Newcastle Olympic v Adamstown Rosebud
Darling Street Oval – Saturday 5pm
Newcastle Olympic will play cross-town rivals Adamstown Rosebud at Darling Street Oval on Saturday.
After suffering a 3-1 loss to Edgeworth in round 11, Olympic had the bye last round and will feel refreshed heading into a must-win game.
Newcastle are fifth and a win would almost certainly cement their finals place. The side have 17 points with Charlestown Azzurri and Weston not far behind.
Adamstown has endured a difficult season having not registered a win since the opening round but have climbed above Lake Macquarie in the battle to avoid a last-placed finish.
The side showed tremendous fighting spirit to come from behind twice to earn a draw against Valentine last round, which included a 90th minute equaliser.
A Dino Fajkovic special was the sole difference between the two sides the last time they met, with Olympic winning 1-0.
Interim coach Alex Tagaroulias said his side would not take the Rosebuds lightly.
“We can’t underestimate Adamstown. I remember the last game, it was a battle and I know what they’re capable of as well,” Tagaroulias said.
“I’m hoping to see [my team] apply themselves as they have done the whole season. If they do that, we’re a good chance of getting the result we need.
“It’s now become all about the result, so we just have to give it our best effort. We’re getting some bodies back, so we’ve got some selection headaches coming up.”
Charlestown Azzurri v Broadmeadow Magic
Lisle Carr Oval – Sunday 2.30pm
Charlestown Azzurri will host Broadmeadow in a highly-anticipated Match of the Round between two in-form teams.
Charlestown sits just outside the top five in sixth and will view this game as a golden chance to earn a spot in the finals with two games to play.
It will be no easy task to beat Broadmeadow who have won their last three games and are well rested after the bye last round.
Magic have locked up second spot and are still alive in the premiership hunt, although only a victory will suffice to put them within two points of Edgeworth heading into the final round.
Broadmeadow’s last outing was a 3-2 win over Lake Macquarie while Azzurri beat Weston 1-0.
Magic also defeated Charlestown earlier in the year with a 3-1 victory although Broadmeadow coach Anthony Richards is wary of a different prospect this time around.
“They are the form side at the moment. They’ve got some terrific young players around some well-hardened senior players so it’s working well for them,” Richards said.
“There is still light at the end of the tunnel for us [in terms of winning the premiership]. We’ll have a go and we can’t die wondering so we’ll be doing our best to get three points this weekend.
“The bye come at a perfect time for us, we had some boys with injuries and we’ll get them back now which is great.”
Weston Workers v Lake Macquarie City
Rockwell Automation Park – Saturday 5.30pm
Weston will aim to keep their season alive when they take on Lake Macquarie at Rockwell Automation Park on Saturday.
The Bears have a slim chance of making the finals with Weston on 15 points, two points away from the five but this will be Weston’s last game of the regular season.
Only a win would keep Weston alive after the Bears were beaten 1-0 by Charlestown Azzurri last start in a demoralising result.
Lake Macquarie will look to finish the year on a high after a tough campaign with only one win to their name.
The Roosters were beaten 3-0 by Lambton last start and will be out to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Weston downed the Roosters 3-1 earlier in the season and will be aiming for a similar result on Saturday night.
Valentine FC v Maitland FC
CB Complex – Sunday 2.30pm
Valentine will take on Maitland at CB Complex with the Magpies gunning for another finals appearance.
Maitland defeated top of the table Edgeworth 2-1 last start with an incredible comeback in the dying stages to rise to third.
A win over Valentine for the Magpies would move them onto 22 points and significantly boost their chances of finishing in the top five, although Maitland have the bye next round.
Valentine still remain a mathematical chance to play finals football but will need to win their remaining games and hope teams above them falter.
The Phoenix were denied a win at the death by Adamstown last round leaving Adamstown Oval with a draw.
With both teams requiring the three points, expect an intense affair with plenty of action.
Edgeworth Eagles and Lambton