Tuesday, 23 April 2019

PREVIEW: Midweek Catch Up Games (23/4 & 24/4)




Under 19's:
West Wallsend (1st) v Singleton Strikers (10th)
Kickoff: Tuesday-6:15pm

With a bye coming up this weekend, this game is essentially a must-win for West Wallsend as it will keep them on top of the table regardless of if Cooks Hill win their game in Round 8. That's more than enough incentive to get the points but when you consider it's 1st v 10th, it does play into the favour that the home side are heavy favourites tonight.

The Good Friday match certainly was a lively one and ended up being a 7-4 win over Toronto-Awaba. The defending Champions have knocked off Cooks Hill and the Stags in back-to-back game so are building an impressive run of form. These are the sort of games that the top teams simply have to perform well and win. Anything but three points would be a failure for the home side.

Singleton head into their sixth game of the campaign still without a goal in the 2019 Season. And after watching their home game with South Cardiff, it's difficult to see where the goals will come from. They certainly don't have a 10+ goal player and at this stage might struggle to get a player to 5 goals. They've got to find a way.

The reasoning behind Singleton's incredibly low goals scored tally at least as of late is their defensive work. They're set up to try and improve their defensive resolve which isn't a bad idea and may help them stay above last place depending on Thornton's form. All they can do is show up and try not to give up when the pressure gets tough.

Prediction: There's no sugar-coating it, this is a severe mismatch that could go the way that Westy v Thornton went. South Cardiff's attack was off-target on Good Friday and still won 3-0. Consider it's a midweek game and the visitors may be struggling for numbers, it's just painting a very bad picture. They've got Kahibah on Sunday which is a closer match on paper. Whatever happens tonight hopefully they can at least break their goal drought.

My Tip: West Wallsend 8-0 Singleton Strikers

The Inside Word: Westy are starting to really be an attacking force. They've smashed in seventeen goals in their last two home games.

Thommo will be happy with the form but not conceding four on the weekend.

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Under 23's:
West Wallsend (8th) v Singleton Strikers (11th)
Kickoff: Tuesday-8:00pm

Moreso than the 19's, this is an absolutely crucial match for the Westy 23's. A win will lift them into the top four and considering they eased to a 5-0 win over Toronto on Good Friday, their confidence will be high that they can do the job over lowly Singleton. The team have started with patchy form but as we've seen with other squads, it only takes one or two wins to be right back in the race.

The bye awaits Westy in Round 8 which adds to the importance of taking all three points tonight. Their next match is an away trip to The Gardens to face arch rivals Wallsend so there's another aspect to factor in. If they slip up here they won't stand much of a chance against a very solid Wallsend side. The Bluebells just have to put their heads down and get to work.

It's very difficult to run the microscope over Singleton 23's. Amazingly they were locked at 0-0 with Southy for the first 15 minutes. By the time the 65th minute arrived it was 11-0. An embarrassing night at Howe Park and now it's 31 goals conceded in the past three games. They have to put in hard work to try and stop the rot. They're better players than what the last three performances have shown.

Prediction: If this was a boxing match it would have been called off at weigh-in. Singleton are just in an absolute tailspin, a constant defensive horror show. Westy will likely play guys like Josh Knight, Matt Turner and Mitch Kramer who will be looking to boost their confidence in the final third. It could very well be another flogging on the cards. It's the biggest scoreline tip in a long time on Newysports but it's hard to not call it that way.

My Tip: West Wallsend 10-0 Singleton Strikers

The Inside Word: If Josh Knight starts expect him to rack up a few. We'll go with five for Knighty.

Edit: Knighty is playing 1st Grade so maybe not. Still, perhaps a ten minute cameo at the end of 23's will be enough for a hatty.

Singleton 23's need a good hard look in the mirror. It's been a very poor form patch lately.

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1st Grade:
West Wallsend (3rd) v Singleton Strikers (6th)
Kickoff: Wednesday-7:00pm

Newysports will be giving Tuesday's games a miss for obvious reasons but may head out to this one depending on weather and arranging transport. It's sure to be a very tough fought game between two sides that enjoy a good physical battle. Indeed for Westy it's their third home game in a week or so and a chance to move into 2nd place.

After a poor start to the year, last year's Grand Finalists are now climbing the table in very ominous fashion. Their game against Toronto was eventually a win but they had to do it the hard way and come from behind to win 5-2. Tonight will likely be a far closer game given Singleton's defensive resolve so it's not going to be easy. Barring a miracle upset, the 1st Graders could be playing for another senior clean sweep too!

Singleton 1st Grade are at the moment the only reason to attend their Senior Games but alas if they can't get things ticking over soon you may have to look at the 17's team as the ones who could break this long-standing finals drought. There's still a lot of football to be played but it's a tight competition and consistent winning form will be the difference maker in the end.

A win will lift Singo above Westy into 3rd place whilst a loss will leave them rooted in 6th. That's how important Wednesday night is for the Strikers. They would probably admit that Good Friday wasn't exactly their best attacking performance and they'll need to work hard to amend that. As mentioned they tend to keep games tight so taking their chances will be crucial.

Prediction: This is such a crucial midweek game at this point of the season. Westy would love three points to take to the bye and eventually a clash with their struggling rivals Wallsend whilst Singleton could climb to third and head to Kahibah with supreme confidence this weekend. A draw could be on the cards but with only 9 draws in 93 or so senior games this year, we're going with a hard-fought Westy win.

My Tip: West Wallsend 2-1 Singleton Strikers

Klaudon Ahmataj and Singleton have two crucial games coming up in the next few days.

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