Competitions

NPL Northern NSW Round 6 Review

April 23rd, 2018

 SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS

 DECLAN PAYNE 

Match of the Round
Hamilton Olympic 2 (Bertos 9’, Mooney 48’) def. by Edgeworth Eagles 3 (Bizzarri 20’, McBreen 66’, 90’)
Saturday 21st April, 6 pm at Darling Street Oval

It was a tit-for-tat battle in which Edgeworth didn’t take the lead until the 90th minute, but it was the only lead which counted as the Eagles snuck home over an unfortunate Hamilton Olympic.

The home side began strong and capitalised on their positive start just nine minutes in. A free kick into the box from Reece Papas deflected off the wall, and somehow found it’s way in courtesy of Leo Bertos to give Olympic a 1-0 lead.

Edgeworth attempted to get into their groove and control the ball slightly better – but it was a cheeky chip from a long way out which levelled things up in the 20th minute, and it was a rare goal for Dom Bizzarri.

The visitors had the first opportunity of the second half with a chance created by Bizzarri turned wide, but it was Hamilton who would take the lead yet again.

A move which started inside their own half, Olympic moved the ball from left to right and a precise ball into the box from Bertos met the head of Simon Mooney who made no mistake from three yards out.

Olympic was controlling possession well and making good ground immediately after the goal, but Edgeworth slowly began to claw their way on top and created a few chances including one for Tyson Jackson who forced a corner in the 62nd minute.

They would find the breakthrough shortly after thanks to substitute, Daniel McBreen. A quick counter caught a number of Olympic players upfield and seen the ball end up with Jamie Byrnes. He cut it back across the area to an unmarked McBreen at the back post, who finished levelling the scores once again.

The away side wrestled their way on top, and they’d find the all-important breakthrough in the 90th minute through that man again – McBreen.

A move which he helped start from the halfway line, the ball was eventually whipped in by Tyson Jackson and somehow fell to McBreen at the back of the box. The striker was able to turn his shot in and break Olympic hearts.

A Blake Green ball across the box could have proved an equaliser in the 91st minute, but Simon Mooney wasn’t able to reach it. Ultimately, it’d finish with Edgeworth’s fourth win on the trot.

Edgeworth coach Damien Zane was pleased with the win – but no so much with the defending.

The performance of substitute Daniel McBreen was another highlight for Zane.

“I think that shows why we’ve had success, he’s been there and done it, he’s been out and doesn’t expect to walk in the team,” Zane said.

“Some players, when they get named on the bench get in the wrong frame of mind and come on and give you nothing, but when our subs come on they give us everything they’ve got and influenced the game, and Macca was no different.

“There was one instance where he chased a guy 40, 50 yards down and won the ball, and when you see a 40-year-old doing that, for your young boys in the squad it shows them if he can do it, there’s no reason you can’t do it.”

 

Newcastle Jets Youth 0 def. by Maitland Magpies 1 (Read 87’)
Saturday 21st April, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park

It wasn’t pretty, but Maitland managed to wrestle their way back into the winners’ circle with a victory which sees them maintain their position inside the top four.

Matt Thompson was missing for Maitland on Saturday, with Chris Fayers stepping into the starting side in his place. Thomas’ Beecham and Curran were absent for Jets Youth, so Kaleb Cox started.

Both sides struggled to find openings in a fairly even first half, with a Ryan Clarke shot in the 26th minute forcing a save from Tristan Esquilant in the Jets goal.

Just three minutes later Jets Youth went close themselves, with captain Solomon Vaiika cutting in onto his right foot and firing toward the goal. It only missed courtesy of a Maitland deflection.

In the end, it took a corner for Maitland to find the breakthrough late into the second half.

Lifted in by substitute Josh Dutton-Black, the first header was turned onto the crossbar. The afters fell to Alex Read, the defender making no mistake from mere metres to secure the three points.

The defeat means Jets Youth miss the chance to go into the top four, but sit just three points outside the finals spots. For Maitland, it sees them keep their place despite being leapfrogged by Magic, who went into third.

 

Adamstown Rosebud 0 def. by Broadmeadow Magic 4 (Carrol 15’, Bradbury 61’, 82’, Majurovski 85’)
Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at Adamstown Oval

Magic is a side bursting with quality, and it shone through in spite of a resilient Adamstown side as the visitors stormed home to a big win in stark contrast to last season’s Anzac Day fixture.

That match, a dour nil-all draw was left firmly in the rear-view mirror as Magic hit home four goals – but were left to count their wounded after a number of injuries.

In a game preceded by an impeccably observed Anzac Day ceremony, things got off to a fiery start with Adamstown’s Chris Berlin shown a yellow card inside 30 seconds for a tough tackle on Cody Carroll.

The first of the casualties came early for Broadmeadow after James Virgili was clattered in a rough tackle from Rosebud’s Luke Rutledge. He suffered a dislocated shoulder and was taken to John Hunter Hospital to have it popped back in.

Shortly after, another Rutledge foul brought down John Majurovski just outside the Adamstown area and handed Magic a free kick. Cody Carrol stepped up and fired home direct from the free kick for his first Magic goal.

Broadmeadow’s injury troubles got worse not long before half-time after Jeremy Wilson and Rosebud’s Judd Duncan came together in the middle of the park, with the former coming off much worse. He was stretchered off in what looked to be some considerable pain.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Broadmeadow struck again as Adamstown gave away their fourth penalty in six games. A Dino Fajkovic shot from outside the area rattled the crossbar, and the ball fell to Majurovski – who was brought down from behind by Ben Higgins.

A penalty was awarded and Kale Bradbury made no mistake from the spot to double their advantage.

The home side almost had one back in the ensuing minutes. Matt Sokulsky put Connor Heydon through but he was unable to finish, and a Tim Davies strike in the 71st minute took a wicked deflection and had Paul Bitz beat – but hit the crossbar.

With just over ten minutes to go, Magic would put the game out of reach as Bradbury doubled his tally. He played a nice one-two with Majurovski and finished for his fifth goal of the season. For Majurovski, it was the third goal of the afternoon in which he was directly involved.

He’d find himself involved in another just three minutes later. A ball over from Luke Virgili took a deflection off Ollie Davies, which sent it straight into the path of Majurovski. He topped off his spectacular afternoon with a goal for himself.

Things went from bad to worse for Adamstown in the 87th minute, when substitute Gocha Abshilava was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball push in the back on Magic’s Takebe Soma. In the end, it finished Magic claiming a 4-0 victory.

Speaking to BarTV Sports after the match, Magic man Majurovski said a tough pre-season paved the way for his top performance on Sunday.

“Ruben’s [Zadkovich] made me run and run and run, and I feel good out there, I’m 35 but I don’t feel 35, I’m enjoying it and I think that’s the main thing,” Maj said.

“We changed [to three at the back] last week against Charlestown and it worked, we created a lot of chances, I don’t know if we’ll keep it all season but it’s working so why change a winning formula?”

 

Charlestown City Blues 2 (Smith 17’, Lewis 28’) def. Weston Bears 1 (Burston 87’)
Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at Lisle Carr Oval

It wasn’t their prettiest victory of the season, but a ten-man Charlestown managed to edge out the visiting Bears on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams started brightly, and it was Weston who threatened first with right-back Callum Bower getting forward and forcing a save out of Danny Ireland.

It was the home side who would open the scoring shortly after against the run of play. A mistake from Bears’ Jordan Jackson created a chance for the Blues, who found Scott Smith and went ahead 1-0 in the 17th minute.

They doubled their advantage shortly after, with Kane Runge spilling a free kick straight into the path of Cal Lewis. The number 15 made no mistake in putting away Charlestown’s second.

Weston wasn’t lying down however and continued to push forward. Jackson Burston had a good shot on goal in the 37th minute, but the visitors weren’t able to find a way through before the break.

Shortly after half-time, Charlestown had a good shout for a penalty waved away. The game began to peter out as Weston chased, and Jackson Burston fired a shot high and wide in the 68th minute.

Charlestown nearly finished things off in the 82nd minute after a Riley McNaughton ball met the head of Smith, who just steered his header wide.

Just four minutes later, things really kicked off. After conceding a foul, Charlestown substitute Masaya Sakamoto kicked out at Weston’s Jake Barner which sparked handbags from all sides. When the dust settled, Sakamoto was shown a straight red card.

In the immediate aftermath, Weston scored. A bursting run down the left-hand side from substitute Jett White seen him manage to whip a ball in, which Burston managed to steer a diving header into the back of the net and the Bears were back in it.

Despite Weston pushing forward, Charlestown was able to wind the clock down and see out their fifth win of the season.

Blues boss David Tanchevski was pleased with how his side capitalised on two Weston mistakes to go to victory.

“I was happy; it was a tight contest and Weston actually played well, there wasn’t much space out there because they played the ball really well,” Tanchevski said.

“We pressed really well and created some errors in the Weston defence, there were probably a couple of times where we didn’t capitalise and I wanted us to capitalise, so a few opportunities and a penalty which was probably the clearest one I’ve seen which we didn’t get, that would’ve put the game at 3-0 and it would’ve been game over.”

Charlestown had to hang in the last ten minutes after a late red card, a decision which Tanchevski agreed with.

“There wasn’t a lot of contact from Masaya but the intent was there and it’s a clear red card, I’m not sure what’s happened because he’s a quiet kid and he’s just had a brain snap after the guy from Weston stood on him while he was on the ground.”

“According to Masaya, there was a clear stamp… but the red card was justified, we didn’t panic and we spoke about not sitting back and inviting pressure on and we hit them on the break a couple of times towards the end, but the boys hung on and did well with ten men and I was happy with how they did.”

 

Valentine Phoenix 0 drew Lambton Jaffas 0
Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at CB Complex

After copping a caning at the hands of Lakes last weekend, Valentine needed a response and they got that as they managed to share the points with last years champions.

There were returns from injury for both sides with Jobe Wheelhouse starting his first match since last season’s grand final. Valentine’s Zac Sneddon continued his return from injury, building on 45 minutes off the bench last weekend.

It was Phoenix’s second match at new home CB Complex, however, it was Lambton who started slightly better in terms of field position and possession. Luke Remington saw an early long shot go wide.

Ryan Griffiths almost found the breakthrough not long after, but his header was acrobatically tipped over by Perry Budden in the Valentine goal.

Valentine was under the pump for much of the second half as the visitors looked to control the match and did so for large swathes of the match.

The home side did have a golden opportunity to win it late on though – Joel Wood was set free with only Brad Swancott to beat, but he turned his shot wide.

In the end, the two sides shared the points. For Valentine, their third stalemate of the season and still without a win. For Lambton, it’s their second draw in as many weeks and not the ideal result heading into the bye next weekend.

Valentine assistant Sam Griffin regarded it a much-improved performance, compared to the previous weekend’s result.

“You’re never happy with a point only, but to keep Jaffas to nil and a clean sheet is an achievement in itself and after the performance the week before against Lakes it probably wasn’t expected, so at the moment you have to take a point and be happy with it,” Griffin said.

“We were under the pump, but we set up that way because knew Lambton would have a lot of the ball and we’d spend a lot of time without it, we had a game plan executed pretty well and I think Sillsy got it right.

“There’ll be plenty of sore, tired boys there from both sides… it was very physical which was good, you’re not going to play pretty against Lambton because you’re not going to outdo them that way, both sides gave as good as they got.”

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