PHOTO: Sproule Sports Focus
Match of the Round
Maitland Magpies v Hamilton Olympic at Cooks Square Park
Broadmeadow Magic 1 (J.Virgili 17’) defeated by Lake Macquarie Roosters 4 (Walker 12’, 76’, 87’, Broadley 49’) at Magic Park
Lake Macquarie striker Sam Walker starred in his PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues Northern NSW return to Magic Park, scoring a hat-trick and assisting the other goal as the Roosters caused one of the shocks of the season. Walker’s heroics helped Lakes soar to the top of the PS4 4 NPL ladder on a wet and windy Sunday afternoon.
For the second time in two matches, Broadmeadow conceded the opening goal, and it was Walker who did the damage. The Roosters striker weaved down the right edge of the box before rolling his shot into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead in the 12th minute.
As they did last weekend though Broadmeadow responded. After Lakes gave the ball away at the back, James Virgili was on hand to clinically finish from the edge of the box to level the match up.
The home side continued to probe until the break and was unlucky not to take the lead. Kale Bradbury had some near misses, while right on the stroke of half-time Magic skipper Josh Piddington put his header over the bar from close range.
The sides headed to the sheds at 1-1, with Magic having the better of the play at the back end of the half. However, it was the Roosters who started the second half stronger and like they did in the first grabbed the opening goal.
Sam Walker darted down the left edge and squared a ball to workhorse Justin Broadley who tapped home for the lead.
The match was even for much of the second half but turned in the 75th minute when Sam Walker was struck by a flying elbow from Piddington. Lakes coach Anthony Richards didn’t look impressed with the challenge and the Magic defender seemed lucky to only receive a yellow card.
After recovering, Walker struck the killer blow for the Roosters with the ensuing free-kick falling to him in the box and the talismanic striker made no mistake. In the goal celebrations, Piddington was then sent off for comments made to referee Trent Nash which turned into an uphill battle for Broadmeadow.
Walker put the final nail in Magic’s coffin in the 87th minute, when Corey Fletcher curled a cross from the left edge onto the striker’s right boot. Walker summed up the opportunity and picked out the top corner giving Giantsopolous no chance.
Lake Macquarie ended a six-match winless run against Broadmeadow and Roosters coach Richards was full of praise for Walker.
“What a finisher. He scored his 100th goal [for the club] the other night. Sam’s the type of guy, we talk about the work rate he puts in. Some days he puts in more effort that he gets rewarded. Some days he may not score a goal, but it’s days like this he gets the reward.”
Richards said it was “a big upset” and that he was “super proud” of his side’s performance.
Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich said his side “was a little patchy” which “they have been most of the season”. But, he praised Lakes for their performance.
“It’s credit to their keeper, he had a great game and a credit to their defensive structure. They were great and they made it very hard for us and very difficult.”
“I think in the first half we played some of our better stuff this year in patches, but there were moments in transition where we just weren’t switched on,” Zadkovich said.
Valentine Phoenix 3 (Edwards 28’, Micallef 67’, McGinley 85’) defeated Lambton Jaffas 2 (Griffiths (p) 44’, (p) 55’) at Arthur Edden Oval.
Lambton coach James Pascoe said his goalkeeper Brad Swancott ‘crossed the line’ on Saturday afternoon after the veteran goalkeeper was sent off in the first half of the Jaffas 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Valentine.
Swancott was sent off for abusing an assistant referee after a wrong call was made regarding an offside. While Pascoe said the decision was a ‘very bad piece of officiating’ there was no excuse for Swancott’s behaviour.
“I’ve got no issues with the red card. You can’t speak to officials that way. We’ve been warned there was going to be a crackdown on it. The players have been warned on it. No excuses, he’s done the wrong thing,” Pascoe said.
After Wilson Edwards got the Phoenix off to a dream start in the 28th minute, the Jaffas trailed 1-0 when Swancott was sent from the field minutes later. But, they didn’t take long to respond. Phoenix keeper Scott Carter knocked Joel Griffiths to the ground in the box in the 41st minute and referee Cameron Burns pointed to the spot.
Griffiths stepped up and buried his penalty into the left corner and the Jaffas headed to the sheds all square.
After the break, the afternoon got even better for the Jaffas when Joel Griffiths raced onto a pass over the top of Valentine’s defence and went one-on-one with Carter. Reece Pettit dove in from behind, taking down Griffiths and Burns pointed to the spot once more, and issued Pettit a yellow card.
Griffiths stepped up to the spot again drove it into the left corner again, Carter getting a touch but was unable to keep it out.
However, Phoenix didn’t back down. Jalon Brown played a weaving Justin Micallef into the box in the 67th minute and the former Magic man did the rest, darting through Lambton’s defence firing a shot which was well blocked, but he tapped in the rebound to make it 2-2.
Then with five minutes to play, Scott McGinley unleashed from the edge of the box, the ball dipping over backup goalkeeper Ben Corling and into the back of the net to give Valentine the lead. Ending the match with Phoenix claiming a valuable 3-2 win.
Phoenix coach Darren Sills said the performance was “a quantum leap from where we were on Wednesday night”. Sills said “they got it right tactically” in the victory after a performance he described as ‘disgraceful’ on Wednesday night.
Charlestown City Blues 4 (Atkinson 16’, Tull 76’, Ferguson 80’, Casciaroli (p) 82’) defeated Newcastle Jets Youth 1 (Joice 65’) at Lisle Carr Oval.
Charlestown responded to coach Shane Pryce’s comments after last weekend’s disappointing draw with Lake Macquarie in fine style on Saturday.
Pryce told the Newcastle Herald last weekend the performances against Lakes ‘was one of the most atrocious efforts I’ve seen from guys in a sky blue shirt’. But, the Blues were poles apart from that performance against the Jets Youth.
Corey Atkinson scored his first goal for the Blues in the 16th minute when he ran onto a pinpoint chipped ball over the top of the Jets defence and slotted home.
Charlestown controlled the match until the break but couldn’t find the decisive goal, as they headed to the sheds with a 1-0 advantage.
It seemed like it would be one of those afternoons for the Blues when Josh Maguire had his penalty saved by a diving Noah James in the 61st minute and the Jets Youth made them pay minutes later.
Cameron Joice was played in through the heart of the Blues defence in the 66th minute and went one-on-one with Blues keeper Nathan Archbold, calmly chipping the equaliser into the roof of the net.
Charlestown wouldn’t go away, though. Captain Matt Tull led the late revival as he tapped in a cross at the back post in the 76th minute.
Then after some neat interplay with Dan Casciaroli, Rene Ferguson sliced his shot into the top right corner in the 80th minute and Casciaroli sealed the deal in the 82nd minute when his penalty was saved by James and he slotted the rebound to make it 4-1.
Blues coach Shane Pryce was ‘very happy’ with his side performance.
“The guys probably showed their true colours and I was just happy with the response and the attitude and they deserved to win,” Pryce said post-match.
“I challenged the older players and the response was what I was after. We changed a bit of the formation and the players around and I think it suited us quite well.”
Jets Youth Assistant Paul Gomez sensed the result was reminiscent of performances last season.
“It’s a bit like last season, it’s a case that we have lost some players and we are looking to rebuild with a younger side. It’s just going to be a case of us moving forward from now and looking to build on what we are trying to do for the rest of the season.
“We want to be competitive and we want to achieve as much as we can. We don’t just want to just develop players, but get results throughout the year as well,” Gomez said.
Adamstown Rosebud 3 (Ensor 12’, Read 15’, 17’) drew with Weston Bears 3 (Buswell 4’, 62’, Thompson 58’)
Two sides that yet to take three points this season will have to wait at least another week to taste the winning feeling.
Weston produced another spirited fightback in their round four clash with the Rosebud’s, coming back from 3-1 down to take a point away from Adamstown Oval.
In his Weston debut, it took just five minutes for Cooper Buswell to get himself on the scoresheet. Jamie Byrnes fired in a left-foot shot from the edge of the box which Rosebud’s keeper Paul Bitz dived to save but could only parry it out to Cooper Buswell who slotted home for his first goal in black and white.
But, the lead was short-lived for the Bears, as Adamstown embarked on a scoring spree. Ryan Ensor whipped in a free kick 45 degrees on the right which deflected off a couple of players and bounced into the back of the net in the 13th minute.
In the 16th, Alex Read weaved his way through the Bears defence and coolly knocked in his third of the season and just only two minutes later, Read had his second of the afternoon when Daniel Yaxley picked out Read with a perfect pass from the right edge. Read turned and shot and the home side led 3-1.
The Rosebud’s took the two-goal advantage into the break but after coach Steve Piggott made three quick changes after the break but the Bears awoke from their slumber. Jake Millsteed’s back heel sent James Thompson through on goal and the former Jets Youth man made no mistake as he chipped home.
Five minutes later Adamstown gave the ball away coming out of defence and Buswell made the pay. He mazed his way into the box and slotted past Bitz from a tight angle on the right to lock the match up.
Both sides had late chances to take all three points but neither could strike the killer blow, the match finishing 3-all.
Disappointed Adamstown coach Pete McGuiness said “it wasn’t the best spectacle” and “both sides failed to hold possession for long periods of time.”
“We didn’t retain possession and we didn’t build attacks and we turned the ball over too easily,” McGuiness said.
“Weston worked very hard to stop us playing and consequently stopped us very well and we didn’t cope with it. We found another way not to get a result. Ok, we got a draw, we didn’t lose but we found a way not to win the game.”
Weston’s Steve Piggott thought his side were no chance of getting into the match when he addressed them at half-time.
“I thought [at half-time] here we go this is one of these days where we are going to get beat by five or six. I was pretty clear at half-time there weren’t too many messages.”
With two goals on debut for the club, Buswell won plenty of praise from his coach.
“He’s had one week, a couple of training sessions with the guys and that shows what he is made of. He’s got plenty of character and he’s got a bit of guts and plenty of talent,” Piggott said.
On a sour note, former Weston defender Robbie Turnbull will have scans today to determine the extent of a knee injury suffered in the match. Coach Pete McGuiness said it could be his ACL.