Talking Points: Round 8

Declan Payne

Valentine finally find three points, Weston searching for something

It took seven matches and eight rounds but Valentine finally have a win under their belts after doing it the hard way against Weston. 

Phoenix went down in the first minute but clawed their way back in superbly, leading comfortably at 3-1 with fifteen minutes to go before being forced to fight for it and edging it 4-3. 

Valentine captain Reece Pettit had a good week with a goal in the FFA Cup win over Dudley, and then two over Weston to ensure his side moved off the bottom of the ladder. 

An early lead may have given Weston hope they would be able to go on with it and get their first win since round four, but it wasn’t to be. 

They were without a number of players at the weekend, with Josh Maguire and Max Foster missing while Kew Jaliens remains out. The signing of Kamon Bol and a second appearance for Liam O’Reilly adds some much needed depth.

 

Jets Youth edged out, Lambton back in the winners’ circle

Level pegging with the top four was on offer, but Jets Youth had to be content with remaining three points adrift after going down to a resurgent Jaffas on Saturday.

 Noah James earned praise once more, the young keeper putting in a solid shift between the sticks to keep Lambton’s tally to two after he was denied a spot on the bench for the A-League decider. 

It’s a busy week ahead for Jets Youth, who have to contend with three league matches in eight days. They play Weston in a round ten fixture which has been brought forward to Wednesday night, and Magic on Sunday afternoon. 

A huge 11-0 win in the FFA Cup would have imbued Lambton with confidence after the bye and without a win in a number of weeks, a tight victory over a tough Jets side a perfect way to kick their season back into gear. 

Despite a slightly barren run, Jaffas remain only a point off the top four. The second best defence in the competition so far will provide them with a good platform from which they’ll hope to launch their offensive on the finals spots in the coming weeks.

 

Olympic pinch it, Lakes rue their luck

After four losses to a single goal margin in just seven games this season, Hamilton will be delighted to have broken their way back into the winners’ circle with a similar victory for themselves. 

Simon Mooney was on fire with a well-taken first half hat-trick, which helped Hamilton to their first win on home soil in the league this season. 

A side which has traditionally competed for silverware and finished second last season, Hamilton know they need to get going if they’re to realise those ambitions this season. Lambton next weekend will be a big test.

The narrowest of defeats in a tit-for-tat battle, Lakes will be left ruing what could have been after a controversial penalty midway through the second half condemned them to their second league defeat in a row. 

Perhaps worryingly for Nick Webb’s side is the fact they’ve conceded nine goals in their past two league matches. A midweek clean sheet against Maitland in the FFA Cup will give the side some confidence in that respect, though.

 

Adamstown shock the competition, Charlestown lose their grip on first

Charlestown coach David Tanchevski said before this clash that anyone can beat anyone on their day in the NPL NNSW, and Adamstown proved him right as ninth beat first. 

A double from Connor Heydon shot him to fourth in the goalscoring ranks and more crucially has set Adamstown on a good run of form – it’s the first time they’ve won three in a row (including the midweek FFA Cup win) since a run which reached across the 2015/16 seasons. 

Maintaining it looks a tall task with Edgeworth on the agenda for next weekend, but they’re likely to fly under the radar for that match once again and Rosebud might just draw confidence from that. 

First since round two, Charlestown has been knocked off the top and inadvertently closed the gap which they’d slowly begun to stretch out with those five wins in a row in their first five matches. 

They’ve only one more match before the bye, and with a couple of injuries among their ranks Charlestown will want to ensure they get the three points against Valentine and go into that bye as winners.    

 

Maitland stay inside the four, Edgeworth jump to first

The chance to jump into first was there for the taking, but Maitland was unable to take advantage as they were narrowly beat by a resurgent Edgeworth side. 

Ryan Clarke’s goal was the highlight of the match for them and a display of just the type of individual talents Maitland has within their ranks. 

The goal ensures Maitland has scored in every league match so far this season, and with 18 goals under the belt means they’re the equal most potent side in the competition. 

They’ve played one less match than second place but scored two goals more and Edgeworth rightly sit at the top of the heap with a seven match unbeaten run in all competitions on their side. 

Josh Rose has added more experience to the Edgeworth side, with coach Damien Zane claiming the boost that his signing has provided was evident from the outset at training on Friday night. 




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