Maitland Magpies and Hamilton Olympic played out a 0-0 draw in the opening round of the Ps4 NPL NNSW FIRST GRADE competition for 2016.
Olympic began the opening 10 minutes with total territorial domination but being unable to penetrate a well organised Maitland defence.
The first goal scoring opportunity came to Rhys Cooper in the 10th minute after receiving a lovely through ball from Daniel Bird. The flying Olympic midfielder turned Carl Thornton inside-out but a thunderous shot from within the area, didn’t trouble the Maitland goalie Matthew Trott.
Olympic continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession but Maitland kept them out and on occasions threatened with counter attacks themselves.
By half time, Olympic recorded only one clear cut opportunity to score to Maitland’s none.
The second half began with Kane Goodchild in place of Daniel Bird for Olympic.
Despite this, Olympic continue to dominate possession, but are unable to open up the Maitland defence for clear cut goal scoring opportunities.
There are many physical tackles in the middle of the field forcing the referee to issue a number of yellow cards.
Olympic continue to probe the Maitland defence desperately trying to find a way through but the magpies stand firm in numbers.
During a counter-attack in the 54th minute Olympic fans froze in their seats when Matt Comerford put Jye Mackeller through with a defence splitting ball, only for Danny Ireland to narrow his angle down and force him to shoot across the face of goal! This was Maitland’s first clear goal scoring opportunity of the game.
Olympic increase the intensity and force all the Maitland players, other than Dean Heffernan, inside their final third of the field. Despite this, the magpie “fortress” holds firm and in the 58th minute Jye Mackeller forces a great save from Danny Ireland who was a spectator in the Olympic goal until then.
Olympic intensify their attacks, desperately trying to find an opening, allowing Mackeller to catch them on the counter and force another fine save from Danny Ireland.
In the 65th minute Olympic force the ball from a Leo Bertos corner into the Maitland net but the referee claimed that the Maitland goalie was fouled and the goal was not allowed to stand.
Michael Bolch then introduced Pat Brown into the game in place of Tom Spencer. Immediately, an attack involving Rhys Cooper and Pat Brown resulted in Kane Goodchild heading narrowly wide.
Olympic continued to push for the opening goal and Maitland resisted until the final whistle.
Next Saturday Olympic welcome Adamstown Rosebud to Darling St Oval for a 6.00 kick-off.
Ps4 NPL NNSW FIRST GRADE ROUND 1:
Lambton Jaffas – Edgeworth Eagles 1-2
Maitland – Hamilton Olympic 0-0
Charlestown – Valentine 2-2
Broadmeadow Magic – Adamstown Rosebud 7-2
Weston Workers – Newcastle Jets Youth 3-3
U22s Maitland – Olympic 1-1
U19s Maitland – Olympic 0-2
NPL YOUTH ROUND 3:
U17S Olympic – Maitland 2-0
U15S Olympic – Maitland 4-0
U14S Olympic – Maitland 3-0
U13S Olympic – Maitland 4-0
Source: Tom Tsamouras