Thursday, 19 May 2016

PREVIEW: New-FM 1st Division Round 12

Newysports.com Feature Match


1st Grade:
Singleton Strikers (8th) v Cessnock City (11th)
Last Time They Met: Cessnock City 1-1 Singleton
Kickoff: 2:30pm

I was there in Round 1 when these sides met at Turner Park and it was a pretty dull affair. I didn't expect it after Singleton's wonderful pre-season form. Since then Singleton couldn't find luck. Yes they were beaten heavily some weeks (Lakes comes to mind) but in most games they were competitive but just couldn't find the results. The loss to Kahibah proved that.

A win over strugglers Toronto-Awaba was followed with a highly impressive 3-1 away win at Cooks Hill last weekend. The Strikers arguably should have won by more and were heading towards a clean sheet, if not for a 94th minute consolation goal by the home side. Confidence is growing amongst the Strikers and David Willoughby's side will be going for three straight wins on Saturday.

Singleton are a long way from the top four; eleven points to be exact but they only need to look back at their epic push for finals last season for inspiration. Their opponents this week, Cessnock City have been very poor in recent games. They lost 2-1 at home to Thornton last week and they'll need to be at their best to win this one away from home. They're also without goalkeepers Steve Anderson and Mat Zechel so Shannon Attewell will step into goals.

It's a key game for Singleton's season and I believe they'll come away with the win at Howe Park and suddenly find themselves on 12 points and perhaps just eight points outside the top four.

My Tip: Singleton Strikers 4-1 Cessnock City

Shannon Attewell will again play 1st Grade this week between the sticks.
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Under 23's:
Singleton Strikers (9th) v Cessnock City (8th)
Last Time They Met: Cessnock City 0-0 Singleton
Kickoff: 12:45pm

Two sides coming off of draws last weekend clash at Howe Park in what is a crucial match for both side's season. Cessnock have drawn five of their first 10 matches and need to find that extra goal or two and start picking up three points rather than one if they want to make the finals. Coming from 3-1 down to draw with Thornton last week was a start.

Singleton Strikers could consider themselves unlucky not to leave Cooks Hill with a win last weekend and will be looking to continue their recent turn-around with another home win. Expect a fairly physical grind type of a game between two sides who can't afford to lose in the race for finals spots. It's sure to be entertaining nonetheless.

Cessnock City are a tough side to beat but considering this is at Howe Park, I'm going to tip the home side to pick up one of their biggest wins of the season.

My Tip: Singleton Strikers 2-1 Cessnock City


Singleton's Ryan Guihot will play his 200th game for the club on Saturday.
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Under 19's:
Singleton Strikers (6th) v Cessnock City (11th)
Last Time They Met: Cessnock City 0-7 Singleton
Kickoff: 11:00am

It was a horror show for Cessnock City when they hosted Singleton in Round 1. They crashed to a 7-0 defeat on their home turf. Since then they've picked up better scorelines, although mostly losses. Last weekend they finally picked up their first win as they came from behind and beat Thornton thanks to goals to Rhys Paprocki, a quality goal to 17's standout Will Forbes and a match-winner to Tai Roles. It was a long-awaited victory for the Hornets.

Singleton Strikers fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Cooks Hill last weekend but their performance was anything but disappointing. Only luck in front of goal and some superb goalkeeping from the Cookers cost them getting a point and maybe all three. Nathan Hall had a few chances at goal and found the post once or twice. If they do the same going forward this weekend they should be able to pick up a win on home turf.

My Tip: Singleton Strikers 3-1 Cessnock City

Singleton fullback Jayden Proudlock v Cooks Hill United last weekend.
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Under 17's:
Singleton Strikers (11th) v Cessnock City (7th)
Last Time They Met: Cessnock City 0-0 Singleton
Kickoff: 9:15am

Singleton Strikers sit dead last in the Under 17's which with some of the players they have is a wonder. They've just been too inconsistent and they'll be looking to turn things around in the second half of the season. Players like Trae Proudlock and James Croucher have been quality but the results haven't been there due to luck and just poor finishing costing them.

Cessnock City have found three victories this season, their most recent coming last weekend against Thornton Redbacks. They've got some handy players like Aaron Comerford and Will Forbes and they'll be looking to add to Singleton's 2016 season woes with a win on Saturday.

When these sides met in Round 1, it was an entertaining match but still a scoreless draw. Both sides will be aiming for more when they met at Singleton's Howe Park. Cessnock City's away form hasn't been the best and I think they'll go down in this one. Singleton just need to pick up another win in this grade and I feel like this is a very chance to do so.

My Tip: Singleton Strikers 2-1 Cessnock City

Cessnock striker Will Forbes scored two quality goals last weekend in U17's and U19's.
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1st Grade Match of the Round:
Belmont-Swansea United (4th) v Lake Macquarie City (1st)
Last Time They Met: Lake Mac. City 3-4 Belmont-Swansea
Kickoff: 2:30pm

The Match of the Round sees a Lake Macquarie derby take centre stage in the New-FM 1st Division for the second time this season. In Round 1, Belmont-Swansea stunned the competition with their epic 4-3 win over Lake Macquarie City and since then they put a lot of doubt from outsiders aside with wins left, right and centre. They've been brilliant but lately their form has slipped.

Last weekend's loss to Wallsend wasn't up to the standard they've set. They had some key players out and it showed during a poor second half. Ben Cox will return from suspension this week but the 4th-placed Belswans will be hoping for a return from injury for both Luke Cook and club captain Joel Shearer. Shearer's presence would have come in handy last weekend and if he returns on Sunday it will help them in a big way.

Lake Macquarie City were tested last weekend against South Cardiff and survived in a 3-2 win over a side that they arguably should have beaten by a few goals based on form. Lakes have proven that they're prepared to grind out results this season. That win over Southy and indeed their win over Cooks Hill last month proves that they can win tight games as well as record blow-out scorelines.

So who wins this game. Being at Blacksmiths Oval plays into Belmont-Swansea's favour but it really depends on the line-up. Players like Joel Shearer and Luke Cook add a lot to the side and if they're in I'd be more confident. Even then I'm not sure I'd be confident enough to tip against the ladder-leaders.

My Tip: Belmont-Swansea 2-3 Lake Macquarie City

Belswans coach pairing Brad Paul & Michael Stafford have been influential this season.
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Under 23's Match of the Round:
Belmont-Swansea United (3rd) v Lake Macquarie City (1st)
Last Time They Met: Lake Mac. City 0-0 Belmont-Swansea
Kickoff: 12:45pm

Belmont-Swansea were flying high in the Under 23's and seemingly looked headed for a victory after Luke Lethbridge fired them ahead early on against a sloppy Wallsend side. Unfortunately for Belswans the Red Devils staged an impressive turn-around and ended up coming away with a convincing 4-1 victory. A tough loss for the previous ladder-leaders.

The top of the table in the 23's is tight and it stayed pretty much the same last weekend. Cooks Hill continued their inconsistent ways with a 1-1 draw against Singleton whilst Lake Macquarie City also picked up a draw against another decent team in the form of South Cardiff.

So what happens in this match-up. A draw seems a very likely result and these sides did draw their Round 1 clash at Macquarie Field. So that's what I'm going to go with here.

My Tip: Belmont-Swansea 2-2 Lake Macquarie City

Lakes 23's have been inconsistent as of late.
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Under 19's Match of the Round:
Belmont-Swansea United (4th) v Lake Macquarie City (3rd)
Last Time They Met: Lake Mac. City 7-3 Belmont-Swansea
Kickoff: 11:00am

The Under 19's Match of the Round sees two quality teams in Belmont-Swansea and Lake Macquarie City clash at Blacksmiths Oval. Belswans are coming off the back of three straight wins whilst Lakes have won their last five in a row so it's definitely going to be a quality match on Sunday. Last time they met, Lakes came away with a big 7-3 victory at Macquarie Field. I doubt there'll be ten goals this weekend but it's surely going to be a cracker.

Lake Macquarie City picked up all three points at Ulinga Oval last weekend with a 3-0 win over South Cardiff. Belswans too kept a clean sheet as they downed Wallsend 2-0 at The Gardens. Some quality players will be on show here. The likes of William Dundas at Belswans and Josh Richardson at Lakes have been troubling fullbacks all season and defence will be key in this game.

So who wins in this one? It's very hard to decide. You could almost flip a coin based on their form so we'll see how it goes. I'm going to tip a highly-entertaining draw.

My Tip: Belmont-Swansea 2-2 Lake Macquarie City

Lakes 19's have been quality as of late and will be looking to continue that.
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Under 17's:
Belmont-Swansea United (8th) v Lake Macquarie City (1st)
Last Time They Met: Lake Mac. City 4-3 Belmont-Swansea
Kickoff: 9:15am

Ladder-leading Lake Macquarie City dropped their first points of the season in the Under 17's last weekend to South Cardiff. No doubt a frustrating result but they were never going to win every single match. A goal from Adam Mitchell tied the game up but they were unable to pick up the three points. This weekend is another tricky test in a very inconsistent Belmont-Swansea.

Belswans have talented players but their style of play I feel isn't coming off and it was obvious at The Gardens last weekend. They'll need their best effort of the season to overcome Lakes and at this stage I can't see it coming based on recent form.

My Tip: Belmont-Swansea 1-3 Lake Macquarie City

Belmont-Swansea's William Dunn in a match v Cooks Hill United
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1st Grade:
Kahibah F.C (2nd) v Cooks Hill United (6th)
Last Time They Met: Cooks Hill United 2-7 Kahibah F.C
Kickoff: 2:30pm

Kahibah F.C won 6-0 over a ten-man Toronto-Awaba last weekend and will be looking to pick up a second win of the season against Cooks Hill on Sunday afternoon. In Round 1, they stunned the Cookers and came away with a highly impressive 7-2 victory. The Green and Blacks are looking a serious premiership threat in 2016.

Yes they will be slightly depleted after quality midfielder Daniel Bartlett left the club after a verbal disagreement with the team hierarchy. Bartlett's loss could be glazed over with the addition of one, possibly two handy U22 players from NPL club Edgeworth F.C. Riley Ferguson and Brandon Hayes are rumoured to be new signings for the Green and Blacks and both will add something to the squad.

Colvin Williams and Brendan Trummel will both possibly return from injury this weekend and they'll no doubt add to what is already one of the stronger sides in the competition on paper.

Opposing Kahibah is a very inconsistent Cooks Hill United side. Key players Thomas Sparre and Jack O'Toole will return from illness whilst midfielder Zac Douglas will return from a suspension. It's a near-enough full-strength side for Blake Glennie to pick from this weekend and there's no sugar-coating it; this is a key game for the Cookers' season. 

Belswans' loss to Wallsend last week kept the gap between the Cookers and the top four at seven points. A win here and a loss for Belswans would close that gap to just four. It's not over for the Cookers yet but a high-quality performance is needed and I'm not sure it's going to happen.

Kahibah at home and after picking up a big win last week is just too good to ignore. The Green and Blacks for the win here.

My Tip: Kahibah F.C 5-1 Cooks Hill United



Andre Gumprecht celebrating his match-winning goal v Singleton Strikers.
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Under 23's:
Kahibah F.C (7th) v Cooks Hill United (2nd)
Last Time They Met: Cooks Hill United 2-0 Kahibah F.C
Kickoff: 12:45pm

Kahibah F.C kept their decent form going last weekend with a tight 2-1 win over a luckless Toronto-Awaba side. Captain Jez Turner continued his goalscoring form with the winger picking up his seventh goal of the season. Peter Migliore was the other goalscorer in the 2-1 win. This week they face arguably their toughest test of the last few games in Cooks Hill United. A win will take the Green and Blacks within possibly a point of the top four.

Cooks Hill United could be sitting top of the league by a few points at the moment if not for some poor form as of late. They dropped points in a 3-3 draw with West Wallsend, they put in their worst display of the season at Thornton and they were lucky not to lose last weekend to Singleton. Kahibah will punish teams who aren't up to the challenge so the Cookers need to bring their best and if they do, then they'll likely come away with a win.

My Tip: Kahibah F.C 1-3 Cooks Hill United


Adam Gunster was a stand-out in last weekend's draw with Singleton.
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Under 19's:
Kahibah F.C (1st) v Cooks Hill United (5th)
Last Time They Met: Cooks Hill United 0-2 Kahibah F.C
Kickoff: 11:00am

New league-leaders in the Under 19's Kahibah F.C face a tough test this weekend as Cooks Hill United travel to Kahibah Oval. Mat Moncrieff's side won 6-0 at Toronto-Awaba last weekend. Form striker Matthew Hughes continued his scoring ways and he was joined on the scoresheet by Jarrod Watkins, Bailey Cooper and two goals to Bailey Chaplain. An impressive result to say the very least.

Cooks Hill United picked up a 1-0 win over Singleton last weekend but it certainly wasn't convincing. Goalkeeper Emerson Gosling was Man of the Match and stepped up to save his side's poor defensive errors at time last weekend. It was his best game for the Cookers and he'll need to be switched on again this weekend against a very dangerous Kahibah side.

When these sides met in Round 1, the visiting Green and Blacks came away with a 2-0. Cooks Hill United on their day can beat any team in the competition but their form lately hasn't been too convincing so I'm going to tip the home side to come away with the three points and retain their spot at the top of the table.

My Tip: Kahibah F.C 2-1 Cooks Hill United


Kahibah's Bailey Chaplain scored a double last weekend.
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Under 17's Match of the Round:
Kahibah F.C (4th) v Cooks Hill United (5th)
Last Time They Met: Cooks Hill United 0-2 Kahibah F.C
Kickoff: 9:15am

Cooks Hill United could prove themselves as a top-four quality side with a win here over Kahibah F.C. They sit in fifth, three points behind the Green and Blacks but with a better points differential, they'll jump Kahibah if they pick up all three points on Sunday morning. Their win over Singleton didn't see them play their best football but they're a quality line-up that are finding form as of late.

Kahibah F.C grinded out a 1-0 over Toronto-Awaba last week to dent the Stags push for the top four and they'll no doubt be looking to do the same to the visiting Cookers. Pat Waller was the lone goalscorer last weekend for Tony Birleson's side and I feel like one goal won't be enough against a high-scoring side like Cooks Hill.

The Cookers have looked better as of late since the return of captain Michael Dalton and from front to back, consistency is the key to making the playoffs. Damon White has been consistent, Cameron Wamsley has scored a few goals, Luca Sakoff has been a decent addition to the club. They're definitely a side that should be playing finals but the competition is tight so hence this is a crucial match.

Kahibah were 2-0 winners in Round 1 but I feel as though Cooks Hill have improved since then and I believe they'll come away with a big win at Kahibah Oval this Sunday.

My Tip: Kahibah F.C 1-2 Cooks Hill United


Cooks Hill celebrating one of their six goals v Thornton Redbacks.
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1st Grade:
Wallsend F.C (3rd) v Toronto-Awaba (10th)
Last Time They Met: Toronto-Awaba 1-4 Wallsend F.C
Kickoff: 2:30pm

This is a mismatch on paper and it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see it play out in a similar style on the field. Toronto-Awaba admittingly were better last week; they had Kahibah at just 1-0 in the 60th minute. Caleb Prebble was sent off and it all fell to pieces once again for Tony Jovcevski's side. The Stags will need everything they've got and more this weekend against the Red Devils.

Wallsend F.C were looking awful last weekend in the 1st half against Belmont-Swansea but they turned it around in the 2nd half and came away with a big 3-1 victory. They could really cement their spot in the top three with a win in this one and why not with the form they're in.

One could try and come up with some reasons to back Toronto-Awaba for the win or even a draw but it's highly unlikely. Wallsend at home and full strength will have too much quality for the struggling Stags.

My Tip: Wallsend F.C 4-1 Toronto-Awaba

Wallsend picked up a big win over Belmont-Swansea last weekend.
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Under 23's:
Wallsend F.C (4th) v Toronto-Awaba (11th)
Last Time They Met: Toronto-Awaba 1-4 Wallsend F.C
Kickoff: 12:45pm

Wallsend F.C put some poor form behind them with an epic come-from-behind 4-1 victory over Belmont-Swansea last weekend. The Red Devils put on one of the best displays I've seen by any sides this season as they simply outplayed the former league-leaders in convincing fashion. The whole side played well and even 1st grade gaffer Josh Rufo got on the scoresheet. A great performance by Chris Wallis' side.

I mention Chris as he wanted me to tip against them this week as he feels it brings them luck. I simply can't as this week they face the only team out of 44 New-FM sides who are yet to win in 2016, Toronto-Awaba. The Stags only lost 2-1 last week but I just cannot see them getting anything out of this. If Wallsend play in a similar fashion this week, it should be a rather simple result.

My Tip: Wallsend F.C 4-1 Toronto-Awaba

Wallsend 23's picked up a convincing 4-1 victory against Belmont-Swansea. Can they do the same this week?
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Under 19's:
Wallsend F.C (8th) v Toronto-Awaba (10th)
Last Time They Met: Toronto-Awaba 2-1 Wallsend F.C
Kickoff: 11:00am

Wallsend F.C lost 2-0 to Belmont-Swansea last week and just couldn't find the back of the net. Joel Blundell was a stand-out in the loss but they seemed to be lacking firepower in the final third. They lost to Toronto-Awaba in Round 1 and they'll need to be on their toes as this is a danger game in their fixture list.

Toronto-Awaba were outclassed in a 6-0 loss to Kahibah last weekend so confidence won't be very high. They've picked up Stags local Danny Wills from Wallsend so he'll no doubt want to pick up three points against his former side. The Stags 2-1 win in Round 1 over Wallsend is their only win of the season and the only thing keeping them from the foot of the table.

This is a tough one to predict as neither side seem to be in goalscoring form. I'm going to tip a draw as a result.

My Tip: Wallsend F.C 1-1 Toronto-Awaba

Toronto local Danny Wills returns to The Gardens to face his old side just a few weeks after leaving.
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Under 17's:
Wallsend F.C (3rd) v Toronto-Awaba (6th)
Last Time They Met: Toronto-Awaba 0-1 Wallsend F.C
Kickoff: 9:15am

Toronto-Awaba started the season in some quality form and sat as high as 2nd for a few weeks but recent form has been poor and they're now five points outside the top four and in desperate need of a win. They fought hard last weekend but fell to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Kahibah F.C. A result that dented their confidence after some unlucky draws and losses as of late.

After losing in a tight match to Kahibah, they're now looking at an away match against an even better side in Wallsend F.C. The Red Devils have been the form side of the competition and despite last week not being their best performance, they still came away with the points against Belmont-Swansea. At The Gardens and looking at the form of both sides, I feel like Wallsend is going to come away with the points here and keep pressure on the top two.

My Tip: Wallsend F.C 2-0 Toronto-Awaba

Toronto-Awaba's Callan Ansell v West Wallsend.
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1st Grade:
South Cardiff F.C (9th) v West Wallsend SFC (7th)
Last Time They Met: West Wallsend 3-2 South Cardiff
Kickoff: 2:30pm

South Cardiff began their New-FM campaign with a tight loss at the hands of West Wallsend and they'll be looking for revenge on Sunday afternoon. The Gunners will be feeling better about themselves after pushing ladder-leaders Lake Macquarie City last weekend. Sure they'd go down 3-2 but it was a decent performance from Andrew Packer's side and they'll be looking to start their climb up the table in this one.

West Wallsend will be without key defender Michael Baillie after he was suspended for receiving five yellow cards. It creates a slight headache at the back for Gary Rowe but the Bluebells will be thankful to still have youngster Ryan Van Kemenade at the back who has been as of late.

West Wallsend's season is on the line over the next few weeks and nothing would do them better than a win in this one. South Cardiff will bring the fight as they did against Lakes and for Westy they need to prove that they can beat mid-table sides. Westy have put in quality efforts against Cessnock and Toronto but this is another story at the home of the former NPL side. I'm going to tip a draw because I feel like these sides are rather even.

My Tip: South Cardiff 1-1 West Wallsend

West Wallsend could begin a push for finals with a win on the weekend.
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Under 23's:
South Cardiff F.C (5th) v West Wallsend SFC (10th)
Last Time They Met: West Wallsend 2-1 South Cardiff
Kickoff: 12:45pm

South Cardiff have encountered some inconsistency as of late in the Under 23's and have lost their spot in the top four as a result. This week they face West Wallsend in a key game for their season. Southy need to step up as they lost their opening game of the season to the same opposition.

West Wallsend had the bye last weekend but before that was some decent results, including a convincing 4-1 win over Cessnock City and a gutsy come-from-behind 3-3 draw with Cooks Hill United, thanks to a Jackson Couper hat-trick. The Bluebells sit second-last but nine points clear of bottom-table Toronto-Awaba. At Ulinga Oval you'd consider Southy as the favourites and I'm tipping them to win as it's a key game this weekend.

My Tip: South Cardiff 2-1 West Wallsend


South Cardiff's Matt Parker v Cooks Hill United.
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Under 19's:
South Cardiff F.C (7th) v West Wallsend SFC (2nd)
Last Time They Met: West Wallsend 5-1 South Cardiff
Kickoff: 11:00am

South Cardiff have yet to get going in the Under 19's at the half-way point of the season. Last week they were outplayed and beaten 3-0 by Lake Macquarie City. When they faced West Wallsend in Round 1, they were on the receiving end of a 5-1 scoreline so they definitely need to find that extra level going into Sunday's match at Ulinga Oval.

West Wallsend lost top spot on the table last weekend due to having the bye so they'll be keen to pick up a victory here and maybe move back into the competition lead and why isn't it likely? Sam Jones is the top scorer in the whole league and players like Matt Turner, Greg Mason and James Barnes can all add to that. They're quality going forward, quality at the back and should be winning this one based on form.

My Tip: South Cardiff 1-4 West Wallsend 

West Wallsend 19's celebrating a goal v Cessnock City.
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Under 17's:
South Cardiff F.C (9th) v West Wallsend SFC (2nd)
Last Time They Met: West Wallsend 2-1 South Cardiff
Kickoff: 9:15am

It's a crunch game for South Cardiff in the Under 17's this weekend as they look to kickstart their season with a win over a high-quality West Wallsend side. The Gunners will be feeling confident after holding ladder-leaders Lakes to their first draw of the season in their last outing. If they put in a similar effort here they could do the same and maybe potentially take all three points.

West Wallsend though are a tough opposition and can adapt their style to suit the occasion. They can win small, they can win big and if they keep their quality up to the normal standard, they'll most likely come away with a win on Sunday morning. Last week's result is making it hard for me to tip against South Cardiff but West Wallsend have a quality side in this grade and I feel like they'll be a side to watch over the second half of the season.

My Tip: South Cardiff 1-3 West Wallsend

South Cardiff's 17's celebrating a goal v Cooks Hill United
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