Photo: Sproule Sports Focus
Match of the Round
Hamilton Olympic 1 (Spencer 22’) defeated Newcastle Jets Youth 0
Darling Street Oval
Sunday 31st July, 2.30pm
The Jets Youth put Hamilton to the test at Darling Street Oval, but they were still unable to take any points off the ladder leaders in a tight ‘Match of the Round’ on Sunday. The win keeps Hamilton a point ahead of Edgeworth who have a match in hand against Valentine to play on Thursday.
The Jets started off with greater intensity than their opponents as Cameron Joice created a great chance inside the opening minutes when he got around Andrew Swan. Joice’s cross to Tom Waller at the back post was too heavy and the chance went begging for the visitors.
It was Olympic though who opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when Simon Mooney chipped a pass over the top of the Jets defence to Spencer who outmuscled Matt Richardson and rolled his left foot shot across Pierce Clark and into the bottom right corner.
Disaster struck for the home side less than five minutes later when keeper Danny Ireland rolled his ankle when going up to grab a ball. At first, Ireland looked as though he would continue but just a couple of minutes later he limped off the back of the ground looking dejected.
Former South Cardiff keeper Tom Pullin replaced Ireland and Hamilton went into half-time with a 1-0 lead. After the break, Hamilton’s luckless afternoon with injuries continued as Jacob Bailey went down after a heavy collision with Richardson in the 53rd minute and then was carried from the field with a suspected knee injury.
The second half was much like the first with both sides having limited opportunities, the best of which went to Olympic’s Ben Koina and Kane Goodchild who were both denied by some brilliant saves from Pierce Clark. In the end, the Jets rarely threatened in the final 45 minutes and Hamilton claimed a 1-0 win.
Jets Youth coach Clayton Zane was pleased with the improvement his side has shown since their 5-0 loss to Olympic in round seven.
“Our challenge today was to show we are better than 5-0 against them and I think it was a pretty good performance from us It was just a bit of cutting edge in the final third that let us down. But, they’ve hardly conceded goals this season so I’m not surprised that we had trouble breaking them down.”
Hamilton’s coach Mick Bolch thought it was a scrappy game, but was pleased with the three points.
“It wasn’t pretty. Honestly, I thought the Jets did well, they pressed really well across the park. But, we just continue to not be able to take our chances. Sometimes you have to win ugly, and it was all about getting the three points today.”
The win keeps Olympic one-point clear of Edgeworth at the top of the table who have a match in hand against Valentine to play on Thursday. Hamilton take on Valentine at home next Sunday while Jets Youth play next Saturday at Arthur Edden Oval against the Jaffas.
Valentine Phoenix 2 (Marpu 34’ Atkinson 90+3) defeated Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Bradbury 70’)
Saturday 30th July, 3pm
Valentine Phoenix claimed yet another top four scalp in the upset of the season so far in the PlayStation® 4 NPL Northern NSW on Saturday. The Phoenix ended a six-year drought against Magic as they won their first match since 2010 against the Broadmeadow-based side.
Ridge Marpu opened the scoring for the home side, funnily enough playing at the home of West Wallsend at Johnston Park. It was a well-worked move from the free kick which was positioned in the middle of the field 20 metres out. Instead of taking the shot Reece Pettit passed to Ride Marpu on the right who hammered home a first-time right-foot shot into the left side of the net.
It took more than 40 minutes for Magic’s reply, but Kale Bradbury wouldn’t be denied as he headed through to run on and roll a right foot shot from just inside the eighteen past Valentine keeper Perry Budden to lock the match up at 1-1 in the 75th minute.
Corey Atkinson would be the hero for Valentine though deep in stoppage time when a Brenton Olzomer cross was flicked in by Atkinson inside the six-yard box for yet another late Phoenix victory in 2016.
Valentine coach Darren Sills put Valentine’s great start to the match down to their warm-up.
“The boys came out of the blocks early, which throughout the season we have been so slow at. We worked hard on that during the week and we warmed up very well. We carried that energy through from our warm-up into the match.”
Sills was also realistic about the result.
“We’ve got to be a bit fair dinkum. They were missing Kanta [Michael Kantarovski], Shane Paul and [James] Virgili so they were obviously weakened with those three blokes out so we probably caught them at a good time.”
On the flip-side Magic coach Rob Virgili was full of praise for the Phoenix.
“They were hungrier than us and they competed better than us. I don’t know if they played better football than us but, overall with that competitiveness they probably deserved the result. They worked hard and full credit to them.”
Virgili also added he had the feeling his side wasn’t up for the match.
“I just had the feeling, though, going into the game, it was a Saturday and change of venues with the ground and it just didn’t feel right to me. The finals spot is there and it is just a matter of where we finish in the four.”
“We’ve got a couple of guys on tenterhooks with cards and if Jon Griffiths gets booked he is out for three games. But, there are no excuses and I was pretty disappointed in that we just didn’t compete and they were just hungrier than us.”
Next weekend Valentine take on Hamilton at Darling Street on Sunday afternoon, while Broadmeadow play host to Charlestown.
Lambton Jaffas 2 (Bitz (OG) 42’, Wheelhouse 90’) defeated Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Hunter 26’)
Sunday 31st July, 2.30pm
The Lambton Jaffas received a much-needed morale boost before their Westfield FFA Cup tie in a week and a half as a last minute goal from Jobe Wheelhouse continued their good away form in 2016. Lambton have lost just two away matches this season from the eight that they have played, and that continued on an entertaining afternoon in Adamstown.
Both sides created plenty of chances in both halves in a match where pride was on the line and it made for an exciting spectacle.
Adamstown opened the scoring through a lovely one-two played between Chris Berlin and Mitch Hunter as the latter put his left foot shot inside an onrushing Brad Swancott’s near post.
The Jaffas were back level just before the break when Pete McPherson’s flick on towards goal was taken by Rosebuds keeper Paul Bitz above his head and then fumbled as his arm bumped into the crossbar. The ball dropped out of his hands and over the line to lock up the scores once more.
The sides went to the break locked at 1-1 and in the second half both had chances to take the lead. It wasn’t until the final minute of regulation time though that the deadlock was broken. Lambton had a shot well blocked by Adamstown’s defence which fell to Luke Remington on the edge of the eighteen.
Remington stepped inside the box and was clipped by Jordan Harrison. Referee Trent Nash pointed to the spot and Jobe Wheelhouse stepped up to pile more pain on the Rosebuds, in a season they would like to forget.
Despite the defeat Rosebuds Coach Graham Law said after the match that his side ‘played very well.’
“To be honest, apart from the opening 20 minutes we pretty much dominated the game. The second half, football wise, was actually a really good game. Everyone commented at the end. It was a game both teams had nothing to lose and it was end to end.”
Law was also very impressed with new signing Mitch Hunter who scored his first of the season in the NPL Northern NSW.
“He did really, really well the kid. He had many chances to score more. On another day he could have had three because Brad Swancott had a very good game.”
The defeat all but ensures the Rosebuds will finish the season in 9th, while the Jaffas sit in 8th spot on the ladder. However, with two wins in their final two matches the Jaffas could jump as high as 5th if other results go their way.
Next weekend, Adamstown face a bottom of the table clash with Weston at Rockwell Automation Park, while the Jaffas meet the Jets Youth at home.
Maitland Magpies 3 (Thompson 6’, Heffernan 30’, L.Thornton 51’) defeated Weston Workers Bears 2 (B.Thompson (OG) 69’, Morris (P) 89’)
Cooks Square Park
Sunday 31st July, 2.30pm
Maitland continued Weston’s dismal run in the 2016 NPL Northern NSW season with a 3-2 at Cooks Square park on Sunday. Goals from Matt Thompson, Dean Heffernan, and Liam Thornton were enough for the Magpies to win their second derby in succession as Weston came home strongly in the second half.
It took just six minutes for the home side to open the scoring through Thompson, driving a free kick from about 25 metres out into the top right corner of the net to make it 1-0.
The Bears task got a whole lot harder in the 26th minute when Michael Holt took down Ben Martin as the last man and was sent off, following a chipped ball over the top from Jye McKellar. Then just four minutes later Maitland doubled their advantage when Dean Heffernan volleyed a Ben Martin pass with his left into the top right corner for another spectacular goal in the match.
Maitland took a 2-0 lead into the break and extended their lead six minutes into the second when a free kick from Heffernan from the right edge of the field was curled with his left to the back post where Liam Thornton headed home for just his second goal of the season.
Weston grabbed one back in the 69th minute when Robbie Turnbull stepped around Carl Thornton and delivered a low cross from the right only for Blake Thompson to shank a clearance inside Matt Trott’s near post for his second own goal in a week.
Turnbull again was the spark for the Bears second goal when he was fouled in the box by Carl Thornton. Nathan Morris stepped up to put the penalty past Matt Trott to set up a nervous finish for the home side.
Maitland assistant Reece Thompson was very impressed with his side’s opening half but felt fatigue caught up with his side in the second half.
“We played well in the first half, and I thought we could have had one more goal. It’s our third game in seven days so we had a few boys carrying some niggles.”
“Matt Comerford didn’t play and Ryan Clarke started on the bench. We were very ordinary in the second half; it was probably the worst half we have played all year. The three games in seven days obviously took its toll.”
For the Bears and Trevor Morris it was very much a similar tale.
“I’m not too displeased with my boys. They scored two bombs and they were great goals. I thought we showed plenty of character and plenty of fight with ten players. We threw caution to the wind [in the second half], pushed players forward and scored two goals and made them work really hard at the end.”
The win ensures that Maitland will play finals in just their second year back in the PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW competition, as they opened up an eight-point game over 5th placed Charlestown. They take on Edgeworth next weekend at Jack McLaughlan Oval while Weston travel to Adamstown to take on the Rosebuds.
Edgeworth Eagles 2 (Moriyasu 29’ (P), Gardner 45’) defeated Charlestown City Blues 1 (Brackenbury 17’)
Lisle Carr Oval
Sunday 31st July, 2.30pm
Edgeworth coach Damian Zane praised his young first graders’ performance as Edgeworth’s depth shone through to end Charlestown’s finals hopes in 2016. He praised the performance of Aden Gardner and Daniel Minors who have stepped up to the plate in first grade this season.
“I said to Aden and Daniel before the game ‘this is where I believe you step up to become first-graders’ so you’ll need to step up.”
“I’m not talking about where clubs give guys a chance in first grade and then they are ‘first-graders.’ I’m a bit harsher than that. I’m talking about first graders that you can trust to do a job on a regular basis and they have done that.”
While Edgeworth went home with the three points it wasn’t all one-way traffic at Lisle Carr Oval. Charlestown opened the scoring when a corner from Ben Hughes was headed in at the near post by Kieren Brackenbury in the 17th minute.
Edgeworth were given a simple route back into the match in the 28th minute when Dylan Holz was bumped over in the box. Keigo Moriyasu stepped up and slotted the penalty into the bottom left corner to level the score at 1-1.
Right before the break, the Eagles snatched the lead when Ayden Brice played a pass through ball to Aden Gardner who cut inside the right edge of the box and finished into the left corner across Nathan Archbold in the Charlestown goal.
In the second half, Edgeworth had a goal to Daniel McBreen disallowed, and Charlestown had some half-chances but were unable to find an equaliser.
Zane was also proud how his side ‘grinded out a win’ after a tough week.
“Obviously, we were a touch flatter today and we knew that was going to be the case. They pulled up alright [after Wednesday night] and grinded out the win.’
Edgeworth’s next match is against Valentine at home mid-week before they back up against Maitland on Sunday. For Charlestown, they meet Broadmeadow Magic at Magic Park.