Wednesday, 29 July 2015

PREVIEW: Zone Football League Round 16's ZPL Match of the Round
New Lambton (7th) v Beresfield United (1st)
Last Time They Met: Beresfield 3-3 New Lambton

This game isn't a crucial one at all for Beresfield United. Sure they'll be trying to keep their unbeaten streak alive but it's a game they can afford to lose. They've secured the premiership and rumours are circling of a possible promotion to the New-FM 1st Division. The Hawks (not the Eagles like I've been calling them!) have been superb all season.

The reason I called this one Match of the Round is due to the fact that New Lambton must win to stay firm in the race for finals football. Mathematically the Eagles could still make the finals even with a loss on the weekend but it will be a very tough ask for the defending premiers.

Last time these sides met they produced an entertaining 3-3 draw at Pasadena Crescent. New Lambton's match with Barnsley last weekend was washed out so they'll have the fresh legs going into this match but make no doubt, they'll need a super effort to overcome the undefeated Hawks. Beresfield for my money here.

My Tip: New Lambton 1-3 Beresfield United

Cardiff City (2nd) v Barnsley (10th)
Last Time They Met: Barnsley 0-8 Cardiff City

Cardiff City are still not safe of playing finals football and will no doubt want to continue their quality second-half of the season with a win against Barnsley on Saturday. Considering they were comfortable 8-0 winners last time they met the Bulldogs, I'm going to write them down as my winner for this game. Barnsley have got just one point all season and will be relegated but they still have pride to play for. That won't be enough in my opinion in this one.

My Tip: Cardiff 4-0 Barnsley

Swansea F.C (4th) v Garden Suburb (9th)
Last Time They Met: Garden Suburb 2-2 Swansea

Swansea F.C need to keep winning or face falling out of the top four. Some rumours of a possible New-FM promotion has seen Beresfield and Morisset's names chucked around but someone pointed out to me that Swansea could be a team that step up to 1st Division in the near future. In the short term, I think they'll get the win in this one.

My Tip: Swansea 3-1 Garden Suburb

Newcastle Suns (5th) v University F.C (3rd)
Last Time They Met: University 1-1 Newcastle Suns

The ZPL ladder is arguably the tightest of all four Zone ladders and with six teams fighting for three finals spots, every single game counts. The Suns took a big step towards possible finals in their first ZPL season with a 1-0 win away to Swansea last weekend whilst the Uni were big winners over Dudley. Last time these sides met it was split 1-1 but at Connolly Park, I think the Suns might just edge their way over the line.

My Tip: Newcastle Suns 2-1 University

Dudley-Redhead (8th) v Mayfield United (6th)
Last Time They Met: Mayfield United 3-2 Dudley-Redhead

Dudley-Redhead's finals hopes are a lost cause but they can still do a fair bit of damage to the teams still in the hunt for late August football. 2014 Grand Finalists Mayfield United need to bounce back from back-to-back losses. The Tigers have a catch-up game still to play against Cardiff which will be crucial. They need to win against Dudley and I think they will.

My Tip: Dudley-Redhead 1-3 Mayfield United

///--------------------------------------------///'s ZL1 Match of the Round
Charlestown Jr. (6th) v Stockton (5th)
Last Time They Met: Stockton 1-1 Charlestown

This game is an intriguing one as two sides chasing a top four spot meet at Charlestown Oval. Goal difference is keeping both these sides well and truly alive in the race for finals but I feel the loser of this match, if there's a loser, will face an uphill battle to finish inside the top four. It was a draw last time they met and considering recent results, I might just go down the middle again here. Both these teams have drawn a few games this season.

My Tip: Charlestown 2-2 Stockton

Westlakes Wildcats (10th) v Warners Bay (3rd)
Last Time They Met: Warners Bay 4-0 Westlakes

Warners Bay are another team that are currently in the top four but a loss to cellar-dwellers Westlakes on Saturday could really throw a spanner into the works for the Panthers. Fortunately for Warners Bay, they were comfortable 4-0 winners when these sides met earlier this season and considering the Wildcats suffered a horror loss to Nelson Bay last week, I think the visitors will ease to victory in this game.

My Tip: Westlakes 0-5 Warners Bay

Nelson Bay (9th) v Beresfield F.C (8th)
Last Time They Met: Beresfield 1-1 Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay in my opinion,saw off any chance of them finishing with the wooden spoon when they put five past Westlakes. This week they face a Beresfield F.C side that are in some decent form and have troubled some quality teams in recent times. I have confidence in Bero winning this one.

My Tip: Nelson Bay 0-2 Beresfield F.C

Morisset United (1st) v Jesmond F.C (7th)
Last Time They Met: Jesmond 0-1 Morisset

Jesmond F.C are in danger of missing the finals and really need to produce the goods against top of the table Morisset United on the weekend. Unfortunately for the Rams, the Strikers will be keen for victory as they can seal the minor premiership and promotion with a win in this game. Jesmond were outclassed by Kotara South last week and I feel they'll be again beaten when they travel to Dora Creek on the weekend.

My Tip: Morisset 4-1 Jesmond

Kotara South (4th) v Cooks Hill United (2nd)
Last Time They Met: Cooks Hill United 5-0 Kotara South

Last time these two sides met, Kotara South had an absolute shocker as they copped a 5-0 defeat at the Newcastle Athletics Field. This week they'll be seeking revenge and second-place on the league table. Whoever loses here will have their already-slim minor premiership hopes dashed and looking at recent form, I think Kotara South at home will like their chances.

My Tip: Kotara South 3-0 Cooks Hill United

///--------------------------------------------///'s ZL2 Match of the Round
University F.C (2nd) v Medowie (5th)
Last Time They Met: Medowie 3-4 University

There's a lot riding on this result between the University and Medowie. Uni need to win to keep their slim minor premiership hopes alive whilst the visitors Medowie need to win to stay alive in the race for finals. Anything could happen in this game but considering the Uni won the original meeting between these sides and this game is their home game, I'm tipping them to win it.

My Tip: University 2-1 Medowie

Kurri Kurri (9th) v Maryland-Fletcher (7th)
Last Time They Met: Maryland-Fletcher 4-1 Kurri Kurri

Kurri Kurri will be fighting hard to avoid slipping into potential dead last on the Zone League Two table whilst Maryland-Fletcher will be looking to bounce back to winning ways after a loss to the University last week. The Bulldogs were too strong last time these sides met and I feel like they'll get the points again when they clash at Biralee Oval.

My Tip: Kurri Kurri 0-2 Maryland-Fletcher

Merewether Advance (6th) v Raymond Terrace (1st)
Last Time They Met: Raymond Terrace 8-0 Merewether

Merewether Advance won't want to remember their trip to King Park earlier this season. They travelled to the Terrace to take on the ladder-leaders and were blown off the park in an 8-0 demolishing. The Rangers are averaging 4.6 goals a game and have scored 11 more goals than any other team across the Zone competitions. I think this could be academic.

My Tip: Merewether 0-5 Raymond Terrace

Hunter Simba (4th) v Hamilton Olympic (3rd)
Last Time They Met: Hamilton 3-0 Simba

Hunter Simba are on the way to finals, barring a severe form slump and a massive goal differential recovery from Medowie. The Tighes Hill-based Simba haven't had the best luck against the higher-placed teams and last time they played their nearby neighbours from Islington Park, they were outdone 3-0. The minor premiership is out of reach but I feel Olympic will get the win here to send a message ahead of the finals.

My Tip: Simba 1-3 Hamilton

Muswellbrook (8th) v Tenambit (10th)
Last Time They Met: Tenambit 1-2 Muswellbrook

This is a hugely important game for both these teams as they fight to avoid relegation to Zone League Three. The Sharks have been poor for most of the season but put in a good shift against Hamilton Olympic last weekend. Muswellbrook had the week off so will be fresh but considering recent form, I'm going to tip Tenambit to get a rare away win.

My Tip: Muswellbrook 1-2 Tenambit

///--------------------------------------------///'s ZL3 Match of the Round
Kahibah F.C (5th) v Dudley-Redhead (3rd)
Last Time They Met: Dudley 3-0 Kahibah

Last time these sides met, what was at the time top of the table Dudley-Redhead beat Kahibah 3-0 at Liles Oval. This time round, the team in green and black will be fighting tooth and nail to avoid falling up to five points outside the top four. With the RAAF facing a tough test against Wallsend, Kahibah will know there's a good chance they'll move into the top four with a win in this week's ZL3 Match of the Round. A loss for Dudley would dent their minor premiership hopes so in my opinion, anything could happen. I'll tip Kahibah to win though.

My Tip: Kahibah 2-1 Dudley-Redhead

Mayfield United (6th) v Abermain Rams (8th)
Last Time They Met: Abermain 0-1 Mayfield

Mayfield United's slim finals came to an end last week but that won't stop them from seeking a home win against an Abermain team they've already beaten this season. The Rams have not done very well in ZL3 this season and with Mayfield having a better second half of the season, I think the Tigers will get the job done in Saturday's game.

My Tip: Mayfield 2-0 Abermain

Edgeworth (7th) v New Lambton F.C (2nd)
Last Time They Met: New Lambton 2-0 Edgeworth

New Lambton F.C beat the RAAF 3-0 last weekend and should be able to overcome an Edgeworth side who don't have the best record against top four sides this season. The visitors need to keep winning or face falling away from the minor premiership race. At the moment, they hold the advantage with a game in hand on Wallsend and I think they'll get the job done at Edgeworth on Saturday at the later kickoff time of 5:15pm.

My Tip: Edgeworth 1-4 New Lambton

Wallsend F.C (1st) v RAAF Williamtown (4th)
Last Time They Met: RAAF 4-5 Wallsend

I wanted to make this Match of the Round but I feel like the other match has more going for it. This match though will no doubt provide some goals and may very well be the match of the round when the dust settles on Sunday. Last time they met, Wallsend won at Tomaree in a nine-goal thriller.

In 29 games between them this year, these sides have combined for  a whopping 99 goals. These two teams average over 3 goals every game so expect a few again here. The RAAF were grounded by New Lambton last week and I'm tipping Wallsend to get the win here and keep their run towards the minor premiership alive.

My Tip: Wallsend 4-2 RAAF Williamtown

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