afford to keep dropping points. It's not going to be easy on Sunday travelling to a hostile Adamstown Oval and facing a Rosebud side that are in some very good form as of late, including a second draw of the year against top of the table Hamilton last week.

The Buds will be disappointed with the loss of marquee import and towering defender Garry Kenneth but they've got decent replacements in the middle of defence, including former Magic man Owen Littlewood who I think has improved his game greatly this season.

The Buds should win on Sunday. They'll know the finals aren't too far away and every win counts. I think they'll get the job done.

My Tip: Adamstown 3-1 Charlestown

Under 22's: Adamstown Rosebud (10th) v Charlestown City (9th)
Kickoff: Sunday 5/7 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Charlestown 3-2 Adamstown

This is a very important game in the race the avoid the wooden spoon as 9th-placed Charlestown City travel to 10th-placed Adamstown Rosebud. The Blues were 3-2 victors when these sides met back in Round 2 however looking over recent results, I like the chances of a draw in this particular game.

My Tip: Adamstown 1-1 Charlestown

Under 19's: Adamstown Rosebud (9th) v Charlestown City (7th)
Kickoff: Sunday 5/7 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Charlestown 0-1 Adamstown

Despite the fact that Adamstown scored an away win last time these two sides met in the Under 19's, I consider Charlestown the favourites going into Sunday's match-up. The Blues beat Lambton last week and will be confident taking on 9th-placed Adamstown. It's certainly one that could go either way but my personal tip is Charlestown.

My Tip: Adamstown 1-2 Charlestown


1st Grade: Broadmeadow Magic (5th) v Maitland F.C (8th)
Kickoff: Saturday 4/7 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Maitland 1-5 Broadmeadow

Broadmeadow's minor premiership quest has fallen to pieces and if they don't turn things around soon, they could find themselves facing an uphill battle just to make the playoffs. A farcry for a club that started the season in smashing form, including a 5-1 victory away to Maitland.

The Magpies are in some good form lately, including two wins in a row and decent showings against some higher sides like Hamilton. This is by no means an easy match up though as they take on a wounded Magic side that will be so very desperate to record a victory.

I'll go out on a limb and say that a win for Maitland on Sunday would guarantee their spot in the NPL for next season. It's been a huge month or so for Maitland and to their credit, they've dug themselves out of near-certainties to be relegated to near-certainties to stay up.

As for my prediction, I'm going with the home side. If Magic want to play finals this season then they simply can't afford to lose a fifth-straight game. They've got the side to beat Maitland and it was proven back in Round 2. It won't be 5-1 but it should be a win for Magic.

My Tip: Broadmeadow 3-1 Maitland

Under 22's: Broadmeadow Magic (6th) v Maitland F.C (8th)
Kickoff: Sunday 5/7 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Maitland 1-1 Broadmeadow

Broadmeadow's reserves have had an indifferent season. Some weeks they're up there as one of the best teams in the comp but more often then not this season they've failed to produce results. A 1-1 draw with Maitland last time they met the Magpies will have Magic spurred to put on a good showing this time round.

Maitland have struggled to find the back of the net in recent times and if Magic can fire up front, this should be a win for the 6th-placed side.

My Tip: Broadmeadow 3-0 Maitland

Under 19's: Broadmeadow Magic (3rd) v Maitland F.C (10th)
Kickoff: Sunday 5/7 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Maitland 1-3 Broadmeadow

Broadmeadow were winners last time these sides met and there's not much to suggest they won't get the three points on Sunday. Maitland's record against top four sides just doesn't cut it and I think they'll be beaten on Sunday by a Magic side that will be aiming to bounce back from last weekend's loss to top of the table Edgeworth.

My Tip: Broadmeadow 3-0 Maitland

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