Friday, 19 February 2016

PREVIEW: Northern NSW FFA Cup Day 2


Cooks Hill United are arguably the form New-FM team going into the FFA Cup. A confidence-boosting 3-3 draw with NPL champions Edgeworth was followed with a 2-2 away draw up at Weston. On that form alone, you could consider them the heavy favourites against mid-table Zone Premier League outfit Dudley-Redhead.

I asked assistant coach Jarrod Gorsuch for a quick thought on the fixture and he believes that complacency and attitude will be key against the Thistles. Competitive football starts now for the Cookers and new coach Blake Gleenie along with Gorsuch are both taking the FFA Cup very seriously and why not. A favourable draw (compared to some) will see them play Medowie or Mayfield Juniors in Round 2; an easier assignement than Dudley-Redhead.

Dudley will most likely bring a physical game but Cooks Hill should be too quick, too classy and too good for the Zone League side.

My Prediction: Cooks Hill United 4-1 Dudley-Redhead

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The biggest game in club history. Those are the words that Stockton Sharks used on their Facebook page when describing this game. This is the sort of game that the Stockton side will put absolutely everything into. They're up against a side full of history in West Wallsend and the Sharks have nothing to lose. This is their biggest game and anything could happen.

West Wallsend haven't had the most convincing pre-season and they almost fell to ZL1 opposition in this competition last year; Jesmond FC pushing them to the absolute limit in a thriller. The Bluebells are favourites in this match and a loss here would hinder their chances of success this season. It's important they get through this well and I think they will. 

My Prediction: Stockton 1-3 West Wallsend

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Jesmond FC were the fairytale story of last year's cup and they have a fairly easy draw in Round 1 this season. The Tenambit Sharks have pulled the plug on their Zone League Three side this year so this team will either forfeit or be forced to field an All Age squad. Whichever case it is, Jesmond will progress.

My Prediction: Jesmond F.C 5-0 Tenambit

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On most occasions, a New-FM team will go into a game against ZPL opposition as favourites. This is that rare time they don't. Toronto's form in the pre-season has been poor and that includes a 3-1 loss to Beresfield United just a few weeks ago. The Hawks are a serious team and I can see them getting past the Stags. After beating them in the trial, why not do it again?

Commanding defender Danny Burt is the star man at Beresfield United and he faces a Toronto side he has a lot of history with. A win for Burt and Beresfield will see the former NSL player set-up a crunch game with Kahibah FC and former teammate Andre Gumprecht. A fantasy clash for the neutral.

Toronto won't fold easily but their form is poor and a loss last weekend to ZPL newcomers and arch-rivals Morisset United does not help their cause.

My Prediction: Beresfield United 3-1 Toronto-Awaba

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This game cannot be underestimated. It's one of the better matches on paper across the whole weekend. Both these teams were reasonably consistent in the Zone Premier League last season and both go into this game with some changes ahead of the 2016 season.

University have a new coach, some new players and are primed for a cup run whilst New Lambton FC's long-term future was boosted with the amalgamation of their senior and junior club. I'm tipping the Eagles to win this game but it will definitely be one to watch.

My Prediction: University F.C 1-2 New Lambton

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Another crunch match-up as these two Zone League sides battle each other for the first time since last year's ZL1 Grand Final, which was won by Warners Bay. The Strikers outclassed local rivals Toronto-Awaba last weekend and will go into this match as the slight favourites.

I'm not sure on the Panthers pre-season form but Morisset I feel will win this game but I'm going to be a bit outrageous and tip them to win on a penalty shootout and get revenge for the loss in the Grand Final last year.

My Prediction: Morisset United 1*-1 Warners Bay

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Medowie were a decent side in the ZL2 competition last year and up against Mayfield United Juniors, I'd consider the team in yellow and black the favourites. Both teams come into this game as unknown forces as I've heard nothing about their pre-season form. Based on last season and the fact that Medowie are a league higher, I'll go with them to progress to a possible match with Cooks Hill in Round 2.

My Prediction: Medowie FC 4-1 Mayfield United

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The Newcastle Suns come into this game as ranked outsiders. Kahibah are still the best quality side I've seen this season and they should have no real trouble getting past the Zone Premier League side. I know Kahibah and how they go about business. Not winning here would simply not be acceptable. So in my mind they can't lose.

The Suns beat Nelson Bay on the weekend but struggled against a ten-man Cooks Hill outfit a couple of weeks back. Kahibah should be too classy in this one.

My Prediction: Kahibah 6-1 Newcastle Suns

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Merwether Advance are a largely unknown entity in my eyes. They are one of the oldest clubs in town but their pre-season form and what not remains an absolute mystery. What I do know is that their opponents Kurri Kurri have pulled the plug on their Zone League team and will either forfeit this match or field an under-equipped All Age side. That makes for a pretty easy tip of Merewether to progress.

My Prediction: Merewether Adv. 4-0 Kurri Kurri

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I was highly impressed with Singleton when I watched them play a few weeks back and despite a loss to Gosford City in a recent trial, they shouldn't have too much trouble against Zone League One opposition in Charlestown Junior FC. The Hammers just don't have the quality that Singleton have and the Strikers if they're firing could rack up a decent score.

My Prediction: Charlestown 1-7 Singleton

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The winner of this match will receive a bye in Round 2 but who wins? Swansea FC have kept their cards close to their chest. I have absolute no idea about pre-season form. All I know is that they're a decent ZPL side and they knocked out their local rivals last season.

Belmont-Swansea have had a horror pre-season with coach changes, player number issues, all of it. It seems to be slowly coming together. Passionate club man Brad Paul is the new coach and has a history in the top job. Whether or not they can beat Swansea remains a mystery but it's definitely one of the better games on the calendar this weekend. Swansea to win.

My Prediction: Swansea FC 2-0 Belmont-Swansea United

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5 comments:

  1. I thought Warners Bay beat Morisset in the G.F last year?

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    1. Correct. I have a poor memory when it comes to the Zone League stuff.

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  2. Love the prediction with the medowie v mayfield game 4-1 to medowie final score at full time 5 all mayfield only going down in the shoot out

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