Competitions

NPL Northern NSW Round 15 Review

July 2nd, 2018

 SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS

 DECLAN PAYNE 

Match of the Round

Lambton Jaffas 2 (Crowley 36’, 51’) def. Charlestown City Blues 1 (Ferguson 25’)

Saturday 30th June, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval

It was a battle of two of the strongest squads in the league at Arthur Edden on Saturday, with each vying to make their claim for a spot in the top four.

It was Lambton who triumphed, coming from behind and locking down a valuable three points.

Charlestown suffered an early blow, with an injured Kev Davidson forced from the field in the opening ten minutes after he came out of a challenge with Braedyn Crowley a little worse for wear.

The visitors were sat deep in order to prevent anything in behind, and it was a bit of an end-to-end affair for the opening stages.

It was Charlestown who opened the scoring in the 26th minute, but they should have been down one in the 17th minute when Braedyn Crowley wasn’t able to get enough on his shot from eight yards out. Any power or direction on his shot would have meant a goal.

It was a mistake he’d soon rue, with Rene Ferguson the one to open the scoring for Charlestown. It was somewhat of a fortuitous goal, as his shot from a tight angle seemed to catch Brad Swancott off guard. It fired in over the goalkeeper’s head, and Charlestown was ahead.

Lambton was soon back on level terms when Luke Remington was caught between two Charlestown defenders and brought down inside the penalty area. The spot kick was awarded, and Braedyn Crowley stepped up for the penalty.

His attempt was superbly saved by Alex Bozinovski on his debut in the Charlestown goal but didn’t deal with it. A cross back in found Crowley, and he made no mistake on the second attempt.

Just five minutes after half-time, Lambton was ahead for the first time in this match. The lead-up was slightly scrappy after a ball in from Michael Kantarovski bounced around in the box, before Crowley pounced and poked the ball home over Bozinovski.

Charlestown almost had one back in the 56th minute, but Brad Swancott stood tall and denied Cal Lewis who was away on goal and virtually one-on-one. Swancott was on hand once again five minutes later, making a good save to deny Zac Lloyd from a free kick.

Swancott came up with another huge save in the 74th minute when Kane Goodchild got off a fantastic shot. The keeper was at full stretch and pushed it behind for a corner.

It proved enough in the end, as Lambton secured an invaluable win and rose to third place.

 

Edgeworth Eagles 5 (Cawley 1’, Rose 5’, Garland 24’, Oppedisano 59’, Jackson 61’) def. Newcastle Jets Youth 1 (Tipaldo 67’)

Saturday 30th June, 2:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Jets Youth have been one of the surprise packages of the competition this season, and all the signs pointed towards a tight and entertaining match on Saturday.

It was entertaining but it was far from tight – Edgeworth runaway winners, giving their goal difference a much-needed boost and keeping pace with the top.

The home side was ahead inside the first minute after a Tyson Jackson ball into the box bounced around a little and was pounced upon by Adam Cawley.

Edgeworth doubled their advantage inside five minutes, with what looked like a fairly tame Josh Rose shot looked to hit a bobble and catch the Jets Youth keeper off balance for 2-0.

Bailey Garland scored a nice goal in the 24th minute, firing a shot across the keeper and into the far corner of the net to give Edgeworth what looked an unassailable lead with a just over a quarter of the match gone.

They had four in the 59th minute when Aaron Oppedisano went on a mazy run and managed to find a goal at the end of it.

Tyson Jackson managed to get one of his own in the 61st minute when a ball over from the left-hand side sat nicely for the winger. It took some good technique, but Jackson had it and managed to make it five for the Eagles.

With a little over 25 minutes to go, Jets Youth had one back. It was a superbly taken goal from Cai Tipaldo, finding it’s way high into the net and had Edgeworth keeper Josh Low kick the ball back into the net in frustration.

In the end, though, it turned out to be little but consolatory for Jets Youth and Edgeworth claimed their biggest league win of the season.

 

Valentine Phoenix 0 drew Maitland Magpies 0

Sunday 1st July, 2:30 pm at CB Complex

A point wasn’t what either side was after, but they may well both be happy with one after a hard-fought match on Sunday afternoon.

Matt Comerford had the first real chance of the day, flashing his shot just wide in the 11th minute of play.

Zac Sneddon nearly scored an outrageous goal in the 43rd minute up the other end for Valentine, but his overhead kick was secured by Maitland keeper Matt Trott. The effort earned him an applause from both groups of supporters at the ground while the Valentine coaching staff urging him to ‘get back’.

It was a first half which was probably shaded by Maitland, but one where Valentine finished perhaps the stronger of the two sides.

The Magpies suffered a blow shortly after half-time when Comerford was forced from the field with an injury. He was replaced by Louis Townsend.

Maitland was pushing hard for the opening goal, but an organised Valentine defence had planned for their speed in behind and were regularly catching the visitors offside.

They had the best chance of the game in the 71st minute when Andrew Swan was put through on goal. His shot looked to be going into the top corner but somehow glided over the bar much to the frustration of the Maitland bench.

Scott Carter came diving off his line to deny Matt Thompson a shot on goal in the 76th minute, and Maitland had what looked like it could have been a penalty denied in the 80th minute.

One of the tackles of the season denied Thompson again in the 83rd minute when Mele Temguia slid in inside the six-yard-box and denied the attacking midfielder what looked a certain goal.

Alex Read looked to be through on goal in the first minute of injury time, but he was called back offside. In the end, the points were shared in an enthralling stalemate which Maitland may have been disappointed not to take three from.

Valentine assistant Sam Griffin said a point didn’t do much for either side.

“No one likes a 0-0 draw, do they?” said Griffin.

“It doesn’t help us and it doesn’t really do anything for Maitland either, we really needed to start winning a couple of games and work our way up the ladder.

“Good to keep a clean sheet against Maitland, they’ve been scoring goals left, right, and centre so that’s a good point, but another home game, another draw, not quite what we needed.”

Phoenix was defending for their lives at times and only desperation in the back third prevented Maitland from putting one away. It’s something which Griffin and the coaching staff were extremely pleased with.

“It’s outstanding, isn’t it?” said Griffin.

“The back five, including Scott Carter [goalkeeper], were superb. People might look at the score and go ‘they might have parked the bus’ but really, it was our back four who did a mountain of work like you have to against a team like Maitland, who can score goals from anywhere.

“To see them really take pride in their clean sheet was terrific, Reece Pettit said before the game ‘they won’t score against us’.

“It’s a big call to make, he and his back four did everything they could to make it happen and you’ve got to be happy with that.”

 

Lake Macquarie City 2 (S. Walker 36’, T. Walker 69’) drew Adamstown Rosebud 2 (Sokulsky 47’, Beasley 58’)

Sunday 1st July, 2:30 pm at Macquarie Field

A second red card in as many weeks, midway through the first half had Adamstown well up against it.

They dug in, and secured a fantastic result and ensured Lakes didn’t pick up three wins on the run for the first time this season.

The incident in question came in the 35th minute of play when Robbie Turnbull slid in to block an attempt on goal. Paul Sichalwe turned the ball in on the second attempt but the whistle had been blown, and Turnbull was shown a straight red card and a penalty was awarded.

It was one which was much to his, and his teammates’ disbelief. Sam Walker stepped up to take the resulting penalty once Turnbull had left the field, and sent the keeper the wrong way to put the home side ahead 1-0.

Adamstown went into the sheds behind but was back on level terms just ninety seconds into the second half. Matt Sokulsky rose highest for a header at the back post and buried it in at the far post.

Incredibly, Adamstown was ahead in the 58th minute. Finley Beasley was the man to thank, as he got the better of three players inside the area and got off a nice shot from close range to put the ten-man Rosebud ahead.

Corey Fletcher stood over a free kick just on the halfway line in the 69th minute and sent in a hanging ball over the top. Thomas Walker broke free of his defender inside the area and fired a free header home to level the scores.

 

Broadmeadow Magic 3 (Virgili 2’, Bradbury 19’, Lathan OG 67’) def. Weston Bears 0

Sunday 1st July, 2:30 pm at Magic Park

With Edgeworth having already played and sat temporarily atop the ladder, the pressure was on Broadmeadow to get a result and finish the round back on top.

What Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich got was a thoroughly professional job – a clean sheet, and three points.

That professional job started very early on – the second minute, in fact. A Kale Bradbury shot hit the legs of James Virgili, and he managed to twist and get a shot off underneath the onrushing Kane Runge to put the home side ahead.

Virgili would turn provider in the 19th minute, threading a precise ball into the path of Bradbury who finished sharply at the near post to put Magic ahead by two.

Broadmeadow tied the game up in the 67th minute when James Virgili sent in a probing cross from the left-hand side after a quick counter-attack.

It beat Kane Runge and caught young defender Angus Lathan by surprise, and he had the misfortune of watching the ball come off his legs and trickle over the goal line.

It’s a result which keeps Broadmeadow at the top of the ladder with their one-point lead intact and pushes their goal difference out to +21 with 14 games played.

Weston dropped down the ladder due to the defeat, one place into tenth. They’re still five points clear of Valentine who are last and with big games against Edgeworth and Charlestown on the agenda for the next fortnight, they’ll need to be better than they were on Sunday.

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