NPL Northern NSW Round 18 Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS

 QUENTIN CONNERS 

 

Match of the Round

Hamilton Olympic 0 drew with Maitland Magpies 0

Sunday 22nd July, 2:30pm at Darling Street Oval

A win for either side would have gone a long way to securing a top four finish but instead, no goals were able to be scored in what was a tense, tied battle that saw defence reign supreme in Michael Bolche’s return to Darling St. Oval.

Both sides were missing some key men as Hamilton’s Simon Mooney and Jed Hornery, as well as Maitland’s Matt Thompson, Matt Comerford and Ryan Clarke, were all out for this fixture and it seemed to be the offence that was lacking in the early parts.

Neither side were able to gain the momentum and win the battle in the midfield with both looking nervous and cagey to press too far forward.

The first major moment in the game came from an Olympic corner in the 30th minute. The ball was crossed into the box and after being cleared out from the Maitland defence, the referee stopped play and it looked as though a penalty was about to be awarded, however, after a quick discussion with his linesman, the play was waved away.

Minutes later, Hamilton went close to breaking the deadlock when a Leo Bertos cross found a flicked header from Jacob Bailey onto Scott Petit’s head who’s shot smacked into the crossbar and out for a goalkick.

Maitland had a golden chance to score just before half time, but Tom Duggan’s shot sailed over the crossbar and didn’t trouble Daniel Eisenhauer in goals.

However, one moment that did worry Hamilton’s man between in the sticks was early in the second half when he was caught out after being beaten by Magpies’ veteran Andrew Swan, who then cut the ball across the goal looking for a teammate. It beat Tom Duggan’s foot, but fell for Louis Townsend but his shot was blocked by an incoming defender.

With minutes to go in the match, Olympic looked set to take the lead when a brilliant run from Jarryd Sutherland saw a cut-back land in front of goal for stalward Rhys Cooper, but his shot was saved by Matt Trott, and it proved to be the last opportunity for either side in the match.

Hamilton Olympic coach Pete McGuinness praised his side for their ability to play at a high level despite the large amount of games they’ve played in recent weeks.

“I felt the boys gave a massive effort after a very busy couple of weeks,” McGuinness said.

“We created a few really good opportunities to score but just couldn’t convert those chances.

“The game was very stop-start and didn’t really have a flow to it which suited them [Maitland].

“It was a clean sheet though so that’s something to take into next week.”

 

Lake Macquarie City Roosters 3 (Sam Walker 39’, 45’, Mitch Hunter 80’) def. by Newcastle Jets Youth 4 (Cai Tipaldo 2’, Yerasimakis Petratos 18’ PEN, 56’, Josh Cairelli 82’)

Saturday 21st July, 2:30pm at Macquarie Field

Despite being unable to feature in the Northern NSW NPL finals, the Newcastle Jets Youth side have continued to find successful results, this time over Lake Macquarie in a high-scoring, offensive affair.

The young Jets started the game well quickly and it took less than two minutes for them to find a way past the Roosters’ defence when Cai Tipaldo latched onto a low-crossed ball to blast it past Stuart Plant in goals.

Jets Youth continued to find their way into the home side’s box and after being brought down and awarded a penalty, Yerasimakis Petratos made no mistakes from the spot, doubling his team’s lead in the process.

However, as he so often does for Lakes, captain Sam Walker stepped up nabbing two goals in quick succession with minutes remaining in the first half to equalise the score-line as the two sides headed into the sheds.

As it was in the first half, the Jets Youth side continued to lob on the pressure, and some slick footwork from Petratos saw him grab a second midway through the half.

Lake Macquarie’s Mitch Hunter found an equaliser with a chipped-volley effort, but it was short lived as Jets substitute Josh Cairelli popped up just minutes later to slot home a one-on-one goal to give his side a late victory.

Lake Macquarie coach Nick Webb stated he was disappointed with his team’s defence.

“Our team created numerous opportunities again and the score could have been 9-all,” Webb said.

“But we have to be better at our defensive structure.”

 

Valentine Phoenix 0 def. by Broadmeadow Magic 5 (Kale Bradbury 24’, 27’, James Virgili 45+2’, 90+2’, Josh Piddington 60’)

Sunday 22nd July, 2:30pm at CB Complex

It’s been eight years since Valentine conjured a victory against Broadmeadow and that trend is set to continue following a terrible home-loss at the hands of the Magicians that now sits them on the verge of winning the dreaded wooden spoon.

Magic’s wide men Kale Bradbery and James Virgili are two names that have featured multiple times in the NNSW NPL Team of the Week, as well as sitting near atop of the Golden Boot tally, and they were both the stars once again as they both grabbed impressive doubles.

Bradbery’s two goals came early in the first half – the first coming from close-range after some great wing-work by James Virgili, and the second followed a one-on-one effort just minutes after his first.

Broadmeadow kept the pressure on the cellar dwellers and were able to find another on the stroke of half-time through James Virgili, who found himself in behind the defence after a terrific ball from his fellow winger Bradbery.

The second half opened in similar fashion to the first with Magic controlling the tempo, and it seemed a fourth goal was destined to take place when Bradbery jumped onto a Phoenix defensive error however, some last-ditched defending from Valentine youngster Wilson Edwards kept them at bay momentarily.

Minutes later, a Broadmeadow free-kick taken from near the sideline was whipped onto the back post by Matthew Hoole and after an initial touch from Valentine keeper Perry Budden, fell for the visiting captain Josh Piddington, who slotted it easily.

Valentine’s awful day was capped off when James Virgili knocked home his second right at the death to sound off a 5-0 drubbing.

The victory now sees Broadmeadow move into second place ahead of Lambton Jaffas however, they have their bye next weekend, while Valentine remain stuck to the bottom of the table, eight points away Lake Macquarie City.


Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Fin Beasley 87’ PEN) def. by Weston Bears 2 (Chris Hurley 2’, Nathan Morris 18’ PEN) 

Sunday 22nd July, 2:30pm at Adamstown Oval

Both Adamstown and Weston entered this match needing a victory for any thread of a chance to play in the finals series, however, it was the visiting Bears who held on for the win, extending the Rosebud’s winless streak to eight weeks.

It took just over sixty seconds for Weston to take the lead as a nicely worked play down the right edge resulted in Chris Hurley banging the ball in from outside the box to open the scoring in style.

It was only fifteen minutes later when Weston received another golden opportunity to score after Jackson Burston’s header was ruled to have been illegally redirected from an Adamstown defender’s hand.

Club veteran Nathan Morris stepped up to the spot, and coolly knocked it past Domonic Fox in goals to double the Bears’ lead, and matters only seem to worsen from there for the hosts.

Despite winning the throw-in following a strong battle with Hurley, Adamstown’s Robbie Turnbull was shown a straight red card after the referee deemed Turnbull to have deliberately fallen on top of Hurley, leaving his team to play the remaining 70 minutes with a man down.

The Rosebuds continued to push on looking to work their way back into the contest, and late on they received a penalty of their own that was knocked home by in-form man Fin Beasley.

Despite a late burst of resurgence, Adamstown were unable to find an equalising goal, and Weston took all three points.

Adamstown coach Shane Cansdell-Sheriff said he was pleased with how his team continued to press on despite being a man down for much of the match.

“The attitude and determination the boys showed to stand up and fight in the second half was incredible given the lack of experience amongst our team,” Cansdell-Sheriff said.

“We dominated the second half and even scored a goal despite the player down.

“The character our team is showing week in, week out, despite all the barriers being thrown in front us, is fantastic.

“I look forward to the day when the tide changes because we will hurt teams.”

 

Charlestown City Blues 0 def. by Edgeworth Eagles 2 (Own Goal 8’, Daniel McBreen 66’)

Sunday 22nd July, 2:30pm at Lisle Carr Oval

Edgeworth have taken one step closer to an incredible fourth consecutive premiership after defeating Charlestown City away from home in quite convincing fashion.

Charlestown headed into this match having only won one match from their past seven outings, as well as having conceded 16 goals from those games and as a result, their spot in the finals is certainly at risk. Anything but a victory would be a failure for the Blues, and with the way the contest began, they would be facing an uphill battle.

A free-kick to the Eagles saw in-form midfielder Adam Cawley lob the ball into the box, finding the head of a Charlestown defender who agonisingly tucked it away inside the right upright to gift the first goal for the league-leaders.

In response, Charlestown looked to kick up a gear and their focus was to get balls into the box to challenge the Edgeworth defence. Few of those crosses lead to any major opportunities that goalkeeper Josh Low and his back four couldn’t handle, and Edgeworth lead as the two teams headed in for the break.

Funnily enough though, in the second half, it would be the visitors who would find the back of the net courtesy from a crossed ball.

With twenty five minutes to go in the game, a swirling corner saw former Hyundai A-League Golden Boot winner Daniel McBreen rise above the pack, and successfully head the ball past Blues’ keeper Jim Forgarty in goals.

The win now sees the Eagles move four points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand of Broadmeadow behind them, while for Charlestown, after experiencing a great run to begin the year, they now sit four points outside of the top four and their hopes of returning to the finals for the first time since 2014 look bleaker each week as it nears.

Edgeworth coach Damian Zane said that despite the victory, he wasn’t all that pleased with his team’s performance.

“I’m happy with the result but it wasn’t one of our best performances,” said Zane.

“We lacked a bit of composure in possession but I’m happy with the way we continued to battle along even though we weren’t playing out best and that has become a trait of ours.

“One of the plus sides is that we got some game time into a few players that needed it.

“I’m happy to get the three points and keep a clean sheet which helps to move on to next week.”

 

Lambton Jaffas had the bye.




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