Match of the Round
Weston Workers FC v Maitland FC
Match postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Lambton Jaffas 5-1 Adamstown Rosebud
A Ben Hay hat-trick saw Lambton Jaffas climb to the top of the NPL NNSW table with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Adamstown Rosebud on Saturday.
Lambton knew a victory over Adamstown at Arthur Edden Oval would take them top of the table with leaders Broadmeadow Magic not in action this weekend.
Shane Pryce and Bobby Naumov’s side got off to a fine start despite the wet and windy conditions, taking the lead midway through the first half thanks to a swift counterattack.
Veteran goalkeeper Ben Kennedy released Kale Bradbery, with the attacker driving from deep inside his own half before the ball found its way out wide for Hay to tap in a fine cross.
It took until just before the hour mark for Lambton to double their advantage, with Andrew Pawiak winning possession in midfield before finding Bradbery with a brilliant cross.
It was 3-0 moments later when a comedy of errors at the back from Adamstown gifted Hay the simplest of finishes from close range.
The hosts had their fourth in the 69th minute when Scott Pettit did well to retain possession on the right before crossing for Hay who controlled and fired his finish beyond Brendan Short to complete his hat-trick.
Adamstown pulled a goal back five minutes from full-time when Drew Grierson finished powerfully past Kennedy from just inside the penalty area.
Lambton though had the final say when Anthony Wood added a fifth in the 90th minute.
It was a good day for the Jaffas with the club also announcing the signing of experienced striker Joel Wood.
Wood left Valentine following his send off against Maitland in round six and subsequent seven-match suspension.
The veteran has now served his ban and is eligible to play when Jaffas travel to Darling Street to face finals chasing Newcastle Olympic on Saturday.
“He’s been at the club before. He knows some of the players and he fits in well,” Pryce said.
“He just adds a bit of depth [and] competition for spots. So I think that’s a good little pick up.
“Having him in the squad will give us a bit more in the later rounds, a bit more to choose from.”
Lambton are now two points clear of Broadmeadow at the top having played a game more, while Adamstown remain ninth.
Adamstown host Magic on Saturday.
Lake Macquarie City 1-3 Newcastle Olympic
Newcastle Olympic got their season back on track with a 3-1 victory over Lake Macquarie City on Saturday.
Lakes took the lead on 14 minutes at Macquarie Field when Olympic defender Luke Rutledge was adjudged to have fouled City striker John Majorovski in the penalty area.
Nick Cowburn stepped up to dispatch the penalty past Daniel Eisenhauer.
Olympic waited until stoppage time at the end of the first half to draw level through a Tom Curran free kick.
The visitors then took the lead 15 minutes from full-time when Ryan Griffiths fired a low cross in for Jared Muller to steer home.
Olympic then sealed victory three minutes from the end when Muller was played in on goal, with the young attacker doing well to finish in the difficult conditions.
The win saw Joel Griffiths’ side remain fifth on 19 points, while Lakes’ finals hopes are all but over as they remain eighth on 11 points.
Lakes face Charlestown Azzurri on Sunday while Olympic host leaders Lambton on Saturday.
Edgeworth FC 1-0 Charlestown Azzurri
Edgeworth further strengthened their place in the top five with a 1-0 victory over Charlestown Azzurri on Sunday.
A stunning Will Bower strike four minutes into the second half secured the three points for the Eagles at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
While the reigning premiers and champions remain fourth after their third win in a row, Edgeworth have now opened up a five-point gap to fifth-placed Newcastle Olympic and are nine points clear of Weston.
Bower had returned to the Edgeworth side last week against Newcastle Olympic, where he also scored what turned out to be the winner, following a spell with NPL Victoria club Bentleigh Greens.
Despite undergoing ankle surgery, Bower showed he has lost none of his magic with a goal of the season contender that had former Edgeworth players on their feet as the club celebrated its Old Boys’ Day.
Having won the initial header from a long free kick down field, Bower took the ball from Jeremy Brockie and whipped a fiercely dipping shot into the top left corner past Nathan Archbold.
It was an important win for Michael Bridges’ side, with Edgeworth still holding a game in hand over fellow top five rivals Lambton, Maitland and Olympic.
The defeat all but ended Azzurri’s finals hopes with Charlestown seven points behind Olympic, having played the same number of games, with four rounds remaining.
Azzurri host Lake Macquarie City on Sunday, while Edgeworth travel to Weston on Saturday evening.
Broadmeadow Magic v Valentine FC
Match postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.