Match of the Round
Edgeworth Eagles 4 (Gardner 26’, 86’, Cawley 55’, Rose 72’) def. Weston Bears 1 (Lundy 70’)
Saturday 17 August, 2:30pm, Jack McLaughlan Oval
Edgeworth have put in a clinical performance despite their multitude of unavailable players to darken Weston’s finals chances and continue applying pressure to Maitland in the premiership race.
Early on, the Bears looked the more likely to taste first blood with probing passes into the box – Jason Tjien-Fooh and Cooper Buswell linked up for one of their more threatening efforts – but it was the hosts who managed to take the ascendency with the first goal of the game.
A dipping free-kick from in-form midfielder Aden Gardner skimmed its way past Bears’ keeper Scott Carter and from there the Eagles began to take control and looked to seal the result with a second goal early in the second half.
A brilliant searching run from Will Bower through the penalty area was initially dispatched well by Carter but the follow up saw Adam Cawley smash it into the empty net to score his third of the year.
Weston continued to fight though and found a way back into the contest through their young winger Regan Lundy who latched himself onto a pinpoint through ball from Buswell and snuck it into the goal with the help of the upright.
With a newly-found spring in their step, the visitors’ energy didn’t last long as Edgeworth found a third goal courtesy of Josh Rose directly from a corner kick, swirling it over everyone and into the side net and the game was all sealed up when Gardner found a second with minutes to go.
The victory for the Eagles is their sixth in seven games and has put them within a chance of winning the premiership in next weekend’s final matchday if Maitland drop points to the Jets Youth, while for the Bears, their hopes of qualifying for the post-season look dim.
Having only won one match from their past five, Weston are now needing other results to go their way in next week’s last round, along with a victory for themselves, if they are to feature in this year’s final four.
Newcastle Jets Youth 0 def. by Broadmeadow Magic 5 (Oxborrow 5’, Bradbery 9’, 75’, Brymora 43’, Wilson 80’)
Saturday 17 August, 5:00pm, Magic Park
After three weeks without a victory that have hampered their premiership hopes, Broadmeadow showcased a dominating performance to collect the three points in style and put themselves back into the top four leading into the final matchday.
The Magicians fired quickly on thanks to a Mitch Oxborrow free-kick special, and minutes later Kale Bradbery slipped in behind the defence and poked it in from a one-on-one situation to double the lead early on.
The Jets Youth looked to strike back on various occasions but were denied by Magic goalkeeper Paul Bitz on all occasions, while down the other end, his side continued to trouble the visitors and it led to a third goal from Kristian Brymora – his second of the season.
The second half saw a widespread barrage from the Broadmeadow attack and as the game wound down, two more goals placed an exclamation mark on the victory.
Bradbery scored a second following some nice passing play between himself and John Majurovski, before Jeremy Wilson then scored his first-ever first-grade goal to take the team’s overall goal tally to 45 for the year.
Although for the young Jets the result doesn’t impact their season too much, for Magic, the three points and big margin is worth its weight in gold as they put themselves in a self-imposing position now to return to the semi-finals to defend their Grand Final crown.
If Broadmeadow defeat Charlestown next week they’ll feature in the semi-finals, but their opponents only need to draw, meaning they’ll be forced the game take it to the Blues at home.
Adamstown Rosebud 0 def by. Maitland FC 3 (A. Swan 69’, Wood 75’, Cowburn 86’)
Sunday 18 August, 2:30pm, Adamstown Oval
Maitland put in a solid performance to take home all three points, placing one hand on their first premiership title since 1980 if they can manage a win in next week’s final matchday.
Needing a win to retain their top spot, the visitors jumped out of the gates quickly and would have found an early goal if Matt Thompson’s shot hadn’t been desperately blocked close to the goal.
Adamstown also came close to the first goal when a crossed free-kick found the head of Matt Keogh, but his shot was well-saved by Magpies’ goalkeeper Matt Trott, but an even better save was made by his counter-part Daniel Eisenhauer to demonstrate a brilliant diving effort to stop Liam Thornton early in the second half.
While it seemed the Rosebuds might be able to pull off a draw and spoil Maitland’s title challenge, the match turned on its head when Keogh took down Joel Wood just outside the box as he was through on goal and a received a straight red card.
It didn’t take long for the league-leaders to make their numbers advantage count and after a goal-mouth scramble, they found their breakthrough after Andrew Swan poked it home from close range and minutes later, Wood found the second after squeezing home a shot following Alex Read’s through pass.
Former Newcastle Jets man, Nick Cowburn added the icing to the cake late on in the match curling a free-kick just inside the near post, scoring his second of the year.
Losing in their last match of the year now means Adamstown will finish the year in last-place disappointingly, while their opponents are on the verge of tasting premiership success.
If the Magpies win next week, they will successfully seal the title however anything less may see the top spot slip.
Charlestown City Blues 0 drew with Lambton Jaffas 0
Sunday 18 August, 2:30pm, Lisle Carr Oval
A victory for either side would have guaranteed a spot in this year’s finals, but after a scoreless draw, Lambton and Charlestown will now have to fight right to the final week if they want to feature in the post-season.
The hosts piled on the pressure early on in the game forcing saves from Jaffas’ keeper Ben Kennedy to keep them out and level.
The visitors didn’t attain many goal-scoring opportunities in the first half as the Blues looked likely to be the first to score and early in the second half, many onlookers thought they did.
A corner kick for Charlestown was originally headed on goal by Kane Goodchild before captain Matt Tull then nodded it from close range past Kennedy. After communications amongst linesman and centre-referee though, Tull was ruled to be off-side, cancelling what was thought to be the breakthrough.
The Blues looked to throw off their frustrations though, and minutes later Goodchild snuck his way in behind the defence catching out Liam Odell, but his shot was met by a secure save.
While the hosts kept knocking on the door of Lambton, the latter came agonisingly close to stealing a game late-on in the game from a corner kick. A bumbling effort in the box was scooped up by Will McFarlane but his shot agonisingly smacked into the upright and away from goal.
That would prove to be the last real chance of the game as both were forced to share the points setting up tough battles in next week’s final matchday.
Charlestown face-off with Broadmeadow away from home but only need a draw to secure their spot in the finals, while Lambton they meet Edgeworth, needing to win to make sure they aren’t leapfrogged by Weston or Magic.
Lake Macquarie City Roosters 0 drew with Valentine Phoenix 0
Sunday 18 August, 2:50pm, Macquarie Field
2019 has been a disappointing season for Lakes and Valentine, but after picking up a draw and their first clean sheets of the year in the second Lake Mac Derby, they’ll both be pleased to know they won’t be collecting the wooden spoon.
Goal-scoring chances were few and far between in this one with the match being mostly battled out in the midfield in tough, windy conditions.
An intriguing link-up between Sam Walker and Morgan Okeno almost led to a spectactular goal though. Walker launched a shot from outside the box and although it was skewed wide, a little flick from Okeno almost directed it into the top corner had Valentine goalkeeper Perry Budden not been alert.
Jacob Bailey knocked a header from near the penalty spot towards goal as one of the Phoenix’s best chances of the derby, but in the end neither were able to find a breakthrough.
Both sides now move to 12 points on the table, jumping over Adamstown. Valentine meet Hamilton next weekend, while the Roosters will hope to spoil Weston’s chances of qualifying for finals.