Michael Ying Sing
MATCH OF THE ROUND
MAITLAND FC 1-2 NEWCASTLE OLYMPIC
In a game that would rival any finals match Newcastle Olympic scored themselves three vital points with a gutsy 2-1 win over Maitland on Sunday.
The visitors came from behind to get the win at Cooks Square Park, moving them into third place on the table with a game in hand on fourth-placed Charlestown Azzurri.
It was the one that got away for Maitland after the home side led for 70 minutes. The Magpies could have jumped into fourth place with the win and displaced Olympic from the top four.
Instead, Olympic now sit in third place on 27 points while Maitland remains fifth on 22 points.
Maitland took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Sophie Stapleford found the back of the net with a left-footed strike.
Both sides had plenty of opportunities for further goals but were unable to capitalise seeing the score remain 1-0 heading into the break.
Olympic finally got their equaliser in the 75th minute when Danielle Nicol showed good composure to finish calmy at the back post after good work from Brooke Summers down the right.
Olympic completed the turnaround nine minutes later when they were awarded a penalty.
Maitland goalkeeper Imogene Tomasone was adjudged to have fouled Jemma House after she was played through on goal. The Newcastle Jets striker picked herself up to fire the penalty past Tomasone into the roof of the net.
Olympic coach Paul Devitis labelled the game finals like, commenting on the intensity and passion that came from both sides.
“I think the girls knew how important this game was and the desperation from both teams was there because neither side could really afford to lose that game,” Devitis said.
“We worked hard and I think we deserved the win but definitely feel pretty sorry for Maitland because they worked as hard as they possibly could and they never gave up.”
“It was always going to be a tough game and Maitland threw everything they had at us just like I knew they would.
“It was Bronte’s last game and the brain cancer awareness game, so I knew they were going to bring it.
“To their credit they did everything they could and they should hold their heads high.”
For Maitland the game was more than just a chance at three points. Bronte Peel played her last game for the club this season, with Peel heading to the US to play college football in Arkansas.
The club also dedicated the game to raising funds for Brain Cancer Awareness.
“There was plenty of emotion for two key reasons,” Maitland coach David Walker said.
“Not that it’s a group of people who need any motivation to play well but they certainly had a lot to fight for but we just weren’t getting enough opportunities with the ball.
“It’s a bit unfortunate. It was a very close game and the girls fought hard. We didn’t have the troops yet again so that made it hard as well.”
Despite the loss, Walker was proud of the passion his side displayed and their determination not to give up.
“It was a very physical game for both teams,” Walker said.
“I think there was a healthy amount of passion with the sides sitting third and fifth. We could have very easily ended up in fourth with a win and as the season is getting closer to an end every point matters. We had three points for most of the game but we ended up with none.”
Olympic and Maitland will face another test of their finals ambitions next weekend. The Magpies travel to Magic Park to face second-placed Broadmeadow on Saturday while Olympic host leaders Warners Bay at Darling Street Oval.
CHARLESTOWN AZZURRI 1-4 BROADMEADOW MAGIC
Charlestown Azzurri missed the chance to consolidate their place in the top four as they went down 4-1 to Broadmeadow Magic on Saturday.
Lucy Jerram opened the scoring for the visitors in the 17th minute at Allen Davis Field before getting her second of the afternoon seven minutes later to double Magic’s advantage.
Lori Depczynski got one back for the hosts in the 33rd minute before Lucy Kell scored herself a double to put the visitors three goals in front.
Azzurri coach Niko Papaspiropoulos was proud of his side’s second half showing despite Charlestown suffering their fifth defeat of the season.
“I thought we played very well in the second half,” Papaspiropoulos said.
“We controlled the ball and created a lot of chances but unfortunately we didn’t finish and we probably also lacked a bit of desperation and desire to get a few goals back and come away with the win.”
Dropping to fourth place on the table, the result was not the one Papaspiropoulos and his side had hoped for with Maitland still a good chance of taking Azzurri’s finals place despite their own defeat on Sunday.
The Magpies are four points behind Charlestown but have a match against New Lambton in hand, with Maitland and Azzurri to play each other at Cooks Square Park in round 18.
“We had a very poor first half where we made a lot of basic errors which led to us putting ourselves under pressure for a good period of that half and Magic punished us for it,” Papaspiropoulos said.
“We made a few critical mistakes and [Magic] took their chances when they came up and made it hard for us.”
With only a handful of games left to play before the season comes to an end any improvements that need to be made must be made now.
“[Basic errors] are something we want to fix and improve on,” Papaspiropoulos said.
“We’ve already addressed it and we have to work on having a better reaction and response going forward.”
Azzurri host Adamstown Rosebud on Sunday while Broadmeadow Magic welcome Maitland to Magic Park.
ADAMSTOWN ROSEBUD JFC 11-0 NEW LAMBTON FC
Adamstown Rosebud got another win under their belt when they thrashed New Lambton 11-0 at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Saturday night.
The hosts scored a whopping 11 goals shared between five goal scorers.
Mia Bales and Kimberly Trappett scored hat-tricks. Captain Leia Puxty scored a double while Brianna Trappett, Ellen Hughes and Imanee Burke got one goal each.
Despite the win Adamstown remain sixth with 14 points having won four of their 14 games.
Rosebud coach Ryan Campbell was pleased with his side’s performance but noted that there were improvements to be made.
“Overall the girls played well and scored some nice goals,” Campbell said.
“At times we were a bit wasteful with our finishing and final pass however the lead up was good. Hopefully it’s a good starting point for the end of the season.”
New Lambton remain on zero points with no wins from 13 games
Adamstown next face Charlestown Azzurri at Lisle Carr Oval while New Lambton travel to Taree to take on Mid Coast.
WARNERS BAY FC 8-0 MID COAST FC
Warners Bay remain clear on top of the table after downing Mid Coast 8-0 at John Street Oval on Sunday.
Sitting on 37 points with 12 wins from 15 games, Craig Atkins’ side shows no signs of slowing down.
“When you’re scoring eight goals and get a clean sheet you can’t complain,” Atkins said.
“I think it was one of those games where everyone contributed fairly equally across the park. We had a lot of people getting lots of touches on the ball, holding possession, so overall it was a solid performance by all players.”
Despite the win there were patches where Atkins said Middies challenged them and remained in the game.
“Mid Coast obviously changed their formation and set really deep for the majority of the first half, so we were trying to figure out what they were trying to do and narrow some of our plays,” Atkins said.
“Credit to the girls they were still able to bang out a number of goals there and lead convincingly at half-time. Things opened up a little bit more in the second half and we were able to bang away a few more goals.”
With another win under their belt Atkins was more than pleased to take the three points.
“We got a clean sheet, three points and we’re happy to move on,” Atkins said.
It was a different story for Mick Grass’ side who finished the game with just 10 players after Susie Coster was shown a red card for a challenge on Warners Bay goalkeeper Ally Boertje.
Although the result was not what they were after Grass was happy with patches of his squad’s performance.
“In general I think we did a pretty good job,” Grass said.
“We just lost concentration at times and that causes goals against teams like Warners Bay.
“I think we had [Warners Bay] scratching their heads a little to start with but again we found ways to give them goals which is disappointing.”
Mid Coast remain in seventh place on seven points with just two wins under their belt.
Warners Bay next face Newcastle Olympic on Sunday afternoon while Mid Coast host New Lambton in Taree.