NPL Men’s NNSW Round Six Review: Azzurri thrash Eagles to remain on top

April 11th, 2022

 James Paras

 Sproule Sports Focus

Match of the Round
Charlestown Azzurri 6-2 Edgeworth FC

Charlestown Azzurri coach Graham Law says his side needs to work on their starts to matches despite downing Edgeworth 6-2 on Sunday afternoon.

It was goals galore at Allen Davis Field and although Azzurri ran out convincing winners, there were some tense moments early on that on another day could have seen a different result.

Edgeworth would have been determined to make a statement against high-flying Charlestown, with the Eagles suffering back-to-back defeats after their season-opening win against Adamstown.

Edgeworth were handed the early advantage, with a mix up at the back for Charlestown resulting in a bizarre own goal 10 minutes into the match.

A double from Azzurri’s Dom Bizzarri got Charlestown back into the match, with his first goal coming in the 26th minute as he finished from close range to level the scores.

Bizzari’s second goal saw Azzurri hit the lead just after the half-hour mark, with Riley Smith showing great skill to break into the Edgeworth penalty area. Smith then found Caleb Walz, who laid it off for a charging Bizzarri to grab his second of the afternoon.

Azzurri’s Jacob Melling was next on the scoresheet, with the experienced midfielder showing his class with a stunning shot from just outside the penalty area that beat Edgeworth
goalkeeper Ben Conway at his left post, giving Azzurri a 3-1 advantage heading into half-time.

Edgeworth started the second period determined to close the two-goal deficit and the Eagles would have been confident of doing that when Archie Finn was pulled down in the penalty area and Jeremy Brockie stepped up to take the penalty. But Charlestown keeper Nathan Archbold made the save, maintaining Azzurri’s two-goal buffer.

But Edgeworth persisted and Josh Rose pegged one back for the Eagles when he was able to capitalise from close range just before the hour mark with Finn and Brockie heavily involved.

With the score 3-2, Edgeworth would have backed themselves with more than 30 minutes left to play but just seconds later a mistake from Edgeworth’s rookie keeper Conway when he failed to clear the ball saw Smith smash home to make it 4-2.

At 4-2 it would be all downhill for the Eagles, as Liam Wilson was given a straight red card for a dangerous challenge, leaving the Eagles with 10 men for the final 25 minutes.

Azzurri wrapped up the emphatic victory in the end 6-2 but the score was not indicative of how close the match was for periods, with Ryan Frame joining the scoring in the 74th minute and Melling sealing the Eagle’s demise with his 81st-minute strike completing his hat-trick.

Law said he was proud of his side’s effort but indicated there was still room left for improvement.

“We have played a lot better than that this season,” Law said.

“It’s always a good sign that when you play a side as good as Edgeworth and you feel like you could have [played better]. We weren’t completely happy with our performance today.

“I thought the first 20 minutes Edgeworth was very good and the game could have got away from us. I always thought we would get into the game but we can’t give these top teams the head start.

“We managed the game when we had to but on another day if you give another side the start we did today, it could have got away from us but you can see the quality that we have got and we are confident we are going to score goals every time we play.”

Weston Workers FC 1-2 Maitland FC

Maitland FC continued their strong start to the season with a 2-1 victory over Weston on Saturday afternoon.

The Magpies were in control for the majority of the match at Rockwell Automation Park and have maintained their unbeaten start to the season with another el Clásicoal victory.

The Bears came into the match playing just their second fixture of the season due to a number of postponements over previous weeks.

Weston had their chances in the first half but the Magpies defence held firm in the opening exchanges with Maitland still yet to concede a goal going into the match.

It was Braedyn Crowley who opened the scoring for the Magpies with what was his sixth goal this week after coming away with a five-goal haul against Adamstown Rosebud midweek.

Crowley pounced on a loose ball from a Magpies goal kick just after the half-hour mark and showed great composure to squeeze his shot through Weston keeper Stuart Plant’s legs to give Maitland the advantage heading into half-time.

Crowley again tested Plant at the resumption of play for the second half, with the striker forcing a great save with a free kick.

Sean Pratt then doubled Maitland’s advantage in the 52nd minute as he delicately chipped Plant after latching onto a well-placed lobbed ball from Crowley.

But Weston would not be denied, with Dutch import Moustafa Mohammad opening his account for the season when he collected the ball at the edge of the penalty area and picked out the left corner much to the delight of the home crowd.

With the scores 2-1 heading into the final quarter of the match, Maitland backed their defence to close out the match as Weston battled to find an equaliser. Mohammad would have the best chance for Weston with a free kick but he could not find the target.

Broadmeadow Magic 6-0 Adamstown Rosebud

Broadmeadow Magic made it three consecutive wins after an emphatic victory against Adamstown Rosebud at Magic Park on Sunday afternoon.

Adamstown were desperate for a turnaround of form after going down convincingly to Maitland 6-0 during the week. But that loss proved to be just the beginning of a week to forget as they conceded six goals for a second time in five days.

Magic controlled the early stages of the match, dominating possession and putting the young Rosebud side to work with their expansive style of play.

Magic seized their first major opportunity through Jacob Dowse who added to his tally after his two-goal performance last week, with the in-form forward heading home a corner from teammate Bailey Wells to open the scoring.

Magic would keep the pressure on but to Rosebud’s credit they were able to keep Broadmeadow at bay, with Magic holding onto their one-goal advantage heading into half-time.

But the hosts started the second half guns blazing, with Dowse again finding the back of the net, this time from a free kick that took a slight deflection to beat Rosebud keeper Tom Jenkin to make it 2-0.

Broadmeadow made it 3-0 moments later, with former Jets youth product Wells showing fantastic skills to get into the Adamstown penalty area before calmly slotting home his goal.

Magic captain Jeremy Wilson then added himself to the scoresheet in the 56th minute, with the defender rocketing a shot from outside the penalty area to pick out the top left corner.

Magic pounced on any opportunity they were handed and Dowse would put it on a platter for Keanu Moore who picked out the bottom right-hand corner to score in the 65th minute, extending their advantage to 5-0.

Veteran striker Chris Berlin then joined in on the romp, volleying home from close range with a powerful shot that wrapped up the 6-0 result, with Damian Zane’s men moving to second on the table one point behind leaders Charlestown Azzurri.

The matches between Lake Macquarie City and Lambton Jaffas and Valentine FC against Newcastle Olympic were postponed.

Cooks Hill United had the bye.

Related Topics:
NPL Men's NNSW Round Six Review

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