NPL Northern NSW Round 20 Review
Match of the Round
Hamilton Olympic 1 (Sutherland 90’) drew Lambton Jaffas 1 (Kantarovski 28’)
Sunday 5th August, 2:30 pm at Darling Street Oval
A goal just moments from the end of normal time, from a man off the bench making his return from injury, may have just kept Hamilton’s season alive.
Although they’ve slipped down a place on the ladder, Olympic is still in it after Jarryd Sutherland’s magnificent 90th-minute strike rescued them one of the most valuable points of their season.
Michael Kantarovski opened the scoring after he won a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. Braedyn Crowley whipped the ball in, and Kantarovski nodded it on to give the visitors the advantage.
Crowley almost made it a second just minutes later, but his shot dribbled agonisingly wide of the post. Blake Green almost levelled things up at the other end shortly after, but a fantastic double save from Brad Swancott kept Lambton in front.
It was chance-a-minute stuff, with Crowley unable to beat Tyler Warren from almost six yards out and then firing a shot high and wide after being fed by Ben Hay.
Jarryd Sutherland thought he might have had a penalty in the 70th minute when he came together with Ridge Mapu in the box but the referee didn’t agree – the Hamilton youngster was shown a yellow card for simulation.
Sutherland had what looked a stronger shout for a penalty waved away again as the match wound down but in the 90th minute, the youngster had the last laugh.
He seized on Liam O’Dell’s mistake at the back, weaved a wavy path from halfway to the opposition 18-yard-box, and finished superbly to ensure the points were shared.
Olympic coach Peter McGuinness was pleased with the way his side played.
“Performance-wise, really happy. We worked hard without the ball and were quite good with it, created a few chances,” said McGuinness.
“They [Lambton] created chances of their own, and it was a pretty high-standard game.
“Like I said last week, we can only do what we can do. It was good that the result on the other side of the coin [Lakes 1-1 draw with Maitland] went our way, and our goal was one I think we deserved.
“We had the lions share of possession in the second half, they were hard to break down and I think we deserved an equaliser.”
With a number of players who had to fight to be fit this weekend, it will be welcome news to Hamilton fans that there’s no bad news on the injury front.
“Jarryd [Sutherland] is still working his way back to full fitness but he’s okay, Jed [Hornery] was on the bench but I didn’t use him because he hasn’t completed a full week of training yet, and Stuey [Musalik] is still working his way back to full fitness,” said McGuinness.
“Everybody is doing okay; we didn’t pick up any knocks out of the game which is good.”
The result saw Hamilton slip to sixth on the ladder, but still just one point off Maitland. Things are out of their hands, and they simply must win if they’re any hope of clawing into the top four.
“If yesterday is anything to go by, I think if we start playing games with the intensity we had in the first half, we can compete with every team in this competition whether they sit at the top or the bottom.”
Maitland Magpies 1 (Swan 48’) drew Lake Macquarie City 1 (Hunter 87’)
Sunday 5th August, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park
So often this season, Lake Macquarie has come undone thanks to a late goal or a lapse in concentration which has seen them surrender points in the most frustrating of fashions.
On Sunday, three games from calling full-time on 2018, they snagged a late equaliser of their own to virtually guarantee they’ll avoid bottom spot – and have a huge impact on the race to the top four.
Andrew Swan had a good chance to open the scoring in the first half but fired his shot from close range well over the bar in what was perhaps the half’s big chance.
He more than made up for it shortly after the break though, heading home a Matt Thompson corner to give the home side the advantage in the 48th minute.
A looping header just minutes from full-time earned Lakes a hard-fought point though.
An incredible long-ball from the backline was met by the head of Mitch Hunter, and Matt Trott could do little but watch it go over his head and into the back of the net.
With Hamilton’s point at home and Charlestown’s three at Valentine, it means there is now just one point between Maitland in fourth and Hamilton in sixth. If Newcastle Jets Youth wins on Tuesday night, there’ll be two points between fourth and seventh.
For Lakes, that win means they’re now six points off last place Valentine and 18 goals better off. They play the top two, Edgeworth and Lambton, in the final two rounds.
Valentine Phoenix 0 def. by Charlestown City Blues 4 (Goodchild 33’, 66’, 84’, Lewis 88’)
Sunday 5th August, 2:30 pm at CB Complex
It’s been a long season for Kane Goodchild after the 2017 Golden Boot winner spent so long on the sideline with an injury.
Some of that torment may have just been forgotten this Sunday when he scored a brilliant hat-trick to keep Charlestown’s finals hopes alive.
His first was a tricky yet confident finish, chipping it over an onrushing Perry Budden before finishing into an empty net in the 33rd minute to give Charlestown the half-time lead.
Valentine thought the had a penalty in the 44th minute when Tom Motherway was brought down, but it was ruled by the officials to have happened just outside the box. Josh Carroll’s free-kick went straight into the defensive wall.
Goodchild’s second wasn’t as pretty as his first, but it was all the more decisive. Twenty minutes after the resumption of the second half, Budden failed to deal with a ball in and knocked it straight at Goodchild’s feet.
Not the kind of player to make a mistake from that close in front, the Charlestown striker buried his chance and doubled the Blues’ advantage.
Joel Wood almost had a chance shortly after Goodchild’s second to get Valentine back into the lead, but his touch let him down.
To put the icing on the cake for his day though, was Goodchild. In the 84th minute, he seized on a long ball from captain Matt Tull and put a chip over Budden. Rather than chasing this one down though, he watched it bounce once and into the top of the net to complete his hat-trick.
It was a former Valentine man who helped set up the fourth and final of Charlestown’s goals. Rene Ferguson’s ball over the top found Aden Gardner, who looked set to shoot himself. Instead, he squared to Cal Lewis who fired home.
Charlestown coach David Tanchesvki was pleased with his side seeing out the full ninety minutes.
“The performance from the boys was good, we were a bit worried in the middle of the game with some tired legs out there,” said Tanchevski.
“It helped having guys out there like Matt Tull and Pete McPherson back in the side after having a rest, and I thought we come home a lot stronger than what I expected.
“It was good [to see Goodchild get a hat-trick], he works really hard and we were disappointed for him with the injury he got earlier in the season. He worked really hard in the off-season to get fit and it’s probably the fittest I’d seen him at the start of the year.
“We’ve lacked scoring goals this season, we haven’t scored as many as we’d have liked, not having him has been a big contributor to that. Watching that match shows what he can do, he’s not back at full fitness yet… but he’s still one of the most dangerous strikers in the comp.”
It’s a win which moves them up to fifth on the ladder, equal on points with Maitland in fourth but with the bye next weekend. Tanchevski believes it’s come at a welcome, if not unfortunate, time.
“We’re looking forward to the bye, we’ve played so many games recently and we’ve still got a few injuries there so we’re really looking forward to the game off,” said Tanchevski.
“I don’t know if we’ll travel to any of the games [next weekend] but we’ll be interested in results. We’ll focus on ourselves which is what we’ve done all year, but the results are out of our hands.
“If they go our way we could go into the final week fighting for a semi-finals spot, but it certainly could be over this weekend depending on results.
“The Magic-Olympic and the Jaffas-Maitland game are the two results which matter to us, so we’ll keep an eye on them and hope they go in our favour.”
Adamstown Rosebud 0 def. by Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Cawley 90+2’)
Sunday 5th August, 2:30 pm at Adamstown Oval
Late goals were the flavour of the round, and things were no different at Adamstown Oval.
Five minutes from time, it looked like the race for the premiership may have been wide open with Edgeworth locked at 0-0 with Adamstown and Lambton ahead at Hamilton.
What five minutes it was, though. Hamilton denying Lambton all three points, and Adam Cawley stepping up to score an incredibly important goal which all but keeps the premiership in Edgeworth’s hands.
The Eagles almost opened the scoring in the 54th minute when Josh Rose let off a shot from some way out, but an Adamstown touch sent it out for a corner. Dominic Fox made a good save in the 68th minute to deny Bailey Garland.
Adamstown had a good chance in the 72nd minute after Finn Beasley found Nicholas Wright on the edge of the area, but he wasn’t able to get his shot as accurate as he’d have liked.
Daniel McBreen and Bailey Garland both had good chances as the match began to draw to a close, but neither was able to break the deadlock as Edgeworth had all the chances.
In the end, it took a loose ball inside the box to separate the two teams. Adam Cawley was fastest, seizing on it, and finishing to spark delirium at Adamstown.
It’s a result which puts Edgeworth six points clear at the top, with just two games left to play. With those matches against Lakes (9th) and Valentine (11th), it looks like the Eagles have locked up their fourth successive premiership.
Broadmeadow Magic v Newcastle Jets Youth will take place on Tuesday 8th August.
Weston had the bye.