PS4 NPL NNSW Round 8: Hamilton Olympic ready for Weston Workers at Darling St Oval

Hamilton Olympic v Weston Bears

2.30 pm Sunday 30th April at Darling Street Oval

Last Meeting: Round 13, 2016: Weston 1 Hamilton 3 at Rockwell Automation Park.

Ladder: Hamilton 4th (10), Weston 9th (4)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Hamilton – Drew Eagles 1-1 (a), Won Magpies 2-0 (a), Lost Blues 1-2 (h)

Weston – Lost Magpies 0-1 (a), Drew Jets 2-2 (a), Drew Rosebud 3-3 (a)

Bottom Line

Weston will look to bounce back from a gut-wrenching draw against the Jets Youth last weekend which surely will have felt like a defeat.

Combined with their tight 1-0 loss to Maitland on Wednesday the Bears will feel they aren’t far off claiming their first three points of the season.

Scoring in the final minute to lead 2-1 against the Jets it seemed the Bears would claim their first victory of the season. But, alas for Weston they gave away a penalty and ultimately threw away the points. 

It has been moments like that which have hurt Weston throughout the season. Twice they led against the now first-placed Jaffas and gave up the lead and added to the result against the Jets and the draws against Adamstown and Lake Macquarie it leaves Weston ninth.

Olympic will enjoy the week to recover from a battering week of football where they played Charlestown, Maitland and Edgeworth all in the space of eight days.

Against three very physical sides coach, Mick Bolch would have been pleased with the four points his side took from matches against Maitland and Edgeworth after a disappointing showing against Charlestown.

Hamilton have been very much up and down so far, this season, however, just having the one draw has been crucial for Olympic to keep themselves just inside the top four.

Nick Thompson (away) will return to the Weston side this weekend. However, Jacob Golding will still remain sidelined for at least five more weeks as he recovers from an ankle injury that he suffered in round two.

What the Coaches Said:

Mick Bolch (Hamilton)

“All in all, I was very proud of what the boys did [against Edgeworth]. While you are never happy with a result as a draw, the last few years we have had 12 draws and cost ourselves titles. That is our first draw all year, so it’s not ideal but with the players, we had our – Grant Brown and Rhys Cooper –I’m happy with where we are at.”

Losing Kyle [Hodges] and Scott Smith on the weekend [hurt us]. You’ve only got to look at our first three games when he didn’t play we had a loss and a draw. We have been very good since he has been back. We lost a little bit of shape when he came out of the backline [on the weekend]. When Scott Smith came off he twinged his back, you lose a bit of energy when Scott’s not out there.”

Steve Piggott (Weston)

“I was devastated, they were devastated [with the weekend result]. They know they have got to play for 90 minutes. We have discussed it in depth. You are just going over the same things really. We scored the first goal and I sent out a message “start to concentrate for the next three to five minutes”. The Captain yelled it out “Come on let’s keep them out.” Fifty seconds later we conceded an equaliser, 1-1. It’s a mental thing, it’s not physical.”

“We are pretty good at the back but they are special guys [Scott Smith and Kane Goodchild], they are big and strong keep the ball well. In the last six to ten yards of the park they are good at scoring goals, they have earnt their stripes over the years. At the back and in the midfield, they have got some handy players. Leo Bertos may have left them but they have got a quality group. I don’t think they’ve played to their full potential this year. They haven’t hit the heights they probably should.”

Key: Youth v Experience. Which will win out in the end?

 U18s Olympic – Weston kick-off 10:45 at Darling St Oval

 U20s Olympic – Weston kick-off 12:30 at Darling St Oval


U16s Lambton Jaffas vs Hamilton Olympic at Arthur Eden Oval 2.30 pm

U15s Lambton Jaffas vs Hamilton Olympic at Arthur Eden Oval 1.00 pm

U14s Lambton Jaffas vs Hamilton Olympic at Arthur Eden Oval 11:30 am

U13s Lambton Jaffas vs Hamilton Olympic at Arthur Eden Oval 10:00 am

Newcastle Jets Youth v Valentine Phoenix

2.30 pm Saturday 29th April at Cahill Oval

Last Meeting: Round 18, 2016: Valentine 0 Jets Youth 2

Ladder: Jets Youth 11th (2), Valentine 2nd (12)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Jets – Lost Eagles 0-1 (h), Drew Bears 2-2 (a), Lost Olympic 1-4 (a)

Valentine – Won Magpies 4-0 (a), Won Rosebud 2-0 (a), Won Jaffas 3-2 (a)

Bottom Line

Two sides who don’t mind attacking football meet on Saturday afternoon, so it seems a lot of goals may be on the cards in this one.

In their last three matches, 18 goals have been scored at an average of six per game, but, unfortunately for Valentine, the Jets have scored 13 of those and haven’t lost a match to the Phoenix since they entered the competition in 2012.

While their record against the Jets isn’t great, Valentine are flying and high and sit in second place on the ladder just two points behind the first-placed Jaffas. They have been the surprise packet of the current season and would like to make it four wins in a row against the Jets.

The Jets problem has been a similar one to that of the last few seasons, in their ability to defend. They can score plenty of goals, it is as the back though where they are often exploited.

They showed plenty of character to claim just their second point of the season against Weston on Sunday.

Twice they fought back from a goal down to claim a point including with virtually the last kick of the game. Midweek they only fell 1-0 to the defending Champions and defensively they look stronger every week.

Mark Moric scored a double against the Bears and he’ll be looking to impress coach Clayton Zane again this weekend with another quality performance.

Angus Thurgate won the NYL Player of the Year Award at the Newcastle Jets awards during the week, so expect him to have plenty of confidence against the Phoenix.

In a boost for Valentine, they will welcome back Alec Faulkner who has been overseas. Tyson Jackson (ankle) should return to the Jets while in a blow Cody Carroll (hamstring) and Cameron Joice (groin) are in doubt.

What the Coaches Said:

Clayton Zane (Jets Youth)

“I thought we played excellent against Olympic and got touched up 4-1, whereas on the weekend we played well below our level and still got something out of it. There are so many signs of what we saw last year and we are just not learning from it.

“If we had of played like we played against Olympic we would have accounted for Weston no doubt. We defended really well on the weekend and our best players were our left fullback and our two centre-halves. I thought they were excellent.”

Sam Griffin (Valentine Assistant)

“[The loss against Lakes] might have been the lesson we needed to learn and it is a good time to do it early in the year when we have plenty of time to fix it. I’m confident that we will turn up this week, regardless of who the opposition is and how they are going. They scored a goal in the last minute to get a result in the last minute so you’re not going to write them off.”

“I think it was the speed that they play [that troubled us last year]. We had a lot older squad than what we have this year, we had at least two or three guys in their thirties. Our average age might have come down from 26-27 last year to 21-22 this year so that will help us just purely speed wise. I think they weren’t going too well the first time we played them [last season] and we took them too lightly. You just can’t do that against any team in the comp.”

Key: Valentine have kept two clean sheets in a row and against a Jets side who have put 13 past them in three matches a similar resolute defensive performance is required.

Edgeworth Eagles v Charlestown City Blues

7.30 pm Saturday 29th April at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2016: Charlestown 1 Edgeworth 2 at Lisle Carr Oval.

Ladder: Edgeworth 7th (9), Charlestown 5th (10)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Edgeworth – Won Jets 1-0 (a), Drew Olympic 1-1 (h), Drew Magpies 0-0 (h)

Charlestown – Lost Jaffas 1-2 (h), Won Olympic 2-1 (a) Lost Magpies 1-2 (h)

Bottom Line

A weight would have been lifted off Edgeworth and Damian Zane’s shoulders on Wednesday night as they claimed just their second win in six matches this season to haul themselves back to within a point of the top four.

Before the midweek match the Eagles had won just once this season – against Adamstown 6-0 – and while in the other four matches they had played competition favourites in Hamilton, Lambton, Broadmeadow and Maitland, Damian Zane would have expected to get more than three points out of those matches.

A win over the Jets Youth would have done their confidence the world of good, and to have reduced the gap to five points with a game in hand on the first-placed Jaffas sets up the back end of the season.

Charlestown have had a topsy-turvy run of late, going win-loss-win-loss over their last four matches. But like Edgeworth, those four matches have been against quality opposition in Broadmeadow, Maitland, Hamilton and Lambton.

With Josh Maguire returning this weekend and Rene Ferguson firing again this season the Blues have the goal-scoring prowess to trouble Edgeworth.

It has been all Edgeworth in the last four matches between the sides. Damian Zane has never lost to Shane Pryce in the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW and over those matches, the Eagles have racked up 14 goals to the Blues three.

Daniel McBreen (suspended) is still out for Edgeworth, while Cameron Hughes (work) and Josh Maguire (quad) will miss the match for the Blues.

What the Coaches Said:

Damian Zane (Edgeworth)

“Thirty seconds into the second half [against the Jets], Brenno [Bren Hammel] won the ball and delivered this pinpoint cross and we had runners in the box everywhere and the ball just skidded past every one of them. I just looked and I just went, gee, we are having a bad time of late. We are not far off; the delivery has improved for me in the last couple of weeks. But, I think we are going to cut loose on someone soon, I really do.”

“I think we are finding, as I said to the players, at times our ball movement was ok, but it was slow and we weren’t backing ourselves to play through the centre and look there is no doubt the level of coaching is better this year. If you’re too slow in doing things, teams are so well organised. I’ve just noticed, you can see that in the closeness of the competition that coaches can make a difference.”

Shane Pryce (Charlestown)

“It’s a massive challenge for us, they’ve been the benchmark of the competition for the last few years now so everyone turns up to beat Edgeworth, but, we’ve also been a bit behind the mark over the last few years against them. It’s a definite challenge for our boys to see if our results have been not a fluke.”

“I guess their danger is that they haven’t been playing the football they want to play and that they know they can play. The challenge there is they have got quality players there that are thinking they’ve got to step up and improve their game and I’m sure the bar has been set by Zaney [Damian Zane] out there. That’s the danger for me, that when it all clicks someone is going to get towelled up.”

Key: Against an Eagles side who have scored just twice in three games, can the Blues bring the determination and defensive steel they have shown over the last month.

Adamstown Rosebud v Lambton Jaffas

2.30 pm Sunday 30th April at Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2016: Adamstown 1 Lambton 2 at Adamstown Oval.

Ladder: Adamstown 10th (3), Lambton 1st (14)

Past 3 Starts (most recent first):

Adamstown – Drew Magic 0-0 (h), Lost Roosters 1-2 (h), Lost Phoenix 0-2 (a)

Lambton – Won Blues 2-1 (a), Drew Magic 1-1 (h), Won Roosters 4-0 (a)

Bottom Line

Adamstown will be feeling a little bit better about themselves after a solid defensive showing against Broadmeadow Magic on ANZAC Day. They showed desperation, determination and plenty of grit as they kept out a frustrated Magic side.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Rosebud’s this weekend as a battle with the first-placed Jaffas looms large. It will be a very good test for Pete McGuinness’ side.

They will have to overcome their recent history as well. Adamstown haven’t won in seven matches against the Jaffas dating back to 2012 in the NewFM First Division.

In the six PS4 NPL matches the sides have played Lambton have won five and they have had one draw. In the process, the Jaffas have scored 21 to the Rosebud’s 2.

The Jaffas are flying this season and are unbeaten in three matches.

They proved the loss of top scorers Pat Brown and Joel Griffiths wouldn’t hurt them last weekend as both didn’t play and Tom Waller and Nathan Verity stepped up with quality goals to ensure a 2-1 win over Charlestown.

Adamstown were resolute in defence against a Broadmeadow side who have spluttered in attack so far this season. Whether they can contain Lambton who are scoring at two goals a match will be a much tougher task.

Adamstown are at full strength, while the Jaffas will be without Pat Brown (knee) who is at least a week away, Joel Griffiths (hip flexor) and Dain Greentree.

What the Coaches Said:

Pete McGuinness (Adamstown)

“Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Whether you are a fella on the hill, or the fella coaching the other team or a member of the public you are entitled to your opinion. I’m happy for people to voice their opinion. I don’t have to necessarily agree with it. We’ve leaked 18 goals or something in six games. I’m not doing my job if I don’t rectify that and rectify it quickly.”

“I’ve played in some teams around Newcastle that would absolutely whip most teams in this competition now and I can tell you now we played against teams that put everyone behind the ball and never ever bothered playing. I didn’t go and whinge about it. It was our job to break that down. It’s a part of football and it doesn’t matter what level you are at, you have different personalities and different philosophies on how to play.”

James Pascoe (Lambton)

“I expect us to go there and put on a good performance. If they want to park the bus, they can park the bus. There are things you have to do to beat that. If people put a defensive block in, you’ve either got to go through it, around it or over it and you keep working on each of those things during the course of the game until you find the way. We’re well versed in how to do all that.”

“It will probably be the first time we are up against it. I wouldn’t expect them to change too much. It’s probably something we might see a bit more as the season goes on. There are a million ways to play this game, a million ways to play football, and the key to it is to try to find a way to play which suits the cattle you have got, and if Pete thinks that is the best way for him to try and get some results and points, well good on him.”

Key: All in the mind. On paper, the Jaffas look to strong, but the same could be said for Magic on ANZAC Day. Can Lambton turn up with the right attitude?

Maitland Magpies v Lake Macquarie City Roosters

2.30 pm Sunday 30th April at Adamstown Oval

Last Meeting: NewFM 1st Division, Round 12, 2010: Maitland 0 Lake Macquarie 1 at Cooks Square Park.

Ladder: Maitland 6th (10), Lake Macquarie 3rd (11)

Last 3 Starts (most recent first):

Maitland – Won Bears 1-0 (h), Lost Phoenix 0-4 (h), Lost Olympic 0-2 (h)

Lakes – Won Rosebud 2-1 (a), Lost Jaffas 0-4 (h), Won Magic 4-1 (a)

Bottom Line

Two sides who haven’t met in seven years face-off at Cooks Square Park with the home side looking to build on their 1-0 victory over Weston midweek when they clash with Lake Macquarie at home on Sunday afternoon. 

Both of Maitland’s losses have come at home this season and while a tight 2-0 loss – where they came close to equalising – against Hamilton wouldn’t have concerned coach Phil Dando too much, the 4-0 thumping they received from Valentine would have.

The Phoenix totally outplayed the Magpies on Saturday evening and they cannot afford the same to happen against the Roosters.

Lakes will be fresh after having the bye last weekend and will have regained plenty of confidence after their win against Adamstown last start.

They have lost just once this season – against the first-placed Jaffas. Their resolute defence, combined with their lethal ability to finish chances – led by Sam Walker – has given Lakes a platform to push on for a shot at the finals.

After a crushing defeat at the hands of Lambton at home, the weekend before the Roosters could not have responded any better. Blake Green scored a cracking goal to win the match against the Rosebuds and Sam Walker continued his strong form in front of goals for Lakes.

In a side note to the match, five former Maitland players will line up against their former side with Benn Kelly, Matt Toohey, Steve Rospigliosi, Corey Fletcher and Justin Broadley returning to their former stomping ground.

Toohey makes his return from a groin injury for Lakes while Broadley (toe) could return from injury. For the Magpies, a busy month has taken its toll with Andrew Pawiak (groin), Josh Dutton-Black (knee), Ryan Broadley (ankle), Zac Hill (calf) all in doubt.

What the Coaches Said:

Phil Dando (Maitland)

“[Lakes] have been doing well as well, a surprise packet coming up from the division down. It just goes to show how even this league is at the moment. Everyone’s sort of in the same boat. You can’t really predict results too easily at the moment so they have been doing really well. Scoring goals and playing some good stuff.”

“Last night was our sixth match in 22 days, ten points on the board, I would have liked a couple more, but you know we are probably only two or three points behind where I would have liked us to have been. Anyway, once we have got all the catch-ups out of the way which basically we have now, and we’ve got FFA Cup next week, then we should settle down into a normal routine.”

Anthony Richards (Lakes)

“We are really excited. Maitland to their credit have turned it into an old boys’ day because I think we’ve got more Maitland players than what they have got. They’ve turned it into a community day, so they should get a good ground, so we’re really excited about it.”

“I’m guessing the boys enjoyed ANZAC Day. I saw Corey Fletcher, he was in a two-up ring tossing coins so he’s practising to be captain, I think, for the weekend. I think that was the whole idea! But, our guys are good to go. The week off came at a great time for us, we were able to freshen up and go again, so it’s been terrific for us.”

Key: Home Ground Advantage? Maitland have won just four of their last 17 matches at Cooks Square Park. Can they make it two wins in a row at Windy Hill?

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