Friday, 7 August 2015

PREVIEW: NNSW NPL Round 17's Match of the Round
1st Grade: Weston Workers (4th) v Broadmeadow Magic (5th)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Broadmeadow 3-4 Weston

Two words, two simple words, do or die. That's what Broadmeadow Magic are facing when they take on fourth-placed Weston in Sunday's Match of the Round. Sure, Magic bounced back to form with a crucial 5-2 win over the Jets Youth last weekend but their season is still teetering on the brink of failure and trust me; with the roster they have Magic missing the finals would be a failure.

Weston Workers Bears are looking for a finals spot and will secure a spot in the playoffs with a win over Magic. Form is non-existent at Rockwell Automation Park though. A disappointing 0-0 draw with arch rivals Maitland was followed by an unconvincing 1-0 win over struggling Charlestown and a 5-1 horror show against Hamilton Olympic last week.

Last time these sides met it was a topsy-turvy 4-3 win for Weston as they overcame the odds at a very vocal Magic Park. Weston will give their very best for this one but I feel as though Magic will win it as they'll no doubt know that this is a must-win game and it'd be good to see the finals race go down to the final week.

My Tip: Weston Workers 1-3 Broadmeadow

Under 22's: Weston Workers (7th) v Broadmeadow Magic (5th)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Broadmeadow 0-1 Weston

Broadmeadow have a game in hand over fourth-placed Lambton and a win on Sunday would put them on the brink of finals football. Last week they were soundly beaten 3-0 by the Under 18 Emerging Jets so improvement is definitely needed against a Weston side that beat the Magic reserves earlier this season. I think Magic will get the win though.

My Tip: Weston Workers 1-2 Broadmeadow's Under 19 Match of the Round
Under 19's: Weston Workers (2nd) v Broadmeadow Magic (1st)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Broadmeadow 1-1 Weston

What a match-up this is as Weston look to keep alive their slim minor premiership hopes against Broadmeadow Magic on Sunday morning. Magic have a game in hand and look destined for the minor premiership unless Weston can turn around their poor form which has seen them drop three on the trot.

Weston went down to Hamilton last week although one of their main goalscorers Jacob Golding did manage to get his name on the scoresheet. Magic have a quality team across the park in the 19's and some form behind them so they're my tip to win this game and seal the minor premiership.

My Tip: Weston Workers 1-3 Broadmeadow


1st Grade: Newcastle Jets Youth (7th) v Edgeworth F.C (1st)
Kickoff: Saturday 8/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Edgeworth 3-1 Jets Youth

I haven't formally written anything about Edgeworth's mid-week FFA Cup game with Melbourne City so I'll do it here. It was an amazing night at Magic Park watching the young Edgeworth squad take on the A-League side and quiet frankly matching it with the A-League side.

There were players from Wallsend, Lambton, Lake Macquarie and of course Edgeworth and many many more cheering on the Eagles for such a big night. It was good to see 2430 local football fans get behind one of our premier clubs and Edgeworth didn't let down as they put on one hell of a show, only to be outdone by one of the best free-kick takers in the country in Aaron Mooy. My hats off to Damien Zane and his squad. I personally hope to see a couple of the Edgeworth players maybe get a trial with the Jets one day.

Talking about the Jets, the Youth side come to Jack McLaughlan Oval on the back of a confidence-boosting 4-0 mid-week win over Charlestown City Blues and will be looking to knock off the ladder-leaders. Personally I can't see Edgeworth losing this one coming off the back of such an inspired showing in their FFA Cup match. The attacking trio of main man Keanu Moore, Brody Taylor and Brenton Olzomer is arguably the best in the league and Aaron McLoughlan at fullback was superb in the Melbourne City match. The Eagles should be too good in this one.

My Tip: Jets Youth 0-3 Edgeworth's Under 22 Match of the Round
Under 22's: Emerging Jets U/18's (2nd) v Edgeworth F.C (1st)
Kickoff: Saturday 8/8 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Edgeworth 2-0 Emerging Jets 18's

It's a top of the table clash in the Under 22's as the Emerging Jets 18's travel to Jack McLaughlan Oval to take on the Minor Premiers Edgeworth. The Jets were big winners over Broadmeadow Magic last week and are no doubt eyeing off the chance to finish inside the top two. A win here would put them in the box seat of a top two finish. I think Edgeworth will get the win though. The Jets will need to look out for Edgy's striker Justin Tannock who bagged two last week.

My Tip: Emerging Jets U/18's 1-2 Edgeworth

Under 19's: Emerging Jets U/16's (6th) v Edgeworth F.C (3rd)
Kickoff: Saturday 8/8 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Edgeworth 0-1 Emerging Jets 16's

The Under 16 Emerging Jets were Grand Final winners in 2014 and face certain elimination from finals contention if they can't get a result against third-placed Edgeworth on Saturday. They went down to Broadmeadow last week and need to produce the goods in this one ahead of a catch-up game with Broadmeadow on Thursday night. Edgeworth drew with South Cardiff last week with a Jackson O'Sullivan saving the Eagles from defeat.

Personally I think the Eagles will get the points and secure their spot in the Semi Finals.

My Tip: Emerging Jets U/16's 1-3 Edgeworth


1st Grade: Maitland F.C (9th) v Lambton Jaffas (3rd)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Lambton 2-1 Maitland

Maitland coach Reece Thompson and his side are well-aware of the threat South Cardiff pose being just three points behind them on the table. Goal differential is in Maitland's corner but a heavy loss to Lambton could see them go into the final week with relegation on their mind.

Maitland have Lambton this week and Hamilton next week and personally I can't see them winning either. I can't see South Cardiff though turning around their relegation battle so I think Maitland are safe. The Magpies will no doubt want to produce an upset against finals-bound Lambton (barring two straight losses and other results going against them.)

Last time these sides met, Maitland were gutsy but would go down 2-1. They held their heads high that day after a big effort and they'll need another one on Sunday if they stand any chance. I think the Jaffas will get the win but it won't be a walk in the park by any means.

My Tip: Maitland 1-2 Lambton

Under 22's: Maitland F.C (10th) v Lambton Jaffas (4th)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Lambton 4-1 Maitland

Maitland will be doing all they can in the 22's to get a win this week and jump off the bottom of the ladder. Adamstown don't have the hardest opponent in South Cardiff and considering I've tipped the Buds to win that one, I consider this a must-win for Maitland. Unfortunately Lambton will be adamant on winning as they have Magic right behind them on the table and with a game in hand. It's a crucial one for the Jaffas.

My Tip: Maitland 0-2 Lambton

Under 19's: Maitland F.C (9th) v Lambton Jaffas (8th)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Lambton 1-2 Maitland

This isn't the most intriguing clash in the 19's this week but both Maitland and Lambton will be looking for a win and a chance to move away from a potential wooden spoon. Maitland scored against Charlestown last week through Sam McEnerny but it wasn't enough to avoid a 2-1 loss. Lambton also went down 2-1 with Brendan Frost being the lone goalscorer for the Jaffas.

Looking at form over the last few weeks, I believe Maitland will get the job done on their home turf. They beat the Jaffas earlier this season so why not again?

My Tip: Maitland 2-1 Lambton


1st Grade: Charlestown City (8th) v Hamilton Olympic (2nd)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Hamilton 4-2 Charlestown

Charlestown City still aren't safe from relegation but it'd take a bit of doing from South Cardiff and two wins over Adamstown and Lambton to send the Blues crashing out of the NPL. A 4-0 mid-week loss to the Jets Youth would no doubt have Charlestown concerned about their chances this weekend.

Hamilton are coming off the back of two very impressive wins (7-0 over the Jets Youth and 5-1 over Weston) and look very likely to take the minor premiership battle with Edgeworth to the final week. If Hamilton play like they've been playing, I feel Charlestown will be merely a speed hump on Sunday.

The Blues' going down 4-0 to an out-of-form Jets Youth side isn't a confidence builder at all and I'm not sure if men were missing or Charlestown simply didn't turn up but things have to change and change very quickly. Hamilton should be too strong in this one.

My Tip: Charlestown 1-4 Hamilton

Under 22's: Charlestown City (8th) v Hamilton Olympic (3rd)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Hamilton 3-2 Charlestown

On paper this one looks like it'll be one-sided but the Blues really gave it a go when these sides last met and only went down by one goal. Hamilton can go a long way towards securing a top two spot with a win here and they should be good enough to do just that. They won well last week with goals to Alexander Tserepas (x2), Nicholas Zuccon and Matthew Rae.

My Tip: Charlestown 0-2 Hamilton

Under 19's: Charlestown City (5th) v Hamilton Olympic (4th)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Hamilton 1-1 Charlestown

This is a crucial match-up as Charlestown City fight tooth and nail for their finals hopes in the Under 19's. The Blues' 19's are the only Senior side the club have that are still alive in the race for finals and even though the chances are already slim, even with a win in this game, they'll know it's a must-win. 

Charlestown picked up a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Maitland last week with goals to Lachlan Hodgetts and Jarrod Samson. Hamilton on the other hand recorded a 2-1 win over Weston. Goalscorers for Olympic in that one were Dominic Smith and Luke Vallone.

The Blues are in form so I'll tip them to win this and make it an interesting final round next week.

My Tip: Charlestown 2-1 Hamilton


1st Grade: South Cardiff (10th) v Adamstown Rosebud (6th)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Adamstown 3-0 South Cardiff

This is it for South Cardiff. If they lose this game they are gone barring a miracle win at Lambton next week and a 10 goal turn-around in the goal differential column. They have to win this game or they'll be playing New-FM 1st Division football next season, it's that simple.

Adamstown were on the back end of a heavy defeat last week and will be looking to bounce back against a desperate opposition. Southy will not go down fighting so this could be one of the best games in the Northern NSW NPL this week. It's everything to gain for the Gunners.

With their poor goal-differential, South Cardiff will likely need to produce a result at Lambton next week even if they win this one. Truth be said, I think this will go down to the wire and I want to tip South Cardiff but I'm going to go with a draw. Anything could happen though.

My Tip: South Cardiff 1-1 Adamstown

Under 22's: South Cardiff (6th) v Adamstown Rosebud (9th)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: Adamstown 1-0 South Cardiff

Again, finals hopes aren't on the line here but Adamstown do have a wooden-spoon battle with Maitland and a win here could very well seal safety away from the dreaded spoon for the Buds' reserves. Last time they met, Adamstown were 1-0 winners and looking at recent form, I might tip them to get the points again on Sunday.

My Tip: South Cardiff 1-2 Adamstown

Under 19's: South Cardiff (7th) v Adamstown Rosebud (10th)
Kickoff: Sunday 9/8 11:00am
Last Time They Met: Adamstown 2-2 South Cardiff

This is a dead-rubber but it's one that both team's will be aiming to win. I think we can all agree that every game is important in this level of competition. South Cardiff pulled off a decent draw with top-four Edgeworth last week via a Jordan Bower goal.

Adamstown were 2-1 winners over struggling Lambton with goals to Callen Mier Josiah Sutherland. Seeing as the last match was a draw, I'm not sure which way to go based on recent form. The Buds can move off the bottom with a win but I'm going with a Southy win.

My Tip: South Cardiff 2-1 Adamstown

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