Photo: Sproule Sports Focus
Match of the Round
Edgeworth Eagles 6 (Moriyasu (p) 21’, 32’, 52’ Holz 38’, Oppedisano 43’, Melmeth 83’) defeated Adamstown Rosebud 0 at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Keigo Moriyasu was the star of the show on Saturday night at Jack McLaughlan Oval, as he grabbed his second hat-trick in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) Northern NSW competition to lead Edgeworth to a dominant 6-0 victory.
Going into the match without three members of their starting backline in Ayden Brice, Dom Bizzari and Captain Josh Evans, it appeared as though it would be a tough battle for the Eagles, but some Moriyasu magic it ensured it would be Edgeworth’s night.
Adamstown controlled the opening 20 minutes of the match and could have easily been in front. Aaron Niyonkuru had the best chance for the visitors in the 17th minute, but he fired over the bar from just inside the area.
As the Eagles have done over the last two seasons, they made the Rosebud’s pay for their wasted chances. Daniel McBreen chipped the Adamstown defence, who had pushed high, allowing Adam Cawley to stream down the middle of park – and into the box – where he was tugged to ground by Daniel Yaxley.
Referee Aaron Strickland had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and handing a red card to Yaxley. The double jeopardy law unable to save Yaxley, as it was deemed by Strickland that the Rosebud defender had played the man, not the ball.
Keigo Moriyasu stepped up and thumped home the penalty – which opened the floodgates for the Eagles. Ten minutes later it was the Japanese import who scored again, dipping and swerving a free kick which gave Rosebud keeper Paul Bitz with no chance.
Dylan Holz extended the lead to three in the 38th minute after a poor clearance from Bitz that gave McBreen the opportunity to play Holz through, and the midfielder no mistake.
There was more to come though before the break. On his Edgeworth debut, Aaron Oppedisano – a Ruben Zadkovich lookalike – struck a dagger into Adamstown heart. The ball fell to the youngster, who was about 25 metres out on the right and he thumped it home – much like a Zadkovich strike – into the top left corner, giving Bitz no chance.
Edgeworth headed to the sheds with a 4-0 advantage and they continued the Rosebud’s pain when they returned. Keigo Moriyasu slotted home a third, this time a free kick from the right side of the box.
The match was more of an arm-wrestle for the ensuring 30 minutes, but Edgeworth substitute Joe Melmeth was on hand to put the icing on the cake in the 83rd minute. Moriyasu put the ball on a platter for the striker – with his cross the left – and the youngster tapped home for his first goal in the top grade.
Eagles coach Damian Zane said he expected the slow start from his side due to the raft of changes.
“It was a pretty slow start, which was to be expected with so many changes. Credit to Adamstown, they played some good stuff that first 15. I thought they were the better side for the opening 15 minutes. But we held firm and sometimes you have to do that.”
Zane was glowing in praise for midfielder Adam Cawley, who he said changed the game.
“The thing that changed the game, with Adam getting in behind [to create the opening goal], it was something we worked on at training, and when that happens and it changes the game, it’s great, because it shows the players if we execute what we want to do, we can get results.”
On the other side of the fence, Pete McGuinness couldn’t fathom another send off for Adamstown.
“I don’t know what it is with the club, but I’ve walked into a minefield [of red cards]. I said to the boys it takes five minutes to build up a reputation, and years to get rid of. Every send-off we have had [this season], it hasn’t been a major thing.”
“It’s disappointing because I know we have good football in us, but the game is practically dead when that happens. We limited them in the second half, when we finally got our shape right. It’s just so disappointing, because we have been working so hard. Playing short, it kills us.”
Broadmeadow Magic 3 (L.Virgili 38’, Griffiths 44’, S.Paul 65’) defeated Valentine Phoenix 2 (J.Carroll, 12’, M.Paul 74’) at Magic Park.
Broadmeadow coach Ruben Zadkovich believes his side still has plenty of improvement left in them, but was nonetheless pleased with the victory as Magic kept their undefeated start to the 2017 season going.
The home side came from behind to make it two wins in a row and Zadkovich said if he had to rate his side currently in comparison with their potential, last night was a ‘four out of ten.’
“The boys are competing well and scrapping for things and showing the right attitude,” Zadkovich said
The execution probably still isn’t perfect. It’s slowly improving and there is a certain resilience about the boys which is something I’m big on and I’m happy with where we are, we are ticking along nicely.”
In a surprise, it was the Phoenix that took the early lead, as Chris Brown – up against one of his former clubs – curled a pinpoint cross onto the head of Josh Carroll who headed home from point-blank range.
However, before the break, Broadmeadow found their way back into the contest. In the 38th minute, Luke Virgili curled his free kick inside Scott Carter’s near post from a very acute angle on the right.
A little more than five minutes later Broadmeadow had the lead. Luke Virgili’s corner from the right wasn’t dealt with by the Phoenix goalkeeper Scott Carter, the ball ricocheting off Magic defender Scott Robertson in a tussle with Carter and ballooning to Jon Griffiths who headed home.
With a 2-1 lead at the break, it seemed the home side had sealed the match in the 65th minute when Shane Paul weaved his way down the right side of the ground, into the box and slotted past Carter from a tough angle on the right.
The Phoenix wouldn’t go away though. The ball pin-balled around in the box following a corner and Matt Paul was able to tuck it home to set up a nervy final 15 minutes for the home side.
In the end, Valentine were unlucky not to escape with a point after Jalon Brown found some space down the right side of the box after linking up with Alex Tserapas. Brown’s shot towards the near post was well blocked by Niko Giantsopolous and Broadmeadow took home a valuable three points.
Phoenix coach Darren Sills praised his side’s start to the match, but was disappointed with sloppy errors at the back end of the half.
“We worked really hard on our defence in particular our structure and the way we set up,” Sills said.
“We worked it to a tee for the first 25 minutes. We set up a plan and adhered to it and then for some reason we gave away a silly free kick that they scored off and then they got in behind us again and scored from a corner and we walk off 2-1 down at half-time.”
However, Sills was proud of his side’s fight shown in the second half.
“A lot of sides could have bottled up down 3-1, but the boys got it back to 3-2 and then created some great chances in the last five minutes.”
Weston Bears 2 (N.Thompson (p) 7’, 62’) drew with Lambton Jaffas 2 (Griffiths 33’ Brown 66’) at Rockwell Automation Park.
Joel Griffiths may have scored his first goal in the PS4 NPL Northern NSW, but it wasn’t enough for the visiting Jaffas as they shared the points with Weston in an entertaining match at Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday.
As they did in round one, the Bears opened their account with a penalty. James Thompson was played down the right and darted down the right before being felled by Jaffas defender Liam O’Dell. His brother James stepped up and sent Brad Swancott the wrong way.
But, before the break, the Jaffas got themselves back level via veteran Griffiths, who headed home from point-blank range for his first goal in the competition.
The sides headed to the sheds locked at 1-1 and on resumption it was the Bears who took the lead for the second time in the match. Nick Thompson was released down the left side, cut into the box, swerving past some wood-be challenges before curling a shot from a tight angle into Lambton defender… and into the net.
Weston’s joy was short lived though as the ‘man of the moment’, Pat Brown, struck the equaliser. After an innocuous long ball from Michael Kantarovski, Brown flicked it over the Weston defence and sprinted after it. The ball sat up after the second bounce and Brown smacked his left boot through it – much like Jamie McLaren did on Saturday night for the Brisbane Roar – and it sailed over Kane Runge and into the net.
The last twenty-five minutes was frantic but neither side could claim a winner as the Bears continued their undefeated run at home alive this season.
Weston coach Steve Piggott was proud of his side but didn’t want them to get ahead of themselves.
“I think the team gets ahead of themselves sometimes, and one of the things we need to do is concentrate for the full match,” Piggott said.
“Against the good sides, you can’t be too over the top and say ‘we’re good, we’re good’ because you’ll get punished one day. If they hold themselves at a certain level with their confidence, I think they’ll go alright, but the minute they get cocky, they’ll come crumbling down.”
For James Pascoe, he felt his side was a touch flat in the warm conditions.
“I thought we were a bit flat, to be fair. We still had enough chances to win three games of football and on another day we probably rack up a good win. So, I’m not overly disappointed with the performance but the result stings a little bit.”
Charlestown City Blues 1 (Maguire 9’) drew with Lake Macquarie Roosters 1 (Broadley 15’) at Lisle Carr Oval.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards was glowing in praise of the determination his side in the final 15 minutes as the Roosters held on to a 1-1 draw against Charlestown at Lisle Carr Oval on Sunday.
Lake Macquarie continued their impressive form in the PS4 NPL Northern NSW, with securing their second point of the campaign. Lakes were down early after a spectacular strike from Josh Maguire but recovered quickly through Justin Broadley.
“We were good at the beginning [of the match] but the last 15 minutes we hung on. I was really proud of the performance for the last 15. We dug in really deep. We had a couple of chances on the counter-attack, but I was more than impressed with the way we held firm and grabbed a point,” Richards said.
“A draw was probably a fair result, both sides had chances to go further and get a win but on the balance, it was a good result.”
The Roosters manned the ramparts in the final twenty minutes as the Blues searched for the match winner, but they were unable to find one as the Roosters made it two draws from two matches.
Maguire got the Blues off to a flier with an opportunistic strike in the 9th minute. The former New Zealand Knight unleashed a powerful left-foot strike from outside the box which swerved into the top left corner.
However, Lakes were back into the match less than six minutes later when Broadley swung in a vicious free-kick from the left edge which curled into to top right corner to level the match up.
The final 75 minutes was goalless with the Blues unable to find a winner as they dominated the final quarter-hour of the match.
In comparison to Richards glowing praise of Lakes, Charlestown coach Shane Pryce lampooned his side in an interviewing with the Newcastle Herald, telling Craig Kerry that his side’s performance ‘was one of the most atrocious efforts I’ve seen from guys in a sky blue shirt.’
It seems Pryce will ring the changes for Thursday night’s catch-up match with Maitland.
“There will be changes. I’ll play young kids because you get players in who are experienced and played many games at this level, and they dish that up,” Pryce told the Newcastle Herald.