PHOTO: Sproule Sports Focus
Match of the Round
Lambton Jaffas 1 (Griffiths (p) 55’) drew with Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Bradbury (p) 65’) at Arthur Edden Oval.
Broadmeadow Magic continued their unbeaten run against an injury-ravaged Lambton Jaffas at Arthur Edden Oval, but couldn’t take all three points in a frustrating evening for Ruben Zadkovich’s side.
Dino Fajkovic caused plenty of headaches for Lambton’s defence in his first match in more than ten months for Broadmeadow, but, it was a similar story for the visitors as they created numerous chances, but couldn’t take them.
Meanwhile, the Jaffas bench resembled a war zone as Pat Brown (knee), Luke Remington (elbow) and Joel Griffiths (hip flexor) were all forced from the field within the opening 57 minutes.
While Magic dominated large periods of the match it was Jaffas midfielder Ben Hay who created the opening chance of the match. He took on a shot from outside the box, curling his left foot strike into the post – centimetres from picking out the top corner.
From that moment, Magic began to take the ascendancy. Dino Fajkovic turned on a dime in the box and forced a brilliant save out of Man of the Match, Daniel March. James Virgili cut down the right edge minutes later and forced March into action once more.
The sides headed to the sheds locked at 0-0 and when they returned Fajkovic had another golden opportunity. James Virgili cut in a cross from the right edge and at the near post, Broadmeadow’s striker just couldn’t get his shot on target.
In the 54th minute, Lambton made Broadmeadow pay for their wasted chances. Ridge Marpu darted down the right edge, cut into the box and was brought down by Jon Griffiths.
Referee Glen Peterkin pointed to the spot and Jaffas striker Joel Griffiths made no mistake scoring his 5th of the season. Griffiths aggravated his hip flexor injury in taking the penalty and was forced from the field minutes later.
Magic continued to create chances after conceding and were rewarding with what looked to be a very dubious penalty. Luke Virgili’s free kick bounced up into the mid-drift of Lambton defender Nathan Morris, and Peterkin pointed to the spot amid protests from Jaffas players.
Kale Bradbury stepped up and rolled his penalty low into the bottom left corner – breaking a nearly four-hour goal scoring drought for Magic – and scoring his first of the year.
Both sides continued to push for a winner, and it was Magic with the last chance. Shane Paul was fouled just outside the box and Scott Pettit stepped up.
Pettit curled his free-kick towards the top right corner, but, March stood up to the test again parrying the strike away to ensure Lambton shared the points.
Jaffas coach James Pascoe praised Magic’s performance.
“Broadmeadow controlled the ball really well I thought for both halves of the game. Hats off to them for that.”
But, Pascoe said he never felt “the match was getting away at any stage”.
“They had a couple of decent chances, they didn’t rip us apart. A lot of it was in front of us. Our set-up handled it really well. They are a good side but. No doubt about it.
“For me, the sign of a good team that doesn’t quite hit their straps can still get something out of it and when all is said and done they didn’t score from their chances and the penalty they got wasn’t one. On another day, you might even win that game.”
When compared post-match to the Newcastle Jets in their ability to create chances and not put them away, Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich disagreed.
“To be honest, I’m not going use an analogy that has the Newcastle Jets in it when they are wooden spooners. I don’t think they have played good football for the last six weeks,” Zadkovich said.
“In hindsight looking at that tonight, Jaffas are probably what I think the best team in the comp.
“I know Edgy (Edgeworth) have got the runs on the board. But, when I’ve watched games and when we played them in pre-season and watched them beat Olympic also, I think they are one of the best teams in the comp.”
Zadkovich was disappointed not to take home the three points.
“We’ve come away from home tonight and absolutely dominated the whole game and should have won.”
Charlestown City Blues 2 (Ireland (OG) 2’, Maguire 57’) defeated Hamilton Olympic 1 (Goodchild 43’) at Darling Street Oval.
Charlestown surged into the top four of the PlayStation® 4 NPL Northern NSW at the end of round six with an upset 2-1 victory against Hamilton Olympic on Saturday night.
It was a gritty and determined display from the Blues who have now won three of their last four matches and their evening couldn’t have started any better.
Josh Maguire whipped in a corner in just the second minute, which Olympic keeper Danny Ireland fumbled into his own net to give the visitors an early lead.
In an end to end fixture where both sides had their chances, Olympic equalised in the 43rd minute after a long ball from Ireland was headed on by Kane Goodchild for Scott Smith who returned the favour to Goodchild and Olympic’s striker hit a sweet low shot across Blues keeper Nathan Archbold to restore parity.
The sides headed to the shed level at 1-1 and when they returned it was the visiting Blues who would strike first in the second half.
Rene Ferguson won his side a corner was a run down the left edge, before Maguire’s corner found its way somehow inside Ireland’s near post in a second embarrassing moment for Olympic’s keeper.
Hamilton had some late chances to win the match via Goodchild and Smith, but a brilliant save from Nathan Archbold to deny Smith ensured Charlestown would leave Darling Street with all three points.
Blues coach Shane Pryce praised his side’s commitment and effort.
“I just think our character at the moment within the team is superb. I couldn’t ask for anything more. The boys are fighting for each other and we are fighting for each other,” Pryce said.
“We had a bit of a plan and we did our homework and knew what to expect. But, stopping it is a different story even though you know it’s coming. To keep them to one, credit to us.”
Olympic coach Mick Bolch said his side simply “weren’t at the races”.
“We were second to everything all day. All credit to Charlestown, they went there with a game plan, they pressed us, they made it into a scrap and they came out on top.”
Bolch said it isn’t panic stations yet but stated his side “need to improve”.
“We need to be better in what we are doing if want to be there when the whips are cracking at the end of the year. We need to be better and it needs to happen fast.”
Lake Macquarie 2 (Walker 43’, Green 66’) defeated Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Berlin 22’) at Adamstown Oval.
Lake Macquarie continued their strong early season form, as Adamstown slumped to their second successive defeated in the PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW on Sunday.
The Rosebuds controlled large portions of the match, but couldn’t strike the killer blow – one thing their opposition could.
After controlling much of the opening 20 minutes Adamstown got their just rewards when Ryan Ensor played in Chris Berlin.
Berlin found space through the middle of the box and controlled striking a low shot – which Roosters keeper Benn Kelly got a hand to – into the back of the net to give the home side the lead.
After conceding Lake Macquarie had their best period of the match with Sam Walker finding space down the right edge and just firing his shot wide.
Adamstown should have doubled their advantage in the 40th minute when Berlin was played in once more.
Mitch Hunter cut down the left edge and squared for Berlin, who was just outside the six-yard box, but Adamstown’s striker couldn’t keep his shot down, firing over the bar.
Less than three minutes later Sam Walker made the Rosebuds pay.
After a stoppage in play after Tom Smart collected Alex Read, Steve Rospigliosi played a ball over the top of the Adamstown defence to find Sam Walker who raced onto the pass, and chipped keeper Paul Bitz to level to match.
Walker’s goal ensured the sides would head to the sheds level at 1-1.
After the break, the home side came out with intent. Two minutes after the break, Charlie Horsley fired wide from long range before Alex Read curled his shot just wide from the right edge of the box.
It would be Lakes though who would grab the go-ahead goal. Owen Littlewood played a poor ball to Dayne Pawlik who was ambushed by Lakes skipper Tom Walker.
Walker played in Blake Green who stepped onto his left boot and fired a shot – from the edge of the box – across Bitz and into the bottom right corner.
Lakes then defended stoutly for the final minutes, repelling the Rosebud’s attack to claim their third victory of the season.
Roosters coach Anthony Richards said post-match “it wasn’t pretty” but he was proud of the effort.
“We had to make tackles where we had too. Adamstown is not a second-last side. They are heaps better than where they are [on the ladder]. We just had two good finished from Sam [Walker] in the first half and Greeny [Blake Green] was good enough to take his.”
For Adamstown coach Pete McGuinness, it was another disappointing afternoon.
“It just seems, week in week out that when we get in the front third someone will stand on the front third and fall over or we will have an air swing in front of goal,” McGuinness said post-match.
“We just don’t look like we are going to score and we look like we are going to concede when we get into positions one v one.”
Adamstown face a long wait before their round seven clash, when they meet Broadmeadow on Anzac Day, while Lake Macquarie has the bye before facing Maitland in two weeks.