NPL Northern NSW Round 17 Review
Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Virgili 42’) drew Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Berlin 50’)
Sunday 15th July, 2:30 pm at Magic Park
Failure to pick up all three points for the second-week running has Broadmeadow Magic facing the impossible to climb back to their previous heights.
The draw with Adamstown wasn’t despite a lack of trying, with a plethora of chances but the Magic men couldn’t find that finishing touch.
For Adamstown, it’s a much-improved result given their recent run and compared to the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Broadmeadow earlier in the season.
James Virgili, on his return to the side after a week in China with the Newcastle Jets, had two early chances in the opening ten minutes but wasn’t able to find the target.
Kale Bradbury should have opened the scoring in the 18th minute but fired it well over the top, and Magic was looking red hot.
There were chances up the other end for Matt Sokulsky and Finn Beasley, but it took until just before the half-time break for either side to find the breakthrough and it was Broadmeadow who did so.
A free kick broke down, but the ball was still in around the area and it was with Kale Bradbury out on the left-hand side. He sent the ball in, and Luke Virgili hit a low shot on the volley into the bottom corner to send Magic to the sheds a goal to the good.
Four minutes after the half-time break through, Adamstown was level. Finn Beasley did all the hard work, pinching the ball, beating players and managing to lay it off to strike partner Chris Berlin. Berlin hit his shot first time, and with the help of the inside of the post, it found it’s way in.
Magic fought for a winner and had chances, Kale Bradbury nearly had one in the 79th minute and one of the two resulting corners should probably have made its way in. The home side wasn’t able to find that elusive goal, and it’d finish 1-1.
Adamstown coach Shane Cansdell-Sherriff was pleased with the result.
“I thought it was a good game, the boys did really well. Broadmeadow have been top of the table, I thought we handled it well and stopped them playing their game,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.
“We went out with a game plan and the boys executed it really well, and we were unlucky not to finish with a win. Everyone did really well but in particular, I thought the wide men, Matt Sokulsky and Finn Beasley, I thought they did really really well at driving the Magic defence back.
“I thought our two central midfielders broke up play very well, and defensively we were solid, worked hard together and did what was needed. We stopped three strong front men causing issues.”
Sat eighth on the ladder after a fairly innocuous start to the season, Adamstown are no hope of making the finals and are fairly assured of avoiding bottom spot. What they want to accomplish for the rest of the season is fairly simple.
“We want to win every game, we’ve got to build and keep working hard,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.
“We’ve come a long way, we’ve had our ups and downs but we have a very young side. Every week, we get better so it’s just a matter of building on it and building some more consistency.
“That’s been an issue for us, we’ve had a lot of bad decisions and bad luck cost us throughout the season. We lost our number one goalkeeper (Benn Kelly) on Friday night at training after having a bit of fun in the warm-up.”
Lambton Jaffas 3 (Waller 25’, Griffiths 48’, Crowley 52’) def. Valentine Phoenix 0
Saturday 14th July, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval
It’s the end of the season which results need to be forthcoming, and Lambton showed they have the ability to grind them out with a resounding win in what shaped as a tricky fixture.
With other results, it’s a win which moves them into second on the ladder and keeps them within three points of Edgeworth in the top spot. The Eagles have a game in hand.
A goal at around the midway point of the first half got things underway for Lambton, and it was Tom Waller who seized on a loose ball at the edge of the area. It didn’t look much of a shot, but it was deceptive and dribbled past Scott Carter and put the home side ahead.
A four-minute blitz shortly after half-time wrapped up the result for Lambton. Ryan Griffiths, returning from injury had a simple finish inside the six-yard box for his seventh goal of the NPL NNSW campaign.
Shortly after, Braedyn Crowley popped up for his eighth of the season and probably the best of the day. He pinched the ball from a Valentine defender, rounded Carter and finished into an empty net to put his side three goals ahead.
There were unsavoury scenes in the 71st minute after Braedyn Crowley and Scott Carter found themselves in a foot race after the ball. Carter looked certain to win it, but Crowley looked to speed past the goalkeeper after he’d relaxed.
Carter, with no eyes for the ball, put something of a shot on Crowley as he tried to make his way past and the young striker was barrelled into the advertising boards on the fence. Crowley avoided serious injury, and Carter was shown a yellow card.
Maitland Magpies 2 (Micallef 49’, Pratt 70’) def. Newcastle Jets Youth 0
Sunday 15th July, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park
Windy hill was once again living up to its name, and they were conditions which worked in Maitland’s favour.
The second half double, including a goal to debutante Justin Micallef, puts Maitland three points clear of Charlestown (whom they have a game in hand on) and five clear of Jets Youth.
Top four looks all but assured for Maitland, and a pair of tricky fixtures against Hamilton and Edgeworth in the coming fortnight should tell all.
After a fairly even first half, it took just four minutes into the second for the scoring to be opened.
It was a brilliant little header from debutante Justin Micallef, who was the beneficiary of a nice ball in from Ryan Clarke. The looping header went over Tristan Esquilant, and Micallef did his best Tim Cahill impression at the corner flag.
Jets Youth needed to get back on the scoreboard and began to go forward in search of an equaliser. They almost had it on the hour mark, but Joey O’Connor’s shot hit the side netting.
It was the visitors who had a lot of the ball and looked to be close to finding something, but a quick counter-attack put out any hope of a Jets Youth comeback down.
It was the head of Andrew Swan which began the counter-attack, the ball from youngster Tom Duggan sent Sean Pratt toward the goal. He finished inside the far post and wrapped up the win for Maitland.
Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Garland 57’) def. Hamilton Olympic 0
Sunday 15th July, 2:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval
It was a huge game for both sides, Edgeworth the chance to maintain their lead at the top of the league and Hamilton the opportunity to move closer to that top four.
The perennial premiers stepped up to the plate and with results elsewhere going their way it looks like the title may be staying at Jack McLaughlan Oval – but there’s still plenty of football to play.
Bailey Garland went close in the 16th minute with a shot which just went wide from outside the area, and a Tom Stewart header at the other end went over the top just minutes after.
Garland had Edgeworth’s first chance of the match, and he’d have their first goal too shortly after half-time. He seized on a mistake from Tyler Warren, running from deep in the Hamilton half, rounding Warren, and finishing for his third goal in as many games.
Stuart Musalik was brought from the field shortly after that goal, with Kane Treble coming on for the final half-hour in search of an equaliser.
Edgeworth had the ball in the back of the net once again in the 81st minute and Aaron McLoughlin finished the nicely worked free kick, but Daniel McBreen was offside for the initial header back across goal.
The visitors thought they must have equalised in the 90th minute when Jacob Bailey rose highest and sent his header toward goal. It looked for all money going in, but Josh Low dived low to his right and pulled off an incredible save to ensure the Eagles won the three points.
Weston Bears 3 (Subat 54’, Burston 77’, 80’) def. Charlestown City Blues 0
Sunday 15th July, 2:30 pm at Rockwell Automation Park
The Blues were down on troops at the back, but not many would have predicted the kind of result we’d see on Sunday afternoon.
It’s one which hauls Weston eight points away from the bottom of the ladder and leaves Charlestown three points adrift of Maitland in fourth, who have a game in hand.
Charlestown’s injury crisis was bad heading into this one but worsened before 15 minutes had passed when Kane Goodchild was substituted with a quad injury.
It was the only real highlight in a first half which was end-to-end, but without much action inside either penalty area. The whistle was in the referee’s mouth plenty though, with both sides penalised for fouls all over the park.
The game sprang to life after half-time though, and it was the birthday boy who opened the scoring for Weston. He rose highest for a Chris Hurley cross and headed home to give the home side the lead.
Charlestown wasn’t without their chances though, a goalmouth mix up almost saw a goal on the hour mark before a headed chance at the front post hit the upright and bounced clear shortly after.
In the 77th minute though, Weston would put the game just beyond doubt. A Charlestown clearance found the head of Cooper Buswell, who sent it back down the field. Jackson Burston was first to it, spotted Jim Fogarty off his line, and chipped him to give the Bears a two-goal buffer.
If things were just about beyond doubt after their second, they definitely were in the 80th minute. A Nathan Morris free kick was swung in, and Burston swung a leg at it. It dribbled past Fogarty and gave Burston his second of the day and Weston the three points.