NPL NNSW Round 9 Review

May 31st, 2021

Indigenous Round Sponsor: RTC Group

 Sproule Sports Focus

Match of the Round

Broadmeadow Magic 2-1 Edgeworth FC

Broadmeadow downed Edgeworth at Magic Park for the first time in the league since 2013 on Sunday to climb to second on the NPL table.

Magic are one point behind leaders Lambton after their second victory over the Eagles in five days following their thrilling 4-3 extra-time win in the FFA Cup fifth preliminary round on Wednesday night.

It was a satisfying week for Magic coach Damian Zane with wins in his first two meetings against his former club since leaving Edgeworth last season having built the Eagles into the dominant force in northern NSW football.

Broadmeadow took the lead in the 19th minute when James Virgili’s cross looped over Edgeworth goalkeeper Josh Low’s head and into the top left corner.

Magic doubled their advantage two minutes after half-time when Jon Griffiths prodded home Mitch Rooke’s free kick from the right.

But Michael Bridges’ side refused to quit and pulled a goal back eight minutes later when Jake McGuiness’ effort from outside the penalty area was deflected past Nate Cavaliere.

The reigning premiers and champions fought for an equaliser but one would not come, leaving Magic to celebrate an impressive week.

Edgeworth slipped to fifth with the defeat, though the Eagles enjoy a four-point buffer from Lake Macquarie City and Weston at the head of the chasing pack.

Edgeworth will look to bounce back when they travel to Cooks Square Park to take on Maitland in the Match of the Round on Saturday. While Broadmeadow will attempt to maintain the pressure on top of the table Lambton when they host Lake Macquarie City on Sunday.

Adamstown Rosebud 1-3 Lake Macquarie City

Lake Macquarie City kept their finals hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over Adamstown Rosebud on Saturday.

Rosebud took the lead in just the second minute at Adamstown Oval after a delightfully worked move on the top of the Lakes’ penalty area between James Lowe and Kyle Munns eventually saw Charlie Naylor played in, with Naylor providing a cool finish.

Lakes thought they had equalised from a corner on 23 minutes only for the effort to be ruled out. It was Adamstown’s turn to go close two minutes later, with Zaik Luck rolling a finish under Shayne Van As, only for the Lakes goalkeeper to race back and stop the ball from crossing the goal line.

The visitors did eventually draw level 10 minutes before half-time when veteran striker John Majorovski fired an effort past Thomas Jenkin.

Lakes then took the lead one minute before the break as Oliver Davies headed a dangerous Nick Cowburn cross into his own goal.

Davies’ day went from bad to worse on the hour mark as he was shown a straight red card following a lunging challenge on Lakes midfielder Josh Maguire.

Lakes made the most of their numerical advantage to seal the result with 20 minutes to play when Campbell Ross provided the finish following good work down the right from Michael Bru and Majorovski.

The win saw Josh Rufo’s side climb to sixth, four points outside the top five. While Adamstown’s week got worse following their FFA Cup exit to Northern League One side Belmont Swansea United with Rosebud remaining ninth.

Adamstown face another tough task when they host Newcastle Olympic on Saturday, while Lakes face a daunting trip to Magic Park to face Broadmeadow on Sunday.

Lambton Jaffas 2-1 Maitland FC

Lambton climbed to the top of the NPL table with a 2-1 victory over Maitland on Saturday.

The Jaffas took the lead after eight minutes at Arthur Edden Oval when Kale Bradbery played in Ben Hay, whose bobbled finish found its way past Maitland goalkeeper Lachlan Watson.

Maitland were gifted a way back into the contest 10 minutes before half-time when Tye Cousins charged down a Michael Sessions clearance.

Cousins raced away with the ball before finding James Thompson, who fired a brilliant finish past Ben Kennedy into the top left corner.

Both sides had opportunities to win the game but it was Lambton who took theirs with eight minutes to play.

The ball fell fortuitously to substitute Tom Waller, who calmy fired past Watson to send the Jaffas top of the league at the halfway stage with their third win in a row.

It was the end of a good week for Lambton, who also advanced to the FFA Cup sixth preliminary round with a win over Charlestown Azzurri midweek.

The late goal saw Lambton climb two points above Maitland to the summit, while the Magpies slipped to third following Broadmeadow’s win over Edgeworth on Sunday.

Lambton will look to continue their momentum at the top of the table when they host Weston on Saturday, while Maitland face another difficult task when they host Edgeworth in the Match of the Round.

Weston Workers FC 2-2 Charlestown Azzurri

Weston threw away a two-goal lead for the second week in a row as Charlestown Azzurri came from behind to secure a thrilling  2-2 draw on Saturday night.

Azzurri goalkeeper Nathan Archbold was the hero, nodding home a corner in the 95th minute to equalise for Charlestown.

It was the second time in as many weeks Weston had blown a two-goal advantage following their 2-2 draw with Newcastle Olympic last weekend.

The Bears took the lead one minute before half-time when Mitch Dobson nodded home a corner.

Weston doubled their advantage with 25 minutes to play from another set piece, this time with Connor Heydon getting on the end of a Nathan Morris free kick.

Charlestown were handed a lifeline seven minutes later when Weston defender Marcus Duncan was adjudged to have fouled Riley Smith as the Azzurri striker chased through a hopeful punt downfield.

Smith picked himself up to send Scott Carter the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Azzurri pushed for an equaliser and were handed a golden opportunity when Duncan was adjudged to have fouled Rene Ferguson.

Dead Pettit whipped in a free kick from the left as the clock ticked over to 95 minutes.

Archbold, having come forward for the last desperate attempt to salvage a point, headed home past Carter to spark wild celebrations from the away fans at Rockwell Automation Park.

Azzurri remain eighth on eight points, while Weston slip to seventh with 11 points.

Charlestown will look to build on their momentum when they take on struggling Valentine on Sunday, while Weston will need to pick themselves up and respond when they face leaders Lambton on Saturday.

Valentine FC 0-1 Newcastle Olympic

Jared Muller’s 83rd minute winner saw Newcastle Olympic climb to fourth as they downed struggling Valentine 1-0 on Sunday.

Muller, who had come on as a 34th minute substitute for Ryan Griffiths after the former A-League attacker suffered a hamstring injury, turned in the box before rifling a powerful finish past Keegan Hughes.

The win saw Olympic go one point above Edgeworth. Joel Griffiths’ side also has a match in hand on the rest of the top five against Charlestown Azzurri.

The defeat saw Valentine remain last, still searching for their first win of the campaign at the halfway stage.

Olympic will look to make it six matches unbeaten when they face Adamstown Rosebud on Saturday. While Valentine will continue their search for a first victory when they host Charlestown Azzurri on Sunday.

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