PHOTO: Sproule Sports Focus
Match of the Round
Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Hammel (p) 68’) drew with Hamilton Olympic 1 (Swan 41’) at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Hamilton Olympic made it three matches unbeaten against Edgeworth in the round seven’s ‘Match of the Round’ of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) Northern NSW competition.
Eagles striker Daniel McBreen was sent off and coach Damian Zane was lucky not to follow him into the sheds on a heated evening in Edgeworth.
The Eagles started the match stronger – Bren Hammel spurning a golden opportunity to open the scoring.
But, Olympic soon clawed their way back into the contest as Scott Smith blazed over in the 40th minute from just inside the box.
It was Smith who would turn provider a minute later. He struck a low shot from outside the box which Eagles keeper Nate Cavaliere fumbled allowing Matt Swan to scramble the ball over the line and put the visitors ahead.
Hamilton took their 1-0 advantage into the break, and on resumption, Edgeworth came out all guns blazing. Aaron Oppedisano just placed his volley wide at the back post two minutes into the half.
Just a few minutes later, the match took a turn against the Eagles. A frustrated Daniel McBreen let referee Ryan Gallagher know exactly what he thought of the officiating in a 51st-minute brain explosion and was subsequently given his marching orders.
For the second home game in four this season the Eagles were forced to play with ten men – and it seemed to spur them on. ‘Man of the Match’ Bren Hammel caused more headaches for Olympic down the right side and was rewarded in the 68th minute.
Hammel darted into the box and was felled by Tom Davies; referee Gallagher pointed to the spot. Hammel – who has scored crucial goals for Edgeworth in previous seasons – stepped up once more and made no mistake to lock up the scores.
Over the final 20 minutes, there was plenty of huffing and puffing from both sides but neither could find a match winner. Olympic recording their first draw of 2017, while Edgeworth had their second in succession and third of the year.
Olympic coach Michael Bolch was pleased with the result after a tough week of matches.
“The Azzurri [Charlestown] game was a really physical game, followed by Maitland. To go onto that heavy pitch, with 30 minutes to go, the boy’s legs were gone. Half of the boys couldn’t lift their legs up of the ground after the game.
“I thought [Edgeworth] were good and for the first 15-20 minutes they had us under the pump and we were chasing shadows. I think that was because we were a little bit flat from playing on Wednesday night. I thought we were the better side for the end of the first half and deserved to go in, in front,” Bolch added.
“That’s our first draw all year. It’s not ideal, but I’m happy with where we are at.”
Eagles coach Damian Zane said he was “happy not to lose”.
“You’re down, like the first game, you’re down 1-0 with ten men, you get anything out of the game you are happy. I thought we probably didn’t deserve to be down at half-time. That was sort of harsh and we were,” Zane said post-match.
“To their credit, with ten men we just left Dylan [Holz] and Kieran [Sanders] in midfield and they were actually getting on top and we were unlucky not to pinch it.”
Edgeworth will need to recover quickly, as they face the Jets Youth on Wednesday before playing Charlestown next weekend. Hamilton will host Weston at Darling Street Oval next Sunday afternoon.
Valentine Phoenix 4 (McGinley (p) 18’, J.Brown 50’, 58’, Minors 78’) defeated Maitland Magpies 0 Cooks Square Park.
Valentine coach Darren Sills described the result as “the best performance I have seen since I’ve been at the club” as the Phoenix made it three wins in a row in on Saturday evening.
American import Jalon Brown scored a brace for the visitors in a match where the victors soared to second on the ladder.
Sills was glowing in praise of his side post-match.
“They just pretty well performed the way they trained. When you do that you know you are doing things right on the training paddock when that happens. It was great football. The goals were absolutely superb,” Sills added.
The match couldn’t have started any better for the visitors, taking the lead in just the 18th minute.
Scott McGinley was bumped over in the box by Magpies defender Shane Cansdell-Sheriff and referee Rebecca Davies had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Phoenix captain McGinley dispatched the spot kick to make it 1-0.
Valentine took their slender lead into the break, but just five minutes into the second half Jalon Brown doubled their advantage.
Matt Paul played a diagonal ball to Chris Brown on the left who threaded a pass back against the grain to Jalon Brown on the right who cut through the Magpies defence and slotted across keeper Matt Trott.
In the 58th minute, Brown grabbed his second. From a free kick, deep in their own half, Reece Pettit found Wilson Edwards on the right edge who cut back a cross to Brown. Brown skipped past a couple of defenders and finished superbly – again with his less-favoured right foot – to make it 3-0.
Daniel Minors put the icing on the cake in the 78th minute with a thunderbolt from outside the box which could go down as ‘goal of the week’. The Phoenix too good in a 4-0 thumping which makes it two losses in a row for the Magpies.
Maitland coach Phil Dando described the result as “disappointing”.
“We started off alright and then we went behind to a soft penalty and didn’t really get to grips in the second half. We didn’t keep the ball as well as we should have done in the first half and that cost us a little bit. We probably didn’t keep it as well in the second half either.
“It was one of those days, everything they hit went in the back of the net and everything we hit didn’t.
Maitland will have another week in playing catch up’s and fighting back at home with taking on the Bears tonight at 7 pm and hosting round eight’s ‘Match of the Round’ facing Lake Macquarie City FC on Sunday. Valentine will see a confident Newcastle Jets Youth at Cahill Oval on Saturday.
Lambton Jaffas 2 (Waller 45’, Verity 59’) defeated Charlestown City Blues 1 (Ferguson 16’) at Lisle Carr Oval.
Jaffas recruit Nathan Verity scored the decisive goal as Lambton returned to the top of the table in the PlayStation®4 NPL Northern NSW. Verity started in place of the injured Dain Greentree and made the most of his promotion.
Coach James Pascoe praised his goal scorer post-match.
“Today was a good step in the right direction for [Nathan]. He played the role that he was asked to play very well and he was rewarded with a goal.”
But, Lambton were forced to work for the three points, coming from behind after Rene Ferguson opened the scoring for the Blues.
The Blues took the lead when Jaffas defender Nathan Morris under hit a back pass to keeper Brad Swancott and after a scramble, Ferguson finished into an empty net.
The Jaffas hit back right on the stroke of half-time as Luke Remington chipped neatly for Tom Waller to race down the ground and finished neatly – sliding his shot from the left across Blues keeper Nathan Archbold and into the net.
The sides headed to the sheds at 1-1 and it was the visiting Lambton side who took the lead for the first time in the 60th minute. Waller turned provider on this occasion curling a cross from the right edge, which was not dealt with by the Blues defence.
Verity sweetly drove a volley home from the angle on the left to give the Jaffas a lead which they wouldn’t relinquish.
Pascoe described the contest as an “arm-wrestle” but was none the less pleased with the three points.
Charlestown coach Shane Pryce said he was proud that his side gave the ladder leaders a “run for their money”.
“They probably had the better of possession, but I still thought we gave them a run for their money and we could have got something out of the game in the end. I just think there were times that we let ourselves down in vital moments which cost us.
“I think we gave them a fright and I’m pretty happy with that sort of effort,” Pryce added.
Weston Bears 2 (Hurley 52’, 90’) drew with Jets Youth 2 (Moric 53’, 90+4’) at Rockwell Automation Park.
There was plenty of late drama at Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday afternoon as the Jets Youth fought back twice from a goal down to claim a point against Weston.
Chris Hurley scored a brace for the Bears, but it wasn’t enough as Mark Moric did likewise for the Jets to ensure they shared the points.
The Bears opened the scoring in the 52nd minute after a stunning strike from Chris Hurley. After James Thompson chipped over the top of the Jets defence, Hurley unleashed a left-foot strike from outside the box which found the top corner.
It took just a minute though for the Jets to reply. Cody Carroll darted down the left edge played a ball through the Bears defence to Mark Moric who spun and hit a shot which powered through the gloves of keeper Kane Runge at the near post.
With only seconds remaining in regulation time the home side thought they had snatched all three points when Hurley scored a double.
It came after substitute Jake Barner played Cooper Buswell in on goal – very similar to the way Carroll played in Moric earlier – but Pierce Clark was up to the task making a sharp save.
Unfortunately for Clark, the ball spilled to Hurley who calmly slotted to make it 2-1 in the 90th minute.
But, that was just the beginning of the late drama.
In the 93rd minute, Regan Lundy chipped the ball over Weston’s defence for Leroy Jennings to run onto. Jennings, running on the angle away from goal was brought down by Runge and Cameron Burns pointed to the spot.
Jennings went low and right with his penalty which Runge dived and parried away, but sweeping through was Moric to grab his second and lock the match up once more.
Jets Youth coach Clayton Zane said his side “never really” hit their straps.
“We just weren’t efficient with the ball, especially in the first half. The second half was a big improvement for us because we used the ball a bit better but we still lacked a bit of punch in the front third for me. I thought we got in some good areas without asking many questions,” Zane said.
“It’s a game I look back on and I think our team, we could have won it if we had played to our level. We just had too many players have an off day. I’m sure Weston feel the same. They had three points sewn up there at the end with the late goal and then they threw it away. Both teams will be upset they didn’t get more out of it.”
Adamstown Rosebud 0 drew with Broadmeadow Magic 0 at Adamstown Oval.
Broadmeadow Magic extended their unbeaten run against Adamstown to 18 matches in the inaugural ANZAC day fixture on Tuesday, but it was comments from Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich which took most of the headlines after a gritty match of football.
Adamstown defended resolutely for 90 minutes and even had chances of their own to win it against a frustrated Broadmeadow side.
Zadkovich commented that the game was “the most boring game of football and all we did was try and break down a defensive block.”
“I’m really pissed off at my own team for not having any initiative to go out there and stick [to the plan] and go and win the game because if they stuck to how they played for the first 20-30 minutes they’d beat those guys three or four-nil.”
Broadmeadow did have their chances in the opening half. James Virgili with the best of them when he was played through down the right edge of the box and angled his shot just across goal.
In stark contrast to their previous six matches, the Rosebud’s were tight and resolute in defence and Pete McGuinness’ change to a 4-4-2 formation sucked the life out of Magic’s attack.
The sides headed to the sheds locked at 0-0 and when they returned Peter Haynes had a good chance from close range but he too couldn’t put his shot on target as he controlled and pushed his shot wide.
Adamstown had a couple of late chances through Alex Read and Justin Tannock. On the first occasion, Read wriggled free of defenders down the right edge and squared a pass which was just too high for Tannock to control.
The second in stoppage time saw Tannock back-heel to Read who broke down the field before Read played it back to Tannock. Instead of taking the shot Tannock played a weak pass back towards Read which was intercepted by the scrambling Magic defence.
Magic almost snatched the three points in the final minute of stoppage time that was arguably the closest chance of the match. Out of nowhere, Jon Griffiths hammered a shot into the crossbar which keeper Paul Bitz knew little about.
Adamstown coach Pete McGuinness said he would “make no apologies” for playing the defence style as he looked to restore confidence in his side.
“We needed to build some confidence and if that meant we needed to be very structure defensively well I make no apologies for that. That’s what we had to do this week and we did it. We are a young team. I have two 16-year-olds playing seven and two,” McGuinness said.
McGuinness was also proud of his side’s discipline.
“If you are talking about ticking boxes in building a team we have ticked a box in discipline for the first time in round seven. No cards, no yellows, no send-offs and we produced a disciplined defensive structure. We just weren’t good enough when we won the ball.”
Adamstown face ladder leaders Lambton next weekend at home while Broadmeadow has this weekend off with the bye.