Hamilton Olympic coach asks for lift in intensity against Maitland Magpies

EVERYONE remembers a goalkeeping howler, especially when it comes from Danny Ireland.

So rarely has the Hamilton keeper made costly errors in the Northern NSW National Premier League that a fumbled corner kick in the second minute against Charlestown on Saturday night has stood out for many in round six.

The mistake gave Charlestown the lead, and another Josh Maguire corner, in the 57th minute, beat Hamilton’s defence at the near post to give the Blues a 2-1 victory at Darling Street Oval.

The result left Olympic on six points from four games ahead of Wednesday’s 6.30pm catch-up clash at Maitland, who have seven points from three matches. It shapes as a crucial early test for Hamilton, who are three points outside the top four and take on two-time defending champions Edgeworth on Saturday night.

While the blunders at corners proved decisive last Saturday night, Hamilton coach Michael Bolch was more concerned with the missed chances in attack and the intensity of his side. 

“It’s a bad thing for keepers, they make one mistake and that’s all people remember,” Bolch said.

“We missed three one-on-ones and Goody [Kane Goodchild] had a runaway one-on-one at the end of the game, and it all just comes back to keeper mistakes.

“We really just got outenthused on Saturday night. They wanted it more than us. It turned into a battle and they won all the individual battles and all the second-phase ball.

“There were two poor goals from us from corners but we created enough to get something out of the game.”

Bolch believed the league was tighter than previous years and every team were dangerous.

“It just shows with the comp this year, it is a lot closer,” he said. “Jaffas were beaten by Phoenix and had a draw with Weston, Magic got beat by Azzurri and Lakes. They are not results you expect, as such, so it just shows if you don’t turn up on the day ready to go, you get beaten.”

Maitland football manager Mick Mirisch said Ryan Clarke (hamstring) remained the Magpies’ only injury problem. Bolch had no new injuries in his squad. 

“They were a good side last year,” Bolch said of the Magpies. “We didn’t beat them once last year and they made the semis, and they’ve added to that with [Andrew] Pawiak, [Shane] Cansdell-Sherriff and [Josh] Dutton-Black. They’ve improved their squad in my book and they are a force to be reckoned with.”

** The draw for round three of the NNSW Southern Pool of the FFA Cup, which features all 10 NPL clubs, seven from the second tier and five interdistrict teams, will be done on Wednesday.​


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