Competitions

NPL Northern NSW Round 3 Review

March 25th, 2019

 SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS

 QUENTIN CONNERS

 

Match of the Round

Weston Bears 2 (Buswell 17’, Tjien-Fooh 61’) def. Maitland FC 1 (Read 88’)

Saturday 23 March, 7:30pm, Rockwell Automation Park

In the first ‘El Clasicoal’ of the season, it was Weston who walked away with the bragging rights after defeating rivals Maitland who were playing their first match of the year.

The match began in cagey fashion with neither side able to really collect control over the other and with the first real chance of the game, came the first goal. A long cross found Liam Wilson at the back stick and after his shot cannoned into the upright, it was Cooper Buswell who ran through on the rebound and knocked it home.

The Bears had a chance not long after to double their lead when Chris Hurley launched a shot from outside the box that took some great, agile work from Maitland goalkeeper Matt Trott to keep it at bay.

The Magpies struggled to find a way past the strong defence that Zac Sneddon and Nathan Morris were displaying, and it began to build pressure.

The second half saw the home side break out of the gates quickly and it seemed Regan Lundy might grab a goal after he showcased some skill to create space for a shot, but Trott was up to the task once again, however, there was nothing he could do moments later.

New Holland signing Jason Tjien-Fooh was played out a wide ball and in a 1-on-1 situation with his opposite defender, showed some flashy feet before launching a bullet of a shot from an unlikely angle straight into the top corner of the goal.

With the brace, the Bears looked to hold out their lead and things only worsened for Maitland when Grant Brown was shown two yellow cards back-to-back – both for dissent.

Despite that, a small ray of sunshine came when Alex Read jumped on the end of a headed cut-back to make it a one-goal game late on, however the Magpies weren’t able to complete the comeback leaving Weston with three points and back-to-back victories.

Weston coach Kew Jaliens admitted that he was proud of the way his team performed to earn the win, and although they weren’t at their best for the full 90 minutes, he was confident they would soon develop that consistency.

“I think we played good football for patches of the game,” said Jaliens.

“Some bits were sloppy but that’ll come with getting more mature as a team.

“We were very well organised and had an answer to all they’re [Maitland] different set-ups. We knew their strengths but because they hadn’t played a game, it was kind of guessing what their formation and set up would be. We just had to prepare the boys to face whatever was coming and they did that well.”

Jaliens made special mention for two of his new signings including defender Zac Sneddon and his fellow Dutchman, Tjien-Fooh.

“I thought Sneddo was very good in defence,” Jaliens stated.

“He read the game well and was good in the build up part of it all.

“Jason also showed his quality scoring that bomb.”

 

Lambton Jaffas 4 (Crowley 12’, 19’, Waller 70’, Sutton 77’) def. Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Heydon 15’)

Saturday 23 March, 5:30pm, Arthur Edden Oval

Lambton have continued their strong start to the season with another big win to place themselves at the top of the table – this time their victim was Adamstown.

It didn’t take long for the home team to find themselves in the lead after former Melbourne City striker Braedyn Crowley scored his first goal of the season from a rather tight angle, placing it past Adamstown’s keeper Benn Kelly.

The Rosebuds have already had experience with coming back from being a goal down this year, and that’s exactly what did to the Jaffas as Connor Heydon smashed one into the crossbar crossing the goalline on the way down just minutes after the side were trailling.

Crowley continued to be dangerous though, and that danger turned into a second goal, toeing one in from close range after a cross to regain his side the lead.

Searching for a hat-trick, Crowley troubled Kelly on multiple occasions – one from a free kick, and another from outside the box – but the Rosebuds keeper met them both with strong saves, keeping his side in the game.

His hard-work came undone though in the second half after a terrific volleyed goal from Tom Waller and not long after, Lambton new man Josh Sutton put the icing on the cake after his duffed shot sent Kelly the wrong way.

That win sees the Jaffas above all other ten teams despite having only played two games and their nine goals scored is a large reason for that.

For the Rosebuds, their start to the season has been one to forget as they sit near the bottom having won zero games from their three played.

 

Edgeworth Eagles 2 (Atayde 63’, Bower 71’) drew with Newcastle Jets Youth 2 (Barkho 28’ PEN, O’Connor 74’)

Saturday 23 March, 7:30pm, Jack McLaughlan Oval

After a hard-fought, back-and-forth match between the defending premiers Edgeworth and the Newcastle Jets Youth, both sides had to share the points in what was the first draw of the 2019 NPL NNSW season.

Attacking football was displayed right from the word go and both teams had chances to take an early lead. Eagles’ Josh Rose found himself on the end of a long cross, but his blistering shot was met by a nice low save from Noah James, while down the other end, some slick passes between Mathew Barkho and Maki Petratos saw Barkho with a great 1-on-1 chance in front of goal, but Edgeworth keeper Josh Low successfully kept it out.

Low’s hero status was quickly wiped away moments later though after he gave away a penalty, taking Barkho down in the box on as he rushed the goal. Barkho stepped up and made no mistakes from the spot, giving his young Jets team the early advantage.

The Eagles did what they couldn’t last week against Charlestown though, and that was bounce back from a deficit. Jose Atayde was the man who’d step up for his team slamming a ball into the bottom of the goal from the edge of the box, before minutes later, a picture-perfect cross from Rose found an open Will Bower, who chested the ball down before popping into the back of the net.

The Jets found their way back into the game quickly however, when Joseph O’Connor knocked one in from close to the sideline, that, although first looking like an attempted cross, amazingly chipped Low and nestled itself in the goal, equalising the score and making sure his team at least left with one point next to their name.

Edgeworth remain inside the top four but having played all three of their matches, could find themselves on the outer if teams around them, such as the Jets Youth, can find victories in their catch-up games.

 

Charlestown City Blues 4 (McNaughton 10’, Vegter 17’, Smith 49’, Ferguson 63’) def. Lake Macquarie City Roosters 1 (S. Walker 20’)

Sunday 24 March, 2:30pm, Lisle Carr Oval

Off the back of a fantastic winning performance against Edgeworth last weekend, Charlestown backed it up with a strong win over a hapless Lake Macquarie side.

Riley McNaughton got the proceedings off with a bang after hitting an absolute rocket of a shot from outside the box straight past a helpless Stuart Plant in goals.

That goal set the tone for the Blues, and minutes later new signing Max Vegter ran onto a slicing through ball before finishing it nicely to double the lead early on.

Fortune fell for Lakes though to keep them in the game as a corner that seemed to be gobbled up easily by Charlestown goalkeeper Nathan Archibold, suddenly flew out of his hands landing right at the feet of the Roosters captain only metres away from an empty net.

The Blues were just far too strong going forward though, and as the match wore on, their dominance showed. Scott Smith knocked in a diving header early in the second half and almost grabbed a second off his head. He shot was initially well saved by Plant, but the ball fell for Rene Ferguson who knocked home his first for the year.

Lakes now sit on the bottom of the table on goal difference of -7 and will be needing to improve across the park if they are to begin troubling the top sides in the competition.

Coach Nick Webb said they’ll need to rally as a team both in defence, and across the park if they want any chance of beating Edgeworth next week.

“We gave away soft goal,” Webb said.

“At the end of the day we just weren’t good enough again. We’ve got to be better.

“Nine goals in two games is not acceptable.”

 

Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Majurovski 72’) def. Hamilton Olympic 0

Sunday 24 March, 2:30pm, Magic Park

As they most usually are, the Red and Blue Derby was an edge-of-your-seat, fiery contest and the 48th edition of the rivalry that played this weekend was no different as John Majurovski won the match with a late winner, sending the Magic fans home happy, and their rivals itching for revenge.

It was a battle right from the first whistle as both sides looked take control and the first glimpse of an opportunity came with a penalty shout as some dangerous play by Jarryd Sutherland saw him come together with Broadmeadow captain Josh Piddington inside the box, but the referee waved the call away.

Strong challenges and plenty of fouls were seen throughout the second half but neither team could break down the other’s defence to create any real goal-scoring opportunities. The closest the crowd saw to a goal was when Kristian Brymora found himself on the end of a crossed free-kick, but Hamilton keeper Tyler Warren made a good save to his right.

It was Olympic who started the second half strong as they made a few half-chances courtesy of Sutherland, Cody Lucas and Jed Hornery, but the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year Paul Bitz, was cool under the pressure.

The defining moment came with just under twenty minutes remaining that would prove to be the only difference between the two clubs. Mitchell Oxborrow swung a ball out wide to Kale Bradbery who, with space to manoeuvre, took on his defender before knocking in a shot into a rushing Warren. The rebound fell for Bradbery, who then cut it into the box for a waiting Majurovski scoring his first for the year, but one of his most important.

The hill to climb only got steeper for Hamilton when defender Tom Stewart was shown a second yellow card for a dangerous challenge on half-way, and from there Broadmeadow took control making multiple opportunities to extend the lead.

In the end, the derby win still went the way of Broadmeadow, collecting points for the first time this season and coach Ruben Zadkovich admitted he felt his team deserved it.

“We were the better team on the day,” Zadkovich said.

“We were very physical and just a lot tougher…but we also moved the ball around well and managed the hot conditions well.

“We didn’t hurt them [Hamilton] very many times for a long period, but because we had so much possession and because we were brave in those conditions, it just meant the longer the game wore on, the more they tired, and we started to get our rewards towards the end of the game.

The Broadmeadow coach said that despite struggling to work their way past the Olympic defence for the majority of the game, he was confident in his side and proud for the way they rallied together.

“For lack of a better term, they just parked the bus,” he said.

“They had 11 players behind the ball deep in their own half which is fine as they were looking to play on transition but it’s not an easy thing to break down.

“The biggest thing that it takes is patience. You’ve got to keep moving the ball and trying to pull players out of that block. I think that’s the area of the game that won it for us.

“Johnny Griff was probably our best player. He was doing such a great job in the middle and winning a lot of ball.

“It was our central four – Griff, Justin Broadley, Piddo [Piddington] and Luke Virgili – that laid a good platform for the other boys to play some nice football.”

 

Valentine Phoenix had the bye.

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