Competitions

NPL Women’s NNSW Round Eight Review: Anderson stunner helps Azzurri overcome Olympic

May 16th, 2022

 Andrew Parkinson

 Sproule Sports Focus


Match of the Round
Charlestown Azzurri 1-0 Newcastle Olympic

A stunning Courtney Anderson goal saw Charlestown Azzurri see off Newcastle Olympic 1-0 on Saturday night to strengthen their hold a top four place.

The Match of the Round was originally scheduled to be played on the grass pitch at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility as part of Female Football Week celebrations, only for it to be moved to the synthetic pitch due to the wet weather.

It was an enthralling contest with the sides unable to be separated at half-time.

It was just past the hour mark when Anderson finally broke the deadlock. Brianna Williams did well to control the ball in the middle of the park before firing a pass into Anderson’s feet.

The striker produced a dazzling piece of footwork, controlling the ball to the right before quickly shifting back onto her left, where she unleashed a fierce strike high into the Olympic goal from almost 30 yards out.

Olympic battled bravely for an equaliser and could have had it if not for 16-year-old Azzurri goalkeeper Mia Wallace, who produced a fine save from a Jorjia Hogg free kick with 10 minutes to play.

Charlestown coach Niko Papaspiropoulos said he was delighted with the application from his players as well as the result.

“Obviously I’m happy with the three points. It was a very tight game. You could tell after the first 20 minutes there wasn’t going to be much in it,” Papaspiropoulos said.

“Olympic were very competitive and didn’t make things easy. It took us a while to play better football. Second half we were better and controlled the game a bit more. We had a few nervy moments but once Courtney scored we were good defensively and won our battles and were better in possession.

“It was great to see our girls mentally at it for the 90 minutes. Our mentality, our desperation to win the ball, our attitude, discipline, work rate. No one switched off, no one had a bad game. It was really good to see.”

Papaspiropoulos was full of praise for Anderson who he said had been one of his side’s best for a number of weeks.

[Anderson] has been potentially our best player the last couple of games. Against Mid Coast she got a goal and assist as well. She’s a great player with work rate and that x factor can be very important in key games, exactly what did on Saturday night,” Papaspiropoulos said.

“Not only the finish and touch to get away from the defender but the build up out of the back. It was a good goal with a lot of good parts to it capped by a brilliant moment of quality.

“At the end of the day her moment of quality broke the deadlock. She had another great game. She’s getting better and better each week. Looking more comfortable and confident in the squad.

“Summer [Taube] in the middle of the park also had a really good game, worked hard and dictated play. She was crucial. Then you’ve got Mia Wallace our 16-year-old under-17s goalkeeper who came up big for us at a crucial moment with a save late on. When games are close they are often decided by big moments like that.”

Olympic coach Paul Devitis said he could not fault the effort from his players.

“It was a good, even contest. And the winning goal was a fantastic strike,” Devitis said.

“We are disappointed not to get anything out of the game considering the chances we had. [We had] three golden opportunities inside the six-yard box. We need to capitalise on them to start picking up points over the next few weeks.

“I thought our backline was very good and held Charlestown out well until the final 10 minutes. Overall [it was] a pretty good performance and well done to Charlestown on a hard-fought victory.”

The defeat saw Olympic remain sixth but are now six points behind fourth-placed Azzurri.

It does not get any easier for Olympic who travel to Maitland to take on the high-flying Magpies on Saturday. While Azzurri travel to Magic Park to face top of the table Broadmeadow on Friday night.


Adamstown Rosebud JFC 1-0 Broadmeadow Magic

Adamstown Rosebud produced the shock result of the season so far, ending Broadmeadow’s unbeaten start to the season with a 1-0 win on Saturday night.

Magic had not lost a game since round nine last season heading into the clash having won all six matches so far this campaign.

Adamstown had endured an inconsistent start to the season, hammering struggling Mid Coast and New Lambton and drawing with heavyweights Warners Bay while conceding plenty of goals in heavy defeats to Maitland, Charlestown, Newcastle Olympic and in their round one meeting with Magic.

But Ryan Campbell’s side showed they are capable of beating the best teams on their day as Kiarra Lewis’ winner just before the hour mark at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility secured a valuable three points to keep Adamstown in touch with the top four.

It was a breathtaking goal worthy of deciding any tight game as Adamstown won the ball from a Broadmeadow corner and launched a swift counterattack down the left.

Josie Morley found Kimmie Trappett, with Morley continuing her run into the penalty area before squaring the ball for Lewis to finish past a stranded Alison Logue in the Magic goal.

Broadmeadow battled hard for an equaliser but were unable to find one late on, suffering their first defeat in almost 12 months.

Adamstown remain fifth, two points behind fourth-placed Adamstown. While Broadmeadow remain top despite the defeat, two points clear of Warners Bay. Maitland are a further point back and have a match in hand.

Magic will look to bounce back when they host Charlestown Azzurri on Friday night, while Adamstown will look to build on their momentum when they take on New Lambton in the match of the round on Sunday.


The matches between Maitland FC and Mid Coast FC and New Lambton FC against Warners Bay FC were postponed due to wet weather.

Related Topics:
NPL Women's NNSW Round Eight Review

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