Match of the Round
Charlestown City Blues 0 def. by Maitland FC 2 (Wood 43’ PEN, 90+1’)
Sunday 14 April, 2:30 pm, Lisle Carr Oval
After struggling in large parts of last season, Joel Wood has quickly bounced back to his brilliant goal-scoring form securing the win for his new club Maitland, over Charlestown at Lisle Carr Oval with a double.
The Magpies started the game on the front foot with a couple of early shots from James Thompson forcing Charlestown’s keeper Nathan Archibold and his defence to pull off blocks to stop him.
Archibold was kept busy for much of the first half and pulled off two great saves on Tom Duggan and Zach Thomas who both had chances to score, however, he was let down by his defenders after they gave away a penalty hitting Matt Thompson late as he shot on goal.
Wood stepped up to the mark and placed it with ease, sending Archibold the wrong way to give his side the lead heading into the second half.
The Blues finally began to mount some pressure and early in the second half, Kevin Davidson came within a whisker of scoring had it not been for a top save from Matt Trott and the Maitland keeper was called upon again following a chaotic moment in his box that saw Rene Ferguson’s shot somehow scrape through the defence but was met with a grappling save.
Charlestown continued to fight for an equaliser and with just minutes remaining it seemed all but certain that Kane Goodchild would score. A cross was parried by Trott directly into the path of Goodchild, but from point-blank range, he scuffed the shot getting it caught under his boots.
The Magpies would make the hosts rue their chances as Wood pounced onto a lovely cross in stoppage time to seal the first victory for his team this year.
Coach Mick Bolch was ecstatic with his side’s result especially with their efforts in keeping their first clean sheet.
“I was really happy with the performance and the three points,” Bolch said.
“We played well in the first half and created three or four clear cut chances which we needed to be more clinical with, but their keeper made a few good saves.
“We put together some really good passages of play, but I was most pleased with our defensive efforts.
“We spoke during the week about trying to nullify their front 3 of Goodchild, Smith and Ferguson and though they created a few chances, it was satisfying to get the clean sheet.”
Valentine Phoenix 0 def. by Lambton Jaffas 4 (Crowley 2’, 14’, 35’, Sutton 85’)
Saturday 13 April, 2:30 pm, CB Complex
Lambton stamped their dominance with a strong win over Valentine following a commanding first-half display from Braedyn Crowley which saw him secure a hat-trick away from home
It took Crowley just over 70 seconds to grab first blood in the match after successfully taking on the Valentine defence and slotting it into the bottom corner of the goal.
Not long after, Tom Waller played a pivotal part in the Jaffas scoring with some back-and-forth play between himself and Crowley saw the latter knock home a header from close range and wasn’t long later that Crowley found himself in behind the Phoenix defence once again, scoring his third after just 35 minutes.
Facing his former team where he won a championship, Ben Hay attempted to help work his team’s way back into the match, but he had his shots blocked and that was the closest the Phoenix came to finding a goal.
Lambton’s new man Josh Sutton put the icing on the cake for the Jaffas with a thumping, looping header from outside the box to put an exclamation point on the win.
That win now means Lambton are the only undefeated side left in the competition, and although they sit in second three points behind Edgeworth, they have a game in hand of the defending premiers.
Winning Lambton coach James Pascoe was pleased with the way his side converted their opportunities into goals as well as the way they were able to retain possession to effectively control the game.
“It was a good result considering we had the previous two weekends off with a washout and the bye,” Pascoe said.
“As a coach, you can never be quite sure what the team will produce after a break like that, but I thought the team did well.
“I thought our chance conversion rate was good. If you take the majority of the chances you create, you usually get a positive result and that’s it panned out.
“I was pleased with the way we just kept possession and moved Valentine around. Given the break we had, I wanted to us to control possession as it’s always less energy consuming to keep the ball rather than chase it.”
Hamilton Olympic 5 (Pettit 6’, 74’, 82’, Kawachi 27’, Hornery 90+1’) def. Lake Macquarie City Roosters 1 (Okeno 14’)
Saturday 13 April, 6:00 pm, Darling Street Oval
In a must-win game for Lake Macquarie as the rest of the competition moves slowly away from them, Hamilton were just far too strong for their opponents at home, including a brilliant Scott Pettit hat-trick.
After struggling to score in open-play and finish off their chances in the final third in their early season games, Olympic were clinical and it all started with Pettit who jumped on the end of some nice counter-attacking play to score the first goal of the game.
Lakes answered back quickly though when Morgan Okeno was able to latch his toe onto a cross and he had a chance to put his side in front with a header from close range that took a reflex save from Tyler Warren to keep it out.
It wasn’t long after that Shinichi Kawachi grabbed his third for the year and took back the lead for Hamilton, hammering a shot from outside the box past Stuart Plant in goals.
The second half spelled more bad news for the Roosters as Pettit grabbed two more to seal a terrific hat-trick, before Jed Hornery scored his first for the season in stoppage time to make it 5-1 at the final whistle.
Pete McGuiness, Hamilton Olympic coach, suggested the game was closer throughout than the scoreline read, but that he was elated with the way his strike-force took their chances to create a large margin.
“I was happy with the performance particularly in the second half,” McGuiness said.
“It was nice to score from open play five times which will give the side some confidence in that area.
“I thought It was a tight game for large periods, but I thought we got back to basics and played some really good football and really showed what we are capable of.”
Edgeworth Eagles 4 (Atayde 24’, Bower 42’, 66’, McBreen 78’) def. Adamstown Rosebud 0
Saturday 13 April, 7:30 pm, Jack McLaughlan Oval
Last week saw Adamstown pick up a much-deserving first win of the season, but they weren’t able to follow it up against the defending premiers after going down by a big margin away from home.
Although the match began in a cagey fashion, Edgeworth soon put their noses in front with an outstanding striker from Jose Atayde that was blasted from distance into the top corner of the goal.
The Eagles were able to double their lead before the half-time break with a rebounding, bumbling effort that was denied on and around the goal-line of Adamstown multiple times before eventually being bundled over the line by youngster Will Bower.
In the second-half, Edgeworth continued their dominance over the Rosebuds as Bower got himself on the scoresheet for a second time, before veteran Daniel McBreen, who was making his return from a foot injury, put the game well beyond reach, knocking in a sensational volley with just his second touch of the ball.
Edgeworth’s victory sees them continue to sit atop of the NPL NNSW table however having played one more game than that of Lambton behind them.
Having played and won a mid-week fixture against Lake Macquarie, Edgeworth coach Damian Zane was extremely happy to walk away from the week having won all three of their recent matches and the focus his whole squad showed.
“It was a great finish to a busy week with three wins and I’m even more happy that we could keep a clean sheet,” Zane said.
“I thought we were more patient with the ball and combined well in attack as the game wore on. I feel our extended squad played a part by adding good energy to the team.
“Something we were really trying to focus on for this one was our mentality. We played on two heavy pitches and sometimes you have a letdown match, but we showed good intensity and the whole squad played their part which was pleasing.”
Newcastle Jets Youth 2 (Langlois 72’, Petratos 90+5) def. by Weston Bears 3 (Hurley 7’, Tjien-Fooh 8’, Wilson 80’)
Sunday 14 April, 2:30 pm, Rockwell Automation Park
The Newcastle Jets Youth had surprised many with their top performances, but in their fourth match of the year, they ran into a hurdle as the Bears from Weston edged out the victory with the help of two minutes in the early minutes of the game.
The first goal of the game came from of the more unlikeliest of positions as Chris Hurley stunned the young Jets with a goal curled straight in from the corner kick.
It wasn’t enough a minute later when the Bears were able to find a second goal, this time coming through their Dutchman Jason Tjien-Fooh who found himself on the end of a tidy through ball, squeezing it past Noah James in goal from a rather tight angle.
The Jets Youth bounced back midway through the second half as Pat Langlois was able to head home a shot from a corner close to the near post, but the game was seemingly put out of reach when Liam Wilson scored a corner of their own to give Weston a two-goal cushion once again.
A consolation goal from Maki Petratos in the dying embers of the match gave him his third of the season but still meant his side walked away without any points for the first time this year.
After leaving last week’s match disappointed, Weston’s coach Kew Jaliens was delighted with how his team stuck to their game-plan to get the victory.
“It was an important game for us so I’m very happy with the win,” Jaliens said.
“I think we pressed well as a team and worked hard. We did the things we agreed upon before the game so that was pleasing.
“We knew we had to move the ball quick to get them [Jets Youth] out of their zones. Our motto was ‘work hard when we don’t have it, and quick in transition to hurt them’.
“It’s great to get on the top half of the table.”