NPL NNSW – Round 6 Review

August 17th, 2020

 Valentine Sports Photography

 James Ward

Match of the Round

Edgeworth Eagles 1-0 Weston Workers

Edgeworth made it six wins in a row after beating Weston 1-0 in the match of the round on at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday.

The club had not won their opening six games since 1999, creating a slice of history with their unbeaten run.

Weston’s best chance of the game was when Chris Hurley went through on goal in the early stages but was met by a forceful save from Josh Low.

The Eagles were dominant from then on and started to create chances before they made their pressure count with a goal in the 34th minute.

Jose Atayde whipped a free-kick which hit the post only for the ball to fall for Ayden Brice before his shot was deflected off Kristian Brymora to open the scoring.

Edgeworth took control of the game and racked up a high volume of chances in the second half with Weston goalkeeper Scott Carter producing a multitude of stunning saves.

Brymora, Will Bower and Keanu Moore had big opportunities to put the game to bed while the Edgeworth defence locked up their end to earn the three points and continue their charge at the top of the table.

The Eagles now sit on 18 points at the top of the table while earning a third straight clean sheet.

Player-coach Josh Rose said he was proud of the overall performance, especially in defence.

“On another day it could have been a lot more but there is always that danger of conceding one late so I praised them for keeping a clean sheet and getting the job done,” Rose said.

“It’s just week to week at the moment and the boys keep getting the job done and it will be about preparing well and keeping that winning mentality which is what we can come back to.

“Before all the changes, we talked about the season we wanted to have and this gives us a really good platform to now build on and hopefully kick on and finish the season well.”

Weston remain fifth while coach Leo Bertos said the game showcased what his youthful Bears needed to do in order to match it with the teams at the top.

“They have a really good structure defensively and that showed again as they made it really difficult for us and there were very few opportunities we created in this game compared to normal,” Bertos said.

“For me, it was an eye-opener to see what we need to do to compete with the top teams in this competition. So a lot of work to improve on and acknowledge [Edgeworth] are a good team.

“We hopefully can get everyone back in the coming weeks and give it a good crack to get into the finals spots.”

Maitland Magpies 2-0 Lambton Jaffas

Maitland achieved a huge result beating Lambton 2-0 at Cooks Square Park on Sunday.

The victory saw the Magpies strengthen their unbeaten run to 14 games in a row at their home park while cementing themselves in third spot.

Braedyn Crowley got the Magpies on the board first scoring against his former team in the 23rd minute with a deadly finish inside the box courtesy of a through ball from Sean Pratt.

Replacing the unavailable Joel Wood, Pratt made his mark again notching the second for the Magpies in the second half after Nick Cowburn won the ball back in a high area before playing in the No. 9 to slot home his chance.

Captain Carl Thornton hit the crossbar in the dying stages of the game but the two-goal lead was enough for Maitland to attain an important three points while earning their first clean sheet of the season.

Maitland’s triumph is their third of the season while the Jaffas have suffered their third loss of the year but still sit inside the top four.

Maitland coach Mick Bolch was delighted with his side’s performance.

“Definitely our best performance of the year and our first 90-minute performance. Happy with the whole team, really defended well from our front third today as a team unit and kept a quality side to not many chances at all,” Bolch said.

“A great win that keeps us in touching distance of Magic, who we meet next weekend.

“There were good signs that our match fitness is getting close to where it needs to be and with Jimmy Thompson and Joel Wood back next week, there will be great competition within the squad for starting spots which will improve us.”

The Magpies face Broadmeadow next week in another big fixture in terms of the finals race while Lambton will hope to get back to winning ways against Adamstown.

Charlestown Azzurri 0-1 Valentine Phoenix

Valentine won their first game of the season with a dramatic 1-0 win over Charlestown Azzurri away from home on Sunday.

The Phoenix also achieved their first clean sheet at Lisle Carr Oval which is only the second time in the last two seasons they have kept an opponent scoreless.

Goalkeeper Danny Ireland was instrumental for the away side in the opening exchanges producing a couple of key saves in the first half.

Azzurri appeared to have the better of the chances during the game before the match turned on its head in the 72nd minute when captain Matt Tull was sent off, leaving the Azzurri to battle it out again with depleted numbers.

Phoenix took their opportunity from the ensuing free-kick with Josh Murray nodding home and finding the back of the net to put Valentine on the road to victory.

The Phoenix would hold on to their lead and take away a much-needed three points to level them with three other clubs and get their season back on track.

Charlestown, Adamstown, Lake Macquarie and Valentine all sit on four points at the bottom of the table while only three points separate last and fourth in a tightly-contested competition.

Valentine captain-coach Adam Hughes said he was extremely pleased with his side’s breakthrough performance.

“Very happy for the boys, we’ve worked very hard this week and we tried to set a game plan up to come up against Charlestown and they all put in 100 per cent for the first victory of the season,” Hughes said.

“It was a collective performance to get the clean sheet. Danny [Ireland] was very good and made some vital saves.

“It’s not going to be a quick fix but if we can stay this way and keep progressing, it’s a big thing for the players to believe in especially from this result.”

Broadmeadow Magic 2-1 Lake Macquarie City

Broadmeadow Magic has tightened their hold on second spot on the competition table with a 2-1 victory over Lake Macquarie at Magic Park on Sunday.

The result is Magic’s fifth victory out of a possible six and their second win on the bounce.

A show-stopping Mitch Rooke free-kick dipped into the top corner from a wide position to open the scoring for Magic to produce another goal-of-the-season contender.

James Virgili struck a penalty soon after with Sam Walker earning the spot-kick to make it 2-0 with Magic looking likely to go on and achieve a big score.

Lake Macquarie showed their usual fighting spirit with Chris Berlin pegging one back for the Roosters against his former club but it wasn’t enough to get the away side back into the contest as Magic held onto their lead.

The loss leaves the Roosters locked in a four-way tie with three other clubs, although sitting in ninth due to goal difference.

Adamstown Rosebud will play Newcastle Olympic in the final match of the round on Tuesday night.

Related Topics:
2020 NPL NPL NNSW Round 6 Review

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