Match of the Round
Maitland FC 1-2 Charlestown Azzurri
A late Rene Ferguson goal earned Charlestown Azzurri an incredible 2-1 victory over Maitland in a scintillating Match of the Round at Cooks Square Park on Sunday.
The result ended Maitland’s remarkable two-year unbeaten streak at their home ground while it was Azzurri’s first win at Maitland since the early 2000s.
Nathan Archbold was forced into a good save early denying Joel Wood a goal in the first half with the sides even at half-time.
Maitland took the lead in the 75th minute with striker Braedyn Crowley continuing his form in front of goal with James Thompson finding the attacker unmarked and with an open goal.
Charlestown would respond quickly and were awarded a penalty in the 79th minute which Ferguson tucked away to level the scores.
Ferguson would send the Azzurri into raptures scoring a 90th minute winner with a header off a corner to leave Cooks Square Park with an important three points.
Charlestown have been in tremendous form to notch their third win on the bounce while growing the belief to challenge for honours after defeating the premiers on their home turf.
The loss saw Maitland drop out of the top five and now equal with Charlestown on 13 points but ahead on goal difference in sixth spot.
Charlestown are showing quality signs heading into the pointy end of the season and coach Graham Law said he was thrilled with how his team were playing.
“The attitude and desire they’re showing as a squad is giving us these opportunities in games. We just have gelled now and I’ve been around a while and you feel when a team starts to gel,” Law said. “I thought we’ve played better than that but I felt we matured as a team. We lost a goal but we didn’t lose our shape and it’s the second time we’ve been behind in a game and won, which is a good sign.
“It was awesome to see Scott Smith come off the bench for a couple of minutes, because he’s a club legend and adds a bit more depth to us now.
“We’ll take anyone on in the draw and now the next stage is believing we are a top four team.”
Lambton Jaffas 3-1 Edgeworth Eagles
Lambton ended Edgeworth’s unbeaten start to the season with a resurgent 3-1 victory at Arthur Edden Oval on Sunday.
The Eagles’ 11 game winning streak – which stretched back to last year’s finals series – has now finished while the Jaffas achieved a much-needed victory and moved back into the top five.
Edgeworth appeared on track for another victory when Will Bower scored an amazing goal in the ninth minute hitting a sweet volley from distance to loop Ben Kennedy in goal to stake a claim for goal of the year.
Lambton would equalise through Kale Bradbery shortly after with the attacker finding the back of the net after taking advantage of a fumbled ball.
The Jaffas would put away two more goals before the break in a devastating first-half performance with Matt Thompson scoring the second before Mitch Oxborrow hit a stunning free-kick to double the home side’s lead.
The 3-1 win for Lambton was a massive result for the Jaffas while sending out a strong message to the rest of the competition.
Edgeworth remain five points clear at the top of the table while the Jaffas’ fourth win of the season saw them return to the top five in a congested middle part of the table.
Lambton viewed the game as pivotal towards their season and coach James Pascoe said he was proud of his squad in rising to the occasion to knock over the high-flying Eagles.
“Apart from the most important stat which is the scoreboard, the majority of the rest of the games we’ve played we’ve won every [other] stat and so I wasn’t surprised as we’ve got a good group of players,” Pascoe said.
“Belief has always been there. I know what my players are capable of and I’ve felt, over the last month or so, if we can get our fair rub of the green that we’re capable of going on a really good run and hopefully today is the start of that.
“It was a disciplined team performance from the whole group. You always run the risk saying it’s a must-win game but the message was pretty close to that and we needed to do everything we could.”
Newcastle Olympic 6-2 Lake Macquarie City
Newcastle put six past Lake Macquarie with a brilliant attacking display at Darling Street Oval to win 6-2 on Sunday.
The result was the equal biggest margin of victory for Olympic this season and moved them into third spot on the table.
Dino Fajkovic opened the scoring after fantastic build up play and a pin-point cross from Kent Harrison.
Olympic would have a second in the 36th minute with Blake Green scoring in similar fashion off another Harrison cross while after the break Jared Muller hit a well-timed volley to make it 3-0.
Michael Bru would peg two goals back for the Roosters before Muller would score his second of the day after superb individual work from Fajkovic.
Jed Horney scored two goals of his own in the last 20 minutes to post an emphatic victory for Olympic, their fourth of the season.
Lake Macquarie are still rooted to the bottom of the table with the defeat their fifth in a row.
Olympic were left to savour a huge victory while interim-coach Alex Tagaroulias said he was impressed with the immense attacking performance.
“I always thought once we get enough troops we believe we have a competitive enough squad to make the top three and to score six goals was fantastic,” Tagaroulias said.
“I would have taken a 1-0, one goal win just to take three points but what was pleasing was the manner of [victory] but it wasn’t easy and if you aren’t on it, [Lakes] can punish you.
“The boys are very hungry and the whole club is buzzing. We’re in a good position and it gives the boys some momentum.
“Dino Fajkovic was outstanding, Muller scored a couple and Kent Harrison was dynamite. Blake [Green] came back from injury and got an important goal too.”
Valentine FC 2-2 Weston Workers
Weston fought back from two goals down to earn a vital point finishing 2-2 with Valentine at CB Complex on Sunday.
After a goalless first half, Valentine came out of the sheds quickly scoring two goals through Josh Murray and Ben Hay to put themselves in a commanding position.
Cooper Buswell scored the first for Weston in the 79th minute with a clinical finish after great skill by Aaron Niyonkuru to find the goal scorer.
Niyonkuru would come back to haunt his former club shortly after to score the equaliser after a deadly ball from Jarryd Sutherland found the attacker at the back post.
Both sides fought hard for the winner in the final 10 minutes but couldn’t find the elusive goal, left to take away a point each after a riveting contest.
Weston still sit in fourth place on 14 points while Valentine are on 11 points, two points outside the top five.
Broadmeadow Magic 3-0 Adamstown Rosebud
Broadmeadow returned to the winner’s circle with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Adamstown at Magic Park on Sunday.
Sam Walker pounced on a ball in the box in the 18th minute to open the scoring for the home side to notch his fifth goal of the season.
After the break, Jon Griffiths scored the second with a header off a Cody Carroll cross while Jarred Baker sealed the result three minutes from full-time with a cool finish to secure the three points for Magic.
The win sees Magic move to 19 points on the table, five points above third spot and five points away from Edgeworth at the top.
Adamstown remain in a scrap at the bottom of the table with four points but sit above Lake Macquarie on goal difference.