After trailing 2-0 at the break, two goals from former Olympic striker Pat Brown saw the Jaffas claim all three points and pull off a remarkable 3-2 victory.
It was Olympic who started like a house on fire, pressing Lambton into some early mistakes and they got their reward in the 17th minute. Leo Bertos lashed a left-foot strike on goal from the edge of the box. Jaffas keeper Brad Swancott got a touch onto the bar, but the rebound fell to Scott Smith who tapped in for a 1-0 advantage.
The home side doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Rhys Cooper sped through the heart of Lambton’s defence. He went one-on-one with Swancott and struck his left foot shot into the right corner to make it 2-0.
Down 2-0 at the break, Jaffas’ coach James Pascoe made two changes, removing both Ben Hay and Tom Waller and putting on Luke Remington and former Olympic striker Brown.
The move paid dividends immediately as Lambton looked the better side. A pinpoint Nathan Morris free-kick was headed by Scott Smith into his own net as Lambton began the search for an equaliser.
Kane Goodchild could have potentially put the match beyond Lambton’s reach when he had a one-on-one chance with Swancott after Morris turned the ball over on halfway. But, last year’s Golden Boot could only snatch his shot over the bar.
Then Lambton took full toll. First, Brown found space down the right edge, stepped onto his left boot and picked out the top right corner to make it 2-2 in the 77th minute.
And then – just as the match entered stoppage time – Brown struck again. This time after a lovely interchange of passes Remington played Brown into the box. He skipped past Olympic defender Grant Brown and chipped over the onrushing Danny Ireland to make it 3-2, and complete an incredible fightback from the Jaffas.
Victorious coach James Pascoe was happy with the three points but believes his side has much more to give.
“I’m obviously happy with the result, but underlining that general feeling is the fact that we probably only hit about six percent of our capacity in executing how we want to play. So, to have enough to get the result was pleasing in those circumstances.”
Pascoe also heaped praise on striker Pat Brown.
“Pat’s had a good pre-season and I ride him hard because I know what he’s got. I’ve known him since he was 15 when he was part of the NSWIS squad before the Emerging Jets started. He was a beast at 15 and unlucky to score a contract with the Youth team.”
“I don’t think there are any better strikers in the league at 23 years of age. He’s going to be a very good striker for the Jaffas for years to come. He’s hungry and he’s positive and I know there is more to come.”
Olympic coach Mick Bolch thought his side were very good in the opening 45 minutes, but a lack of match preparation in recent weekend hurt his side.
“I thought we were very good in the first half, but, leading into the match we were pretty underdone. We haven’t played a game for three weeks and it just told in the end. Fitness wise they just ran over the top of us in the last 30-35 minutes.”
“We’ve just got to take the positives out of it. I thought we were very good in the first half and created enough chances. It is what it is, though, it’s the first game of a long season and we have just got to build on it.”
The loss came at a cost for Olympic with midfielder Rhys Cooper expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a grade three tear on his medial.
Next weekend Lambton face off against the Eagles in what shapes as a huge match, while Hamilton meet Adamstown in the ‘Match of the Round.’
Under 20s Olympic won 4-1
Under 18s Olympic won 4-0
Olympic vs Valentine
Under 16s Olympic won 6-0
Under 15s Olympic won 2-0
Under 14s Olympic won 6-3
Under 13s Olympic won 12-0
In other games:
Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Moriyasu (p) 67’) drew with Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Haynes (p) 50’) at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
Broadmeadow and Edgeworth were forced to share the points in a pulsating match to start off the 2017 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) Northern NSW season. The sides couldn’t be separated even after the Eagles were forced to play the final 40 minutes with just ten men.
It was a fairly even start to the match with both sides probing without creating any clear cut chances. Edgeworth striker Brody Taylor found some space in behind the Magic defence midway through the opening half, but his shot was straight at Broadmeadow’s keeper Niko Giantsopolous and the former Devonport man made a good reflex save.
Peter Haynes was the next to go close, heading a corner at the near post just wide of goal, before moments later Magic midfielder Shane Paul put his header at the back post onto the roof of the net.
After a very tight first half, the two sides headed to the sheds locked at 0-0.
But, after limited chances in the opening half, Haynes found an opening in the Eagles defence down the right side as he chipped over the top for Kale Bradbury.
Bradbury backheeled in field to Shane Paul who weaved down the right side of the box and squared a pass to Scott Pettit whose shot from point-blank range smacked into the post, ricocheted out and with no keeper in goal Eagles defender Ayden Brice dove on top of the ball, handballed, and was immediately given a straight red card by referee Stephen Laurie.
Haynes stepped up and made no mistake with the spot-kick, drilling it under Eagles keeper Nate Cavaliere and into the left corner.
Moments later Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich substituted Haynes and brought on speedster James Virgili as the visitors looked to go in for the kill against 10 men.
But, Edgeworth as they so often have done responded and it was Brody Taylor who threaded the needle to Lachie Pasquale who darted down the left side of the box. New Magic recruit Scott Robertson dove in, fouled Pasquale and Laurie pointed to the spot once more.
Keigo Moriyasu stepped up and buried the penalty perfectly into the bottom left corner.
For the final 25 minutes, both sides continued to push for the winner. Bren Hammel produced a sweet drive from the right edge in the 79th minute which forced Giantsopolous to make a great save. In the same passage of play, the ball sat up for Daniel McBreen who rolled a left-foot shot towards goal which Giantsopolous plucked out of the air.
Magic created a chance with the last kick of the game when James Virgili darted down the right and curled in a low cross, but Cavaliere was up to the task to keep the visitors at bay.
When Stephen Laurie finally called an end to the match players hit the ground everywhere from an intense opening round clash where the rivals had to share the points.
Edgeworth coach Damian Zane said he had a case of the pre-match nerves.
“I very was nervous yesterday. Just being the start of the year. Everyone else started in November/December when we were having our break so I wasn’t sure how we would be physically.”
Zane said he couldn’t be happier with how his side performed physically.
“I thought we were in a pretty decent position but you never know until you get to round one. But, I am really happy [after round one] to see where we are at and we’ll only get stronger.”
Edgeworth faces a tough trip to Lambton against the Jaffas next weekend while Broadmeadow takes on the youthful Bears outfit at Magic Park.
Adamstown Rosebud 4 (Read 22’, 85’, Holzheimer 50’, Horsley 90+2’) drew with Jets Youth 4 (Joice 27’, 29’, Baker 74’, Brymora 90’) at Adamstown Oval.
The Jets Youth and Adamstown played out an 8-goal thriller in both sides opening hit outs of the PS4 NPL Northern NSW Season. To add to the drama Adamstown Captain Robbie Turnbull – in his first competitive match for the club – was sent off with a quarter hour of the match left to play.
Alex Read got the scoring underway for the Rosebud’s in the 22nd minute after Aaron Niyonkuru chipped the Jets defence, allowing Read to control and slot home his shot from the right edge of the box.
It didn’t take long for the Jets to reply, though. Cameron Joice tapping home from point-blank range after Adamstown keeper Paul Bitz could only parry away a curling Mark Moric shot from the left side.
Just two minutes later Joice was at the double after he weaved through some lacklustre Rosebud’s defence before going one-on-one with Bitz and making no mistake as he powered the Jets into the lead.
The Jets would take a 2-1 lead into the interval, however, on resumption, it was one of their former teammates who got Adamstown back into the match. Robbie Turnbull whipped in a dangerous ball from the left edge finding an unmarked Cameron Holzheimer in the middle who made no mistake with the header to make it 2-2.
The Jets refused to lay down and they got their reward in the 74th minute as Jarod Baker fired them back into the lead. Baker was given time and space to run and shoot from outside the box and struck it well into the left corner.
Things took a turn for the worse for Adamstown two minutes later as Turnbull received his second yellow after bumping over Kristian Brymora who was on route to goal. But, it seemed to spur on the Buds, Alex Read levelling the match once more in the 85th minute after former Jet Ryan Ensor sent him flying down the left side. Read cut inside and slotted across Jets keeper Pierce Clark.
Just as the Rosebud’s thought they had fought hard to claim a valuable point with just ten men, Kristian Brymora found space down the right edge and his shot was too good for Bitz as the Jets hit the front once more.
However, if anyone thought all the twists and turns were over they were wrong, as the Bud’s fought back incredibly for the second time. Jordan Bower cut down the left edge and found former Jet Charlie Horsley who slotted home to make it 4-4 and complete a great escape for the home side.
Adamstown coach Peter McGuinness thought is was a ‘pretty evenly fought contest’ and that his side ‘has plenty more to offer.’
“We played right to the final whistle and ended up getting something out of the game. To go 4-3 down with 90 minutes gone, you [normally] think it’s all over. But, they didn’t, they found a way to get something which is really positive,” McGuinness said.
The Jets have the bye next weekend, while Adamstown play Hamilton in the ‘Match of the Round.’
Charlestown City Blues 1 (Ferguson 90+1’) defeated by Valentine Phoenix 2 (C.Brown 13’, Carroll 71’) at Lisle Carr Oval.
Valentine got their season off the perfect start with a confidence-boosting 2-1 away victory against Charlestown. The Blues controlled possession for much of the match, but it was the Phoenix’s clinical counter-attacking football which saw them take the points home.
Valentine’s keeper Scott Carter made a brilliant start for his club making an important early save to deny former Valentine man Josh Swadling.
From then on it was fairly even until in the 15th minute when Reece Pettit played a long ball over the top of the Blues defence to Chris Brown who went one-on-one with Charlestown keeper Nathan Archbold and made no mistake in slotting home his first PS4 NPL goal for the club.
Archbold was made to work hard in the opening half as Valentine’s counter-attack caused difficulties for the Blues’ defence. American import Jalon Brown fired in a couple of shots in an impressive performance in his first match in the PS4 NPL competition.
Charlestown suffered an injury blow before halftime as former Valentine midfielder Corey Atkinson left the ground after copping Zac Sneddon’s boot to his head.
Valentine took a 1-0 lead into the sheds at half-time and the match took a turn on resumption against the home side. New recruit Dan Casciaroli was given his marching orders in the 54th minute after receiving a second yellow card for clipping Phoenix captain Scott McGinley.
Even though they were down to ten men, Charlestown continued to control possession and push for a winner. But, it was Valentine who grabbed the matches second goal with Josh Carroll nodding in a pinpoint cross at the back post to make it 2-0 in the 74th minute.
Valentine looked set to close out the match and claim just their 2nd clean sheet in their last 19 matches, but a mistake from goalkeeper Carter saw Charlestown give themselves some late hope. Rene Fergusons shot from outside the box slid under Carter and into the back of the net.
Valentine coach Darren Sills said he felt his side ‘did enough to claim the three points,’ and went on to laud the performance of US import Jalon Brown.
“We have been trying to keep wraps on his a bit. He’s not just a great footballer, he’s a great human being. He was tremendous for us,” Sills said.
On the flip side, Charlestown coach Shane Pryce thought Valentine could have won by more and that the Blues lack of trial matches showed. But, he praised his side for fighting hard with just ten men for the final 40 minutes.
“Our character with ten men was indicative of where we need to be. To show that character and create some chances, I was really proud of the boys for that. But, full credit to Valentine they deserved their win.”
Valentine will meet Lake Macquarie away in the local derby next weekend, while Charlestown play Maitland at home.
Weston Bears (Millsteed (p) 20’, Byrnes 52’) drew with Lake Macquarie Roosters (Broadley 13’, Rospigliosi 37’) at Rockwell Automation Park.
Lake Macquarie celebrated their return to the PS4 NPL with a share of points with Weston. The Bears came from behind twice to claim a point in an even contest at Rockwell Automation Park.
It didn’t take long for the Roosters to score their first goal of the year. Sam Walker scuffed his shot, but fortunately for him, it ricocheted off the Bears defence and straight into the path of Justin Broadley who swept home from the middle of the box.
Five minutes later though and the Bears were given a chance to equalise after being awarded a penalty. Jake Millsteed stepped up and slotted his penalty past Lakes keeper Benn Kelly and into the bottom right corner.
However, the Roosters were back in front before half-time when Broadley played a pinpoint ball to Steve Rospigliosi who was charging down the left flank. Rospigliosi hit a first-time shot low and hard with his left boot inside Andrew Goldman’s near post and the visitors hit the front once more.
Lakes took a 2-1 lead into the sheds at half-time, but, when they returned Weston found another equaliser just seven minutes into the half. Jamie Byrnes hitting a sweet free kick from outside the box on the left of goal, straight into the right corner to get Weston back into the match.
Both sides threatened for the remainder of the match, but neither could find a winner in steamy conditions at Weston, as they shared the points.
Roosters coach Anthony Richards felt it wasn’t the highest quality match, but he was pleased with the fight his side showed.
“It was a really hot day. The players on both sides battled really well but I wouldn’t say the football content was great. But, certainly, the effort by both team was great.”
“I was happy with the effort shown, in those conditions, but I think we’ve still got some better football in us,” Richards said.
Next weekend Lakes meet the Phoenix in their first top flight derby since 2013, while Weston travels to Magic Park to meet Broadmeadow.