PHOTO: SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS
Broadmeadow Magic 3 (Virgili 33’, Bradbury 59’, 74’), Lambton Jaffas 1 (Hay 85’) at Magic Park.
Broadmeadow Magic recorded their seventh victory in succession with a dominant 3-1 victory over Lambton in the ‘Match of the Round’.
The victory keeps Magic in fifth – just a point outside the top four.
After an arm-wrestle over the opening half-hour Magic got their noses in front and didn’t look back when James Virgili opened the scoring. Mitch Oxborrow launched a long ball from deep inside his own half which the Magic flyer latched onto.
Lambton skipper Michael Sessions misjudged the swirling long ball as he ran backwards and Virgili sped through and finished superbly to make it 1-0 in the 33rd minute.
James Virgili turned from scorer to provider in the 59th minute when he teed up Kale Bradbury. Virgili darted along the by-line and squared for Bradbury who smashed home his sixth goal of the season to make it 2-0.
Oxborrow’s masterclass continued when he found Dino Fajkovic with a long pass in the 74th minute.
Fajkovic fired a shot from the right side of the box which was well saved by Swancott, but Kale Bradbury was on hand at the back post to control the ball as it rolled towards the by-line, step away from Ridge Marpu, and thump home his second goal of the match.
Jaffas keeper Brad Swancott received a yellow card in the aftermath of the goal after questioning the decision of referee Stephen Laurie.
Replays showed the ball appeared the cross the by-line as Bradbury attempted to take control of the ball. But, it took nothing away from a clinical Broadmeadow performance.
Ben Hay scored a late consolation for Lambton in the 85th minute after Pat Brown found space down the right edge, and Magic couldn’t clear the danger.
But, it did little to take the gloss of Broadmeadow’s day though as they retained the Elders Charity Shield.
Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich says finally the luck is falling his side’s way.
“Now little things are going our way, little calls are going our way, offsides are going our way, things off the keeper are falling to us.
“We had zero luck for about six weeks there and it was a really tough struggle to keep players believing in what we are doing because results dictate your confidence. I’m a resolute person and we are slowly turning into a pretty resolute bunch.
“Now they are getting their belief and their rewards they are more than confident before games start that they are going to go out and get what they deserve.
“That is all they needed. That is the biggest difference between where we were and where we are now.”
Jaffas coach James Pascoe felt too many mistakes hurt his side in the wash-up.
“If you commit that many unforced errors in the game, you give the other team the ascendency.
“We didn’t execute the game plan as we would have liked. That happens at times and you’ve got to be able to adjust.
“[Magic] were terrific at the back. The Griffiths boys didn’t get any spare change out of them at all. Jonny Griffiths and Piddo [Josh Piddington] were immense.
“At the end of the day, I think the score is about right for the game.”
Maitland Magpies 3 (Dutton-Black 18’, 82’ Clarke 41’), Weston Bears 2 (Barner 16’, Buswell 67’) at Rockwell Automation Park.
‘We were lucky to get away it.’
Those were the thoughts of Maitland coach Phil Dando after the Magpies left it late to claim a 3-2 victory over last-placed Weston on Saturday.
In the third Coalfields Derby of the season, Maitland scraped through with a one-goal win for the third time.
And while it wasn’t the Magpies’ best performance, three points were all they needed as they kept within touching distance of the top four.
Early on, it seemed an upset was brewing when Weston opened the scoring after just 16 minutes.
Sam Ford chipped a pass over the top of the Magpies backline and keeper Matt Trott misjudged the bouncing ball. Barner was able to control the ball, round Trott, and slot the ball into an open net for just his second goal of the season.
However, Weston’s lead was short lived. Just two minutes later Josh Dutton-Black curled in a corner which somehow snuck inside Kane Runge’s near post and the Magpies were back level.
Maitland continued to control the match for the remainder of the opening half and Ryan Clarke ensured the Magpies would head to the break with the lead. After a mazy run down the left side, the speedy striker cut infield and unleashed from the edge of the box.
The shot was too powerful for Runge and found its way inside the near post.
The Magpies took their 2-1 lead into half-time and when they returned they struggled to continue their opening half dominance as Weston got a foothold in the contest.
Cooper Buswell prodded home a corner in the 67th minute, to make it 2-2, and the Bears seemed to grow in confidence. It looked as though they could go on and win the match.
But, Weston fell asleep at the back in the 82nd minute. Matt Comerford sped down the left and weaved infield before finding Dutton-Black in the middle of the box.
The winger turned, spun, and fired and powerful shot from close range which Runge could only parry into his net.
The great escape seemed to have been completed by the Magpies, however, Chris Hurley gave them one final scare. A Weston corner was not cleared by Maitland and fell to Hurley on the edge of the box, who controlled and volleyed with his left boot.
The ball flew towards goal and just didn’t dip enough as it sailed just over the bar.
Maitland survived after a tough Coalfield derby, recording their fifth win in a row against the Bears.
“I’ve been banging on all season about when we play at our best we are a match for anyone in the competition. Today we were nowhere near our best,” Dando said post-match.
“We really did make it hard for ourselves. We started poorly again and we talked at half-time about upping the tempo and the ball speed being a bit quicker and we got none of it. We actually went backwards, second half,” he added.
Despite his disappointment, Dando was pleased with his side’s desire.
“One thing we did is that we were desperate in the end. We needed the points and we hung tight, at least without playing well, we hung tight and we got something out of it.”
Bears coach Steve Piggott felt focus in the vital parts of the match hurt his side again.
“We get in the game and we even it up and we even it up and then a lack of concentration again. They get a foothold again and then you are chasing the game.
“It’s too hard to chase the game against an experienced side with young players. It’s too hard. The expectation just gets too much.”
“Sometimes when we analyse a game. The key moments hurt us because we hurt ourselves and the good teams don’t. They get away with it.
“I don’t call it luck, I just call it experience it. It’s the edge in the key moments. This year we’ve been guilty of stuffing up key moments or losing the key moments.”
Hamilton Olympic 2 (Goodchild (p) 73’, Cooper 80’) defeat Charlestown City Blues 1 (Ferguson 17’)
Hamilton are quickly making a name for themselves as the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW’s comeback kings, as for the third week in a row Olympic fought back from a deficit in the second half.
Goals from Charlestown-bound forward Kane Goodchild and speedster Rhys Cooper in the final 20 minutes ensured the three points would head home with the men from Hamilton.
It was the Blues though who shot out of the blocks. Rene Ferguson opened the scoring for Charlestown in the 16th minute with a contender for ‘Goal of the Season’.
After the ball came off pin-balled off heads following a Blues goal-kick, it fell to Ferguson who from about 35 metres out launched a looping long-range strike which dipped over Tyler Warren in the Olympic goal to make it 1-0.
It was a stunning way to get the scoring started for the home side who took their slim advantage into the sheds at half-time.
When they returned, the Blues continued to hold Olympic at bay. That was until Dan Bartlett clipped Andrew Swan in the box in the 72nd minute and referee James Cleal pointed to the spot.
Kane Goodchild – who will play at Charlestown next season – stepped up and dispatched the spot-kick to the delight of the visiting fans.
A little over five minutes later, and the competitions ‘Comeback Kings’ had hit the front. Goodchild played in Rhys Cooper – amid cries of offside – down the middle of the park.
Cooper sprinted onto the pass, prodding it past the onrushing Nathan Archbold to make it 2-1 and ensure Hamilton would keep their spot in the competition’s top four.
Edgeworth Eagles 4 (Brice 6’, Sanders 14’, McBreen 53’, Taylor 75’) defeated Newcastle Jets Youth 1 (Frendo 15’) at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Edgeworth returned to the top of the table with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over the Newcastle Jets Youth.
It didn’t take the Eagles long to open the scoring – just six minutes – after Bren Hammel whipped in a corner for Ayden Brice to powerfully head into the back of the net.
Edgeworth made it 2-0 just eight minutes later when Kieran Sanders played a wonderful one-two with Will Bower.
The Englishman sprinted down the left side of the box and finished with precision, curling his right foot shot home to double the advantage.
But, the Jets Youth were quick to reply after Edgeworth failed to deal with a corner and Jackson Frendo struck his shot sweetly from the edge of the box which nestled in the bottom right corner. After a frantic opening 15 minutes, the Eagles led 2-1.
It took almost 40 minutes for another goal in the match. It came in the 53rd minute when Will Bower put his free kick on a dime for Daniel McBreen to head home at the back post and double the lead.
Brody Taylor sealed the match in the 75th minute for Edgeworth when he tapped home at the back post, following a near-post flick-on from McBreen.
The win was Edgeworth’s third in a row in the PS4 NPL NNSW and their fifth in all competitions as they continued their strong run of form.
Eagles coach Damian Zane said his side “played quite well”.
“Second half we just said go out and do the job, finish it,” Zane said.
“They might have had one shot in the second half and realistically we could have scored a couple more goals.”
“When we got the news in from Broadmeadow that was good too.”
Jets Youth coach Lawrie McKinna felt his side “were in a bit flat from Wednesday night.”
“It’s just disappointing we lost three goals from three set-pieces. That was poor.
“The boys let one in, in the first couple minutes and then one in a couple of minutes after half-time so that was disappointing.
“We felt we dropped off a bit in the second half and that was where Wednesday’s game came in.”
Lake Macquarie Roosters 3 (Walker 11’, Sparre 27’ defeated Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Niyonkuru 87’) at Macquarie Field.
There were no second-half heroics for Adamstown this weekend after they conceded three first-half goals at Macquarie Field on Sunday.
The Rosebud’s left themselves with too much work to do in the second stanza as the Roosters kept their faint finals hopes flickering with a superb first half performance.
Sam Walker ensured he kept pace with Jalon Brown at the top of the Golden Boot count when he pinched the ball just inside the Rosebuds half after Alex Read and Owen Littlewood got in each other’s way.
Walker sprinted down field and went one-on-one with Rosebuds keeper Riley Hill before calmly slotting across Hill to make it 1-0.
Tom Sparre scored his first goal of the season for the Roosters in the 27th minute when Adamstown couldn’t clear a Lake Macquarie corner. The ball sat up for Sparre on the edge of the box and he hit it sweetly, low and hard into the bottom left corner.
Trent Partridge made it an ever better first 45 minutes for Lakes when he curled a shot inside the top right corner following some sparkling build-up play from the Roosters.
Partridge’s post-goal celebration was one of the more interesting of the season, with Lakes clearly enjoying their start to the match.
Adamstown created enough changes in the back-end of the first half and into the second, but they were unable to take them as they did a week earlier.
Aaron Niyonkuru added a late bright spot on an otherwise disappointing afternoon for Adamstown when he danced past defenders and finished in the 87th minute.
But, it was all too-little-too-late for the Rosebuds as they went down 3-1.
Rosebuds coach Nick Webb felt his side weren’t good enough from the outset.
“We were very poor in the first 35-40 minutes. We knew exactly what they were going to do and they did exactly what we said they would do.
“We handed them the first goal and pretty well handed them the second goal, to be honest.”
But, Webb said they weren’t without their chances.
“We had our own opportunities towards the end of that first half. We should have at least had one, maybe two if not more.
“Second half I think they got in our half twice. We just didn’t quite have the comeback of last weekend. We can’t expect to turn up for 60 minutes and win a game. It just doesn’t happen.”
Roosters coach Anthony Richards was pleased with the result but wasn’t totally happy with the performance.
“It was a good first half from us and then it sort of slowed down a little bit. We sort of went into a bit of a defensive mode.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go on with it [in the second half]. I guess we just did enough to get over the line.
“We were looking for three points, that was out focus today and we were good enough to get it.”