Photo: Sproule Sports Focus
By Isaac McIntyre
Match of the Round
Broadmeadow Magic FC v. Lambton Jaffas FC
2:30pm, Sunday 17th April
Broadmeadow Magic vs. Lambton Jaffas has been delayed due to wet weather conditions and will be played at Magic Park on the evening of the 27th April, with kick-off at 6.30pm.
Edgeworth FC 2 defeated Weston Workers FC 0
Jack McLaughlan Oval
9pm, Friday 15th April
Friday evening saw a late kick-off at Jack McLaughlan Oval, with Edgeworth looking for a second straight win in the season as they welcomed the Weston Workers Bears to their home field.
Coming off a comeback victory last weekend, Damian Zane and his squad were looking to push for a stronger and more solidified performance to take the three points that will keep them in the fight for the top, early on in the season.
Weston’s defence seemed solid in the opening fifteen minutes of the match, as Edgeworth’s forwards probed for an opening however it wasn’t long before the defending champions managed to beat Ben Kelly.
Dylan Holz was the scorer, shooting the ball into the back of the net near Kelly’s near post, leaving Weston’s keeper scrambling.
The Eagles almost took a second with Daniel McBreen finding space from six yards out but the post proved hard to beat with McBreen’s shot bouncing back into play.
Weston’s defence was shaken with the injury of Will Myers after a crunching tackle early in the second half. Michael Ryan came on as a replacement for the Bears with Zac Sneddon dropping back into defence.
Edgeworth’s one goal lead seemed like it could be matched by the Bears, however an opening in the final two minutes of the match gave Edgeworth a chance to pull away.
The second goal put the game beyond doubt and firmly put all three points in the Eagles’ pockets, with their first home game of the season keeping them in the fight for first.
Trevor Morris, the Bears’ head coach, was disappointed to have taken a loss, but knows that his team needs to be better in coming weeks.
“We were beaten by the better team this weekend and we have no excuses for the loss. We worked so hard but we just didn’t keep the ball enough to build any pressure,” he stated.
“We defended well under pressure, I have to point out that positive. We also lost Will Myers from the backline and it was great to see Zac Sneddon step back into that role and prove that we have the great depth that the squad provides.”
“We’re a work in progress, however the development is on the upswing. This game didn’t get out of control and the young blokes are stepping up as well as our new players are fitting in well. We’re getting close there and the early games are proving that we’re getting there.”
The win puts Edgeworth on top of the table until Broadmeadow’s delayed match is played. In the next match, Edgeworth will meet the Newcastle Jets Youth squad and will have their eye on three wins from the first three games.
Weston meanwhile will welcome Broadmeadow Magic on Sunday afternoon next weekend, where another defeat could be costly for the developing squad that has taken only a single point from their first two matches.
Valentine FC 2 defeated by Maitland FC 3
3pm, Saturday 16th April
The first home game at Cahill Oval in the PlayStation 4 National Premier League, Valentine played against Maitland as both teams came off the back of close draws in Round 1.
The opening whistle saw both teams going all out for their first win of the season. An early free kick to Maitland near the eighteen yard box saw Matt Crowell step up, displaying his talents on the dead ball, putting it into the back of Valentines net.
The game changed on the twenty-fifth minute as Wilson Edwards and Dean Heffernan became embroiled in a scuffle in the middle of the park, with the clash resulting in both of them being sent to the sheds for early showers and dropping both sides to ten men.
The game remained close however, with Valentine answering back just under twenty minutes later as the home side’s forward Brenton Olzomer scored in his second consecutive match.
Valentine looked set to go ahead with a penalty as half time loomed, captain Scott McGinley stepped up however Matthew Trott proved for the second week in a row that he is one of the top keepers in the league and deflected the shot to keep the score level.
The penalty save proved key in the second half as well, with Maitland’s Ryan Broadley putting the away side into the lead once again but then Olzomer answered back for Valentine once more six minutes later, keeping the scores level.
With one minute to go on the clock, Maitland’s eyes stayed firmly on the three points at the end of the match which helped them as Matt Thompson became a hero for the travelling team, finding the back of the net and pocketing the win for his side.
Sam Griffin, Valentine’s Assistant Coach, believed that the home team could have taken three points in what he described as a “passionate game with a lot of feeling”.
“We were terrific compared to the week before and the way that it went against us, hurt us a lot. We have to place a lot of importance on these early weeks for confidence and we need points.”
“Our problem is that we’ve conceded five goals in two games and you can’t win games like that. We’ve also put four goals away and that is the kind of thing that wins you games, but losing points with those goals in our bag is hard.”
“We have had a backline that’s been changing all the time and that means that we have to focus on that coming together. If we have to focus on that for all our trainings then so be it, but our attack is working and we have to focus on clean sheets now.”
With Valentine’s focus now set, the game against Adamstown Rosebud could see them strengthening their backline and keeping one eye fixed on a clean sheet and the victory that could come from that.
Maitland now return home again to be tested against Charlestown, whose attack has been dangerous in recent weeks. However with Maitland in the mix at the top of the table at the moment, another win could keep them on that run for some time to come.
Hamilton Olympic FC 3 defeated Adamstown Rosebud FC 1
Darling Street Oval
6pm, Saturday 16th April
Saturday evening saw long-time rivals Hamilton Olympic and Adamstown Rosebud clash at Darling Street Oval, with both sides out for three points after rocky starts to the season.
An unlucky time in front of goals and a struggle to break down Maitland’s defence last week meant that Hamilton were entering the match with only a single point to their name and Olympic’s Michael Bolch knew that his side had to be better to take the win.
Rosebud also came into the game with a lack of points, after a flurry of goals at Magic Park last weekend saw them downed by a five goal margin.
Hamilton proved that they had learned from their mistakes last weekend however, as it only took three minutes for the fans at Darling Street to see Olympic’s first goal of the season – an early shot from Simon Mooney gave the home side a lead.
The lead doubled just fourteen minutes later, as A-League import Leo Bertos managed to score for the first time for his new club, putting the side up to 2-0 and threatening Hamilton with another runaway victory.
Half time saw the home side maintain their two goal lead, with Adamstown desperate to find a gap and put a goal away to get back into the game, but as the second half opened Hamilton still looked dangerous and in control.
Their supremacy in possession paid dividends as the second half ticked on, with Mooney claiming his brace just after the hour mark to push the gap even wider and the comfortable three goal margin seemed set to give Olympic all three points.
Rosebud weren’t going down without a fight again however, and once again put a goal on the board late in the second half to ruin the home side’s clean sheet, with Matt Paul finding the back of the net for Adamstown.
It wasn’t enough for the travelling team in the end and Michael Bolch’s boys claimed their first win of the season in front of their home team loyalists, and leapt up the table with the result.
After a goalless match last weekend, Hamilton and their fans will be happy with the strong victory and the three goals translating into the three points that Bolch’s side were looking for.
The win puts Hamilton into second place on the table, only two points behind Edgeworth in the top place and their trip to Lambton next weekend to take on the Jaffas will be crucial to secure their spot in the battle around the finals positions on the ladder.
The same crucial outcome will be for Adamstown as they will be hosting Valentine FC, with both teams hungry for their first win for their 2016 campaign.
Newcastle Jets Youth 2 defeated by Charlestown City Blues FC 5
Lisle Carr Oval
2:30pm, Sunday 17th April
The final match of the second round was played at Lisle Carr Oval, with the Newcastle Jets Youth playing against the Charlestown City Blues in a crucial early match.
Charlestown’s game plan started out clear – attack the Jets Youth and claim an early advantage. The strategy looked to be working when Ryan Frame opened the scoring for the two teams.
The Blues continued to create chances in front of the Newcastle net and Rene Ferguson was the second City player to capitalize on the open space, putting the away side up by two goals with a clinical finish.
Newcastle showed experience beyond their years in staying in the match however, with rising star Cameron Joice chalking another goal to his name for the Jets.
The Jets Youth squad levelled the score after the teams took to the field for the second half of the match, but it wasn’t enough to put Charlestown down, with Rene Ferguson scoring again to claim his brace in the match and put the Blues up in the match, again.
The boys from Newcastle didn’t have enough in them to bring themselves level again, with Charlestown being able to capitalize on the change of pace which resulted in Scott Smith putting the game further away from the Jets, with another goal.
Sam Bradshaw was the player that put the game to bed, putting the Jets away in the same breath as he put the ball into the back of the net with Charlestown carrying out their 5-2 victory and claiming all three points at Lisle Carr Oval.
The Blues’ leader and coach, Shane Pryce, commented that he had put a game plan in place for his side and with them following through he was pleased with his starting squad.
“The victory was a team effort and I’m glad to see that the team could carry out the instructions that I set up and get the fruits of the hard work that they put in,” he continued.
“Ferguson and Layman both played at the top of their game and Crouchy – Sam Bradshaw – played fantastically as a forward as well.”
“The one problem that we had was defensive structure. Most great teams have to average only one goal, or maybe one and a half goals at best, but we’ve let in two goals a game. A problem is when we concede and how we concede and after we score goals we lose focus. We have to work on that or we’ll drop points.”
Despite conceding at the back, the win puts Charlestown firmly on four points, pushing themselves away from the bottom of the table and leaving the Newcastle Jets Youth squad struggling with only a single point after two games.
Charlestown now turn to their third match of the season, when they travel to Maitland to take on another fierce rival, where they look to claim a win at Cooks Square Park and improve their defensive capabilities.
The Jets Youth squad meanwhile will play against league leaders and defending champions Edgeworth at Jack McLaughlan Oval, where a true test of the developing players will come for Clayton Zane’s side, against the lethal Eagles and their two dominant wins.