Photo: Valentine Sports Photography
By Declan Payne
Edgeworth FC 6 (Moriyasu, Brice x2, Holz x2, Melmeth) defeated Wallsend FC 0
6:30 Friday, Turner Park
Edgeworth were quick out of the blocks in their opening of Northern NSW Football’s (NNSWF) Heritage Cup fixture, firing three goals past last season’s NEWFM First Division Grand Final winners Wallsend FC in the first fifteen minutes.
Keigo Moriyasu and two to Aiden Brice helped the Eagles to a 3-0 lead early on. A wicked cross from Brody Taylor was helped in by Dylan Holz to make the score 4-0 at half time, the match dominated by Edgeworth.
Wallsend come out firing in the second half, but after an early shot from Wallsend’s Matt Williams was saved at point blank range the Eagles raided back up the other end, with Dylan Holz pushing the lead to five after turning in a nice cross from the overlapping fullback Brice.
The rain began to fall heavily at Turner Park, and it was the Eagles who took advantage of the poor conditions in the 45th minute. Brice was fouled in the box and youngster Joe Melmeth stepped up to take the penalty but fired it over the bar.
Brice missed an opportunity to make it six late into the second half, firing a header over from the corner, and Joe Melmeth missed a golden opportunity of his head in the dying stages but made up for it in the final minute with a mishit cross finding it’s way past Wallsend keeper to make it six. Edgeworth dominated their first match of the weekend finishing 6-0.
Adamstown Rosebud (Ensor, own goal, Berlin x2) 4 def. West Wallsend FC 0
6:30 Friday, Adamstown Oval
An early Ryan Ensor goal helped the Rosebud to a 1-0 lead at halftime in the first NNSWF Heritage Cup fixture at Adamstown Oval.
The Rosebud’s extended their lead two-thirds of the way through the second half thanks to a deflection off a West Wallsend defender.
Then, it was the Chris Berlin show; the veteran striker side-stepped his way through the Westie defence and around the keeper to make it 3-0 and soon after made it 4-0 after turning in a Daniel Yaxley cross.
West Wallsend coach Gary Rowe said it was a strong hit out for his boys despite the rain.
“Good (match) considering the conditions.
“We were a bit sloppy once we started making changes and they (Adamstown) scored a few in the last 10, but before that we were alright.
“Bailey Cox and Bryson Cox were outstanding.”
Adamstown coach Peter McGuinness said it took a little while for his side to get it going.
“We started pretty slow… but once we started moving the ball a bit faster and getting into good areas quicker (in the second half) we created chances, which hurt them.”
Cessnock Hornets 0 defeated by Weston Workers Bears 4 (Hurley x2, Foster, Jackson)
8 pm Friday, Turner Park
The rain had been falling for nearly an hour by the time this local Coalfields derby kicked off, one of the first since the Hornets were relegated at the end of the 2004 State League season. A young Weston side against a new look Cessnock, and it was the youngsters that took control of the match, threatening the Cessnock goal on numerous occasions in the opening minutes.
With just over eleven minutes gone on the clock, former Jets Youth man James Thompson won a penalty for Weston but failed to convert, with Cessnock keeper Matt Zechel making a good save down to his right.
Weston continued to apply the pressure but it would be Cessnock with the next opportunity, a Brodie Williams back heel eventually teeing up Jake Peters on the edge of the box but the midfielder wasn’t able to keep his shot down.
With only three minutes to half time, Thompson found Jamie Byrnes on the left-hand side who placed it into the bottom of the net – but the linesman’s flag was up, and the score remained 0-0 at half time.
Weston spent only an instant in the sheds and raced back out for the second half. Their enthusiasm proved to be valuable; it only took five minutes into the second stanza for the Bears to find the back of the net, from a courtesy tap in from Jacob Golding after some good work out wide from Chris Hurley.
Not wanting to rest on their laurels, the Bears struck again two minutes later. A delightful ball from the back from Jake Milsteed split open the Cessnock defence and found Max Foster, who made it 2-0.
The Bears soon after made it three goals in five minutes, with Max Foster finding Chris Hurley in front of the goal giving the Bears a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Weston from then on dominated the proceedings; Jake Milsteed was the heartbeat of his side in attack. It was his corner in the 60th minute that found the head of Jordan Jackson, to make the final score 4-0.
Lake Macquarie City FC 2 (Sparre, Rospigliosi) def. Fletcher Maryland 0
8 pm Friday, Adamstown Oval
It was the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) newcomers taking on the fourth division battlers with it looking like anyone’s game early on. It was a hard fought match from the outset, and despite Lake Macquarie fielding the likes of Sam Walker and Steven Rospigliosi, the score remained level until after the half time break.
Eight minutes into the second half the Roosters struck with a scrappy goal from Thomas Sparre taking the score to 1-0. Steven Rospigliosi pushed the score five minutes later to 2-0 for the Roosters.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards said Maryland Fletcher made it hard for his side.
“It was a tough game, I thought Maryland Fletcher were terrific, they made it awkward for us.
“I think the scoreline was a fair reflection… they (Maryland Fletcher) battled hard and got numbers behind the ball.
“Steve Rospigliosi and Tom Walker were good for us… we were solid without being terrific.”
Maryland Fletcher reserves coach Scott James ran the side on Friday night in the absence of Steve Piggott and was pleased with the performance.
“We were in it for nearly all of it, it was good for our guys (and) definitely playing above our weight division.
“We had 11 standouts, everyone put in.”
Wallsend FC 1 (Evans) def. by Weston Workers Bears 4 (N. Thompson, Byrnes, Hurley x2)
11 am Saturday, Turner Park
Wallsend and Weston kicked off proceedings at Turner Park on Saturday, with Wallsend looking to bounce back from a 6-0 towelling courtesy of Edgeworth and Weston keen to kick on after a positive 4-0 win over Cessnock on Friday night.
The game was evenly poised from the outset, Weston shading the possession and the chances. It was the Bears who opened the scoring from a tricky Luke Lambert run, winning a penalty. Nick Thompson stepped up and converted to make the score 1-0.
The game continued to bring chances for both sides, Wallsend’s Trent Milton was the heartbeat for his side in attack, while Weston youngster Zac Skippen was a rock at the back for the Bears.
Wallsend’s best chance of the half came from a well run from Calum Caldwell on the left-hand side, but he watched his shot go wide as the half finished 1-0.
The second half started similarly to the first, with both sides jostling for control. As in the first, it was Weston who had the opening chance of the half – a Jake Barner mishit cross forced Wallsend keeper Dylan Meryick to tip the ball over his crossbar.
Wallsend were shortly back up the other end, a delightful ball from the midfield found Trent Milton who rounded the Bears keeper, but Zac Thomas was able to come across and clear the danger.
Each side had their share of chances throughout the half, but it was Jacob Golding who helped push the boat out for the Bears. Applying heavy pressure to the Wallsend defence, Golding won the ball high and fired it into Jamie Byrnes who had no issues making it 2-0.
Two minutes later Byrnes turned provider to help Weston push their lead to three, a devilishly fast cross turned in well by Chris Hurley.
Wallsend’s Nick Evans got his side back in with a shout, a 35-yard shot caught young Weston keeper Jay Sneddon off his line and made it 3-1.
Not to be deterred, Weston stormed back up the other end and Hurley added an assist to his name, finding Jamie Byrnes to make it 4-1.
Cessnock Hornets 0 defeated by Edgeworth FC 6 (McBreen x3, Evans, McLoughlin, Moriyasu)
12:30 pm Saturday, Turner Park
Fresh off a dominating win over Wallsend the night before, the Eagles returned to Cessnock in their first match of the day in order to knock off the Hornets, who showed a fight without reward in their match against the Bears on Friday night.
Daniel McBreen was in the starting 11 for the first time this weekend and didn’t take long to let Cessnock know about it. McBreen’s initial shot was saved, but the former Mariners man made no mistake with the follow-up to make the score 1-0.
Not long after, McBreen pushed the scoreline to 2-0, turning in an Aden Gardner cut back after some good work from the youngster.
The Eagles went to the sheds two goals to the good and made sure the game was out of the Hornets reach early into the second half. A Kieron Sanders corner found an unmarked Josh Evans at the back post, and he made no mistake with the header.
McBreen was hungry for his hat-trick, and in the 37th minute he made it so – a poor back pass from Cessnock’s Jake Peters was pounced on by the veteran, who rounded the keeper and finished into an empty net.
Edgeworth made it 5-0 just ten minutes into the second half, a strong Sanders run down the line found McBreen, whose header was knocked by keeper Matt Zechel into the path of Aaron McLoughlin who tapped in from six yards out.
Japanese wonder boy Keigo Moriyasu made it six shortly after following some solid lead up play by the Eagles, and the match finished 6-0.
Photo: Valentine Sports Photography
Adamstown 8 (Sutherland x3, Duncan x2, Conte OG, Rogers, Harrison) def. Maryland Fletcher 0
1:30 pm Saturday, Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility
Maryland Fletcher would’ve been confident of a strong performance after Friday night‘s solid 2-0 defeat at the hands of Lakes despite resting a swag of players. Adamstown fielded a young side, and the energy was evident from the first minute – Joey Sutherland scored inside 30 seconds to give the Rosebud’s an early lead.
The early goal evidently rattled Maryland Fletcher as Adamstown took control of the match. Zaell Ford and Daniel Yaxley threatened the opposition goal, but it was some good work from Yaxley which helped Joey Sutherland make it 2-0 in the 13th minute.
A clever run and a low and hard finish from Judd Duncan made it three to Adamstown; Duncan popped up again with a 25-yard rocket in the 25th minute to make it 4-0.
A mix up between the Adamstown defence straight after the following kickoff allowed Maryland Fletcher striker Bryce Wood a chance one-on-one with the keeper, however, Adamstown’s Tim Rogers come back in and cleaned up the danger.
Maryland Fletcher conceded a free-kick in a dangerous area and the ball that was floated over the top was unfortunately turned in by Maryland Fletcher’s James Conte to take the score out to 5-0.
Yaxley continued to bomb on down the sideline and it paid again before half time as his cross from the right found Ford, who’s shot cannoned back off the crossbar and was turned in by left sided fullback Luke Rogers to make the score 6-0 at half time.
The two sides returned for the second half and Adamstown were immediately on the front foot again with Stuart Musalik almost turning in a corner just a minute after half-time. Judd Duncan turned provider not long after, a delightful turn with the ensuing pass finding Jordan Harrison, who finished for 7-0.
It took until four minutes before full time for Adamstown to extend their lead further despite some relentless pressure. Duncan again found Joey Sutherland, who finished well for his third of the day and Adamstown’s eighth.
Photo: Valentine Sports Photography
Lake Macquarie FC 2 (Green, Rospigliosi) def. West Wallsend FC 1 (Oliver)
1:30 pm Saturday, Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility
West Wallsend and Lake Macquarie had both had a tough time of it in their Friday night games, and were looking to make amends in their first match at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility. It was the Bluebells who started the match quicker, threatening with a good free-kick in the sixth minute and kept the Roosters planted firmly in their own half.
Blake Green managed to force a good save out of the Westie keeper in the eighth minute as Lakes began to settle on the ball and make a game of it. It soon turned into a fiery match in the middle of the park, with tackles flying in from both sides and West Wallsend’s Jarrod Oliver receiving some special attention from the Roosters defence.
It’d be the newly promoted Lake Macquarie who’d strike first however, Blake Green got a shot away out wide and found the back of the net making it 1-0.
The match continued to be fairly even, West Wallsend came close with a free-kick from Bailey Cox and Lakes having their share of the ball. Two minutes from half-time Westie made the breakthrough as a cross from Ryan Cole found the feet of Jarrod Oliver who made no mistake in levelling the scores 1-1.
Lakes came out of the blocks firing in the second half and were dominating West Wallsend. Their domination paid off as former Cooks Hill man Thomas Sparre whipped in a devilish cross that was knocked away by Westie keeper Zak Parke – but fell nicely to Steve Rospigliosi who finished hard to make it 2-1 Lakes.
West Wallsend continued to push on for a leveller, but Lake Macquarie were too strong and the game finished 2-1.
Edgeworth FC 1 (Moriyasu) defeated Weston Workers Bears 0
4 pm Saturday, Turner Park
125 years of football took on 110 for a place in the inaugural Heritage Cup final, and despite many punters tipping a young Weston to be comprehensively dealt with by a strong Eagles outfit, the match turned out to be anything but easy for Edgeworth.
The young Bears came out of the blocks firing and earned a free-kick in a good position just outside the Edgeworth box, but Jake Milsteed fired it well over. Weston’s Max Forster scored a good save from Edgeworth keeper Nate Cavaliore, and Jacob Golding was looking threatening down the right-hand side of the pitch and causing real concern for the Eagles defence.
A smart Keigo Moriyasu ball found Brody Taylor and forced a save out of Weston keeper Andrew Goldman in Edgeworth’s first real foray into the final third, and from there the Eagles began to edge out on top.
Both sides continued to threaten as the game proved difficult for each team, and aside from an attempted 25-yard chip from Keigo Moriyasu slightly before half-time, neither side managed to create anything of note.
Returned Bear Brock Oakley was looking good from right back, defending well and causing problems for Edgeworth in the attack. The young Bears outfit were determined to allow veteran striker Daniel McBreen as little time as possible on the ball, and it fell to the Eagles young attackers to shoulder the workload and try and create chances up front.
Ultimately it was a Keigo Moriyasu free kick seven minutes from time that would decide the result. 25 yards out from goal, Moriyasu stepped up and curled a ball up and over the wall that buried itself in the back of the net past an oblivious Andrew Goldman.
Unlucky to lose given the spirit and fight they’d shown, the Bears crashed out of the match and the competition despite a few forays late in the game. 1-0 the score line, with Edgeworth progressing to the final of the Heritage Cup.
Bears coach Steve Piggott was happy with how his young charges performed.
“We had a pretty tough pre-season… it was a good challenge to come back to your own league and see how you go.
“When you come up against (the likes of) Edgeworth… over an hour, 1-0, equal until six to go if not for a good free kick.
“Are we good enough to be a force in the season? I like to think so.”
Cessnock Hornets 0 def. by Wallsend FC 4 (Milton x2, Caldwell x2)
5:30 pm Saturday, Turner Park
The rain was torrential and many were wondering if this one would be called off – but both sides had warmed up in the rain, and weren’t going to let it go to waste. The match was a dead rubber in terms of the competition, but with season kick off only a week away for both Wallsend and Cessnock, the teams would have been keen to see what the other have to offer in 2017.
It was Wallsend who took the ascendancy early on, Trent Milton opened the scoring in the opening minutes of the match and from there it was all Wallsend. Calum Caldwell scored, Milton got another, and Caldwell completed his brace to take the score to 4-0 before halftime.
Cessnock fielded a young side, featuring a number of new arrivals at the club that had yet to spend time on the paddock together and it showed as Wallsend ran riot and dominated this one.
Hornets coach Lino Gatti wasn’t too concerned with the heavy defeat.
“I wasn’t looking at the result. Always disappointed about conceding goals, but mainly looking and performances, and their strengths and weaknesses.
“The match (against Wallsend) showed me they struggled to compete physically.
“We’ve got to learn to play with a lot more consistency.”
Wallsend coach Chris Gallagher was pleased with his side performance in their final match of the Heritage Cup.
“Dominated from the outset, possession and chances.
We took our chances fairly early in the game, got on top and didn’t lose control from there.
“We started four of our younger players and brought another four on at the end of the game.
“It was a good hit out for everybody.”
Both coaches hailed the NNSWF Heritage Cup concept, with Gatti calling it “brilliant” and Gallagher said he’s looking forward to the expansion of the competition in coming years.
Maryland Fletcher 0 def. by West Wallsend 1 (Cairney)
6 pm Saturday, Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility
Maryland Fletcher had rested players in the heavy loss at the hands of Adamstown earlier in the day and were determined to get a result against West Wallsend in their final match of the tournament.
Maryland Fletcher dominated the opening half, their best chance coming midway through the half. Tim Mason had a golden chance in front of a virtually empty net but fired wide and the scores remained nil-all at the break.
West Wallsend came out firing in the second half, Josh Knight found target man Jarrod Oliver who headed over ten minutes into the second half. Substitute Sam Holt would come close again a minute afterwards but fired wide. Knight fired a golden chance wide with four minutes to go, and West Wallsend’s Dom Longowski seen his free-kick deflect just wide for a corner.
The heartbreak for Maryland Fletcher came two minutes from full time. The ensuing corner from Longowski’s free kick found the head of West Wallsend veteran Andrew Cairney who made no mistake, burying it in the back of the net.
Maryland Fletcher had a golden opportunity from the kick but West Wallsend hung on for the win.
West Wallsend coach Gary Rowe was pleased with how his side went across the course of the weekend.
“I was pretty happy with the way we went.
“We had a pretty disjointed pre-season so it was good to have a couple of hit outs.
“Bailey Cox and his brother Bryson were probably close to our best.”
Maryland Fletcher coach Steve Piggott was only able to catch this match out of his side’s three over the weekend but was proud of the Doggies acquitted themselves across in the cup.
“In their first match, they held Lake Macquarie to nil at halftime.
“They got run over the top of by Adamstown… and they held West Wallsend until the last four minutes and had chances to score.
“They worked well together and enjoyed themselves.
“For that league (fourth division) it’s a pretty good weekend.”
Lake Macquarie 0 def. by Adamstown Rosebud 3 (Tannock x2, Hunter)
6 pm Saturday, Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility
The final match of the day was a clash of two PS4 NPL clubs keen to show they’ve got what it takes to compete for this season, the winner of this one would go up against Edgeworth in the final.
Adamstown started the stronger of the two sides, Chris Berlin heading over the bar in just the third minute of the match after some good work down the left-hand side from Charlie Holzhmeir. The wet synthetic pitch meant the ball was moving fast and many were having trouble keeping their feet – none more than Lakes keeper Benn Kelly, who slipped when receiving a back pass and allowed Justin Tannock the simplest of finishes into an empty net to make it 1-0 Adamstown with only nine minutes played.
Thomas Sparre threatened the Adamstown goal not long after and Aaron Niyonkuru went close to making it two for the Rosebud, but disaster was soon to strike from Adamstown.
A scuffle in the middle of the park earned Lakes a free kick in the 23rd minute, and a clearly irritated Trent Partridge sprung to his feet to accost his Adamstown opponent. An angry reaction from Adamstown captain Dayne Pawlick saw him strike out at the youngster, and the cards came out – yellow for Partridge and red for Pawlick.
Lakes now had the man advantage, but Adamstown continued to control the match with some slick passing. On the stroke of half-time, the Rosebud doubled their lead – Holzhmeir made a strong run down the left and whipped in a dangerous ball. The Lakes defence failed to deal with it, and the ball fell nicely to Justin Tannock who made it two for him, and 2-0 to a ten man Adamstown.
The second half continued in the same fashion as the first finished, with Adamstown dominating much of the possession and field position despite being a man down. Joey Cacic missed a sitter for Lakes in the 51st minute and couldn’t help his side back into the match, and just three minutes later Mitch Hunter would make it 3-0 to the ten man Adamstown.
The match finished 3-0 to Adamstown, the ten-man side worked hard and booked themselves a place in the Heritage Cup final against Edgeworth.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards was disappointed to go out but pleased with the weekend.
“Solid without being spectacular, to be honest, we used it as a test run for a couple of players in new areas so it was really worthwhile for us.
“Young Jesse Parnell made some cameos over the weekend and was really good for us.”
Photo: Valentine Sports Photography
Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Hammel) drew Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Tannock) (Rosebud won 3-2 on penalties)
10 am Sunday, Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility
Adamstown returned to the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility in their bid for their first silverware since clinching the First Division title in 2013 while Edgeworth were keen to add another trophy to a bursting cabinet.
The match was tight from the outset, with both sides struggling to create any real chances throughout the match. Edgeworth’s Aaron McLoughlin fired a shot wide early on, and Adamstown’s Alex Read also fired wide after the ball fell nicely.
Daniel McBreen and Chris Berlin fired over the bar before halftime, with the sides heading to the sheds locked at nil all.
If the neutral had been doubting the two sides were treating this final as a serious affair, their doubts were brushed away at the start of the second half.
The two teams came firing out of the sheds, Adamstown’s Aaron Niyonkuru set up Jordan Harrison who had his shot saved and Edgeworth’s English recruit Kieran Sanders seen his shot go over off the crossbar.
Tackles were flying in from both sides and yellow cards were being handed out accordingly, with Lachlan Pasquale one of the Edgeworth players on the receiving end.
As the midway point of the second half approached the game began to open up, and it was Adamstown who took full advantage. A quick counter-attacking move found Charlie Horsley just over the halfway point, whose winding run took him past a number of Edgeworth defenders and allowed him to get a shot away from just inside the 18-yard box. The ball struck the post, and the rebound fell nicely for Justin Tannock who buried the ball in the back of the net to give Adamstown the lead.
Edgeworth began to push forward with a little more gusto and were nearly rewarded almost immediately, a strong Kieran Sanders cross finding only the arms of Adamstown keeper Paul Bitz.
The clock began to wind down and it was looking less and less likely Edgeworth would level it up – and it took until the 58th minute for the Eagles to make the breakthrough. A cross in from the left looked threatening, and it fell nicely for Aden Gardner, who laid it back for Bren Hammel. The Edgeworth number 7 put his foot through the ball, across Bitz in goal and into the back of the net – 1-1.
The match finished at 1 all and headed straight to penalties. Edgeworth’s Bren Hammel made no mistake with the first penalty of the day, and Adamstown’s Justin Tannock and the Eagles’ Keigo Moriyasu dispatched their spot kicks with ease.
Former Jets Youth man Ryan Ensor stepped up for Adamstown’s second penalty, but Edgeworth keeper Jim Fogarty guessed the right way and made the save.
Aiden Brice stepped up next for Edgeworth, but Bitz was on hand to ensure the Eagles wouldn’t make the most of their temporary advantage and Alex Read sank the next penalty to bring the scores level again in the shootout – two all after three penalties each.
Dylan Holz stepped up next for the Eagles, but couldn’t put his side ahead as Bitz guessed correctly and jumped to his right to save the penalty. Former Newcastle Jets man Stuart Musalik stepped up for Adamstown and dispatched his spot kick as cool as a cucumber to put all the pressure on Edgeworth.
To keep Edgeworth in it was former Mariners man Daniel McBreen. A bit of banter flew back and forth between McBreen and the Adamstown huddle on halfway as he headed for the penalty spot. As the crowd drew a collective breath, McBreen ran up to the ball and struck it well – but Bitz guessed correctly and saved the penalty to put the shootout out of reach of Edgeworth and hand Adamstown the first ever Heritage Cup.
Adamstown coach Peter McGuinness was happy with how his side performed under pressure.
“I wasn’t sure how we’d match up against them, we’re not the deepest squad.
“We had enough structure in what we’ve done and what we’ve practised to compete, they probably shaded us first fifteen minutes and we weathered that storm and came into the match a bit more.
“The game could’ve gone either way really, but I was pleased for the club who haven’t won anything in a long time.”
Edgeworth coach Damien Zane decided to take a long term approach to the weekend’s result.
“I wasn’t too disappointed; we want to win every trophy but it’s still preparation.
“I’ve said to the boys let it hurt you, we wanted to win the cup and we didn’t.”
Both coaches were keen to see the competition continue next season, McGuinness said he “loves the concept” and Zane was happy to “recognise the history” of football in the Hunter.
Photo: Valentine Sports Photography