Match of the Round
Weston Bears 1 (Lundy 39’) drew with Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Oxborrow 34’)
Sunday 28 July, 2:30pm, Rockwell Automation Park
It was a game that could have decided who was going to be Edgeworth’s biggest competition in the premiership race, but instead neither Magic or Weston could not trump one another leaving the top three all still within a chance of achieving top spot.
It was a brilliant back-and-forth affair at Bear Park and it was the home team’s Jason Tjien-Fooh, who looked like he had bagged the opener on two early occasions.
Within the first ten minutes, the Weston forward fired away a deflected shot that knocked into the upright and dribbled on the wrong side of the goal-line before being cleared. Then not long later, after some good defensive work by Regan Lundy inside the oppositions’ box, a rebound fell nicely for the Dutchman who put it into the back of the end but was recalled for offside.
The visitors slowly worked their way into the game and it looked like Cody Carroll had found a surprising first goal jumping on the end of a cross and some sloppy defending, but his shot was met by an incredible reflex save from Tristian Esquilant in goals to keep the game level.
There was nothing the Bears’ keeper could do when Mitch Oxborrow came knocking though – the former Hyundai A-League midfielder dived onto a cross from wide, slamming it into the goal for the lead, but it didn’t last long at all.
Lundy had proven to be dangerous for the first quarter of the game and after some nice work from Chris Hurley, turned that danger into a goal, slotting it low into the goal to equalise the game before half-time.
The second half saw the hosts looked to seize control and they create multiple opportunities, but just couldn’t find a second, winning goal.
Lundy continued to be a threat, as did Liam Wilson and Mark Offeh, but all their efforts were met by strong saves from Paul Bitz, and in the end, there wasn’t anything else to separate the sides.
Weston’s coach Kew Jaliens confessed he felt his side deserved just the one point but praised his team for their resilience throughout the match.
“In the end, I think a draw might be the right result,” Jaliens said.
“We both could have won the game, and we both could have lost the game. We both had multiple chances to score a goal.
“We made multiple mistakes which caused them to score their goal, but we regathered ourselves and kept going.
“We need to learn from the mistakes that lead to the goal against us.”
Broadmeadow continue their unbeaten streak and stretch it now to six matches, but the Bears still remain in second spot just two points behind Edgeworth and one in front of their opposition, however they’ve played one more game.
Maitland FC 3 (Read 23’, Wood 36’(P), 85’) def. Lake Macquarie City Roosters 2 (Charlesworth 59’, Walker 90+1’)
Friday 26 July, 6:30pm, Cooks Square Park
Maitland will go into their FFA Cup fixture on Wednesday night with form under their belt after collecting the three points against Lake Macquarie at home and keeping their name amongst the premiership contenders list.
James Thompson has been a name of note with his contributions in the last few weeks for the Magpies, and he almost found his way onto the scoresheet once more, but his shot agonisingly found its way into the path of the upright instead of the back of the net.
Minutes later though, Thompson would step up as a facilitator instead, beating his defender down the sideline and placing a spectacular cross in to the feet of Alex Read who slotted it coolly.
The hosts kept up the pressure and it lead to a penalty decision going in their favour just before the break and it was their consistent scorer Joel Wood who successfully converted it from the spot to double the lead.
The Roosters didn’t go away without a fight though and early in the second half Nick Charlesworth found himself on the end of a delicious through ball from Sam Walker, and with one touch, the youngster buried it in the bottom corner giving his side a bit of life.
Maitland weren’t rattled by the Lakes goal though and in the last few minutes of the game, Wood seemed to have put the result beyond all doubt smashing the ball past the Roosters’ keeper Stuart Plant from a rather acute angle, but there still a late twist supplied by the visiting team captain.
Just as stoppage time ticked over, Sam Walker managed to work his way in behind the Magpies’ defence and delivered a pinpoint shot that used the post to find the goals, but the side weren’t able to pull off a miraculous comeback and the three points went the way of the home side.
Maitland will now turn their attention to their home FFA Cup match against Central Coast Mariners in their first-ever appearance in the Round of 32, while Lakes continue to sit just above their Lake Macquarie rivals Valentine in the wooden spoon battle.
Lambton Jaffas 3 (Sutton 30’, Parris 81’, 84’) def. Newcastle Jets Youth 0
Saturday 27 July, 2:30pm, Arthur Edden Oval
Over what has been a tough and difficult couple of recent weeks for the Lambton players, staff and fans following the tragic passing of team manager Rob Etheridge, the Jaffas pulled out a strong performance to down the Jets Youth and keep their finals hopes alive and kicking.
The Jets’ young star Maki Petratos troubled the hosts’ goal early on with a long-range shot being parried over the bar by Ben Kennedy, but the opening goal came from a counter-attacking move of the Jaffas as Braedyn Crowley skipped away from the defenders before playing in Josh Sutton to score from easy, close range.
Even without their captain and key defender Michael Sessions, the Lambton defence held strong against the Jets attack with the only major threat in the second half coming from Sam Donnellan who’s shot was stopped by Kennedy.
In the late stages of the match, the hosts extended their slim margin following two goals from Finn Parris – the first being a skilfully volleyed effort from a cross, and the second being a goal-mouth scramble.
Lambton remain in sixth position on the table but are still within touching distance of the top four just three points behind Maitland in fourth and possess a superior goal difference compared to the other sides around them.
For the Jets Youth, they look like they’ll once again end their season in a mid-table position after picking up their second straight loss, and their fifth in their past seven games.
Hamilton Olympic 2 (McGuiness 33’, Kawachi 90+1’) drew with Adamstown Rosebud 2 (Heydon 43’, 44’)
Saturday 27 July, 5:00pm, Darling Street Oval
Hamilton have made a habit of leaving it late to draw level with sides below them on the table, having done so again on Saturday night in their match with Adamstown to deny the Rosebuds the three points.
The first third of the game was a rather cagey affair as both looked to build supremacy over the other with the majority of possession swaying to Hamilton and it created a chance for Scott Pettit who placed his early shot just wide of the goal.
His team would find the breakthrough not long later though when Jake McGuinness pulled the trigger from the corner of the box with his shot seemingly being aided by a bobble to beat Daniel Eisenhauer in goals.
The visitors’ would completely turn the game around on its head right on the stroke of half-time thanks to a Connor Heydon double.
The first came from a well-placed shot delivered from the edge of the box after a nice cut-back from Manoli Papas, but his second was courtesy of all his own work after holding off a couple of defenders and launching a shot from long range to chip Jez Murray in goal with style.
The second half was again tense and guarded as Adamstown tried to find the nail in the coffin, but Olympic continued to hold on and make chances for themselves, and the fourth goal of the game occurred in the dying minutes.
As the clock ticked over into stoppage time, a Hamilton cross wasn’t cleared by the Rosebud defenders and it left Shinichi Kawachi to belt the ball into the roof of the goal from close range to steal a point out from under the noses of their opposition.
Olympic remain in eighth place without much room to move either up or down on the table for the rest of the season, while for Adamstown though the draw will hurt considering their current spot on the table leaving them in the scrap for the wooden spoon.
Charlestown City Blues 4 (McNaughton 6’, Smith 8’(P), Lewis 20’, Ferguson 87’) def. Valentine Phoenix 1 (Garland 36’)
Sunday 28 July, 2:30pm, Lisle Carr Oval
Charlestown have continued their quest for a top four finish with their fifth victory in six games thanks to an early onslaught over Valentine at home.
The hosts began the game in frantic fashion with goal-scoring opportunities for Lachlan Pasquale and Scott Smith, and after just six minutes, Riley McNaughton broke the deadlock curling in a terrific long-range free-kick.
The lead for the Blues would be doubled only a couple of minutes later after the side were awarded a penalty, and their trusty forward Smith, stepped up to the plate and easily slotted it home.
Next up on the scoresheet for Charlestown was Cal Lewis who was played in behind the defence well, and although his initially touched looked like it would be snatched up by Perry Budden in goals, it somehow trickled past the keeper and into the net for a third goal.
Just as they did in the reverse fixture earlier in the year after going down by three goals early on, Valentine bounced back and did so through their prolific striker Bailey Garland from just inside the box.
The Phoenix tried their best to find a way back into the game, with the best chance of the second half coming from Kaleb Pearson, but in the end, Charlestown sealed the deal late on with a Rene Ferguson goal set up perfectly by Rio Nishiura when one-on-one with the visitors’ goalkeeper.
The win now sees the Blues remain two points behind Maitland and only four points away from Broadmeadow in third, keeping their finals hopes well and truly alive.
For Valentine, their loss continues a disappointing run of form having now lost their last seven games straight and keeps them anchored to the bottom of the table.