NPL Northern NSW Round 3 Review
PHOTO: SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS
Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic 2 (Majurovski 45+1’, J. Virgili 85’) def. by Edgeworth Eagles 3 (Jackson 20’, Cawley 57’, Ifield OG 89’)
Sunday 1st April, 2:30 pm at Magic Park
It was the second week running Broadmeadow have hosted one of the league’s heavyweights, and the second week running that the sides on display have produced a magnificent spectacle.
Edgeworth had question marks over their heads following a poor Heritage Cup and defeat in the first round, but did more than enough to silence the critics and show the competition they’re still a force to be reckoned with.
They started the stronger of the two sides, controlling possession and field position and it didn’t take long for them to capitalise.
Dylan Holz received the ball on the left-hand side and took a while to dig it out from underneath himself. Once he did though, it was cut back across the box – Daniel McBreen miscued it, but it fell nicely for Tyson Jackson who scored his first goal in Edgeworth colours.
They continued to control the match, but Magic would pinch one back just before half-time through a fairly simple yet effective piece of play. Matt Hoole threaded a nice ball through the line to Justin Broadley, who squared it up for John Majurovski. He made no mistake from right in front to score his first goal for Magic in the league since 2007.
Broadmeadow could have gone ahead shortly after the break, with James Virgili having two chances from close range which went either side of each post. Adam Cawley also had a good chance early but would make the most of another shortly after.
Crawley received the ball from the backline in the 57th minute and found himself free of Luke Virgili in the Magic defence. Cawley put his boot through it and finished high into the net beyond Paul Bitz to make it 2-1.
The game fired up a little, as old foes and rivalries began to show themselves as the match wore on. The introduction of Aaron Oppedisano fired things up, as he came out ready to niggle Magic.
The nature of the match led to some brilliant end-to-end action, which slowly turned Magic’s way as they searched for a goal and injected some pace in the form of Jacob Dowse.
It was Virgili who’d find the breakthrough though – in the afters of a Hoole free kick, who had two shots. The first would find McBreen, but the second was a coolly placed finish into the corner of the net which levelled up the scores in the 85th minute, and it looked like we were headed towards a sharing of the points.
Disaster struck for Magic just minutes from full-time, though. Edgeworth, who looked somewhere between ready to go for it and reluctant to potentially concede their lead late like they did against Lambton, made inroads forward down the left-hand side.
It came out nicely to substitute Will Bower, who drilled a ball in from the left to a six-yard box devoid of Edgeworth attackers. Paul Ifield dove in to attempt to clear the danger, but couldn’t do anything but steer his clearance high into his own net to make it 3-2.
Edgeworth stole the three points in the end after dominating much of the match, and it’ll be a result that they and coach Damien Zane will be delighted with.
Maitland Magpies 9 (M. Thompson PEN 3’, PEN 31’, Comerford 5’, 6’, J. Thompson 49’, 51’, Dutton-Black 62’, Clarke 82’, Fayers 90+2’) def. Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Duncan 23’)
Friday 30th March, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park
It was a very Good Friday for Maitland, who put Adamstown to the sword and equalled the largest winning margin since the formation of the NPL NNSW back in 2014.
It was an explosive start which got the Magpies on their way, but their ability to maintain the rage in coach Michael Bolch’s first game in the dugout helped them to the huge win.
A penalty in the second minute of play got the goals underway after Matt Thompson was brought down inside the area by Oliver Davies. Thompson dispatched the spot kick to put the home side ahead.
The second came just two minutes later and earned goalkeeper Matt Trott a rare assist. He played the free kick from deep inside his own half in the direction of winger Matt Comerford, who let the ball bounce and then hit a Tim Cahill-esque volley over the arms of Adamstown keeper Isaac Terry to make it two.
Just a minute later, Comerford would push the advantage out to three. He was the recipient of a ball over from the right courtesy of Ryan Clarke and finished with his left foot for his second of the day.
Judd Duncan would pull one back and give Adamstown a sniff just prior to the drinks break, with a stunning strike from outside the area in the 23rd minute.
Matt Thompson would get his second from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark. Rosebud captain Ben Higgins brought down Ryan Clarke inside the area, and the score was 4-1 shortly after.
It was nearly five just a couple of minutes after half-time, but Isaac Terry produced a ripper save from a close-range Clarke shot. Maitland wouldn’t be held out for long though – Clarke raced down the right-hand side and gave James Thompson the easiest of finishes at the back post.
Thompson got his second to put the nail in the Adamstown coffin just two minutes later as he received a ball from an onrushing Matt Thompson and finished across Terry.
Josh Dutton-Black got in on the act in the 62nd minute to make it 7-1, and Ryan Clarke snuck in a goal of his own in the 82nd minute to make it eight.
Substitute Chris Fayers managed to score a goal of his own after being set up nicely by Alex Read and made it nine in injury time, putting the icing on the cake for Maitland.
Lake Macquarie City 0 def. by Charlestown City Blues 1 (Milicevic 48’)
Friday 30th March, 2:30 pm at Macquarie Field
Charlestown maintained their lead at the top of the ladder thanks to a lone Ljubo Milicevic lob which condemned Lakes to their third loss of the season.
It was centre-back Milicevic’s first goal for over a year, his last came in a 5-1 win for Dandenong City against Nunawading City back in March last year.
Both sides were disrupted by injury in the first half, with Kane Goodchild heading off early due to a hamstring complaint. He was replaced by former Cooks Hill man Cal Lewis.
Just before half-time, Harry Lane went down after appearing to jolt his knee while chasing a Blues attacker. Anthony Carter came on in his place.
On the other side of half-time, Charlestown made the breakthrough via Milicevic. He received the ball just outside the area in the afters of a corner, and a ball which looked to be sent back into the mixer somehow found it’s way in and put the Blues ahead.
Lakes looked much better going forward this weekend than they have in the two previous but were unable to find a way through a strong Charlestown defence and the Blues won their third on the trot.
Hamilton Olympic 2 (Papas 62’, Cooper 84’) drew Valentine Phoenix 2 (Wood 12’, 20’)
Friday 30th March, 6 pm at Darling Street Oval
After a mixed bag for Hamilton and bad news for Valentine in the opening weeks of the campaign, each needed a positive result on Good Friday.
Each side will feel aggrieved not to have taken all three points from this clash, but all things considered will no doubt be content with one.
It was the visitors who started strongest, in fact, they carried a two-goal lead into half-time after a twenty-minute Joel Wood clinic.
The first of Wood’s double came in the 12th minute. Aaron Niyonkuru had a shot from inside the area, which Hamilton goalkeeper Tyler Warren wasn’t able to collect. It fell to Wood, who managed to slam home from a tight angle and put Phoenix ahead.
Eight minutes later, and Wood doubled the lead. He was set on his way by a pinpoint ball from the back courtesy of Reece Pettit and finished with a little dink over Warren to make it 2-0.
Hamilton needed a response, and Simon Mooney was subbed on after the half-time break to help do just that. It took fifteen minutes for the breakthrough to come through, despite the home side wresting control of the match.
It was a stunning free kick from ten yards outside the area which did the damage – Reece Papas doing superbly to get the ball over the wall and back down into the top corner of the net to cut Valentine’s margin in half.
Just five minutes later and Olympic were in again after a stunning Jake McGuinness hit nestled in the back of the net – but the whistle had already gone for a Hamilton free kick on the edge of the area, despite howls of protest for advantage by those around the ground. The resulting free kick from Papas went well over the bar.
Each side pushed, but ultimately it was Hamilton who managed another goal. This time it was Rhys Cooper who unleashed a superb chip which did Scott Carter all ends up, and made the scores 2-all.
Hamilton had the better of the chances in the final ten minutes, as they hit the right post, crossbar, and sent one flying past the left post. Ultimately, the two sides had to settle for a share of the points.
Lambton Jaffas 4 (R. Griffiths 15’, 40’, J. Griffiths 52’, 72’) def. Weston Bears 1 (Hurley 54’)
Saturday 31st March, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval
It was a different type of challenge for Jaffas this weekend after facing two of the league’s heavyweights in the past fortnight.
They stepped up to the plate though, with the class of the Griffiths boys, in particular, playing a big part in slicing open Weston and securing Lambton’s second win of the season.
Ryan Griffiths opened the scoring just fifteen minutes in, playing off the shoulder of Jordan Jackson he received the ball from brother Joel and made no mistake in giving his side an early lead.
They’d strike again just before half-time, and again it was Joel assisting Ryan. This time the ball came in from the right-hand side courtesy of Joel, who was played in nicely by Marcus Duncan. The cut-back from Joel found Ryan, and he scored his second.
Just seven minutes into the second half, and the Jaffas were in again. Marcus Duncan played a big role in the second goal, but even more so in this one as his ball into the middle deflected high off a Weston player. Joel Griffiths was on hand, uncontested to turn in the afters and make it three.
Weston did pinch one back soon after though, through a nice bit of interplay between Chris Hurley and Max Foster. The former played a 1-2 with Foster and played a nice little chip over Brad Swancott to make it 3-1.
Ryan Griffiths would turn provider in the 72nd minute, sending a floating ball over from the left-hand side. Joel Griffiths found himself on the end of it, heading in to make it 4-1 and ensure the three points were Lambton’s.
Newcastle Jets Youth had the bye