Broadmeadow coach Damian Zane says it will take a team effort in defence on Wednesday night to do what most sides have failed to accomplish this season - stop Maitland's dynamic duo of Braedyn Crowley and James Thompson.
And his young backline has given him reason to believe they can get the job done in the Australia Cup clash at Cooks Square Park.
The in-form, top-three NPL teams face off for a spot in the national round of 32 draw and the three leading NPL scorers this season will be in action.
Broadmeadow striker Jacob Dowse has been a revelation, scoring 11 of Magic's 32 goals. However, the Magpies' twin threat of Crowley (17 goals) and Thompson (8) has been seemingly unstoppable, banging in 25 of the team's 31 goals, and regularly setting up each other.
Magic have been the only team to lower Maitland's colours, winning 3-1 at Cooks Square Park in round seven. Crowley and Thompson were kept scoreless that day and a repeat will go a long way to another victory.
"I don't think you can leave it up to certain players, it's got to be a team effort," Zane said of stopping the Maitland pair.
"And it's one hell of an effort and we know we won up there earlier this year, but we put in one hell of a shift as well. It took a lot out of us.
"If you look to man mark them, you are putting a lot of pressure on individuals against good players, so it's got to be a team effort to shut down the source of where they are getting the ball and actually shutting them down also, because they are just a constant threat."
Magic have one of the best defences in the NPL, conceding only 10 goals in 11 games, despite the loss of backline starters Matt Hoole and Luke Virgili (Jaffas) this year.
The likes of young skipper Jeremy Wilson, Jordan Jackson, Jake Harris, Ryan Ensor, Tom Beecham and Aaron Oppedisano have stepped up for Broadmeadow.
"When you look at the turnover of players, they have been way ahead of even where I thought they would be," Zane said of his defence. "The amount of chances we've given up is minimal and they've been fantastic."
Harris (thigh injury) and Jackson (suspension) missed their 3-1 win over Coffs City last round but they return against Maitland. Sam Donnellan (tonsils out) could also be back, but Keanu Moore (away) remains unavailable. Ben McNamara, who debuted against Coffs City, will be in goals again.
"The communication side that he brings, obviously as an experienced keeper, that will hopefully just add to that defence," Zane said.
Coach Mick Bolch said Maitland had come through the eventually abandoned match with Adamstown on Saturday unscathed and were full strength for the cup.
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