NPL Men’s NNSW Round Two Review

March 14th, 2022

 James Paras

 Sproule Sports Focus

Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic 1-2 Newcastle Olympic

A stunning Jared Muller free kick in stoppage time handed Newcastle Olympic a thrilling 2-1 victory over Broadmeadow Magic on Sunday.

It was an exhilarating derby clash to open the season following the postponement of round one last weekend.

After a cagey first half with few chances, three goals after half-time provided plenty of entertainment for the strong crowd at Magic Park.

Broadmeadow would have been quietly confident heading into their season opener after doing the double over Newcastle Olympic last season but Olympic showed they have plenty to give this season.

Magic’s best chance of the first half came from striker Jacob Dowse who would continue to be a threat whenever the hosts pressed forward, with his header late in the first half his best chance to open their account.

Olympic’s new arrival Chan Yelchan produced his side’s best chances of the opening half, forcing two saves from Nate Cavaliere in their limited visits into Magic’s half.

But it was Yelchan’s second half effort that would provide the breakthrough, with a stunning solo effort that saw him dribble past three Magic defenders and drill his strike into the bottom corner.

Magic would find a late equaliser through substitute Damon Green after he latched onto a cross in the 86th minute to make it 1-1.

The match looked destined to be a draw before Olympic were awarded a free kick in the 94th minute just outside Magic’s penalty area.

And it was Olympic’s top goal scorer last year Muller who produced the moment of magic in injury time, curling his effort into the top right corner to make the score 2-1.

Newcastle Olympic coach Joel Griffiths said he was forced to change his side’s formation after a tough first half but was proud of how his side responded after half-time.

“I felt like in the first half we struggled a little bit so we changed our formation at half-time because [Magic] had one up front and I feel we were outnumbered in the midfield,” Griffiths said.

“Overall I feel like [the result] could have gone either way, even though [Magic] had most of the possession and [were] probably in control of the game more than us. But our boys kept on fighting.

“[Magic] have some really great players and I think it shows our desire to get the three points, even though at one stage all the momentum was with Magic. I just felt like we kept on trying and gave our all and that’s all I can ask.”

Cooks Hill United 0-0 Maitland FC

Cooks Hill United coach David Tanchevski was proud of his side’s effort after their first ever fixture in the top flight of northern NSW football, with Cooks Hill playing out a 0-0 draw with last year’s runners-up Maitland on Friday night.

The opening match of the 2022 NPL Men’s NNSW season may have been a stalemate but there was plenty of action despite the lack of goals with Tommy Smart’s first half send off the major talking point at No.2 Sportsground.

Maitland and Cooks Hill were able to create opportunities early in the first half, with Magpies striker Braedyn Crowley almost starting his second stint with the club in superb style with an effort in the 28th minute that hit the post.

The red card came in the 36th minute, with the referee deeming Smart’s tackle on James Thompson to have illegally denied the Magpies’ attacker a goal-scoring opportunity as Maitland counterattacked from a corner.

Despite playing a man down Cooks Hill were able to keep out the Magpies with Tanchevski praising his side’s resilience and composure during their opening match of the season and the club’s first ever match in the top tier.

“I’m extremely proud of the performance from the boys,” Tanchevski said.

“What I asked them to do at half-time they did it all in the second half. And the discipline they showed in defence and the patience to go forward.

“For us to play 65 minutes [with 10 men] against a team that is strong like Maitland, I don’t think we were played off the park, it shows that we can match it with anyone.”

The second half saw Maitland apply the pressure with Crowley and Thompson having opportunities, with Cooks Hill’s chances often coming from counterattacks. But neither side were able to break the deadlock.

Cooks Hill will now look towards their clash with Weston next weekend, while the Magpies prepare to travel to Jack McLaughlin Oval to take on fellow heavyweights Edgeworth.

Adamstown Rosebud 0-1 Edgeworth FC

Edgeworth began life under new head coach Peter McGuiness on a winning note as they downed a valiant Adamstown Rosebud 1-0 at Adamstown Oval on Saturday.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the heavyweights with Rosebud showing plenty of fight and producing their fair share of opportunities to almost snatch a famous victory.

Adamstown’s Anthony Wood had a chance late in the first half to open their account for the season but his attempt would swing wide of the goal after a strong drive into Edgeworth’s box.

The second half would see Edgeworth awarded a penalty in the 68th minute for a foul in the penalty area before it was overturned after a significant stoppage in play to treat an injury.

Edgeworth would then pile on the pressure with the breakthrough coming from the 2021 NPL Men’s NNSW Player of the Year Jeremy Brockie, who sealed all three points with his strike in the 86th minute.

Edgeworth will travel to face fellow heavyweights Maitland next weekend, with Rosebud to welcome Valentine to Adamstown Oval.

Weston Workers FC v Lambton Jaffas

Match postponed due to pitch condition following wet weather.

Lake Macquarie City 1-1 Charlestown Azzurri

Charlestown Azzurri will rue missing the chance to take all three points from their opening match of the season after a late penalty handed Lake Macquarie City a draw at Macquarie Field on Sunday.

Charlestown Azzurri were in control for the majority of the match with Graham Law’s side producing 10 shots on target to Lake Macquarie’s two, while Charlestown also won a whopping 13 corners to Lake Macquarie’s two.

But the match would remain goalless until the 81st minute with Azzurri breaking the deadlock thanks to a Callum Bower header. But they would not enjoy the lead for long with Lakes awarded a penalty in the 85th minute for Dylan Burston to level the scores at 1-1.

The draw will be seen as a step in the right direction for Lake Macquarie, who finished last season in eighth place on the table with just three wins to their name. While Charlestown will look to again challenge for a spot in the top five.

Charlestown now turn their attention to a clash with Newcastle Olympic, while Lake Macquarie will enjoy the bye.

Valentine FC had the bye

Related Topics:
NPL Men's NNSW Round Two Review

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