Competitions

NPL NNSW – Round 2 Review

July 20th, 2020

 James Ward

 Sproule Sports Focus


Match of the Round

Lambton Jaffas 2 (Pettit 19’ 35’) defeated by Weston Workers 3 (Morris 27’, Niyonkuru 40’, Heydon 89’)

 

Weston snapped a six-year hoodoo at Arthur Edden Oval to score a come-from-behind victory against Lambton Jaffas in a spectacular Match of the Round on Saturday.

An incredible late goal was the difference between the two outfits as both sides produced an early contender for game of the season.

The home side got off to a solid start and were given an opportunity to get on the board first through Scott Pettit with the striker putting away a goal from the penalty spot to notch his first of the new campaign.

The Bears would hit back quickly with Jarryd Sutherland winning the ball back in a high area to play in Cooper Buswell on the edge of the box, with Buswell finding skipper Nathan Morris who buried his chance to level the scores approaching the half hour mark.

Lambton would then take the lead back with Pettit again afforded room in the box, hitting a shot into Zac Sneddon, only for the ball to take a deflection and wrong-foot Scott Carter to find the net.

Aaron Niyonkuru was showing his sharpness down the flanks for the Bears and the away side would come back to level for the second time through Niyonkuru.

Connor Heydon was played in down the right wing and whipped in a low cross to find Niyonkuru in open space in the centre of the box and the attacker eased it past Ben Kennedy to equalise.

After a highly-entertaining, end-to-end battle in the first half the two sides would head into the break equal before arriving for the second period.

The second half was a far tighter affair while Sutherland produced a top save out of  Kennedy to keep the scores level early on in the second stage.

The game was crying out for match-winner and up stepped Weston striker Heydon, who buried a devastating strike to send the Weston players into raptures.

The ball came in off a free kick before it fell to Heydon who smashed home the winner to earn the three points for the Bears and their first win of the season.

The 3-2 victory was Leo Bertos’ first as head coach of the Bears and their first win away against the Jaffas since 2014.

 

Newcastle Olympic 2 (Harrison 58’, 90’) drew with Valentine Phoenix 2 (Willard 13’, Read 14’)

 

For the second game in a row, Newcastle Olympic fought back to salvage a match in tremendous fashion, this time earning a dramatic late draw against a much-improved Valentine Phoenix at Darling Street Oval.

Valentine, eager to atone for their poor showing the week prior, jumped out of the blocks quickly earning two early goals with some quality play.

Luke Willard got the first after a superb cross from Dain Greentree to pick out the opening goalscorer before Jacob Bailey hit Alex Read with a pinpoint pass and Read capitalised with a great header.

Everything was going right for the Phoenix when Olympic captain, Kyle Hodges, was sent off soon after, leaving the home side with a mountain to climb and with only 10 men to do it.

Valentine continued to pose a threat on the counter as the first half drew to a close, with the orange and navy looking like they could run away with it.

It was certainly a game of two halves as Newcastle began to enjoy more possession and started to test Phoenix goalkeeper Danny Ireland after the break.

Olympic were awarded their chance to get back into the match when Harry Lane fouled Jarred Muller in the box and Olympic attacker Kent Harrison made no mistake from the spot to get Olympic right back into it.

The blue and white faithful of Newcastle Olympic were willing their team on and Jacob Cresnar was unlucky not to equalise, hitting the bar from inside the box.

The Phoenix had the win in their sights before some late drama with Ireland colliding with Olympic’s Tim Stewart in mid-air and the referee awarding a second penalty to Newcastle.

Harrison was cool under pressure and slotted away his second goal to earn a draw for Olympic with the final kick of the game.

The draw moves Olympic onto four points and into third, with those four points potentially crucial come the end of the season.

On the other hand, Valentine will feel hard done by to not take away their first victory of the season but it was certainly a vast improvement for the Phoenix side.

 

Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Vallone 73’) defeated by Edgeworth Eagles 3 (Brymora 18’ 24’ 62’)

 

Reigning champions Edgeworth have made it two from two to start the campaign with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Adamstown Rosebud at Adamstown Oval.

The Eagles were dominant from start to finish and combined incredibly well early in the game, showcasing dynamic passing movement in and around the box.

New signing Kristian Brymora had the first good chance of the game and forced Daniel Eisenhaeur into a good early save from close range.

Edgeworth would soon have their first goal as Jose Atayde played through Brymora and the former Newcastle Jet beat Eisenhauer to the ball to nudge it past him and roll the ball into the goal before Luke Rutledge could clear it.

Brymora would have his second shortly after as Ayden Brice let fly from range and the striker managed to get a head to the ball sending it into the back of the net.

Adamstown wouldn’t lie down and continued to take the fight to the Eagles with Flynn Goodman having a decent chance but couldn’t direct his header on target.

After the break, Edgeworth continued to create chances with Keanu Moore almost getting on the scoresheet but his effort was met by a great save by Eisenhauer.

However, Edgeworth would put the game to bed in the 62nd minute as Brymora rounded off his hat-trick after a sublime cross from Josh Rose picked out the goalscorer for another well-time header.

The goals put Brymora’s tally to four already for the season giving him an early lead in the Golden Boot race.

Adamstown continued to take the game to Edgeworth and their persistence was rewarded when James Lowe intercepted a pass from the back and found Luke Vallone in the box. Vallone hit it low and hard past Josh Low to draw one back for the Rosebuds.

But that was how it would finish with Edgeworth running out 3-1 victors and climbing to second on the ladder to be only denied first spot by Broadmeadow due to goal difference.

Taking a maximum six points is the best way to start and interim Edgeworth coach Keelan Hamilton said he was extremely pleased with the performance especially in the first half.

“The most pleasing aspect was to see us use the ball more effectively and combine more effectively than what we did in round one,” Hamilton said.

“We worked during the week on keeping the ball in transition moments and trying to change the point of attack and I though the first half we really executed those things.

“[I’m] really happy for Kristian. He was really good again today. Outside of the three goals which is a really positive thing, he brings a lot of pace and power to our side and I particularly liked how many possessions he had while linking up with his teammates.

“We’ve come through the game well, generally the whole squad did their job to a pretty good standard and managed the game really well.”

Maitland Magpies 4 (Wood 10’ 90’, Crowley 28’ 31’) defeated Lake Macquarie City 1 (Wilkins 1’)

Maitland are back in the winner’s circle with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Lake Macquarie at Cooks Square Park.

The Magpies shrugged off their opening day defeat to Edgeworth to find their goal-scoring groove in the victory while maintaining their impressive home record.

Although it was the visitors who struck first with the fastest opening goal of the season so far with Beau Wilkins scoring for the Roosters in the first minute.

Tyrell Paulson was causing havoc up front for the Roosters and was brought down one-on-one with Matt Trott, with Trott given a caution as the pacey attacker was potentially in on goal.

The home side began to wrestle back momentum and soon equalised through Joel Wood, who opened his account for the season netting a brilliant strike that went in off the crossbar from inside the 18-yard-box.

It was an end-to-end game to start with as Paulson almost caught Trott of his line but the former Central Coast Mariner pulled off a high-class save.

Maitland livewire Braedyn Crowley was soon to get amongst the attacking action and would have his opening goal to put Maitland in the lead after a well worked corner routine found Crowley’s head in the box.

Crowley would double-down on his goal, putting away a second soon after due to a terrific ball into the box from Wood which found the number 10 in the box and he lashed home his effort to make it 3-1.

After the half-time stoppage, Maitland would continue to get into dangerous areas while Lake Macquarie goalkeeper, Stuart Plant, was keeping his team in the contest with a few top saves.

Michael Bru and Nick Charlesworth almost scored for the Roosters against the run of play, forcing Trott into action and the goalkeeper almost produced an assist sending a long ball to Wood and the attacker ran through on goal with his shot only stopped by Plant.

However, Maitland’s class proved too strong in the end as they would wrap up the fixture with a last-minute goal. Nick Cowburn played in a free kick and captain Carl Thornton met the ball against the crossbar while Wood was on hand to tap in the rebound.

The victory gets the ball rolling for the premiers as they earned their first points of the season, while Lake Macquarie sit at the bottom having yet to register a point.

Next round’s game against Weston for the Magpies, the ‘El-Clasicoal’ shapes up as a huge encounter for the two local rivals. Lake Macquarie host Adamstown at Macquarie Field.

 

Broadmeadow Magic 3 (Virgili 14’, Rooke 54’, Walker 88’) defeated Charlestown Azzurri 1 (Pettit 90’)

 

Broadmeadow have continued their strong start to the 2020 campaign with a dominant 3-1 victory over Charlestown, with NPL football returning to Magic Park.

The man who scored their first goal of the season last week, James Virgili, was at it again to get Magic off to another great start to make it 1-0.

A fantastic through ball picked out Sam Walker in the box who beat Azzurri goalkeeper Nathan Archibold to the ball and calmly passed it off for Virgili to knock it into the net first time.

Azzurri would start to create chances of their own and Lachlan Watson pulled off a great save to deny an equaliser.

Charlestown were then awarded a penalty with Ryan Ensor bringing down an Azzurri attacker.

Riley Smith would step up to the spot but blazed his kick over the bar to blow a golden chance to get back into the contest.

Magic would take their one goal lead into half-time, although Azzurri would be left to rue their missed chances.

Broadmeadow again started the faster after the break with the game starting to intensify as a few players went into the referee’s book.

Magic were given a free kick in a dangerous position and off-season recruit Mitch Rooke curled in a sensational dead ball special to put the home side up 2-0.

Rooke continued to be a danger-man for Broadmeadow with fantastic passing play and almost got a second with a header at the back stick.

The match soon got a lot harder for Azzurri when they went down to 10 men with Daniel Bird sent off.

Regan Lundy looked dangerous for Azzurri when he came on with the attacker back from injury and had a chance but put his effort narrowly wide. Rene Ferguson blew a massive chance with an open header in the box sending it straight into Watson’s grateful hands.

However, it was Broadmeadow’s day as Sam Walker rounded off the convincing result getting on the end of a terrific Jarred Baker cross, with the ball trickling under Archibold to find the net.

Azzurri would have a late consolation goal with Dean Pettit hitting a stunning free kick from long range, beating Watson and making it 3-1.

After only two rounds, Magic are back at the summit of the competition and coach Anthony Richards said it was a tremendous three points.

“It was a great three points. It was a tough game, physically tough as it’s always going to be against [Azzurri],” Richards said.

“Mitch [Rooke] has fitted in really well. He can play and he’s fit and also Mitch was a part of a good midfield with Ryan Ensor, Cody Chappell and Alex Kantarovski played well when he came on.

“Another reason we did well was the boys off the bench. It wasn’t just the first 11, it was the full squad.”

Broadmeadow take on arch rivals Newcastle Olympic away from home in a massive derby game next up as they look to continue their great form.

“It’s going to be a good one next week [against Newcastle Olympic]. Alex Tagaroulias is doing a great job there and we got no injuries which is great,” Richards said.

Charlestown will travel to play Edgeworth, still chasing their first points of the season.

Related Topics:
NPL NPL NNSW Round 2 Review

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