PHOTO: SPROULE SPORTS FOCUS
Match of the Round
Valentine Phoenix 1 (J.Brown 42’) defeated by Broadmeadow Magic 3 (Fajkovic 20’, Virgili (p) 26’, 57’) at Cahill Oval.
Broadmeadow Magic closed the gap to the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW top four in the ‘Match of the Round’ on Saturday, defeating Valentine 3-1 on a wet afternoon at Cahill Oval.
After a tight opening period, Broadmeadow took the lead in the 20th minute through Dino Fajkovic who was allowed space down the left edge, angling his left foot strike across goal from close range to put the visitors ahead.
Just over five minutes later Valentine were in deeper trouble as a Zac Sneddon bump on James Virgili in the box brought a penalty Magic’s way. Virgili converted and Broadmeadow were quickly away to a 2-0 advantage.
However, after conceding the second Valentine fought their way back into the contest via Jalon Brown.
Chris Brown clipped a ball over the top of Magic’s defence to Jalon Brown who missed the initial header. Matt Hoole couldn’t clear the danger and Brown was given another chance and prodded home his eighth of the season to reduce the deficit to one, three minutes before the break.
Phoenix headed to the break with confidence and when they returned, they went close to equalising, but couldn’t finish off any of their chances and Magic made them pay in the 57th minute.
In his first game for Broadmeadow, formed Hyundai A-League Perth Glory midfielder, Mitch Oxborrow, chipped a long pass over the top for Virgili who raced down the right edge and clinically finished across Phoenix keeper Perry Budden.
Both sides had chances over the final 30 minutes, with Valentine the better of them. Magic keeper Niko Giantsopolous had nervy moments under some Phoenix crosses, but also pulled off some wonderful saves to keep Valentine at bay and ensure the three points would go home with the visitors.
Magic celebrated their fourth straight win in all competitions, however, it may have come at a cost with captain Josh Piddington limping from the ground with a leg injury late in the match.
For Valentine, coach Darren Sills concluded they “were just outclassed on the day.”
He also praised Broadmeadow midfielder Jon Griffiths for what he described as a wonderful performance.
“Jon Griffiths, he had an outstanding game. You can put a heap of praise on the strikers and their pace and speed and all that. But gee, he did some work that boy in the middle of the park. I thought he was outstanding.”
Sills and his troops will need to quickly recover before they meet Lambton next Saturday. Broadmeadow will face Lake Macquarie at Macquarie Field.
Lambton Jaffas 5 (Hay 19’, (og) 25’, Sessions 43’, R.Griffiths (p) 47’, Brymora 81’) defeated Weston Bears 0 at Arthur Edden Oval.
It was a sombre afternoon at Arthur Edden Oval on Saturday with the local football community rallying behind Weston coach Steve Piggott after the passing of his wife during the week.
A minute’s silence was held before the match, and all of the Lambton staff and players expressed their condolences to Piggott.
Jaffas coach James Pascoe said it was a tough afternoon for all involved.
“I’ve known Steve for a long time and I didn’t even feel like playing today after knowing what he has been through.”
While his side claimed all three points it was the last thing on Pascoe’s mind.
“It was a nice result, but I just wished it had come on a different day, to be honest with you.”
The contest was a cagey affair to begin, but when Lambton finished their first they rolled on clinically.
Ben Hay opened the scoring for the Jaffas in the 19th minute, when Michael Kantarovski found him and Hay curled home from just outside the 18-yard box.
The second came six minutes later when Ryan Griffiths curled in a cross from the left edge and Bears defender Greg Anderson fired home a powerful header, unfortunately into his own net.
The Jaffas had their third before half-time after a pinball in the box. Michael Sessions smashed it into the back of the net after the ball fell to him and Lambton led 3-0 at the break.
When they returned, Lambton scored almost immediately. Jaffas recruit Kristian Brymora was brought down in the box and Ryan Griffiths stepped up to convert the penalty to push the lead out to four.
Former Jets Youth striker Brymora then put the icing on the cake of a clinical Lambton showing when he slotted home after Bears keeper Kane Runge charged off his line.
The win ensures the Jaffas remain on top of the table after 14 rounds.
Steve Piggott concluded post-match as being “a tough week and a tough afternoon.”
“We were horrible. We just gave the ball away for fun. It’s not our worst performance of the year, but it’s close to it. Everything we did was wrong.
“We couldn’t keep the ball. Poor touches, over-played. Just gave it away, turned it over, turned it over, turned it over. Not for lack of trying, but we were ordinary today, we were ordinary.”
However, after the difficult week, that Piggott has experienced, the Bears coach was thankful for all the support he has received from the football community.
“There were 260 people at my wife’s funeral and a lot of those were football people,” Piggott said.
“It’s humbling, very humbling.
“Today, a minute’s silence, respect from the crowd and the Jaffas players. Every man to a tee came and shook my hand and spoke kind words. Again, it was humbling. My heart goes out to them.”
Edgeworth Eagles 3 (Sanders 17’, Bower 18’, Taylor 54’) defeated Adamstown Rosebud 0 at Adamstown Oval.
Edgeworth carried on from where they left off in the Westfield FFA Cup against Adamstown, as they clinically swept aside the bottom-placed Rosebud.
Two goals in two minutes in the opening half put Adamstown out of sight and Brody Taylor sealed the three points with a goal in the second half.
Kieran Sanders opened the scoring for the visitors in the 17th minute when Will Bower sped down the left edge and curled a low cross to the Englishman. The Adamstown defence couldn’t deal with it and Sanders tapped in just his second PS4 NPL NNSW goal of the season.
A minute later Bower turned from provider to scorer. Daniel McBreen found Adam Cawley with plenty of room down the left edge.
Cawley darted infield and fired a shot which was well saved by Rosebud keeper Riley Hill. However, unfortunately for Hill, the ball fell into the path of Bower who finished into an open goal to make it 2-0.
The Eagles led 2-0 at the break and ten minutes after they resumed Brody Taylor pushed the lead out to three.
Kieran Sanders showed his class as he dodged past defenders in the left corner before curling a cross perfectly to Taylor who headed home from close range to make it 3-0.
It capped off a clinical display from the Eagles who rise to second on the ladder, two points behind Lambton Jaffas.
Eagles coach Damian Zane said was proud of the way his side performed after a fatiguing week.
“It was a game where we had a lot to lose and they had nothing to lose,” Zane said.
“We were quite good the first half. Second half, once it got to three nil it turned into a bit of a scrappy affair. But, we’ve had a pretty decent week and we’ve won every game so you can’t be too picky.”
For the former Adamstown player, and now Edgeworth coach, Zane admitted it was tough to witness what Adamstown are going through right now.
“It’s quite said, being a person who played at Adamstown to see the club. They were building. No matter where they were on the table that they were building to something [over the first half of the season].
“It’s almost like that whole time as been wasted and they are back at square one again.”
Zane and his Eagles have the bye next weekend and get the chance to recharge the batteries, while Adamstown meet Weston at Rockwell Automation Park in a bottom-of-the-table clash.
Maitland Magpies 6 (Dutton-Black 9’, Fayers 23’, Comerford 28’, L.Thornton 64’, C.Thornton 66’, Martin 74’) defeated Newcastle Jets Youth 1 (Smith 75’) at Cooks Square Park.
Maitland thumped the Jets Youth to go within one point of Hamilton and the top four on Sunday afternoon.
Four Magpies scored their first goals of the season, as Maitland ran away with the match at a sodden Cooks Square Park.
Josh Dutton-Black opened the scoring for the home side with a stunning free-kick – his first goal in the PS4 NPL NNSW. Dutton-Black curled the free-kick from just outside the box into the top left corner in the 9th minute.
Chris Fayers then got himself on the scoresheet in the 23rd minute, in just his second appearance for the club. The former Edgeworth midfielder ran onto a pass from Matt Comerford down the right edge and shot across Jets keeper Tristan Esquilant to make it 2-0.
Five minutes later it was Comerford who would join the scoring party. Comerford played a one-two with Magpies striker Josh Dutton-Black, darted down the right edge, and fired home into the left corner.
Maitland led 3-0 at half-time and returned to finish off the Jets midway through the second half.
Liam Thornton scored Maitland’s fourth when he headed home Matt Comerford’s corner, and two minutes later his brother wouldn’t be outdone.
In the 66th minute, the bouncing ball fell for Carl Thornton on the edge of the box and Maitland’s skipper unleashed a powerful strike which took the underside of the crossbar on its way over the line.
Maitland finished off their rout in the 74th minute when Jordan Elphick played Ben Martin in down the right edge and the Magpies striker finished across goal to make it 6-0.
Ryhan Smith grabbed a consolation for the Jets a minute later, with a deflected shot from the edge of the box, however, it would be the Magpies day running out 6-1 victors.
Maitland coach Phil Dando was a pleased man after the result.
“We got off on the right foot and started off playing some good football and basically went on with it from there,” Dando said.
“We set ourselves up well to stop them playing as they can play, but we played some really good stuff ourselves so that was good.”
Dando also spoke about the importance of the win, regarding their finals ambitions.
“Not only does it give us the three points to close the gap to within one point on the top four, it’s helped our goal difference as well.
“I think there’s only one or two teams that have scored more goals than us and there only a couple of teams that have conceded less than us.”
Jets Youth coach Clayton Zane “didn’t think we played terribly” conceding the heavy pitch played its part in the result.
“In patches, we played some football with the conditions. The conditions didn’t help, definitely.”
“The stage was set for Maitland. An experienced team playing in the mud, and those type of conditions and we obviously try and play football. The field started to tear up a bit as the game went on and it wasn’t conducive to good football.”
Zane also felt the important moments were won by the Magpies.
“We kept trying to do what we do and in some big moments in the game, we got outmuscled. We had our chances to try and stay in the game and didn’t take them,” Zane said.