Hamilton Olympic 2 (Smith 79’, Pratt 81’) drew with Maitland Magpies 2 (Comerford 32’, M.Thompson (p) 49’) at Darling Street Oval.
Hamilton Olympic pulled a point out of the fire and could have stolen all three in the ‘Match of the Round’ as they produced a stunning rear-guard action, scoring two goals in the final 11 minutes against Maitland.
Olympic were down by two goals heading towards the final ten minutes, but a stunning strike from Scott Smith and a vicious volley from Sean Pratt ensured honours were even after 90 minutes.
The home side started the game on the front foot as Rhys Cooper – in his third match back from injury – wreaked havoc in the attacking third.
Cooper’s first chance burst through the hands of Magpies keeper Matt Trott and into the goal and minutes later Cooper had a wonderful chance to break the deadlock from inside the box on the right, but he slid his shot wide to the left.
Matt Comerford made Olympic pay for missing their earlier chances in the 32nd minute after an intricate interchange of passing between himself and Matt Thompson.
Comerford played a one-two with the former Newcastle Jets Captain and chipped Tyler Warren in the Hamilton goal to make it 1-0.
After conceding Hamilton struggled to make any headway with the Magpies controlling much of the ball as they headed to the break with a one-goal advantage.
When then returned after the interval the visitor’s dominance continued with Comerford darting down the left edge and having too much pace for Olympic defender Marcus Duncan.
Duncan dove in on Maitland’s speedster and gave away a penalty, which Matt Thompson duly converted to make in 2-0 in the 49th minute.
For the next 30 minutes, the Magpies appeared comfortable, sniffing out any half chance which Olympic created. That was until Tommy Spencer came onto the ground and Olympic began to find some space in the front third.
First, Spencer put his header from close range over the bar. It seemed that was the moment for Olympic. However, the chances continued to flow for the home side.
When Scott Smith turned on the edge of the box and curled a left-footed strike into the top left corner the match was back on.
Two minutes later and Olympic were level when Sean Pratt hit a searing volley from the right side of the box into the top right corner, sending the home fans into raptures.
The chances weren’t gone for Olympic though. Smith played Spencer through the heart of the Magpies defence in stoppage time and went one-on-one with Trott. Maitland’s keeper made a brilliant one-on-one save, sticking out his left boot to save the day.
The draw leaves just one point separating fourth from sixth on the PlayStation®4 NPL NNSW ladder with Hamilton, Maitland and Broadmeadow looking to fight it out for the last spot over the next seven weeks.
Olympic coach Mick Bolch thought his side were too inconsistent over the 90 minutes to win the match.
“I thought we were really good for the first 20 minutes. We probably deserved to be up by two, Rhys Cooper had three one-one-ones.
“Last 20 minutes I thought we were really good and ran over the top of them. Middle 40 minutes, [we were] terrible.”
“We could have won at the death there with Tommy Spencer. Did we deserve to win it? Probably not. I’m happy to get out of jail.”
While disappointed with conceding two goals in the final 15 minutes, Magpies boss Phil Dando didn’t feel like “we threw three points away.”
“They’ve gone away, they slipped away,” Dando said.
“We knew it would be an arm-wrestle. We knew it would be a tight contest. I thought we did really well absorbing their pressure early one and then we played some good football.”
Looking back on the result, Dando was pleased to take a point.
“If you would have said before the game, there is a point, we probably would have taken it. The biggest surprise to me was that we were so dominant for such a large period of the game. I just thought it would be an arm-wrestle all the way through.
“That’s credit to our guys, they’ve worked their socks off and probably didn’t quite get what they deserved today.”
Under 20s Olympic won 5-0
Under 18s Olympic won 5-0
Olympic vs Lambton Jaffas FC
Under 16s Lambton 0-5
Under 15s Olympic won 1-0
Under 14s Lambton won 1-3
Under 13s Olympic won 6-0
Zone League 2
Olympic vs Argenton
1st Grade Argenton won 1-4
2nd Grade Olympic won 4-1
Under 12s Olympic defeated Lambton 3-2
Under 11s Olympic & Sth Wallsend drew 1-1
Under 10s Olympic & Sth Wallsend drew 2-2
Olympic Junior Results
Under 16a Olympic defeated Magic 4-2
Under 15a Olympic & Kotara drew 3-3
Under 13a Olympic defeated Charlestown 4-1
Under 12b Olympic defeated Kahibah 4-0
Under 8/2 Olympic defeated Medowie
Under 6/1 Olympic defeated Cooks Hill