NPL Men’s NNSW Round 13 Review: Magic stay top despite dropping points in derby clash with Olympic

June 6th, 2022

 James Paras

Sproule Sports Focus

Newcastle Olympic 1-1 Broadmeadow Magic

The latest instalment of the derby between Magic and Olympic saw the sides share the points after an entertaining match of the round ended as a 1-1 draw.

Magic came into the fixture looking to return serve after being defeated late in their first meeting in round two while Olympic were looking to solidify their spot in the top four with a victory.

Magic grabbed the early ascendancy through Damon Green as he was on the scene to poke home from close range after a shot from Keanu Moore.

The early goal sent warning signs to the parochial home crowd at Darling Street, with fears that Magic would be well on their way to collecting what would be their eighth win in nine matches.

The ground was heavy from the recent rain, making it difficult for the players to build any consistent possession.

Olympic fashioned their equaliser from seemingly nothing as Kent Harrison received the ball with his back to goal on the 18-yard line. Harrison then turned and shot to beat Magic keeper Jack Pandell at his left post.

The game produced few chances for either side in the first half but Jacob Dowse had the best opportunity to find the back of the net just before half-time when he broke away but he was thwarted by Olympic goalkeeper Adam Pearce.

The second half saw both sides searching for a breakthrough but similar to the first half, chances were few and far between.

Dowse was not afforded the space to continue his goalscoring exploits and was given plenty of close attention from Olympic’s defence.

Olympic asked plenty of questions of Magic’s defence and almost found a way through from a corner that Pandell could not handle but Olympic’s Musa Kamara was unable to pounce on the loose ball just minutes from full time.

A controversial moment came in the 86th minute with Magic’s Thomas Beecham throwing his body in front of Pearce as he dropped the ball from his hands to his foot. Beecham was deemed to have illegally blocked Pearce’s kick after the ball found the back of the net.

Magic’s Aaron Oppedisano had the last chance to steal the victory, trying his luck from the edge of the penalty area. Hs shot beat Pearce but swung wide of the goal, leaving the scores locked at 1-1.

The result was a fair indication of the tight match but both sides will rue missed opportunities they look forward to their Australia Cup matches on Saturday.

Broadmeadow will travel north to face Coffs City United in their sixth preliminary round match, while Olympic host fellow NPL Men’s NNSW club Lake Macquarie City at Darling Street.

Lambton Jaffas 1-1 Weston Workers FC

Nothing could separate Lambton Jaffas and Weston Workers with the sides sharing the points after playing out a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Jaffas were 2-0 winners when the sides last met earlier in the season and will be hoping for more consistency in their schedule having played the fewest games of any team in the NPL Men’s NNSW competition due to the recent wet weather.

Jaffas attacker James Virgili almost got the home side off to the perfect start at Arthur Edden Oval with his shot forcing a low save from Weston keeper Jacob Zissis.

The first half was a close affair with chances at a premium. That was until the ball landed at Kale Bradbury’s feet, with the crafty number nine unleashing a shot from well outside the penalty area that was too much for Zissis to handle.

The hosts warmed into the contest and were unlucky not to extend their lead just before the break but they would hold the 1-0 lead at half-time.

The second half saw Weston increase their output to find an equaliser, with Michael McGlinchey delivering a perfect ball to Moustafa Mohammad in the 53rd minute but the Dutchman was unable to capitalise at the far post.

But just minutes later Mohammad nodded home a deep corner from McGlinchey, giving the visitors their equaliser.

With the scores level both sides tried their hand to make sure they left with the three points but neither was able to land the fatal blow.

A strike from Lambton’s Reece Papas in the 88th minute forced the save of the afternoon from Zissis with the Weston keeper acrobatically pushing the shot over the crossbar.

But the score remained 1-1, with Weston securing a vital point that sees them move to sixth place on 11 competition points. Lambton (14) are fourth.

Maitland FC 5-4 Cooks Hill United

Maitland held off a fast-finishing Cooks Hill side to come away with three points as they played out a nine-goal extravaganza at Cooks Square Park on Saturday.

Cooks Hill came into the match off the back of consecutive wins last week but it was always going to be a challenge taking on the might of the Magpies who were searching for their sixth win of the season.

A hat-trick from Magpies co-captain James Thompson helped steer his side to victory, with the first of his goals coming in the 10th minute as he capitalised on a one-on-one opportunity against Cooks Hill goalkeeper Ryan Furness.

A towering long ball from Adam Blunden three minutes later from deep within his half caused Furness to spill the ball, with Thompson again on the scene to calmly walk the ball into the net to make it 2-0.

The wind made it tricky for the players and especially the goalkeepers making corners and set pieces extremely valuable. Maitland asked plenty of questions of the visitors’ defence for most of the first half and went into the break with a 2-0 lead.

Thompson was given the chance to complete his hat-trick one minute after the resumption of play, as Maitland were awarded a penalty for a handball in the penalty area. Thompson stepped up and calmly converted to make it 3-0.

Never far from the action Magpies striker Braedyn Crowley added his name to the score sheet when he latched onto a clever through ball from striker partner Thompson, grabbing his 14th goal of the season.

Down 4-0 Cooks Hill started their fightback in the 53rd minute when Josh Benson was pushed to the ground in the penalty area, with Benson stepping up to the spot and calmly finding the bottom left corner to make it 4-1.

Furness was again called upon in the 65th minute as he defused a Crowley breakaway but he could not do the same six minutes later as Crowley snagged his second of the day to make it 5-1.

Maitland were left seething when the visitors were awarded their second penalty of the match in the 75th minute, disagreeing that a foul had been committed but Sam Webb brushed off the controversy to convert from the spot to make it 5-2.

Cooks Hill continued their fightback in the 80th minute with two quick fire goals to make it 5-4.

Despite a few anxious closing moments Maitland held on, keeping them in touch with Broadmeadow Magic and Charlestown Azzurri at the top, while Cooks Hill will turn their attention to Edgeworth midweek.

Edgeworth FC 1-1 Adamstown Rosebud

A late Josh Rose equaliser salvaged a draw for Edgeworth against Adamstown on Sunday as Rosebud secured their first point of the season.

But it was still heartbreak for Adamstown who were minutes away from scoring their first win of the season at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Adamstown had been on a 10-match losing streak heading into the weekend, with Edgeworth determined to knock over their 11th-placed opponents after slipping to eighth on the table after last weekend’s loss to Valentine.

Adamstown landed the first blow in the 22nd minute, with Zaik Luck showing great composure to drill his shot into the bottom right-hand corner after finding himself with the ball in the penalty area.

Edgeworth almost found their equaliser late in the first half but their shot hit the crossbar and the retreating Rosebud goalkeeper Tom Jenkin was able to see away the ensuing shot.

Scoring goals has not been a problem for Rosebud as of late but Dave Rosewarne’s men came into the match wanting to improve on their leaky defence and looked to have made strides to do that as they entered half-time with their lead intact.

Up 1-0 Rosebud looked to extend their lead in the second half but were unable to find the killer blow.

Adamstown looked certain to collect their first victory of the season, that was until Rose found the ball at his feet after a blocked shot from Jeremy Brockie, slamming home the equaliser in the 89th minute.

Rosebud will be disappointed to not have come away with the three points but it is a step in the right direction. While Edgeworth will be looking to get back in the winner’s circle when they meet Cooks Hill midweek.

Charlestown Azzurri 6-1 Lake Macquarie City

Six first half goals from Charlestown saw Azzurri cruise past Lake Macquarie City 6-1 on Sunday.

Azzurri coach Graham Law said through the week that he expected a big performance from his side coming off the bye and he would not have been disappointed as his side collected their sixth win of the season.

The goalscoring started almost from the first whistle at Lisle Carr Oval, with Azzurri’s Riley Smith being fouled in the penalty area and Jacob Melling making no mistake from the spot.

Azzurri extended their lead just after the 20th minute through Harry Frendo, who was able to nod home from a corner and double his side’s advantage.

Lakes were able to peg one back just five minutes later, with the ball landing for Tapuwanashe Goora after Azzurri failed to clear the lines, producing a classy finish to find the far post.

It proved to be only a minor hindrance for Law’s men as Azzurri scored two more times just after the half-hour mark, with Dean Pettit and Smith putting their names on the scoresheet to make it 4-1.

All the momentum was with Azzurri and Nigel Boogaard almost made it five goals at the 40th minute mark with his header that collected the crossbar. But Smith would again make no mistake from the spot just minutes later, converting a second penalty to make it 5-1.

Smith then collected his second to make it 6-1 just before half-time when he latched onto a loose ball in the box from a cross.

Lakes had it all ahead of them in the second half and with the top of the table beckoning for Azzurri after Magic dropped points against Newcastle Olympic, Charlestown wanted to keep up the pressure.

A goalless second half saw Lakes suffer their third loss in a row to sit 10th on the table, while Azzurri moved to 22 points and climbed to second.

Law said he felt a result like this had been coming.

“When you’re close to your team, you get a gut feeling about things,” Law said.

“I felt like this performance came at a good time for us. We were able to deliver [in the first half] and then bring some of the more senior players off the park for the second half, so that is a bonus in itself.

“[The goalless second half] to be honest with you, the best teams in the world very rarely when they have such a dominant first half performance are able to back it up in the second. Credit to Lakes, those boys have a lot of pride and they put in a very spirited second half.”

Law also made special mention of goal scorer Harry Frendo with the sky the limit for the talented young player.

“I don’t usually like signalling out individuals but Harry Frendo can be as good as any attacking player in the competition when he wants to,” Law said.

“He has pace, left and right foot and strength but he just needs to work on consistency.”

Related Topics:
NPL Men's NNSW Round 13 Review

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