Competitions

NPL Northern NSW Round 8 Review

April 29th, 2019

 SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS

 QUENTIN CONNERS

 

Match of the Round

Adamstown Rosebud 2 (Heydon 21’, M. Pappas 43’) def. Hamilton Olympic 1 (McGuiness 26’)

Thursday 25 April, 2:30 pm, Adamstown Oval

It was another terrific ANZAC Day held out at Adamstown Oval but this time round, it was the hosts who walked away with the three points defeating Hamilton for the first time since 2014.

Having only managed one win so far this season, the Rosebuds were fixed on improving their points total and started out of the gates with the first goal of the match.

The visitors made a mistake when coming out from their defensive line and Finn Beasley pounced before Manoli Pappas made a pin-point pass to the feet of Connor Heydon who made no mistakes in front of goal.

Olympic weren’t behind for long though as just minutes later, Marcus Duncan showcased some silky moves near the sideline to round a defender, before cutting it back to a waiting Jake McGuiness who sat just inside the box and buried the ball past Daniel Eisenhauer in goals, with the ball kissing the post on the way in.

In the subsequent minutes of the game, Hamilton looked to find a lead by keeping the majority of possession, however, the Rosebuds held strong and then created another brilliant chance against the run of play.

Eisenhauer’s goal kick flew down the field and nice little headed flick-on by Heydon ran through Olympic’s defensive line and Pappas jumped onto it before rounding the goalkeeper and smacking it home to regain the lead.

The Olympic boys weren’t able to find an equaliser as Adamstown held on for a much-needed victory and one that now sees them move up one place on the ladder.

For Hamilton, coach Pete McGuinness said his team’s performance wasn’t up to the standards that they’re used to.

“We’re disappointed in the loss and I know we can play better and have played better than that,” McGuiness said.

“We just weren’t good with the ball, we looked a bit lethargic and we had enough ball to get something out of it.

“It’s not just myself, the whole group expects more than we delivered.”

Hamilton still sit in fourth place following the loss, but only by the skin of their teeth as three other teams also sit on 10 points in behind them and McGuinness made clear that due to the closeness of the competition, his side need to be bringing their best every week.

“There’s still plenty of belief in what we can do,” McGuinness said.

“The league itself is tight…there’s no easy games in the competition.

“Three points may not sound like a lot, but in this competition, it’s so valuable when it’s this tight.”

 

Lake Macquarie City Roosters 1 (Hunter 17’) def. by Maitland FC 3 (Wood 31’, 55’, Read 83’)

Saturday 27 April, 2:30pm, Macquarie Field

Coming off the back of their first victory for the season, Lake Macquarie were hoping to extend their winning ways but instead came up short against a determined Maitland side who came from behind to gain the three points.

The Magpies had a golden opportunity early when Ryan Clarke knocked in a great cross that found Matt Thompson near the back-post. Thompson chested it down and shot but it was met with a strong save from Lakes’ Stuart Plant. The rebound fell once again for Thompson, this time whilst on the ground, but was saved once more before Ryan Broadley then jumped on the end of it from just inside the box, but again, Plant was there to save the day.

The Roosters made the most of Plant’s top efforts down the other end as Mitchell Hunter used his blistering pace to outsprint the Maitland defence before slamming it past Matt Trott in goals to give his team the early advantage.

The hosts weren’t able to successfully hold their lead but as James Thompson cross caused mayhem in the box and a deflection fell perfectly for Broadley who quickly toed it to Joel Wood who blasted it in from certain range.

Wood continued his goal-scoring form into the second half and much like his first, he didn’t have to do a whole lot with the ball to score as Clarke jumped on the end of a nice through ball, before cutting it back to Wood who scored from close range, with the aid of opposition defender Harry Lane, unfortunately, slipping over and leaving him completely open.

Lakes came agonisingly close to an equaliser when Tom Walker launched a volley from distance that would crash into the top of the goal had it not been for a flying palm from Trott in goals to deny him, and not long after, it would be Maitland who’d put the nail in the coffin.

Matt Thompson delivered a cross perfectly into the danger area and Alex Read made no mistakes with his header to give his team the two-goal lead and eventual victory increasing their domination over Lakes to another game – the last time they lost to the Roosters was back in 2010.

Maitland coach Mick Bolch was pleased with his team’s will to fight back for the win and mentioned that he was extremely proud of how the current atmosphere amongst the squad.

“It was a real arm-wrestle of a match,” said Bolch.

“It was a good effort from the lads. That’s twice in two weeks that we have come back from a goal behind to win.

“Defensively we are looking very solid.

“Two weeks in a row, someone from our bench has come on and scored – Pratty [Sean Pratt] last week, and Ready [Alex Read] this week – which means we are finishing games off really well.

“Our match fitness and our combinations, especially in the front third are getting better with each game we play and the depth of our squad and competition for spots at the club is very healthy.”

 

Newcastle Jets Youth 3 (Petratos 10’, 26’, Barkho 86’) def. Lambton Jaffas 1 (Sutton 90+4’)

Saturday 27 April, 2:30 pm, Arthur Edden Oval

Lambton’s undefeated start to the year has finally come to an end due to an inspiring performance from the Jets Youth and in particular, two cracking goals from Maki Petratos, knocking the Jaffas off top spot in the process.

It had been three weeks since the Jets had mustered a victory and they were keen to get back into the winners’ circle and got off to a hot start as Petratos found himself on the end of some delicious quick passing football, before launching it into the bottom corner from distance.

Petratos continued to cause chaos for the Jaffas’ defence and it didn’t take long for him to add a brace after taking on defenders from the middle of the field on a swerving run, before playing and receiving a nice one-two and tucking it home.

The home team struggled to find a way past the Jets Youth in the second half and all hope seem to be officially lost when Mat Barkho scored his team’s third with minutes to be played in the match.

New youngster Josh Sutton gave the Jaffas at least something to smile about scoring a consolation goal late in stoppage time that was shot like a bullet from outside the box, but in the end, the young Jets proved far too strong, winning their third for the season and into equal-fourth (sixth on goal difference).

 

Broadmeadow Magic 5 (Majurovski 1’, L. Virgili 2’, J. Virgili 41’, 52’ (P), Bradbery 58’) def. Weston Bears 3 (Cox 7’, Lundy 32’, Tjien-Fooh 67’ (P))

Saturday 27 April, 5:00pm, Magic Park

It’s now been seven weeks since Broadmeadow last lost in the league following a brilliant high-scoring match against Weston on Saturday evening in a result which now sees Magic as one of the three teams locked at the top of the table.

It was a nightmare start for the Bears away from home, as they conceded two goals in the first two minutes of the game.

The first goal came from John Majurovski who pounced on a Weston mistake near the back before curling it in the top corner, then only seconds later after the restart, Luke Virgili, who was also playing his 200th game for the club, found himself on the end of a corner heading it in from close range to double the lead in under 120 seconds.

Weston showed their grit though and worked themselves back into the contest with the first of their goals coming from Kaleb Cox who was able to fumble in a shot from inside the box past Paul Bitz in goals, and midway through the second half, Regan Lundy came up with the equaliser and his third for the year.

Lundy’s shot cannoned off his feet from just inside the box and although Bitz got a hand to it, he wasn’t able to keep it out, but his side would soon hit the lead just before half-time.

It was the other Virgili brother who did the damage as he was able to jump on the end of a whipping Mitch Oxborrow cross to bundle in the goal and regain the lead, and he was able to manage a brace not long after the second half began converting a penalty that he won to regain a two-goal lead.

For his high standards, Kale Bradbery has had a slow start to the year in the goal-scoring department, but after grabbing his first last week, he made it two in two weeks when his surging run that saw him proceed side-to-side on the edge of the box, finished with him burying it into the bottom corner.

The visitors got one back midway through the second half as Dutchman Jason Tjien-Fooh received a penalty of which was initially saved by Bitz in goal, but the rebound was successfully scored, but the Bears couldn’t work their way back into the contest as the Magicians took all three points.

Broadmeadow are now equal on points with Lambton and Edgeworth at the top of the table, while Weston sit just three points behind along with three other sides.

 

Valentine Phoenix 2 (Hay 36’, Willard 43’) def. by Charlestown City Blues 3 (Nishiura 22’, Lewis 25’, Ferguson 28’)

Sunday 28 April, 2:30 pm, CB Complex

After conceding three goals early on in the game, Valentine came so close, yet so far from completing a terrific comeback, instead going down to Charlestown at home and moving to second-last place on the ladder.

Both sides were missing names out of their backlines with the Blues playing without Tom Smart and Cal Sullini, and Valentine without captain Chris Brown and goalkeeper Perry Budden and it perhaps played a part in the numerous amount of first-half goals being scored.

Prolific scorer Kane Goodchild had an early chance to take the lead but his shot was whacked at the legs of back-up Phoenix keeper Joel Magnee, but it wasn’t long after that Charlestown did go one-up as new Japanese import Rio Nishiura pulled off an incredible chipped shot from well outside the box to open his scoring in style in his first game for the club.

Nishiura continued to prove a handful for the hosts this time as a provider after he skipped past multiple defenders before putting the ball on a platter for Cal Lewis who easily scored from close range.

Just minutes after that, the Blues looked to really seal the game early as Rene Ferguson made a tremendous run down the outside before then blasting it past Magnee to make it three goals in six minutes for his team.

Much to their credit though, after losing by a large margin to Lambton two weeks ago, and an even greater one to Broadmeadow the week after, the Phoenix did not lie down as Ben Hay pounced a defensive mishap and although his first shot was saved by Nate Archibold, he volleyed the follow up into the open net.

Charlestown again switched off in defence, and Valentine made them pay as Brock Oakley proved too strong to win the ball, before then placing in a pin-point low cross to a running Luke Willard who knocked it in basically inches from the goal-line to bring the hosts to within one goal.

Hay went close to finding the much-needed equaliser for his team in the second half, while on the other side of the field, continuing his fine debut, Nishiura went close to finding a brace in the second half but his great effort from just inside the box was well-saved by Magnee.

The last remaining minutes proved to be nervous ones for Charlestown, as Kevin Davidson was unable to continue due to injury, and as coach David Tanchevski had already made three substitutions, it forced his side to play with 10-men for the remainder of the game.

The Blues held on for the win though and now move to nine points with three wins, and although they currently sit in eighth, they only sit four points off top spot.

Charlestown coach David Tanchevski confessed he was disappointed that it was their own errors that allowed Valentine back into the contest, but ultimately, he was happy with their performance in getting the victory.

“I was extremely happy with the first 30 minutes or so,” said Tanchevski.

“We we’re three-nil up and cruising… but it was frustrating though. We probably should have run away with five or six to be honest.

“It was two defensive errors that lead to their goals. We should have sewn that up…it definitely wasn’t a 3-2 game.

“We have to learn that although we want to play football all the time, but sometimes we can’t pass it out from the back at every opportunity, sometimes we just have to go long.

“I was happy with how we held on though.”

Charlestown have now won as many as they’ve lost, but Tanchevski admitted he wasn’t concerned about their position on the table but did make highlight that their next upcoming matches would be vital.

“When you look at our opening games, the only one I’m really disappointed about is our loss against Adamstown.

“I’m reasonably happy with where we are… The next two weeks are really important for us against Olympic and Weston.”

 

Edgeworth Eagles had the bye.

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