NPL Men’s NNSW Round Seven Review: Quick start helps Magic maul sleepy Magpies

April 27th, 2022

 James Paras

 Valentine Sports Photography

Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic 3-1 Maitland FC

Broadmeadow Magic fired a warning shot to the rest of the competition when they downed Maitland 3-1 to hand the Magpies their first defeat of the season on Saturday.

Maitland had conceded just one goal heading into the fixture with both sides looking to make it four wins in a row.

It would be Magic who got the dream start as Jacob Dowse calmly picked out the bottom right-hand corner in the first minute, following a pass from Bailey Wells into the Magpies penalty area.

It was the first time Maitland had trailed in a match so far this season.

Wells would again be the architect for Magic’s next goal, with the clever midfielder playing the ball through to Jarred Baker this time, who beat Magpies keeper Paul Bitz.

Magic were up 2-0 after 10 minutes as Maitland battled to gain control of the match. Playing on home soil, the Magpies would turn up the defensive pressure to try to quell an expansive Magic side.

The match was a bruising affair as Maitland tried to impose themselves on the young Magic side and the match threatened to boil over at points with the Magpies ending the match with five yellow cards but the score remained 2-0 heading into half-time.

Magic extended their lead 15 minutes into the second half, with Wells getting on the scoresheet as he danced into the penalty area before delivering the ball to Dowse who fired a shot that was initially stopped on the goal line, but Wells was on the scene to tap it home.

Hopes of a comeback from Maitland were launched by defender Lachlan Webb when he rocketed a fantastic shot as the ball fell at his feet from a corner. His shot from well outside the penalty area found the top right corner. But it was not to be Maitland’s day, with Magic finishing the match victorious 3-1.

Maitland assistant coach Nick Webb said his side missed the jump at the start of the game, with the result a good wakeup call for the club.

“We just didn’t come out of the sheds to start with,” Webb said.

“We obviously conceded a couple of goals in the opening minutes and we were lucky not to concede more in the first half. We read the riot act at half-time to the boys but it wasn’t to be, so we were extremely disappointed after the game.

“We are looking for a better reaction next game. We haven’t been beaten at home in first grade since May last year so it was a bit of a shock for them all but they know they are better than that and we look forward to Charlestown Azzurri next week.”

Weston Workers FC 2-0 Valentine FC

Weston ended Valentine’s unbeaten start to the season after they overcame a first half deadlock to run away victorious.

The Bears were desperately seeking the three points at Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday as the Leo Bertos-coached side were sitting with just one win from three matches heading into the fixture, despite a promising maiden 5-0 dismantling of Cooks Hill.

But Valentine were never going to make it easy for the home side, with last year’s wooden spooners having a strong start to the new campaign with back-to-back wins against Adamstown Rosebud and Lake Macquarie City.

The first half presented little opportunity for either side with Valentine holding a majority of possession but unable to convert on the early pressure, while the Bears would warm into the contest but few chances were presented.

Weston forward Mohammad Moustafa would be presented the best opportunity for the first half but he was unable to find the mark from a free header from a cross to the back post in the 35th minute.

It was not be until the 65th minute that Weston found the breakthrough, as Zac Sneddon scored from an incisive ball from Aaron Niyonkuru to give the home side a 1-0 advantage.

Weston’s prized new signing Michael McGlinchey made his presence felt in the 70th minute in what was his first game for the club, as he cut the ball back into Valentine’s box after great lead up play from the Bears, giving Niyonkuru the chance to smash home from close range to double the advantage.

Valentine pushed hard for the final 20 minutes but were unable to find a goal, giving Weston victory for the second time this season.

Weston will now turn their attention to an in-form Broadmeadow Magic next week, while Valentine face an equally sizeable task when they meet reigning premiers Lambton Jaffas.

Adamstown Rosebud 1-2 Charlestown Azzurri

Charlestown Azzurri continued their unbeaten start to the season as they downed Adamstown Rosebud 2-1 to win the inaugural ANZAC cup on Monday afternoon.

Charlestown entered the match at Adamstown Oval on a three-match winning streak while Rosebud were desperately looking for their first win of the campaign and to climb off the bottom of the table.

The match was played for the inaugural ANZAC Day Cup between the two sides, with Adamstown holding a service to commemorate the day pre-game.

Azzurri were hot favourites heading into the match but Adamstown would not make it easy for the visitors on their home turf, as they held the table-toppers to a closely fought battle for most of the match.

Azzurri struck first in the 10th minute as Dom Bizzarri complemented his double from Azzurri’s last clash against Edgeworth, poking home an incisive Riley Smith cross that sent ominous signs to the home side.

With the advantage with the visitors, they would have thought they would run away with the victory due to each side’s form heading into the match but the young Rosebud side battled hard to keep the Graham Law-coached side in check.

Rosebud found the leveller in the 40th minute, as Adamstown’s top goal scorer Anthony Wood pounced on a loose ball in the Azzurri penalty area and beat Azzurri keeper Nathan Archbold at his far post to level the scores heading into half-time.

The clash would remain a tight tussle for the majority of the second half. That was until Azzurri found their breakthrough through Dean Pettit who capitalised on a goal kick from Archibold, with the ball finding his feet in the Rosebud penalty area. Pettit smartly tucked away his shot in the bottom right-hand corner to extend their advantage to 2-1.

Azzurri would hold out the determined home side to claim their fourth win on the trot, making them outright leaders of the competition on 13 points after Maitland faltered against Magic.

Law said his side never underestimated the last-placed Rosebud and praised his team for digging deep to take home all three points.

“We did our absolute due diligence in the lead up to this game,” Law said.

“As with every other side, we show [our opponents] the utmost respect and I thought Adamstown played a really good game today. We didn’t play particularly bad but Rosebud just made a really good match of it.

“We are happy to make it out of there with the points, to be honest, because they didn’t make it easy.

“Obviously ANZAC day is a very significant day in history and we felt honoured and quite privileged to play the match today and [the win] sets us up well for what’s to come.”

The match between Lambton Jaffas and Newcastle Olympic and the match between Cooks Hill United and Lake Macquarie City were postponed.

Edgeworth FC had the bye.

Related Topics:
NPL Men's NNSW Round Seven Review

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