Friday, 7 August 2015

PREVIEW: Zone Football League Round 17's ZPL Match of the Round
Beresfield United (1st) v Cardiff City (3rd)

Beresfield United are the minor premiers and nothing can deny them of that (apart from a Salary Cap drama or ASADA, poor joke attempt.) They do still need to keep things ticking over to keep their undefeated season in tact. They'll be keen to go right through the campaign without a loss.

Cardiff City would have been disappointed by last week's draw against Barnsley but have been in good form over the back half of the season. They drew 1-1 with Beresfield last time they met so they'll go into this with some confidence of causing a major boilover. I think the Hawks will edge over the line though.

My Tip: Beresfield United 3-2 Cardiff City

New Lambton Eagles (7th) v Garden Suburb (9th)

It's looking like curtains on New Lambton's finals hopes after the Eagles went down 3-0 last weekend to minor premiers Beresfield United. The Eagles are sitting five points outside the top four with a game in hand against bottom side Barnsley. It's certainly not all set and done but New Lambton aren't looking likely for making the four at this rate.

The 'Burb (if I can call them that) have pulled off one or two big wins this season and will be looking to put a fork in out-of-form New Lambton in this one. I personally think the Eagles will fly high and keep their final's hopes alive.

My Tip: New Lambton 3-1 Garden Suburb

Mayfield United (6th) v Newcastle Suns (4th)

Mayfield United's disappointing loss to Dudley-Redhead saw them fall away a little from the top four and now they face fourth-placed Newcastle Suns in a crunch game for all involved at the Tigers. A win would take them back into the playoff spots but a loss could see them up to four points outside the four.

The Tigers have a game in hand against a decent Cardiff side and their remaining three fixtures are all against top four sides. If Mayfield want finals football in 2015, they'll have to do it the hard way. The Suns put three past the Uni last week and I wouldn't be surprised to see them beat Mayfield on Saturday and put on foot firmly into finals contention in their first Zone Premier League campaign.

My Tip: Mayfield United 2-5 Newcastle Suns

University (5th) v Swansea F.C (2nd)

It's a crucial game for the University as they host an in-form and a very dangerous Swansea side at Ray Watt Oval. The Swans got past Garden Suburb last weekend and will be seeking to avoid a second loss to the Uni this season. University as mentioned won the reverse game but I feel as though their form against top four sides has been poor in the last few games and I think they'll lose this one.

My Tip: University 0-2 Swansea

Barnsley (10th) v Dudley-Redhead (8th)

Barnsley have endured a hellish-tough campaign but pulled off a decent draw with Cardiff last week. The Bulldogs will be weary of a Dudley side that beat Mayfield last weekend and were comfortable 3-0 winners when these sides met earlier in the season. With Beresfield in the final round, this could well be Dudley's last chance to sing the team song in 2015.

My Tip: Barnsley 0-3 Dudley-Redhead

ZPL Ladder:

///----------------------------------------///'s ZL1 Match of the Round
Cooks Hill United (2nd) v Morisset United (1st)

After wrapping up the minor premiership last weekend, Morisset United now face a tough test away to a dangerous Cooks Hill United outfit. The Cookers bounced back to form last week with a crucial win over Kotara South and can put one foot in the finals with a win against the ladder-leading Strikers on Saturday.

When they met earlier this season, Morisset were far too classy and I feel like Cooks Hill will want to send a message ahead of the finals that they're not there to make up the numbers. Morisset are my tip for this game but it's a danger game for the ladder-leaders.

My Tip: Cooks Hill United 1-3 Morisset United

Stockton (4th) v Nelson Bay (9th)

It's Old Boy's Day at Corraba Oval on Saturday and I was thankful to receive an invite from one of the guys at Stockton a week or so back. I've got my own game on at Hamilton but who knows I might pop over to Stocko afterwards or maybe into Cooks Hill. Either way I send out positive vibes to Stockton and hope the day can bring success.

Nelson Bay were disappointing against Beresfield F.C last weekend and I can see them struggling against a Stockton side that put four past Kotara South in their last outing. The 'Bay have endured a tough season but I'm sure they'll be keen to get a win against their nearby rivals from Stockton. It's the Sharks who get my tip for this game though.

My Tip: Stockton 4-1 Nelson Bay

Jesmond F.C (7th) v Charlestown Junior (6th)

Both these teams were in finals contention until both suffered losses last weekend. Charlestown are mathematically still a chance but it doesn't look likely at all. Pride is still on the line and neither team will want to lose in this game. Earlier this season it was a big win to Charlestown and I feel like Jesmond will put more on the table this time. I'll go with the draw.

My Tip: Jesmond F.C 2-2 Charlestown Jr.

Beresfield F.C (8th) v Westlakes Wildcats (10th)

Twice this year have the struggling Westlakes Wildcats picked up points, three points in an infamous win over Cooks Hill and one point against Beresfield. The boys in purple and black have struggled throughout the season but have been in some decent form as of late and I've got no doubt in them winning this one at Tarro Park. They can possibly overtake Jesmond with a win.

My Tip: Beresfield F.C 4-0 Westlakes Wildcats

Kotara South (5th) v Warners Bay (3rd)

It's a crucial match-up for both these sides on Sunday as 5th-placed Kotara South look to keep their finals hopes alive with a win over 3rd-placed Warners Bay. The Tigers were unlucky not to get anything out of a 4-3 loss to Cooks Hill last week and will need to produce the goods on Sunday or say goodbye to their finals hopes. Warners Bay can secure a spot in the final four with a win and that's exactly my prediction in this one.

My Tip: Kotara South 1-3 Warners Bay

///----------------------------------------///'s ZL2 Match of the Round
Hamilton Olympic (3rd) v University (2nd)

This is a preview of the Semi Final as Hamilton Olympic host the University at Islington Park. I feel like whichever side gets the points in this one will have the confidence and belief going into the two-legged Semi Final. Both are in good form which makes this tough to predict. Uni won the original match 1-0 against Hamilton and I'm tipping them to win this one as well.

My Tip: Hamilton Olympic 0-2 University

Raymond Terrace (1st) v Muswellbrook F.C (10th)

On paper this game looks rather academic. Muswellbrook are lacking in the form department and face a tough road trip to the home of the minor premiers Raymond Terrace. The Rangers have put some cricket scores past opposition at King Park this season and I have fears Muswellbrook could be the next victim of the ladder-leaders on Saturday.

My Tip: Raymond Terrace 7-0 Muswellbrook

Hunter Simba (4th) v Tenambit (9th)

Hunter Simba are practically in the Semi Finals barring a crazy form slump and they should have enough quality in the side to get past a Tenambit side that they beat 5-0 earlier this season. Simba need to build some form ahead of the finals and gain some confidence.

My Tip: Hunter Simba 3-0 Tenambit

Medowie (5th) v Kurri Kurri (8th)

Medowie are still mathematically a chance of making the Semi Finals but it's a very, very slim chance and they must win this game to stand a chance. The team in yellow and black got the best of Kurri when they played earlier this season and I feel like they'll get over the line again on Saturday.

My Tip: Medowie 3-1 Kurri Kurri

Maryland-Fletcher (7th) v Merewether Advance (6th)

Neither of these teams can make the finals and both aren't in that good of form after losses last weekend. They drew their original match 2-2 and I feel like this one will end in a stalemate as well.

My Tip: Maryland-Fletcher 1-1 Merewether Adv.

///----------------------------------------///'s ZL3 Match of the Round
Wallsend F.C (1st) v New Lambton F.C (2nd)

In a potential minor-premiership decider, ladder-leaders Wallsend F.C will host 2nd-placed New Lambton F.C at The Gardens. Both sides are in good form and when they met earlier in the season it was a scoreless draw which is a rarity in this grade. I feel as though both these teams are even and whilst I think there'll be a winner, I'm going to tip a draw.

My Tip: Wallsend 2-2 New Lambton

Jesmond F.C (9th) v Edgeworth F.C (7th)

Edgeworth have only won two games this season in Zone League Three and one of those was against Jesmond. The Rams' season is in freefall and heavy losses are becoming a regular thing. I can't see Edgeworth putting too many in the back of the net but I feel as though the visitors will get the three points.

My Tip: Jesmond 0-3 Edgeworth

Abermain Rams (8th) v Kahibah F.C (4th)

Abermain pulled off a gutsy away draw with Kahibah earlier this season but this week's game will be a tougher assignment as Kahibah will be looking to keep their spot in the top four alive with a crucial win. Kahibah went down fighting to Dudley last week and if they play in a similar style this time round, they'll be too strong for Abermain.

My Tip: Abermain 0-3 Kahibah

RAAF Williamtown (5th) v Mayfield United Jr. (6th)

Mayfield United have been an improved side in the second half of the season but face a very tough test when they travel to Tomago to take on a desperate RAAF Williamtown outfit. The RAAF side have suffered back-to-back losses and need a win to move back into the top four. Their home form has been spectacular and I feel as though they'll win this one well.

My Tip: RAAF 5-0 Mayfield

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