NPL NNSW Round 4 Review

April 19th, 2021

Round Sponsor: Andor IT Solutions for Business

 Sproule Sports Focus

Match of the Round

Lambton Jaffas 2-1 Lake Macquarie City

Lambton Jaffas came from behind to down Lake Macquarie City 2-1 in the round four Match of the Round on Saturday.

The hosts knew they would be in for a difficult afternoon given City’s impressive start to the season, with Lakes securing a draw with heavyweights Broadmeadow, falling narrowly to 2020 grand finalists Maitland and upsetting reigning double winners Edgeworth in the opening three rounds.

Lakes took the lead on 35 minutes at Arthur Edden Oval when Jaffas defender Kaleb Cox was adjudged to have fouled veteran City striker John Majorovski.

Lakes captain Nick Cowburn stepped up to fire the penalty high into the top right corner past former Newcastle Jets teammate Ben Kennedy to give the visitors a deserved advantage.

But the lead would not last long, with Lambton level six minutes later.

Scott Pettit whipped in a free kick from the left, with Lambton winning the ball at the back post for Michael Sessions to tap home the knock down.

The Jaffas then took the lead 10 minutes into the second half as Lakes again failed to deal with a ball to the back post.

This time it was a Bren Hammel a corner, with Will McFarlane rising high to nod the ball home past Shayne Van As.

It was an important result for Lambton who remain within touching distance of Maitland at the top of the table after a decent start to the campaign that has them in third place with three wins from their four games.

Lakes, who were again unlucky not to take anything from the match, are sixth on the table.

Lambton will make the short trip to Adamstown Oval to face Adamstown Rosebud in their round five clash on Sunday, while Lakes will face another tough test away to Newcastle Olympic on Saturday night.

Adamstown Rosebud 6-3 Valentine FC

Adamstown Rosebud secured their first points of the campaign with a 6-3 victory over Valentine FC on Saturday.

Rosebud took the lead on 15 minutes at Adamstown Oval with Kyle Munns whipping a delightful free kick into the top left corner.

The visitors levelled six minutes later when Valentine captain Joel Wood capitalised on a mistake at the back to finish.

Adamstown regained the lead on 25 minutes when Denis Fajkovic produced a brilliant finish from the right after the Buds had headed a free kick onto the bar.

The hosts earned themselves some breathing room when Zaik Luck tapped home after the ball was parried into his path following a cross from the right to give Adamstown a 3-1 lead at half-time.

Valentine again pulled a goal back just before the hour mark when player-coach Adam Hughes headed home from a corner.

But Adamstown again restored their two-goal cushion when Munns scored with a header at the back post.

Valentine gave themselves a chance and set up a tight finish when they reduced the deficit to 4-3 when Wood produced a strong downward header from a free kick to make it a nervy final 10 minutes for the hosts.

But Rosebud would not be denied their first win of the campaign with the result sealed on 90 minutes as Alex Mulrooney Castellano produced a tidy finish from a cut back.

Adamstown added some gloss to the score in the 94th minute with Mulrooney Castellano finishing off a one-on-one chance with the last kick of the game.

The win sees Adamstown climb off the bottom of the table, with Valentine replacing them at the foot of the competition.

Rosebud will look to build on their first victory of 2021 when they host Lambton Jaffas in their round five clash on Sunday, while Valentine will face a tough task to secure their first points of the campaign when they host Broadmeadow.

Edgeworth FC 0-1 Newcastle Olympic

Reigning double winners Edgeworth slipped to their third defeat in the opening four rounds as they went down 1-0 to Newcastle Olympic on Saturday evening.

Olympic took the lead in the eighth minute at Jack McLaughlan Oval when Dino Fajkovic tapped home. Eagles goalkeeper Josh Low had parried a shot into Fajkovic’s path following a fabulous run and shot from Jared Muller.

The game came to life with 15 minutes to play when Olympic defender Cody Lucas was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Jeremy Brockie.

The former A-League striker then picked himself up to take the resulting penalty, only for Olympic goalkeeper Daniel Eisenhauer to brilliantly save Brockie’s effort low to his right.

Olympic’s 10-men held on to secure a memorable victory as Joel Griffiths’ side climbed to fourth in the table.

The defeat saw Edgeworth, the defending premiers and champions, slump to seventh.

Michael Bridges’ side will be desperate to bounce back when they travel to Lisle Carr Oval to face Charlestown Azzurri on Saturday, while Olympic host Lake Macquarie City in their round five clash on Saturday night.

Broadmeadow Magic 2-0 Weston Workers

Broadmeadow Magic stayed in touch with the summit as they secured a professional 2-0 victory over Weston Workers on Sunday.

Broadmeadow took the lead on 16 minutes at Magic Park when James Virgili found space on the right before firing a cross for Mitch Rooke to bundle home.

Magic were made to wait until just before the hour mark to earn some breathing space.

A flowing passing move down the left eventually saw Sam Walker played in, with the striker producing a classy finish past Weston goalkeeper Scott Carter.

Weston battled but were unable to get themselves back in the match, with Leo Bertos’ side slipping to fifth on the table.

The victory saw Magic remain two points behind unbeaten leaders Maitland, with Broadmeadow to take on struggling Valentine in their round five clash on Sunday.

Weston will look to bounce back when they take on Maitland in the Coalfields Derby on Saturday night.

Maitland FC 3-1 Charlestown Azzurri

Maitland kept their perfect record intact with a 3-1 victory over Charlestown Azzurri on Sunday.

Charlestown took the lead at Cooks Square Park just after the half hour mark with an early goal of the season contender from Aaron Oppedisano.

Maitland did well to clear Azzurri’s initial corner, with the looping ball falling to Oppedisano outside the penalty area.

The Azzurri midfielder then hit the ball first time, flying a stinging volley past a bunch of onlooking Maitland defenders and into the net.

Maitland were fortunate to pull themselves level just before half-time, with a Magpies corner turned in off an Azzurri defender.

The hosts enjoyed even more fortune to put them in front on 65 minutes. A shot from distance struck an Azzurri defender and looped over Nathan Archbold into Charlestown’s goal.

Maitland left it late to seal the points, adding a third goal in additional time.

This time, an attacking free kick was deflected onto the post, with Ryan Clarke tapping home the rebound.

The win keeps the high-flying Magpies top of the table, two points clear of Broadmeadow Magic, with four wins from their opening four matches.

Maitland will look to maintain their 100 per cent record when they host rivals Weston on Saturday night in the round five Match of the Round.

The defeat sees Azzurri slip to eighth, with Charlestown to host struggling Edgeworth on Saturday.

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