NPL Northern NSW Round 21 Review
Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic 0 def. by Hamilton Olympic 3 (Pettit 5’, Broadley OG 12’, Bailey 74’)
Sunday 12th August, 2:30pm at Magic Park
A win either way would have been huge for the makeup of the ladder come the end of the weekend, and indeed next weekend.
The chances of there being a winner were high, too. Since 2008, these two sides have drawn only three times in thirty meetings.
With it all to play for though, it was Hamilton who lifted. A dream start was followed by good football throughout, and they’re still in the race.
They struck in just the fifth minute, former Magic man Scott Pettit finishing off a chance at the back post which had been created by a missed interception from current Broadmeadow midfielder Shane Paul. Leo Bertos’ ball in was precise, and Pettit’s finish was a simple one.
Bertos played the provider just minutes later as Hamilton doubled their advantage. It was a precise free kick, and Broadley was adjudged to have handballed it and the referee pointed to the spot. After consulting with his linesman, the referee instead awarded a goal as the ball had crossed the line.
John Majurovski and Kale Bradbury nearly pulled a goal back from the resulting kick-off, and the game settled as Hamilton looked happy to sit a little deeper and let Broadmeadow have the ball but were able to prevent them from doing too much with it.
Olympic had the ball in the back of the net in the 38th minute, but the linesman had his flag up.
Broadmeadow needed more in the second half, and they did start much better. Tyler Warren plucked the ball out of the air to prevent Luke Virgili from heading home in the 55th minute, and Kale Bradbury had a penalty shout waved away two minutes later.
Bradbury and Majurovski combined once more in the 61st minute and nearly set up a dream chance, but Majurovski’s touch let him down and Magic remained scoreless.
As the match wore on, Hamilton wrestled back control and looked like scoring a few more. Jarryd Sutherland proved just how exciting a talent he is in the 70th minute, with a nice turn and a nutmeg to set up another chance for Scott Pettit.
Sutherland nearly had one for himself just a few minutes later, starting from deep inside the Magic half and forcing a big save from Paul Bitz. It proved for nothing from the resulting corner though, as it fell to Jacob Bailey at the back post and he tapped home to lock up the all-too important win for Hamilton.
Adamstown Rosebud 3 (Berlin 15’, Carias-Cox 45+24’, 68’) def. Valentine Phoenix 2 (Motherway 35’, Willard 89’)
Saturday 11th August, 2:30pm at Adamstown Oval
Nothing but a win would do here for Valentine on Saturday as they fought their hardest to avoid last place.
In the end they weren’t able to find three points which have been so elusive this season, in a match which was overshadowed by a worrying knee injury to one Phoenix player.
Chris Berlin got things underway on the 15-minute mark, heading home his fourth goal of the season from a Finn Beasley cross to put the home side ahead.
Valentine pulled level just ten minutes from half-time though, when Connor Motherway pulled off a stunning chip from what looked an impossible position for his first goal of the season.
Motherway wasn’t given a chance to kick on from that outstanding goal however, as he went down after falling awkwardly just moments later. He writhed in pain and signalled immediately to the bench.
The match was delayed for more than half an hour as treatment was administered, and an ambulance arrived for Motherway. The club later revealed the youngster had suffered a dislocated knee, but wasn’t required to stay overnight at hospital.
After a lengthy delay, Adamstown wasted no time in grabbing a second goal against what could well have been a shell-shocked Phoenix outfit. It was Tom Carias-Cox who strove free of the Valentine defence, and finished well.
Carias-Cox grabbed a second goal in the 68th minute of play with a spectacular finish, beating out Valentine defender Mele Temguia and acrobatically turning the ball home to give Adamstown a two-goal advantage.
Valentine did pinch one back however, Luke Willard poking home an unusual headed goal in the 89th minute to give Valentine a sniff. They couldn’t grab the two goals needed to give themselves a shot of avoiding the spoon, and ensured it will head to CB Complex regardless of next weekend’s results.
“Did we do enough to win the game? Possibly not. But did we deserve to get beat? No, I don’t think so,” said Valentine assistant coach Sam Griffin.
“I don’t think there would be too many players from either team that would be particularly happy with the overall quality of the game, but Adamstown didn’t have to get the win so we’ve just got to accept it and move on.
“For long periods, there were times when we looked like Barcelona and there were times when we looked like Gresford Vacy Scorpions. We had plenty of chances, we had one disallowed for offside from a free-kick which would have given us 3-3 and you would have walked away thinking that was fair.”
The game was, of course, overshadowed by the horrific injury to Valentine youngster Connor Motherway which led to a lengthy delay.
“30 seconds after we restarted the game, we concede. You can’t blame the boys too much for that, they had other things on their mind at that moment,” said Griffin.
“He’s taken it a lot better than I would have and toughed it out. We did get confirmation that they had put it (his knee) back in and that he was on all the painkillers in the world and he was okay then.
“But it’s an unfortunate thing for the young kid, who’s just really starting to come good in first grade. He scored a terrific goal, and you don’t want to see it happen to anyone at any time.
“It was pretty gut-wrenching for everyone involved. I have to say, the physios from both sides were really good so I have to thank Adamstown. Emma, from our side, was terrific too.”
Lambton Jaffas 0 def. by Maitland Magpies 1 (Pratt 42’)
Saturday 11th August, 2:30pm at Arthur Edden Oval
No matter the result here on Saturday, it was one which was going to have a big impact on the way the ladder looked at the end of the weekend.
It ended up as a surprise result – a Sean Pratt goal securing Maitland their first win in seven attempts this season against sides currently in the top four.
It was a goal which came at the back-end of the first-half, and it was almost all Alex Read’s doing. He ran with the ball from inside his own half, closer to his own 18-yard-box than halfway, and charged down the pitch.
An attempted pass out to Sean Pratt was headed back to him, so Read had a shot from some distance which had Brad Swancott at full stretch to deny him.
But Pratt was on hand to blast home all of Read’s good work, and put Maitland into the lead.
Braedyn Crowley went oh-so close to drawing Lambton level just ten minutes after half-time, but his shot went agonisingly just over the crossbar.
Maitland had a good chance in the 70th minute when Brad Swancott couldn’t quite collect a Ryan Clarke shot on the first attempt, but smothered it before Sean Pratt could follow it up.
Nathan Verity rose for a header in the 74th minute but it went just wide, as Lambton began to push in search of a late equaliser. An acrobatic effort from Ryan Griffiths just minutes later went wide.
Weston Workers 2 (Bower 24, Jackson 31’) drew Newcastle Jets Youth 2 (Cairelli 57’, Morris OG 89’)
Sunday 12th August, 2:30pm at Rockwell Automation Park
Up two goals at half-time and cruising, no-one would have made too much of a fuss if Weston had gone on with it on Sunday.
Their opponents were, after all, coming into this one after a game less than five days previous. Before that, the Weifang Cup in China which had called on the young Jets to exert themselves.
Instead, showing a resilience which has perhaps eluded them a little in previous years, Newcastle lifted and fought back – an 89th minute goal pinching them a point.
It was, of course, Weston who struck first with Callum Bower rising highest from the corner to head the Bears into the lead in the 24th minute. Another set-piece paid dividends for Weston just minutes later, with Jordan Jackson on hand this time to prod the ball home from a Nathan Morris free-kick.
Jets Youth had one back just over ten minutes into the second half after Josh Cairelli finished from close range a nice Kent Harrison cross.
The fourth and final goal of this match was reminiscent of a pinball machine – the ball pinging around in the area, a Jack Simmons shot hitting the post and bouncing off the back of defender Nathan Morris before rolling slowly across the line and rescuing Jets Youth a point.
Edgeworth Eagles 1 def. Lake Macquarie City 0
Sunday 12th August, 2:30pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval
So many coaches have bemoaned their team’s inability to play a full 90 minutes of football this season.
One man who hasn’t done so is Edgeworth boss Damien Zane. His side scored an 84th minute goal to secure their fourth successive premiership – but in the end, a draw would have got them over the line.
Edgeworth was nearly ahead in the 10th minute of play when Dom Bizzarri put his close-range effort just wide of the post. Lakes defender Corey Fletcher collected his goalkeeper, Stuart Plant, on the way through which prompted a short delay while he was seen to.
Dylan Holz flashed a chance wide in the 27th minute and Tyson Jackson headed over just three minutes later as Edgeworth continued to probe for the goal which would secure them the premiership.
Plant made himself big shortly after half-time to deny Adam Cawley one-on-one, and Bailey Garland couldn’t manage to steer his own chance around the ‘keeper in the 56th minute as Edgeworth continued the search for a goal.
It took until the 84th minute for the breakthrough to finally come – and who else but Daniel McBreen? The benefactor of a looping cross from his former Central Coast Mariners teammate Josh Rose, McBreen headed home and celebrated the premiership in front of the Old Boys.