Weston Workers FC 0 def. by Broadmeadow Magic FC 1
Sun 9 August 2:30 PM
Rockwell Automation Park
Match of the Round
The Northern New South Wales National Premier League Match of the Round took place at Rockwell Automation Park, as the home side Weston gave up their fourth spot to their opponents, Broadmeadow, who were a class above on the day.
Both sides went in to the match minus one or more key players. Jamie Subat, who had a hand in two goals in the Bears’ Round 8 win over Magic was missing, suspended due to too many yellow cards, while Magic were without the suspended Mike Finlayson and Scott Petit.
Each knew that a win would see them finish the round in the top four, and there was no extra motivation required for this match.
The game got off to a flying start, with both sides pushing to create an early chance. In just the sixth minute Magic almost took the lead as a mistake from Bears left back Wilson Edwards gifted Magic midfielder Callan Lewis with a chance. His volleyed attempt from just outside the six-yard box went inches wide as it crashed into the side netting.
Just after the half hour mark Dino Fajkovic missed the best chance of the first half, putting a Kale Bradbury cross wide in front of an open goal from just metres out, but in fairness his vision was blocked by several defenders and he saw the ball late.
In the thirty-seventh minute Fajkovic squandered another chance, this time heading over the cross bar from inside the six yard box from a pin point Lewis cross from the right.
In the forty-fifth minute Peter Haynes sent in a long-range free kick from the left that cannoned off the post and back out, however it would not have counted as the offside flag was up.
Weston’s best chance of the half came early as Nathan Archbold was forced to produce a spectacular save from a powerful Garry McDermott volley.
They went into half time locked at 0-0.
After the break both sides again pushed for an early goal, however ten minutes in it was still 0-0.
In the fifty-seventh minute the goal finally game, as the away side went ahead. Fajkovic brilliantly laid off a pass inside the box for strike partner Kale Bradbury whose shot from close range was saved by a diving Tim Pratt. Luke Virgili responded first, slotting the loose ball into the roof of the open net.
Weston’s chances became slimmer as the minutes went by, unable to find a goal. They became almost impossible when Nick Thompson was sent off for a second yellow card following a foul on Haynes in the middle of the park.
Despite Weston pushing for an equalizer the match finished with Magic still ahead 1-0, picking up a valuable three points that puts them inside the top four for the first time since Round 10.
The loss means the Bears remain on twenty-nine points, but drop to fifth as Magic join them but have a goal difference of fifteen whereas the Bears’ is zero.
Next week Weston travel to Jack McLaughlin Oval to contest the Match of the Round with Edgeworth, and Magic host Charlestown at Magic Park.
If Magic win they will finish in the top four, however if they drop points and Weston win then the Bears will finish fourth. It is a huge week for both clubs.
Newcastle Jets Youth 4 drew Edgeworth FC 4
Sat 8 August 2:30 PM
Jack McLaughlin Oval
In the only match played on Saturday in the NNSW NPL the Jets Youth and league Leaders Edgeworth took place in a fascinating match, which produced eight goals in ping pong-like fashion.
Edgeworth entered the match aware that a win would almost guarantee them the Premiership, as they led second placed Hamilton by three points going into the round.
The Jets recorded a 4-0 win over Charlestown during the week, and were desperate to continue this form into the second last game of what has been a disappointing season for them.
Both sides pushed for the opening goal, however the score remained 0-0 after twenty-five minutes in a tight encounter.
The home side got off to the better start, with Aiden Bryce opening the scoring in the twenty-eight minute.
Radovan Pavicevic equalized in the thirty-fifth minute to make the score 1-1, however Edgeworth’s lead was restored as Luke Walker scored just a minute later.
Five minutes before the break the Jets got the score back even, as Braedyn Crowley made it 2-2, which it remained at halftime.
Ten minutes after play restarted for the second half Andrew Pawiak chimed in with the Jets Youth third goal of the game, making the score 3-2.
Edgeworth coach Damian Zane was quite concerned seeing his side falling behind after leading twice in the match.
The Eagles were quite lackluster after a midweek FFA Cup match, however their resilience showed as a Bren Hammel penalty in the seventieth minute followed by a Dom Bizarri strike seven minutes later put the home side back in the lead.
In an incredible turn of events Michael Kantarovski latched onto the end of a curling Nick Cowburn free kick in the ninetieth minute, heading home the Jets third equalizer of the game, and making the score 4-4 at the final whistle.
Eagles coach Damian Zane insisted he would never send his side out to play for a draw, however he was quietly happy with the point considering they only made two changes from their FFA Cup starting eleven, and that the point ensures a win next weekend will earn them the Premiership.
‘We were very lethargic throughout the match, but when you score four goals you really expect to win the game,’ he went on to say.
‘To concede last minute off a free kick was terrible, we pride ourselves on not conceding like that’.
‘We only made two changes from Tuesday and for the boys to fight back after going down 3-2 I thought was a great effort’.
The win took the Eagles four clear of second placed Hamilton, however Olympic cruised past Charlestown yesterday to restore the margin to one point.
The Jets Youth moved to seventeen points and regardless of what happens next weekend they will finish the season in seventh.
In Round 18 the Eagles host the Match of the Round at Jack McLaughlin Oval on Sunday afternoon, and the Jets Youth are away to Adamstown on Saturday afternoon.
Maitland FC 1 def. by Lambton Jaffas FC 2
Sun 9 August 2:30 PM
Cook Square Park
Maitland hosted their final home game of the 2015 season on Sunday afternoon, as the highflying Lambton Jaffas looked to pick up their tenth win of the season at Cook Square Park.
The Magpies began the round three points ahead of last placed South Cardiff. A win would almost guarantee them safety from relegation, however the task at hand would require a huge effort.
With the league leaders Edgeworth drawing with the Jets a day prior to this match the Jaffas entered the match aware that a win would take them to three points of first, and if results go their way in Round 18 they could finish the season as Premiers.
The game got off to a slow start as both sides struggled to make the most of the poor playing surface at Cook Square Park.
It was the Jaffas who struck first however, midway through the first half as John Majurovski produced a trademark chest and volley, with his right foot that flew past Benn Kelly to send the Jaffas into half time ahead 1-0.
Two minutes into the second half Kelly became the victim of the bumpy conditions, as a simple back pass to him bobbled over his foot and rolled into the back of the net to give the Jaffas a 2-0 lead.
Mailtand got themselves back in the match in the seventieth minute, as Jai McKellar dispossessed Jaffas keeper Brad Swancott and was free on goal. Swancott fouled McKellar, and was lucky to stay on the park as he gave away a penalty which Blake Thompson converted.
Towards the end of the match Maitland thought they had equalized as Corey Fletcher found the back of the net, however it was called back for a free kick.
The match finished 2-1 to the Jaffas, ensuring they finish third at the lowest, and giving them a chance to compete for the Premiership.
Maitland coach Reece Thompson was disappointed with the result, suggesting it was not a reflection on his side’s performance.
‘The Jaffas had majority of possession but we were happy with that because it was all in front of us. At the end of day we were better then what the score line showed apart from the Jaffas having most of the possession,’ he said.
‘We had four good chances in the first half and went 1-0 down into half time, but at half time we were really positive because we created so much and felt we could win the match’.
Jaffas coach David Tanchevski felt the opposite of Thompson, happy with the win but disappointed with the performance.
‘We had plenty of possession, but really we followed our best performance of the season last week up with our worst today,’ he said.
‘The field was atrocious, it was very bumpy with hardly any grass, but that affected both teams not just us.’
‘The win takes a lot of pressure off now, and mathematically we can finish first or second which is great going into the last round’.
Maitland remains in ninth spot with the loss, but is almost guaranteed safety after South Cardiff lost, dropping to eleven goal differences behind the Magpies.
In Round 18 the Jaffas host the last placed Gunners on Saturday afternoon, whilst Maitland face another huge challenge, away to Hamilton Olympic on Sunday afternoon.
Charlestown City Blues FC 1 def. by Hamilton Olympic FC 5
Sun 9 August 2:30 PM
Lisle Carr Oval
Charlestown City Blues also hosted their last home game of the season yesterday afternoon, welcoming the in-form side of the competition at the present, Hamilton Olympic.
The Blues began the match in eight spot, aware a win would ensure them safety from relegation, and knowing they would need to put in a huge performance to get the three points.
Hamilton began the match in second, having scored fifteen goals in the three previous games, and knowing a win would send them into Round 18 just one point behind Edgeworth.
Twenty minutes into the game there was still no score, as Charlestown began the match extremely well, matching the favourites in every department.
In the twenty-fourth minute Hamilton went up 1-0 with a touch of good luck, as a Charlestown clearance struck the back of Kane Goodchild and made it’s way into the back of the net.
Eleven minutes later Simon Mooney produced another piece of magic to add to his brilliant 2015 season, smashing an absolute bomb into the top corner from the corner of the eighteen yard box.
The away side went into the break ahead 2-0 however Charlestown played well in the first stanza and were a huge chance to grab a point or three.
Seven minutes into the second half this hope was almost dashed as Goodchild got his second of the match, heading in a Mooney cross.
Goodchild then turned provider for their fourth two minutes after the hour mark, slipping in Ben Koina who made no mistake with the finish.
In the seventy-fifth minute Charlestown got on the score sheet through Scott Smith, giving them a slight chance to mount a comeback.
It wasn’t to be however, as Rhys Cooper put the icing on the cake in the ninetieth minute with a tap in into an open goal to record Olympic’s twentieth goal in four weeks, and complete a huge 5-1 win.
Hamilton coach Mick Bolch suggested it was not all one-way traffic despite the huge score line.
‘Charlie were as good as us in the first half, I was impressed with their performance today, but once it got to 3-0 it became a bit more comfortable’, he said.
He also commended the partnership of Goodchild, Mooney and Koina.
‘Ben’s only started in last three weeks and Goody and Simon have been doing well all year, but they have been great for us as a unit together up front in the last three weeks’.
‘Today was Kane’s best game in the last four weeks, he held the ball up well, scored two and set up one and was in everything going forward for us’.
He also commended the ‘best on ground’ Rhys Cooper who has been sensational all season, but especially since his move from attacking midfield to central midfield.
The loss keeps Charlestown in eighth, the highest they can finish this season, whilst Hamilton stay in second, one point from the first placed Eagles.
Olympic have the chance to win the Premiership next weekend against Maitland at home provided that the Eagles drop points, and Charlestown will be looking to defeat Broadmeadow for a second time this year. Both matches are on Sunday afternoon.
South Cardiff FC 1 def. by Adamstown Rosebud FC 3
Sun 9 August 2:30 PM
The final match of Round 17 of the NNSW NPL saw the last placed South Cardiff Gunners face Adamstown Rosebud.
The Rosebud entered the round in sixth where they were guaranteed to finish this season. The Gunners needed a win or a draw for any real chance at escaping relegation and once again feature in the NPL next season.
Adamstown struck first, fifteen minutes into the match, as Dane Pawlick struck a thunderous shot past Gunners keeper Tom Pullin, although Callum Gallagher claimed the goal suggesting he got a touch on the ball, causing a light hearted debate between the pair who the goal should go to.
The Rosebud took this 1-0 lead into the break, extremely confident that they would go on to win the match.
In the seventy-fifth minute, however, the Gunners pulled one back, as Jarryd Johnson hammered home a free kick to give the home side some hope that they could get themselves off the bottom of the ladder before the end of Round 18.
Buds coach Graham Law made several changes that turned out to be extremely effective.
He firstly introduced Aaron Niyonkuru who scored his first NPL goal in the eighty-ninth minute, followed by Kim tae Sung who put the icing on the cake in the ninetieth.
The Rosebuds finished the match as 3-1 winners, moving to twenty-five competition points.
Law was impressed with the ‘all round good team performance’, but commended his substitutes for changing the game.
‘I was not surprised we won that match,’ he went on to say.
‘I said and I knew we would bounce back from that big Jaffas loss, because there is so much strength in our team’.
‘My players work hard for me and that’s where I get the satisfaction, even though we haven’t made the finals this year’.
The Rosebud remain in sixth with their seventh win of the season, whilst the Gunners stay last with their twelfth loss.
Next weekend South Cardiff require a miracle as they play away to Charlestown on Saturday afternoon, and the Rosebud will play pressure free football against the Jets Youth in front of their home crowd, also on Saturday afternoon.