Monthly Archives: April 2018

NPL Northern NSW Round 7: Hamilton Olympic defeated 3-2 by Maitland

Rhys Cooper, scorer of the 2nd Olympic goal

Maitland Magpies 3 (Thornton 42’, Thompson 64’, Read 89’) def. Hamilton Olympic 2 (Pettit 66’, Cooper 75’)
Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park

A valiant Hamilton fightback from two goals down wasn’t enough to another one of Alex Read’s last-gasp goal’s that snatched all three points for the Magpies.

It was a different defender who opened the scoring, with Liam Thornton seizing on a loose ball in the area after a corner and firing home in the 42nd minute.

The home side doubled their advantage after half-time, in a move started from a Matt Trott goal kick. The ball found its way out to Ryan Clarke, who set off down the line and managed to square it to a reaching James Thompson. He turned home and made it 2-0.

Just two minutes later, Hamilton was back in with a shout. Jarryd Sutherland beat his man and managed to dink a nice little chip across the face of the goal, which was headed in by Scott Pettit.

They levelled things nearly ten minutes later. Pettit started the move down the right-hand side and sent the ball in, which was helped on by Jake McGuinness and finished by Rhys Cooper across Trott to make the score 2-all.

Hamilton thought they’d done enough to secure their fifth point at the season, but Alex Read would have the final say.

The centre-back charged forward and got on the end of an Andrew Swan cross, and fired home a thundering volley to send the Magpies into third on the ladder.

U/20s: 2-2
U/18s Olympic won 5-1

NPL Youth
Olympic vs Charlestown

Under 16s drew 2-2
Under 15s Olympic won 7-1
Under 14s Olympic won 2-1
Under 13s Olympic won 8-0

Community Juniors
Under 16A Olympic 2-3 Adamstown
Under 14A Olympic 5-5 Magic
Under 13A Olympic 4-1 Magic

Weston Bears 1 (Burtson 50’) def. by Adamstown Rosebud 2 (Berlin 28’, Heydon 39’)
Saturday 28th April, 2:30 pm at Rockwell Automation Park

Each side would have come into this one confident of taking three points from the other, with Adamstown on the hunt for their first win of the season.

In the end, it was the visitors who managed to edge out Weston and propel themselves out of the last spot with their first three points of the season.

Rosebud scored the opening goal just prior to the half-hour mark after Turki Alwesaidy seized on a slip from Weston midfielder Max Foster.

He played a deft little ball through the line to Chris Berlin, who caught Kane Runge wrong-footed and put the visitors ahead.

Alwesaidy had a big hand in the next goal again, which put Adamstown two ahead. He received a long ball over the top from Judd Duncan and set on his way toward the goal.

His square up to Connor Heydon wasn’t met with the most convincing of touches, which sent everyone the wrong way as the ball dribbled into the far corner and made the score 2-0.

Just four minutes into the second half, Weston had one back. A ball in from the right-hand side was met by Jackson Burtson, whose side-footed volley was a good one and whistled into the back of the net recording his fourth goal of the year.

Weston lost a man in the 60th minute after a strong challenge from Oliver Davies caught Regan Lundy. He went down writhing in pain and was eventually taken away in an ambulance with a serious leg injury.

The Bears had a penalty shout waved away in the 77th minute after a Tega Marcus cross appeared to strike the arm of Ben Higgins, and shortly after Adamstown’s Harrison Frendo was stretched off after a strong coming together with Max Foster.

Adamstown had a chance to put the game to bed when in the 82nd minute, Berlin was 1 on 1 with Kane Runge but couldn’t turn home. On the follow-up, Cooper Buswell managed to stand in goal and keep out Connor Heydon.

Weston peppered the home goal with shots in the closing ten minutes. Marcus had the best chance in the 95th minute but was prevented by an onrushing Benn Kelly, but in the end, it was Adamstown who claimed their first win of the season.


Broadmeadow Magic 2 (Carrol 5’, Fajkovic 14’) def. Valentine Phoenix 0
Saturday 28th April, 7 pm at Magic Park

Broadmeadow was made to fight, and fight hard in what was captain Josh Piddington’s 300th first grade game in Magic colours.

Despite playing almost half of the match a man down, they managed to edge out Valentine and jump into second on the ladder.

Cody Carrol got the goals started in the fifth minute, with a stunning free kick for the second week running. His effort from just outside the area left Valentine keeper Perry Budden stranded and put the home side ahead 1-0.

A thundering strike from Dino Fajkovic shortly after doubled Magic’s advantage. He received the ball on the edge of the area and fired toward goal, the power behind the shot giving Budden little time to react as the ball rippled in the back of the net.

An off-the-ball incident in the 44th minute would put Broadmeadow firmly on the back foot, as Fajkovic took exception to Zac Sneddon and lashed out. After some consultation with the linesman, Fajkovic was shown a red card.

Valentine started the second half brightly, with much of the possession in the attacking half without anything to show for it. It was a trend which continued throughout the half, and they were almost down by three in the 71st minute when a square ball was just out of the reach of Magic’s John Majurovski.

Joel Wood had an absolutely golden chance for Valentine in the 86th minute, free at the back post after a corner but only able to turn his shot into the arms of Paul Bitz.

Phoenix’s Wilson Edwards put a header over the bar in the 95th minute, but it would have proved consolation only as the whistle blew for Magic’s fourth win of the season seconds later.


Newcastle Jets Youth 5 (Thurgate 9’, Tipaldo 58’, Harrison 64’, 90’, OG 66’) def. Lake Macquarie City 3 (Walker 7’, 56’)
Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm at Macquarie Field

It was a match in which Lakes actually lead twice, and the scores were locked at 1-all when the two sides went to the sheds at half-time.

An incredible second half seen six goals scored, and Jets Youth running away with their third win of the year.

It was Sam Walker who opened the scoring, and he did it in incredible fashion. His goal came directly from the corner and had his side ahead in just the seventh minute.

Within minutes the Jets Youth were level. A deft little one-two between Angus Thurgate and Cai Tipaldo saw the former fire on goal and beat Kye Abrahams to level things at 1-all.

It was an end-to-end match, with both keepers kept on their toes by relentless attacks from both sides.

It took until the second half for another goal however and it came from Lakes’ striker Walker again, who was perfectly placed to seize on a loose ball in the box and fire home.

Once again though, their lead only lasted two minutes. Abrahams came for a ball out wide but wasn’t able to collect, and this time Thurgate turned provider and set up Tipaldo for a precise finish into the top corner to make it 2-all.

Kent Harrison was perfectly placed soon after to put Jets Youth into the lead for the first time. A ball in from Josh Cairelli wasn’t dealt with by Abrahams and fell nicely for Harrison to make the score 3-2.

Things got worse for Lakes just two minutes later, after a Kaleb Cox’s shot was deflected in by a Lakes defender to make the score 4-2.

In what was already a tit-for-tat battle, Lakes nearly had one back after another two minutes when Morgan Okeno was through on goal but had his shot deflected wide for a corner.

The game was put to bed in the 90th minute after Abrahams came for another ball and failed to collect. He was rounded by Kent Harrison, who finished well for his second of the afternoon and the Jets’ fifth.

Walker would turn provider soon after this and provided Mitch Hunter with a good pass which allowed his volley to sizzle into the top of the net. It would prove only a consolation as Jets Youth emerged 5-3 victors.

Edgeworth Eagles 1 (McBreen 81’) drew Charlestown City Blues 1 (McNaughton 76’)
Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Looking to knock the Eagles off their perch, Charlestown came to Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday afternoon in search of a win which would have put them five points ahead of the pack.

Open at times, tight at times, and entertaining at all times is exactly how this one went as two of the league’s best fought it out and left it late to disturb the back of the net.

It was Edgeworth who perhaps started the better of the two sides, and a Dylan Holz shot from distance in the 22nd minute forced a low save out of Danny Ireland in the Blues goal.

Their best effort of the half came just a minute later when Liam Spurway set Daniel McBreen off. His first-time cross found Jamie Byrnes, with the striker unable to beat Ireland at the near post.

Charlestown had the best of their chances shortly after half-time, as they edged possession and position but were unable to get free on goal and test Nate Cavaliere in a meaningful manner.

Edgeworth thought they’d made the breakthrough in the 68th minute when a strong run from Daniel McBreen helped the ball find it’s way out to Josh Evans.

His cross found Dom Bizzari, whose miscued shot was turned in by Jamie Byrnes. However, Byrnes was adjudged to be offside.

It was the visitors who’d find the first goal of the afternoon in the 76th minute. A ball from the deep found the head of Riley McNaughton, whose attempt was palmed onto the bar by Cavaliere. The rebound found McNaughton again, and this time there was nothing the Edgy ‘keeper could do as he fired home to put Charlestown ahead.

Their lead didn’t last long though, as the Late Show starring Daniel McBreen came through once again. In a move started out wide by substitute Tyson Jackson, the ball through to Adam Cawley was squared to McBreen who glanced his shot into the far post to level the scores.

1-all was how this one would finish, and it leaves Charlestown ahead by three points at the top of the ladder. Hot on their tails are Magic, Edgeworth and Maitland – all on 13 points.


NNSW Round 7: Hamilton Olympic away to Maitland Magpies

Maitland Magpies v Hamilton Olympic

Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park

 This Sunday will mark the first time that Maitland coach Michael Bolch has faced Hamilton from the opposition dugout since the 2009 grand final.

He and the rest of the Maitland squad will be looking to keep their place in the top four as the current Hamilton contingent battle to work themselves into the winner’s circle.

The points were shared the last time these two sides met, a 2-all draw in June last year. In fact, Maitland hasn’t beat Hamilton at home since the former was promoted to the NPL NNSW back in 2015.

Bolch’s side has taken seven points from an available nine in their last three outings, and last weekend’s assignment was one of their slimmest victories this season.

The 1-0 win in the final stages of the match was a hard-fought victory and means Maitland has now won three of their four home games this season. They’ll be without Josh Dutton-Black for this one, who is away at a wedding this weekend.

Their defence is one of the best in the league, with six goals conceded in five matches so far tied second only to Charlestown who has conceded the same amount but played one game more.

Results and performances just don’t seem to be aligning themselves for Hamilton so far this season, who put in another solid showing against Edgeworth last weekend but came away with nothing to show for it.

Olympic’s third loss of the campaign means they currently sit in ninth place on four points, and this weekend’s opposition boasts one of the most experienced squads in the competition.

What may provide Peter McGuinness’ men with a small boost is their solitary win came from their only match on the road so far this season. Three points on Sunday could shoot them right up the table.

What the coaches said:

Michael Bolch (Maitland)

“We’ve got to concentrate on our game and what we’re doing well, Hamilton have been playing good football and have some dangers in the front third with the likes of Rhys Cooper and Simon Mooney so we need to be on our toes.”

“There’s been a couple of games now, where there have been opportunities for us to score more goals and we haven’t but having said that Noah James (Jets Youth goalkeeper) was the difference last weekend, it wasn’t like we were missing the target, he was very good last weekend.”

“It’s just another game, I had eight good years at Olympic and now it’s a new venture and I’m concentrating on Maitland now.”

The commemorations for Anzac Day continue this weekend for the Match of the Round. Maitland Football Club will be holding a traditional ceremony to show their respects to our soldiers prior to kick off.


Round 8 Hamilton Olympic vs Charlestown City at Darling St Oval

U13s kick off at 10.00 am

U14s kick off at 11:30 am

U15s kick off at  1:00 pm

U16s kick off at  2:30 pm

Weston Bears v Adamstown Rosebud

Saturday 28th April, 2:30 pm at Rockwell Automation Park

 There were losses for each of these sides last weekend against some of the league’s best, and that may set the stage for an open match this weekend.

The last time the pair faced off was in the Heritage Cup final the weekend before the league kicked off, and it was Weston who prevailed on penalties in what was a scoreless draw after regular time.

In the league, it was Rosebud who had the better of the results last season with a win and a draw against Weston.

The Bears battled hard last weekend but were ultimately unable to take points away from a Charlestown side which finished with ten men.

Their general play was encouraging, which perhaps would make the fact their two goals came from two mistakes in defence all the more frustrating.

Nathan Morris was a notable absentee for Weston due to work commitments but returns this weekend. Jett White, who set up Weston’s goal last weekend, has returned to Edgeworth after his six-week loan concluded.

Rosebud’s defensive woes continued last weekend as they collapsed late and let the score-line blow out to 4-0, albeit to an impressive Magic offence.

21 goals have gone through Adamstown in just six games so far this season, with 13 of those in the second half and four as a result of conceded penalties.

It’s a slew of defensive holes which won’t make happy reading for Rosebud coach Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, who will be on the hunt for his first clean sheet and win of the season.


Broadmeadow Magic v Valentine Phoenix

Saturday 28th April, 2:30 pm at Magic Park

 The Magic machine will look to roll on when they host Valentine this weekend, who come into this one hoping to build on some solid form.

There were two wins from two for Magic in the league last season, with a 3-2 victory early on backed up by a 3-1 away win in round 14 in the midst of that glorious run at the back end of last season.

An FFA Cup win was squeezed in between those victories for Magic also, who haven’t lost at home to Phoenix since 2010.

Injuries to James Virgili and Jeremy Wilson in last weekend’s outing will be of concern, with Virgili set to miss this weekend while Wilson looks set to be the third player on the long-term injury list for Magic.

That outing, a 4-0 win over Adamstown was a show of clinical finishing and a desire to see out the full ninety minutes rather than take a foot off the pedal after sixty minutes and a two-goal lead.

From three games at Magic Park this season, Broadmeadow has won one, drawn one and lost one. They’ll be hoping they can string two wins in a row at home together, and look to turn their home ground into something of a fortress.

Last weekend’s scoreless draw with Lambton was the first match of the season to end in such a manner and is a testament to the way Valentine bounced back from defeat to Lakes the previous week.

That defensive mindset may need to carry on this weekend, given Broadmeadow is the most proficient team in attack and come into this one on the back of a four-goal victory.

If Phoenix does set up to play the match on the back foot, then they’ll have to be clinical in the front third. Joel Wood missed a golden opportunity at the back end of last weekend’s match, the likes of which Valentine need to bury in order to get the three points.

What the coaches said:

Sam Griffin (Valentine assistant)

“The approach has to be similar to the Lambton match, we achieved what we needed to last week by bouncing back and getting a clean sheet which is obviously ideal, but we have to at some stage go on the front foot a bit more… a clean sheet is a priority, but we have to show some more intent.”

“We know we’ll get some opportunities, no one goes the whole game without getting any, it’s just being clinical and taking the chances that will come to us. Broadmeadow is a very attacking side, they will commit numbers forward and hopefully, they’ll leave themselves a bit skinny at some stage, especially if we can build the pressure and keep them scoreless for long periods of the game.”


Edgeworth Eagles v Charlestown City Blues

Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval

 The perennial premiers host the contenders this weekend, as Charlestown hope to push their lead at the top out even further.

Two wins from two attempts for Edgeworth in clashes against these two sides helped extend their winning run to six matches on the trot against Charlestown.

In fact, Charlestown hasn’t managed a win at Jack McLaughlan Oval since their promotion to the top flight back in 2012. The last time they won over Edgeworth at all was in August 2014.

Traditionally one of the best defensive sides in the competition under boss Damien Zane, Edgeworth has let in nine goals in their five matches so far this season – the worst record of sides currently in the top four.

At the other end, however, things do look good for Edgeworth who come into this match off the back of a last-gasp 3-2 win over Hamilton. Daniel McBreen chipped in with his first two of the season in that one, and the Eagles have scored 14 goals from five matches so far.

Aaron McLoughlin, Daniel McBreen and Dylan Holz have returned to full fitness and will play likely play a part this weekend. Aaron Oppedisano will make his way back through the under 20s as he continues his recovery from a broken nose.

From Edgeworth’s two games at home this year, they’ve only let in a solitary goal. They’ll face a big test against a strong Charlestown squad, who may welcome back a former Golden Boot winner this weekend.

That man, Kane Goodchild, is set to at least grace the bench this weekend after spending the past three weeks out with a torn hamstring.

His inclusion may spur on his side to be more clinical in the final third. Charlestown has scored at a rate of nearly two goals a game this season, but have the lowest output of sides currently in the top five.

The Blues will be without Masaya Sakamoto this weekend, after his straight red card for kicking out at a Weston player in last weekend’s 2-1 win.

What the coaches said:
Damien Zane (Edgeworth)

“It’s a big match in the sense that it’s currently first v second, but we won’t be treating it any bigger than the grand final rematch, or the rivalries with Broadmeadow and Hamilton. It is a chance to put a big of a gap on teams in the race for the semis which is our first goal for the year.”

“To be honest, four wins out of five is something we didn’t expect, we thought the last two weeks were massive games to get ahead of the pack to a degree but now we’re not playing under too much pressure… we’re at the point where the boys are pretty relaxed, and it’s a massive opportunity to make a statement.”


Lake Macquarie City v Newcastle Jets Youth

Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm at Macquarie Field

 Fresh off the bye, Lakes will look to kick on with things after their drubbing of Valentine the last time they played.

For Jets Youth, they still have the chance to jump into the top four if they can get themselves back into the winner’s circle.

A 5-0 Jets Youth battering was the score last time these two sides met in round 20 last season, which coincided with Lawrie McKinna and Labinot Haliti’s first game in charge.

An incident away from the pitch has left Lakes a defender down after Cameron Holzheimer was the victim of a one-punch attack which has left him with a fractured skull.

The frightening situation, described by coach Nick Webb as ‘touch-and-go’ in the Newcastle Herald this week, is far from ideal for a side which is looking to build some momentum after a 6-1 defeat of Valentine in their last outing.

Sandwiched in between that match and this weekend was the bye for Lakes, who will be looking for their second clean sheet at home this season on Sunday.

Clean sheets are at something of a premium for Jets Youth also, who haven’t managed to keep one – only a late Alex Read goal condemned them to a 1-0 defeat.

By all accounts last weekend’s result was so slim thanks largely to the work of Noah James in the Jets’ goal, the custodian making a number of key saves to ensure his side still had a shot right until the end.

The defeat was only the Jets’ second so far this season, and they currently sit sixth on the ladder. A victory here today could theoretically take them as high as third, but with goal difference factored in it’d more likely to help them keep pace with the four.

What the coaches said:

Nick Webb (Lakes)

“We’ll play to our strengths and our systems, look to create chances and score goals, we’ve done quite well over the last couple of games so hopefully they bye doesn’t hurt us and we can continue that. We lightened the load the first week off, had a bit of a run last Saturday, and we’ve been back into this week.”

“We’re always working on structures of other teams, but as much as we watch the other team and know their strengths and weaknesses, we’ll also play to our strengths, we’ll set up to stop them playing as much and look to play on the counter-attack like we do.”

“Cameron (Holzheimer) is showing signs of improvement, but is still in ICU and it’s a very scary proposition for him and his family… not the best of weeks for his family, and he’s our only one missing this weekend, which is big because he’s one of our better players but I’m sure the boys will come together and do well for him.”



NPL Northern NSW Round 6: Hamilton Olympic defeated 3-2 by Edgeworth Eagles

Hamilton Olympic 2 (Bertos 9’, Mooney 48’) def. by Edgeworth Eagles 3 (Bizzarri 20’, McBreen 66’, 90’)
Saturday 21st April, 6 pm at Darling Street Oval

It was a tit-for-tat battle in which Edgeworth didn’t take the lead until the 90th minute, but it was the only lead which counted as the Eagles snuck home over an unfortunate Hamilton Olympic.

The home side began strong and capitalised on their positive start just nine minutes in. A free kick into the box from Reece Papas deflected off the wall, and somehow found it’s way in courtesy of Leo Bertos to give Olympic a 1-0 lead.

Edgeworth attempted to get into their groove and control the ball slightly better – but it was a cheeky chip from a long way out which levelled things up in the 20th minute, and it was a rare goal for Dom Bizzarri.

The visitors had the first opportunity of the second half with a chance created by Bizzarri turned wide, but it was Hamilton who would take the lead yet again.

A move which started inside their own half, Olympic moved the ball from left to right and a precise ball into the box from Bertos met the head of Simon Mooney who made no mistake from three yards out.

Olympic was controlling possession well and making good ground immediately after the goal, but Edgeworth slowly began to claw their way on top and created a few chances including one for Tyson Jackson who forced a corner in the 62nd minute.

They would find the breakthrough shortly after thanks to substitute, Daniel McBreen. A quick counter caught a number of Olympic players upfield and seen the ball end up with Jamie Byrnes. He cut it back across the area to an unmarked McBreen at the back post, who finished levelling the scores once again.

The away side wrestled their way on top, and they’d find the all-important breakthrough in the 90th minute through that man again – McBreen.

A move which he helped start from the halfway line, the ball was eventually whipped in by Tyson Jackson and somehow fell to McBreen at the back of the box. The striker was able to turn his shot in and break Olympic hearts.

A Blake Green ball across the box could have proved an equaliser in the 91st minute, but Simon Mooney wasn’t able to reach it. Ultimately, it’d finish with Edgeworth’s fourth win on the trot.

Edgeworth coach Damien Zane was pleased with the win – but no so much with the defending.

The performance of substitute Daniel McBreen was another highlight for Zane.

“I think that shows why we’ve had success, he’s been there and done it, he’s been out and doesn’t expect to walk in the team,” Zane said.

“Some players, when they get named on the bench get in the wrong frame of mind and come on and give you nothing, but when our subs come on they give us everything they’ve got and influenced the game, and Macca was no different.

“There was one instance where he chased a guy 40, 50 yards down and won the ball, and when you see a 40-year-old doing that, for your young boys in the squad it shows them if he can do it, there’s no reason you can’t do it.”

Under 20s Olympic won 1-0
Under 18s Olympic won 5-0

Newcastle Jets Youth 0 def. by Maitland Magpies 1 (Read 87’)
Saturday 21st April, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park

It wasn’t pretty, but Maitland managed to wrestle their way back into the winners’ circle with a victory which sees them maintain their position inside the top four.

Matt Thompson was missing for Maitland on Saturday, with Chris Fayers stepping into the starting side in his place. Thomas’ Beecham and Curran were absent for Jets Youth, so Kaleb Cox started.

Both sides struggled to find openings in a fairly even first half, with a Ryan Clarke shot in the 26th minute forcing a save from Tristan Esquilant in the Jets goal.

Just three minutes later Jets Youth went close themselves, with captain Solomon Vaiika cutting in onto his right foot and firing toward the goal. It only missed courtesy of a Maitland deflection.

In the end, it took a corner for Maitland to find the breakthrough late into the second half.

Lifted in by substitute Josh Dutton-Black, the first header was turned onto the crossbar. The afters fell to Alex Read, the defender making no mistake from mere metres to secure the three points.

The defeat means Jets Youth miss the chance to go into the top four, but sit just three points outside the finals spots. For Maitland, it sees them keep their place despite being leapfrogged by Magic, who went into third.


Adamstown Rosebud 0 def. by Broadmeadow Magic 4 (Carrol 15’, Bradbury 61’, 82’, Majurovski 85’)
Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at Adamstown Oval

Magic is a side bursting with quality, and it shone through in spite of a resilient Adamstown side as the visitors stormed home to a big win in stark contrast to last season’s Anzac Day fixture.

That match, a dour nil-all draw was left firmly in the rear-view mirror as Magic hit home four goals – but were left to count their wounded after a number of injuries.

In a game preceded by an impeccably observed Anzac Day ceremony, things got off to a fiery start with Adamstown’s Chris Berlin shown a yellow card inside 30 seconds for a tough tackle on Cody Carroll.

The first of the casualties came early for Broadmeadow after James Virgili was clattered in a rough tackle from Rosebud’s Luke Rutledge. He suffered a dislocated shoulder and was taken to John Hunter Hospital to have it popped back in.

Shortly after, another Rutledge foul brought down John Majurovski just outside the Adamstown area and handed Magic a free kick. Cody Carrol stepped up and fired home direct from the free kick for his first Magic goal.

Broadmeadow’s injury troubles got worse not long before half-time after Jeremy Wilson and Rosebud’s Judd Duncan came together in the middle of the park, with the former coming off much worse. He was stretchered off in what looked to be some considerable pain.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Broadmeadow struck again as Adamstown gave away their fourth penalty in six games. A Dino Fajkovic shot from outside the area rattled the crossbar, and the ball fell to Majurovski – who was brought down from behind by Ben Higgins.

A penalty was awarded and Kale Bradbury made no mistake from the spot to double their advantage.

The home side almost had one back in the ensuing minutes. Matt Sokulsky put Connor Heydon through but he was unable to finish, and a Tim Davies strike in the 71st minute took a wicked deflection and had Paul Bitz beat – but hit the crossbar.

With just over ten minutes to go, Magic would put the game out of reach as Bradbury doubled his tally. He played a nice one-two with Majurovski and finished for his fifth goal of the season. For Majurovski, it was the third goal of the afternoon in which he was directly involved.

He’d find himself involved in another just three minutes later. A ball over from Luke Virgili took a deflection off Ollie Davies, which sent it straight into the path of Majurovski. He topped off his spectacular afternoon with a goal for himself.

Things went from bad to worse for Adamstown in the 87th minute, when substitute Gocha Abshilava was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball push in the back on Magic’s Takebe Soma. In the end, it finished Magic claiming a 4-0 victory.

Speaking to BarTV Sports after the match, Magic man Majurovski said a tough pre-season paved the way for his top performance on Sunday.

“Ruben’s [Zadkovich] made me run and run and run, and I feel good out there, I’m 35 but I don’t feel 35, I’m enjoying it and I think that’s the main thing,” Maj said.

“We changed [to three at the back] last week against Charlestown and it worked, we created a lot of chances, I don’t know if we’ll keep it all season but it’s working so why change a winning formula?”


Charlestown City Blues 2 (Smith 17’, Lewis 28’) def. Weston Bears 1 (Burston 87’)
Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at Lisle Carr Oval

It wasn’t their prettiest victory of the season, but a ten-man Charlestown managed to edge out the visiting Bears on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams started brightly, and it was Weston who threatened first with right-back Callum Bower getting forward and forcing a save out of Danny Ireland.

It was the home side who would open the scoring shortly after against the run of play. A mistake from Bears’ Jordan Jackson created a chance for the Blues, who found Scott Smith and went ahead 1-0 in the 17th minute.

They doubled their advantage shortly after, with Kane Runge spilling a free kick straight into the path of Cal Lewis. The number 15 made no mistake in putting away Charlestown’s second.

Weston wasn’t lying down however and continued to push forward. Jackson Burston had a good shot on goal in the 37th minute, but the visitors weren’t able to find a way through before the break.

Shortly after half-time, Charlestown had a good shout for a penalty waved away. The game began to peter out as Weston chased, and Jackson Burston fired a shot high and wide in the 68th minute.

Charlestown nearly finished things off in the 82nd minute after a Riley McNaughton ball met the head of Smith, who just steered his header wide.

Just four minutes later, things really kicked off. After conceding a foul, Charlestown substitute Masaya Sakamoto kicked out at Weston’s Jake Barner which sparked handbags from all sides. When the dust settled, Sakamoto was shown a straight red card.

In the immediate aftermath, Weston scored. A bursting run down the left-hand side from substitute Jett White seen him manage to whip a ball in, which Burston managed to steer a diving header into the back of the net and the Bears were back in it.

Despite Weston pushing forward, Charlestown was able to wind the clock down and see out their fifth win of the season.

Blues boss David Tanchevski was pleased with how his side capitalised on two Weston mistakes to go to victory.

“I was happy; it was a tight contest and Weston actually played well, there wasn’t much space out there because they played the ball really well,” Tanchevski said.

“We pressed really well and created some errors in the Weston defence, there were probably a couple of times where we didn’t capitalise and I wanted us to capitalise, so a few opportunities and a penalty which was probably the clearest one I’ve seen which we didn’t get, that would’ve put the game at 3-0 and it would’ve been game over.”

Charlestown had to hang in the last ten minutes after a late red card, a decision which Tanchevski agreed with.

“There wasn’t a lot of contact from Masaya but the intent was there and it’s a clear red card, I’m not sure what’s happened because he’s a quiet kid and he’s just had a brain snap after the guy from Weston stood on him while he was on the ground.”

“According to Masaya, there was a clear stamp… but the red card was justified, we didn’t panic and we spoke about not sitting back and inviting pressure on and we hit them on the break a couple of times towards the end, but the boys hung on and did well with ten men and I was happy with how they did.”


Valentine Phoenix 0 drew Lambton Jaffas 0
Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at CB Complex

After copping a caning at the hands of Lakes last weekend, Valentine needed a response and they got that as they managed to share the points with last years champions.

There were returns from injury for both sides with Jobe Wheelhouse starting his first match since last season’s grand final. Valentine’s Zac Sneddon continued his return from injury, building on 45 minutes off the bench last weekend.

It was Phoenix’s second match at new home CB Complex, however, it was Lambton who started slightly better in terms of field position and possession. Luke Remington saw an early long shot go wide.

Ryan Griffiths almost found the breakthrough not long after, but his header was acrobatically tipped over by Perry Budden in the Valentine goal.

Valentine was under the pump for much of the second half as the visitors looked to control the match and did so for large swathes of the match.

The home side did have a golden opportunity to win it late on though – Joel Wood was set free with only Brad Swancott to beat, but he turned his shot wide.

In the end, the two sides shared the points. For Valentine, their third stalemate of the season and still without a win. For Lambton, it’s their second draw in as many weeks and not the ideal result heading into the bye next weekend.

Valentine assistant Sam Griffin regarded it a much-improved performance, compared to the previous weekend’s result.

“You’re never happy with a point only, but to keep Jaffas to nil and a clean sheet is an achievement in itself and after the performance the week before against Lakes it probably wasn’t expected, so at the moment you have to take a point and be happy with it,” Griffin said.

“We were under the pump, but we set up that way because knew Lambton would have a lot of the ball and we’d spend a lot of time without it, we had a game plan executed pretty well and I think Sillsy got it right.

“There’ll be plenty of sore, tired boys there from both sides… it was very physical which was good, you’re not going to play pretty against Lambton because you’re not going to outdo them that way, both sides gave as good as they got.”


NPL Northern NSW Round 6: Hamilton Olympic take on Edgeworth Eagles

Hamilton Olympic ace Leo Bertos

Hamilton Olympic v Edgeworth Eagles
Saturday 21st April, 6 pm at Darling Street Oval

 These are two sides who have pushed each other right to the limit in past NPL NNSW season’s.

Edgeworth and Hamilton even contested a grand final as recently as 2015 and only three points separated the pair at the conclusion of last season.

It’s under rather different circumstances that these two meet on Saturday night. Hamilton is at the wrong end of the ladder with only one win from four matches, while Edgeworth sits third with three wins.

The home side comes into this match off the back of a disappointing defeat to Jets Youth. The 2-1 loss is their second of the campaign and follows the bye in round four.

It was a match in which they created a plethora of chances but failed to execute on all but one occasion. If things improve this weekend, they may be good for a result.

Hamilton has played three of their four matches at home this season, and are yet to win. If they fail to get a win on Saturday night, it will mean they won’t have won in their past eight 6 pm kick-offs at Darling Street Oval.

They missed experienced duo Stuart Musalik and Jacob Bailey last due to injury, and Musalik remains out this weekend again. Bailey is a chance to play from the bench, while Jed Hornery will also miss out.

Edgeworth managed a better result last weekend; a 4-1 win over Weston sent them up the table into second place, and they’ll be keen to stay into this nice little patch of form they’ve worked themselves into.

After a loss to Lambton and the bye in the opening two rounds, Edgeworth has won their last three and conceded only three goals on the way.

Jamie Byrnes looks an inspired pick-up just four games into the Eagles campaign, with four goals to his name. His output this weekend may be the difference.

What the coaches said:

Peter McGuinness (Hamilton)

“We’re playing the best team, best quality club of the last four or five years and it’ll be tough but we haven’t been far away from winning and it’s just a matter of taking opportunities, and if we can do that and be tight at our end then I think we have a chance but we’re expecting a pretty tough game.

“Unfortunately for us, what we’ve done is the goals we’ve conceded have been very defendable and the goals that we haven’t scored have been well-created passages of plays where we haven’t finished things at the business end, and I look at the weekend’s game (against Jets Youth) and if we take one of the six or seven chances we created in the first fifteen to twenty minutes the game’s completely different.”

1st Grade kick off 6.00pm
Under 20s kick off 4.00pm
Under 18s kick off 2.15pm

Newcastle Jets Youth v Maitland Magpies
Saturday 21st April, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park

 It’s safe to say Jets Youth didn’t fare especially well against the Magpies last season.

They lost both games at Cooks Square Park, going down 10-3 on aggregate across the two matches. The second was a 6-1 flogging in round 14.

Some time has passed since their last encounter, however, and given Jets Youth are in some good form, they may a potential upset for Maitland.

The bye for the Magpies last weekend came at a good time, as they were dealt a series of injury blows last time out against Valentine.

Ryan Clarke went down during the warm-up, Matt Thompson and Matt Comerford struggled through the 1-all draw with injury while Mat Swan came off with a groin injury.

The bye will have given Maitland time for some much needed R&R and given they currently sit inside the top four, a good result this weekend will be key to ensuring they can kickstart some momentum.

Fast football is the hallmark of Jets Youth’s game and it was played to devastating effect last Saturday night as they overcame Hamilton 2-1.

Cai Tipaldo and Jack Simmons were perhaps the standouts in what was a good all-around team performance, and the two men up front will be key once again this weekend.

The week off for the senior squad won’t see the inclusion of the likes of Angus Thurgate and Kosta Petratos due to an intra-club trial on Friday. Centre-half Tom Beecham is set to miss around four weeks with injury.

What the coaches said:
Lawrie McKinna (Jets Youth)

“We need to keep up the quality of the play which we showed against Hamilton, and we know these teams are more experienced than us but we’ll show them that respect, we’re not just going to bomb on, we’re going to be cautious and the big thing about us this year is being ruthless.

“That’s in defence, that’s in taking chances and in the past I think we’ve overplayed things so we want to play to win games.”


Valentine Phoenix v Lambton Jaffas
Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at CB Complex

 Round five brought disappointing results for each of these sides, but for vastly different reasons.

Valentine went down 6-1 to in the Macquarie derby thanks to a first-half demolition derby from Lakes last weekend.

Lambton went into their Saturday clash with Adamstown as heavy favourites, but drew 1-all and missed their chance to go within two points of first place.

Despite their grand final heroics last season, Jaffas actually went down to Valentine on both occasions the two sides met in the league in 2017.

It’s only early doors, but Phoenix currently sits second last on the ladder with only two points from their four games so far.

Crucially, they’re without a win so far and it will require a huge effort if Lambton is to be overcome.

The return of Zac Sneddon, who played 45 minutes last weekend will be of some comfort to Darren Sills’ who’s without first-choice goalkeeper Scott Carter for the second week running.

Lambton’s slip up against Adamstown at the weekend meant they maintained their place at outright third on the ladder. The chance to go within two points of Charlestown was there for the taking, but Lambton couldn’t finish Rosebud off.

Likely a blip on the radar rather than indicative of any larger issues at Lambton, who will need to be much more clinical this weekend if three points against Valentine are to be forthcoming.

Jobe Wheelhouse playing his first minutes of the season last weekend will be a massive boost for a side already chock full of quality midfielders. Expect that competition for places to bring out the best in Lambton.

What the coaches said:

Darren Sills (Valentine)

“This weekend we’ve got to turn up at the races for a start, we’ve got to be better at all aspects of football than we were last weekend and that comes from the training paddock, trained okay Tuesday night and we have no excuses for last week other than we trained poorly and that played out on the park.

“We need to improve everywhere… attitude, Lakes caned us and they played very well, but we were so poor, the poorest I’ve been associated with at the club, at the end of the day they (the players) know where they went wrong… big game against the champions and you’ve got to get up for that.”

Charlestown City Blues v Weston Bears
Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at Lisle Carr Oval

 Last season was a dreary one for Weston with the exception of their solitary win in the league – a 3-0 drubbing of Charlestown in round ten.

Things couldn’t be more different nearly twelve months on though. Charlestown sits top of the table, stinging after their first loss of the season while Weston is in the midst of the mid-table logjam.

Experience at the back is something both sides have injected this season, with Ljubo Milicevic at Charlestown while Nathan Morris and Kew Jaliens are at Weston. The latter is yet to play, however.

Charlestown’s experience at the back wasn’t enough to take anything away from Magic Park last weekend, but results elsewhere mean they maintained their three-point buffer at the top of the table.

Sunday was the first time Charlestown has failed to score this season, but they won’t be dwelling on it.

Former Cooks Hill man Cal Lewis has started in place of the injured Kane Goodchild two weeks running, and will be hoping to score his maiden Blues goal his weekend.

Scott Smith was one player who struggled with last weekend’s loss to Magic, with coach David Tanchevski revealing he was vomiting pre-match. His return to full fitness may spell trouble for the Bears.

Things at the other end are tight, Charlestown conceding only five goals which is the equal competition best. Only one clean sheet from five may give Weston confidence, though.

Three set-pieces brought the Bears undone last week and blew the scoreline out to one which perhaps didn’t reflect the otherwise good defensive job they’ve done this season.

Despite their rather compact approach though, Weston has conceded four goals twice this year in only five outings. Things will need to be tight if they’re to keep out Charlestown.

Jordan Jackson is unlikely to slot into that defence this weekend due to injury, while Kew Jaliens remains sidelined indefinitely.

Goals scored are perhaps the biggest improvement in Weston’s side so far this campaign. They’ve scored in their last five matches – a feat they didn’t achieve once last season.

What the coaches said:

David Tanchevski (Charlestown):

“Weston are a dangerous team, they beat Magic and Maitland struggled to beat them, they had a lead against Edgeworth so we know we’re in for a tough game but for us it’s just more and more of the same, we’ve just got to make sure we’re switched on from the start.

“We’ve been pretty solid in defence, so hopefully this weekend we can take our chances… we probably create enough chances in both games, last weekend was probably the first we didn’t create enough to win, so we’ll just work on the same things. Scott Smith back to full fitness this week, so him and Cal (Lewis) playing together hopefully can bring a few opportunities.”

Steve Piggott (Weston):

“The big thing for us is trying to find a little bit of consistency each week… last weekend was controlled the first half of the match and then fell away, so it was chalk and cheese compared to the weekend before against Magic. If we turn up for a change, it’s like we weren’t at the races last week, so if we’ll try to get a bit of that energy and intensity that we had against Magic and see how we go.

“Set pieces haven’t been a thing which have hurt us in the past but they certainly hurt us last weekend, people facing the wrong way and not tracking their runners, body shape, there’s a lot of things that went wrong and we’ve addressed it and we’ll go through in on Friday and look at all those things.”


Adamstown Rosebud v Broadmeadow Magic

Sunday 22nd April, 2:30 pm at Adamstown Oval

 So close to being giant-killers last week, Adamstown will be looking to go one better against a Magic side back on the up.

1-all at Lambton last weekend was perhaps Adamstown’s best result of a dour year so far.

At Magic Park, Broadmeadow managed their first win since round one and did it the hard way against a resilient Charlestown side.

It was perhaps the most unlikely of points for Adamstown last weekend, who was widely expected to lose against Lambton on Saturday.

Connor Heydon scored his second goal of the year to help his side to a draw, and it’s more of the same Adamstown need this weekend. With only four goals from five games so far this year, they have the lowest output of any side in the league.

Worryingly, things at the other end are just as bad with 17 goals having gone through in five matches. Even if the nine from Maitland is taken out of the equation, Rosebud has still leaked goals at an average of two a game.

One player who will be fired up against his former club is Adamstown captain Ben Higgins, who made the switch in the off-season. Magic keeper Paul Bitz went in the opposite direction and will hope he can make it three clean sheets on Sunday.

Broadmeadow will be without Shane Paul this weekend, who was sent off for a second bookable offence late in last weekend’s win.

One of the most potent attacks in the league on paper, Magic will be confident of goals this weekend despite scoring only once per game in their past two.

They boast the league-leading goal scorer in James Virgili but will hope they can get the likes of Kale Bradbury and John Majurovski firing again this weekend. The latter scored the winner early against Charlestown last Sunday.


NPL Northern NSW Round 5: Hamilton Olympic defeated 2-1 by Newcastle Jets Youth

Hamilton Olympic 1 (Bertos 72’) def. by Newcastle Jets Youth 2 (Tipaldo 8’, Simmons 58’)
Saturday 14th April, 6 pm at Darling Street Oval

Just five rounds in and with a bye in the rearview mirror, the Jets Youth have already claimed nearly half of last season’s points tally.

They managed their second win of the season with a dominating win over Hamilton Olympic on Saturday evening.

Jets Youth kicked off the scoring in the 8th minute, with a Jack Simmons corner floating into the head of Cai Tipaldo, who rose and finished strongly to put the Jets Youth ahead.

They made it two in the 58th minute after some brilliant lead up work – this time it was Tiapldo teeing up Simmons. A ball in was headed on by Tipaldo, and Jack Simmons went from provider to scorer, poking home to give the Jets a two-goal buffer.

The home side managed to pinch one back in the 72nd minute, a ball in from Reece Papas finding Leo Bertos who turned it in and halved the deficit.

Ryan Goodhew went close to pushing the Jets’ lead back out to two with a blistering shot from outside the area in the 76th minute, but it whizzed over the bar.

Hamilton was unable to find their way back into the match though, and they slipped to their second defeat of the season and currently sit in ninth spot.

The Jets on the other hand now sit sixth but are level on points with fourth and only five behind Charlestown in first place.

Olympic vs Newcastle Jets Youth

1st Grade Jets Youth won 1-2
Under 20s Jets Youth won 0-3
Under 18s Olympic won 2-1

NPL Youth
Maitland vs Olympic
Under 16s Olympic won 1-0
Under 15s Olympic won 8-1
Under 14s Olympic won 3-1
Under 13s Olympic won 9-1


Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Majurovski 6’) def Charlestown City Blues 0
Sunday 15th April, 2:30 pm at Magic Park

After two defeats on the trot, Ruben Zadkovich’s desperately needed a reaction from his side in touch with the top at this early stage.

Against the league leaders, a reaction is exactly what he got – his ten-man side inflicting Charlestown’s first loss of the season.

An early John Majurovski goal did the damage for the home side. He was teed up nicely by Kale Bradbury in the 6th minute but still had to twist his body skilfully to turn in the half-volley.

In blustery conditions, chances were hard to come by. Bradbury had the best of Magic’s chances after the goal, but his shot was turned away by Danny Ireland.

Tensions were running high in the second half and Magic’s Shane Paul was shown a second yellow, and subsequent red card after diving in from behind in the 73rd minute.

Just minutes later, they threatened to boil over after a penalty shout from Ljubo Milicevic was waved away. On his return to the halfway line, an off-the-ball incident seen Magic youngster Jeremy Wilson on the ground clutching at his face and Milicevic showed a yellow card.

Wilson was again in the firing line in the dying minutes, after Charlestown’s Zac Lloyd came in hard and the pair had words but ultimately it was Magic that had the last laugh with their first win since round one.

The win takes Magic to seven points for the season, having taken four points from a possible nine away from the top three so far this year.

Charlestown remain at the top of the ladder, but their lead has been cut by two points – Edgeworth is coming up close, only three points behind.


Lambton Jaffas 1 (Hay 30’) drew Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Heydon 4’)
Saturday 14th April, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval

With just one point and sixteen goals conceded from four matches so far in the league, Adamstown’s task on Saturday looked like one of their most challenging yet.

In one of the weekend’s shock results, Rosebud managed to upset the scales and take a point away from Lambton for only the second time in eleven matches between the two sides.

The away side took the lead in just the fourth minute of this one, a Connor Heydon header putting Adamstown in front for the first time in any league match this season.

It wasn’t a lead which Adamstown held for too long, with Ben Hay scoring his second long-range goal in as many weeks to level things up in the 30th minute.

The second-half brought with it an onslaught from Lambton, but they were met with a determined Benn Kelly who made a plethora of key saves throughout the half.

Jaffas’ best chance came in the 77th minute when a long ball from the returning Jobe Wheelhouse found Joel Griffiths. He teed up Pat Brown, but a slight deflection off an Adamstown player on the way meant he couldn’t get his shot away.

Ultimately, both sides would have to settle for a share of the points. It keeps Adamstown in touch with the rest of the league – level at the bottom with Valentine, but only two off Hamilton in ninth.

Lambton missed the chance to go into outright second, which a win would have seen them do. Instead, they remain in third just four points off leaders Charlestown.


Edgeworth Eagles 4 (Bower 40’, Byrnes 51’, 70’, Hurley OG 63’) def. Weston Workers Bears 1 (Burston 27’)
Saturday 14th April, 5:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval

A big result for Edgeworth puts them right back in the mixer, but it wasn’t without a struggle after they came from behind to put four unanswered goals on the Bears.

It was Weston who opened the scoring, a short corner in the 27th minute finding it’s way to Jackson Burston on the corner of the six-yard box. He curled a nice shot over the arms of Nate Cavaliere in the Edgeworth goal to put the away side ahead.

A corner at the other end helped Edgeworth square things not long before the half-time break. The ball in from Adam Cawley found it’s way to an unmarked Will Bower at the far post, who turned in for his first goal of the season.

Set pieces were the flavour of the month at Jack McLaughlan Oval, and Tyson Jackson got in on the act just after half-time as his free-kick teed up Jamie Byrnes to put the Eagles ahead for the first time.

Jackson would whip in a near identical free-kick twelve minutes later to double Edgeworth’s advantage. This time it was Weston Chris Hurley who turned it in, rising for the header but unable to put it anywhere but his own net.

Byrnes would grab his second and the first in the match that didn’t arise from a set-piece situation in the 70th minute. A mazy run and delicate ball from Adam Cawley found the striker, and he made it 4-1.

Edgeworth coach Damien Zane was delighted with the way his battered and bruised team pulled together.

“On the day Macca pulled out, Dylan Holz pulled out of the starting team twenty minutes before kick-off and Aaron McLaughlin went down with an injury after six minutes, so we’d used our only fresh sub after six minutes… it was a massive effort,” Zane said.

“Happy with the performance, the first half was good and the second half, we improved a few things and probably our best performance all year.”

There were three goals from set-piece situations for the Eagles on Saturday night, and it was something Edgeworth had talked about a little before the match.

“Generally we don’t score from many set pieces, it’s something we thought we could exploit them with and our delivery was spot on and we had guys attacking the ball,” Zane said.

“We knew they’d set up pretty compact, and we’d said it might be a set piece which wins it for us today and sometimes it’s tough to break down a compact side and the way you do that might be a free kick.”

The 4-1 win is Edgeworth’s biggest since round 21 last season, and Zane was happy with a number of players.

“Second half we made a bit of a change and pushed Tyson Jackson out to the right, Adam Cawley to the 10 and he (Jackson) had a really exceptional second half especially,” Zane said.

“Great team effort is generally what you get out of Edgeworth, but Pat (Wheeler) and Tyson were probably standouts in a good team.”


Lake Macquarie City 6 (Okeno 2’, Sichalwe 30’, 35’, Hunter 45’, Walker 74’, PEN 90+1’) def. Valentine Phoenix 1 (Niyonkuru 4’)
Sunday 15th April, 2:30 pm at Macquarie Field

It was the scoreline which no-one saw coming – Lakes, off the back of their first win this season over struggling Adamstown smashing six past Valentine.

Valentine came to Macquarie Field in search of their first win of the campaign, but will ultimately have to go away and lick their wounds in search of a solution.

The scoring was opened extremely early after Morgan Okeno was set on his way by a probing long ball, and scored in just the second minute. Valentine would strike back just moments later though – a fourth-minute bicycle kick from Aaron Niyonkuru levelling the scores.

A quickfire Paul Sichalwe double set Lakes on their way not long before half-time. The first was on the half-hour mark and seen the former Magic man finish high into the net. The second was a similar finish – hard and high, but from slightly further out.

Already two goals to the good before half-time, Lakes weren’t done yet. A Corey Fletcher free kick in the 45th minute found the head of Mitch Hunter, whose header was too strong for Perry Budden and the score was 4-1 as the two sides went in at half-time.

It took half an hour into the second half for Lakes to build on their lead, and it came through talisman striker Sam Walker. A free kick on the edge of the area was fired in low and hard around the wall and found its way in off the post to make the score 5-1.

The misery wasn’t over for Valentine though, and a run into the box from Lakes’ Harry Lane attracted a foul and a penalty. Sam Walker stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to make the score 6-1.

Speaking with BarTV Sports after the match, Lakes’ midfielder Tom Walker said he’s enjoying his own shift to the backline.

“It’s a little bit different, just allows me to sit back and watch it without the pressure of people coming around,” Walker said.

“It’s making a difference our backline, Cam (Holzheimer) that was in the centre there is a midfielder so he’s a ballplayer too, which helps us get forward really quick… we’ve got all the young fellas that are coming through, doing the running and attacking up the front now.”

“(The bye next weekend) doesn’t come at a good time, just when we’re building some momentum so it would’ve been good to keep on playing, I guess we’ll just have a rest, look where we’re at, and come back fresh the week after.”

NPL Northern NSW Round 5: Hamilton Olympic take on Newcastle Jets Youth

Hamilton Olympic v Newcastle Jets Youth
Saturday 14th April, 6 pm at Darling Street Oval 

The fourth game of the season for Hamilton and it’s their fourth under lights, as they return to Darling Street Oval for a floodlit Saturday night matchup against Jets Youth.

It’s been close to six years since a Jets Youth side has beaten Hamilton. A 4-2 win on the 6th of May, 2012 was the last time Hamilton conceded all three points.

The last time these two sides went head to head in round 16 last season, Hamilton needed two goals in the final twenty minutes to edge their way past in a 2-1 win.

As mentioned the last time Hamilton played a mid-evening match at Darling Street Oval, despite their heavy association with the fixture they don’t boast the best record there. They haven’t won in their last six 6 pm kickoffs.

Last weekend’s bye will have come at a good time for Hamilton, who have used a couple of rescheduled under 20s fixtures to get game time into key legs – including the likes of Stuart Musalik, Simon Mooney, and Jacob Bailey.

Musalik will miss out this weekend, however, with Bailey an uncertainty. Blake Green will continue his stint on the sidelines thanks to a bruised foot he picked up in round one, while Jed Hornery strained his hamstring against Valentine and may play a role this weekend.

Olympic may view this weekend as a good opportunity to attempt to put some distance between themselves and the wrong end of the ladder. They’re one of three teams on 4 points, currently sitting in seventh.

The tight 1-0 loss last weekend was the young Jets’ first of the campaign, and things don’t get any easier this weekend up against Hamilton.

It was a performance which Jets coach Lawrie McKinna rued ‘deserved something’, given their improvement at the back end of the pitch meant they managed to keep things much more compact.

They went toe-to-toe with a young opponent in Edgeworth, but this weekend is a different type of challenge against a Hamilton side which boasts wily characters of some experience.

What the coaches said:

Peter McGuinness (Hamilton)

“I went and watched the Jets play last weekend and they had the lions share of possession in the second half, had a few opportunities and I thought they were very competitive last week and did alright, they’ll be difficult for us this weekend.

“Simon Mooney, Jacob Bailey and Stu Musalik have been back in the 20s to get some game fitness… Stu has had a reoccurrence of an injury and won’t play this weekend, Simon Mooney will come into the first team squad as he’s done well since he started playing again, and Jacob Bailey I’m unsure of at the moment.”

1st Grade kick off 6.00pm
Under 20s kick off 4.00pm
Under 18s kick off 2.15pm

NPL Youth Round 7
Maitland vs Olympic

Saturday at Cooks Square Park
Under 16s kick off 2.30pm
Under 15s kick off 1.00pm
Under 14s kick off 11.30am
Under 13s kick off 10.00am

SAP Under 9
Saturday at Darling St Oval
Olympic vs Valentine
11.00am Olympic White vs Valentine Orange
11.00am Olympic Blue vs Valentine Blue
11.55am Olympic Blue vs Valentine Orange
11.55am Olympic White vs Valentine Blue

Zone League 2
Olympic vs New Lambton
Saturday at Novocastrian Park
1st Grade kick off 2.30pm
2nd Grade kick off 12.45pm

Broadmeadow Magic v Charlestown City Blues
Sunday 15th April, 2:30 pm at Magic Park 

Two title contenders meet at Magic Park again this weekend – this time a wounded Broadmeadow play host to a Charlestown side on the hunt for their fifth win on the trot.

Each side comes into this one off the back of vastly different round four matches. Magic went down to a plucky Weston outfit, while Charlestown managed to claim a last-gasp win over Lambton.

Results between these two sides have historically been dead even. They’ve both won six each in the league since 2012, with each claiming a win every season over the other.

It was a shock result for Magic out at Rockwell Automation Park last weekend though when they went down to 2-1 to Weston. The Magic boys will be out and hungry to snap a two-game losing streak on this Sunday.

Despite the loss, one positive Broadmeadow will be able to take from, is the league debut of youngster Sam Webb, who came on midway through the second half and went close to levelling the scores in the dying minutes of the match.

There have been casualties from last Sunday however, with Dino Fajkovic in doubt due to a hamstring complaint and Jacob Dowse will miss out with a knee injury he picked up in the 20s match.

This weekend’s opponents may suit Magic’s style of play, given they like to take advantage of space in behind and use their wide men to run at defenders.

You have to sift through the records back as far as 2006 to find the last time any side won their first five games in the league – that year it was Edgeworth, who went on to win the league by a margin of six points but lost in the grand final.

The first half of Charlestown clash with Lambton last weekend was as frantic as a semi-final match-up, and they grounded out the second-half managing to nick all three points at the death.

Scarily for the rest of the competition, Charlestown coach David Tanchevski said at the start of the season that his side would improve throughout the season as they spent more time together.

Five weeks in, and this is a prophecy which seems to be slowly fulfilling itself. The absence of Kane Goodchild hasn’t had the negative impact which their title contenders may have hoped, and the Blues look more dangerous than ever.

What the coaches said:

Ruben Zadkovich (Magic)

“Charlestown are going to be a difficult side to play against, they’ve proven in the last few weeks how good they are, they’re very solid and don’t concede many goals, and they’ve got guys that can hurt you so we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.

“We haven’t had much luck in the past couple of weeks, it’s about improving in a few areas and I think we’ll be alright in the next match. I think it’s more so a lack of focus at key points during games rather than lack of effort, last week we could have been two, three, four up and we didn’t take those chances. We make a schoolboy mistake, gift a goal, Maguire scores a bomb, and then we’re behind and then it’s a mentality thing.

“We’re looking for a ninety-minute performance (this weekend) to be honest, in patches in games we’ve been good. Against Lambton, we were poor for seventy-five, eighty minutes, and then in the final ten had ten or fifteen chances… if we can put it together for longer periods in games, we’ll be alright, but that’s not to say it won’t be difficult because we’re playing against a quality team.”

David Tanchevski (Charlestown)

“Same approach as what we’ve been doing, not too much will change. Cal (Lewis) came in for Kane Goodchild on the weekend and did a really good job, so he’ll continue up front and the rest of the squad at this point are available so we’ll see that we can get through training on Thursday night, and it’ll be a pretty similar start to what we’ve been doing.

“I think with Broadmeadow, you’re always up for a tough match and when you play the top teams they’re always hard to beat, Magic will want a reaction and will probably be a bit more desperate and they have quality players – guys like James Virgili, Kale (Bradbury), Dino (Fajkovic) and Maj (John Majurovski) up front can hurt you… we’ll be setting up like we normally do.

“They’re no different to the Jaffas front three or the Maitland front three, they’ve got the speed and quality that can change the game so we’ve got to make sure defensively we’re working as a unit, which is what we’ve been working on over the past couple of weeks.”


Lambton Jaffas v Adamstown Rosebud
Saturday 14th April, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval 

Bouncing back from losses last weekend which were disappointing for different reasons, Lambton welcome Adamstown to Arthur Edden Oval in a match which is a must-win for both sides.

There isn’t any doubt about who is the dominant side in the recent history between these two teams. Adamstown hasn’t beat Jaffas since Lambton was promoted in 2014, and in fact, have only drawn once from ten matches between the two.

The last time they met, Jaffas claimed a big victory; 6-1 at Arthur Edden Oval back in round 19 last season, with Pat Brown scoring three on the day.

For the home side this weekend, it’s a good opportunity to crack back into the winners’ circle after losing last weekend’s clash with Charlestown with the last kick of the game.

What’s especially encouraging for Lambton this weekend, however, is the chance of Jobe Wheelhouse returning to the lineup. He sat on the bench last weekend due to Michael Kantarovski withdrawing late due to injury.

Building on their early home form this season will be crucial to Lambton’s chances in the league this season. They’ve won both games at home and only taken a point from two matches on the road.

Adamstown has technically picked their only point in an away match, but it is only on a technicality – they managed it against the Jets Youth at Adamstown Oval in round one, where they were the away side.

Rosebud would have regarded last weekend’s match against Lakes as one which they may have been able to take points from, but a red card and four goals against sees them now rooted to the bottom of the ladder.

It’s just about a full contingent for Adamstown this weekend, with the return of Luke Rutledge from suspension likely to cover for Danilo O’Brien who was sent off in the second half of their defeat to Lakes last weekend.

What the coaches said:

Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (Adamstown)

“The results over the last two weeks don’t look good, I think if you break the games down a little bit then bad scenarios have caused games to fall apart in our hands, we have young boys out there still learning the game and finding what it takes to continue and battle on.

“The game of football, it doesn’t matter if they’re top of the table or not, anyone can win the game and it’s just a matter of turning up, working hard and getting that little bit of luck. Lambton are a good side, well-organised and some experienced players, full of confidence, they’re going to come at us with their game and it’s in their hands to lose.

“They have to come to us and perform, we have nothing to lose.”


Edgeworth Eagles v Weston Workers Bears
Saturday 14th April, 5:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval 

Saturday night football is back at Jack McLaughlan Oval, and this weekend the Eagles play host to a Weston outfit who will be flying high after knocking off Broadmeadow last weekend.

It’s been a long time since Weston have beat Edgeworth. The Eagles have had the better of this fixture with wins in their past five encounters.

You have to go back almost three years since Weston last beat Edgeworth, and back further still to 2013 to find the last time the Bears beat the Eagles at Jack McLaughlan Oval – that day, it was on penalties in the elimination final.

Four rounds and three matches in for Edgeworth and they’d have to be awarded a pass mark for their efforts so far. Two wins and a loss to Lambton with a relatively new-look side is a good start.

To grind out a result in the fashion they did against the Jets Youth in that 1-0 victory last weekend is another good sign for Edgeworth, but they’ll have to take a different approach this weekend.

Weston showed their resilience in defence and sat back for much of their match last weekend, while Edgeworth were outplayed by the young Jets for periods of their match. A different type of approach for the Eagles may be necessary this weekend.

Two wins this season for the Bears already doubles their tally from last season and equals their total across the past two. If they’re to grab the three points this weekend, it’ll be the first time they’ve gone back to back since round 8 and 9 of the 2015 season.

Of course, last Sunday was that stunning win over Broadmeadow which shocked the competition. Goals from Tega Marcus and Josh Maguire, paired with a stunning defensive performance in the second half seen Weston make it through.

The departure of Sam Ford from the club erodes the Bears’ depth slightly, given his ability to play in either the defence or midfield. The return of Jake Barner against Broadmeadow at the weekend will help fill that void.

What the coaches said:

Damien Zane (Edgeworth):

“We’re improving, our first half last weekend (against the Jets) and there were probably ten or fifteen minutes where we defended and did it well, I think we fatigued a touch in the heat and made a few cheap mistakes and turnovers, but I was pretty happy… if you can defend well, you give yourself a chance to win the game.

“I like Weston, they’re a good side with a bit of experience this year, so I think they’re a real threat this year and it’ll be a tough match… Macca is 50/50 for this weekend and if he does play a role it’ll be off the bench, Dylan Holz was really crook on the weekend but he had Tuesday night off to recover and get himself back to 100%.”



Lake Macquarie City v Valentine Phoenix
Sunday 15th April, 2:30 pm at Macquarie Field 

A local derby will be played at Macquarie Field, with this weekend’s hosts looking to claim back-to-back wins for the first time since late 2016 while Valentine is searching for their first of the season.

Phoenix claimed a 1-0 win over a ten-man Lakes the last time these two met, thanks to a Jalon Brown goal in the 75th minute back at the start of June last year.

Points are finally on the board for Lakes, after they managed to knock off a ten-man Adamstown side 4-0 on Sunday. Mitch Hunter and Paul Sichalwe both scored their first league goals for the club in that one.

The last two times the Roosters have played at Macquarie Field has been against two of the league’s big dogs in Broadmeadow and Charlestown, but this weekend isn’t exactly an easier assignment.

It is, however, a chance for Lakes to claim back-to-back wins for the first time in their short time in the NPL. The last time they managed two in a row was at the backend of the 2016 NEWFM First Division competition.

An already injury-hit Valentine side had the misery piled on last weekend, with Scott Carter exiting with a dislocated left shoulder in the late stages of their draw with Maitland.

That result, 1-all at Cooks Square Park, was the second point Valentine has taken from a good opposition this year. However, four rounds in and they’re one of only two teams not to have won in the NPL NNSW this season.

Scott Carter isn’t the only injury concern this weekend. Chris Brown will continue to miss out after hurting his knee in the loss to the Jets Youth in round two, while Daniel Ott is out until at least the start of May. Zac Sneddon may be in line for a return though, depending on how he trains this week.

What the coaches said:

Nick Webb (Lakes)

“We’ve been in every game other than the Magic game; last week was just rewards and 4-0 probably didn’t do justification to the performance, it could’ve been anything before half-time and the ten-men made it a bit easy, but we dominated from start to finish and we’re looking forward to Valentine.

“I’ve watched Valentine a couple of times, so there’s no surprises there but we’re just concentrating on ourselves and doing the best with what we have. Last weekend’s win absolutely gave us confidence, we hadn’t scored a goal until then besides an own goal and we were starting to doubt a few things… we converted four, it could have been double and that’s a good thing.”

Darren Sills (Valentine)

“We’ll go into this one fairly similar to how we did against Maitland, we’ve taken some time to gel as a unit with seven new players and we’re working towards getting that right, each week we’re improving and keep doing what we’re doing… the boys are hungry, we’re training quite well and we’ve just got to bring that to game day.

“We’ll concentrate on our own game this weekend, I’ll sit down and have a look at their tape from last weekend on Wednesday night, but I used to coach both Walker brothers and I know what Sam especially can do, a couple of other boys like Mitch Hunter seem to be in form, so they’ll be on a high after their win and for us to be competitive in the competition we need to get three points.”


Maitland have the bye

NPL Northern NSW Round 3: Hamilton Olympic held to a 2-2 draw by Valentine

Hamilton Olympic 2 (Papas 62’, Cooper 84’) drew Valentine Phoenix 2 (Wood 12’, 20’)
Friday 30th March, 6 pm at Darling Street Oval

After a mixed bag for Hamilton and bad news for Valentine in the opening weeks of the campaign, each needed a positive result on Good Friday.

Each side will feel aggrieved not to have taken all three points from this clash, but all things considered will no doubt be content with one.

It was the visitors who started strongest, in fact, they carried a two-goal lead into half-time after a twenty-minute Joel Wood clinic.

The first of Wood’s double came in the 12th minute. Aaron Niyonkuru had a shot from inside the area, which Hamilton goalkeeper Tyler Warren wasn’t able to collect. It fell to Wood, who managed to slam home from a tight angle and put Phoenix ahead.

Eight minutes later, and Wood doubled the lead. He was set on his way by a pinpoint ball from the back courtesy of Reece Pettit and finished with a little dink over Warren to make it 2-0.

Hamilton needed a response, and Simon Mooney was subbed on after the half-time break to help do just that. It took fifteen minutes for the breakthrough to come through, despite the home side wresting control of the match.

It was a stunning free kick from ten yards outside the area which did the damage – Reece Papas doing superbly to get the ball over the wall and back down into the top corner of the net to cut Valentine’s margin in half.

Just five minutes later and Olympic were in again after a stunning Jake McGuinness hit nestled in the back of the net – but the whistle had already gone for a Hamilton free kick on the edge of the area, despite howls of protest for advantage by those around the ground. The resulting free kick from Papas went well over the bar.

Each side pushed, but ultimately it was Hamilton who managed another goal. This time it was Rhys Cooper who unleashed a superb chip which did Scott Carter all ends up, and made the scores 2-all.

Hamilton had the better of the chances in the final ten minutes, as they hit the right post, crossbar, and sent one flying past the left post. Ultimately, the two sides had to settle for a share of the points.

Under 20s Olympic won 4-0
Under 18s Olympic won 3-0

NPL Youth Round 5
Olympic vs Edgeworth

Under 16s Olympic won 3-1
Under 15s Olympic won 4-1
Under 14s Olympic won 2-0
Under 13s Olympic won 4-1 


Broadmeadow Magic 2 (Majurovski 45+1’, J. Virgili 85’) def. by Edgeworth Eagles 3 (Jackson 20’, Cawley 57’, Ifield OG 89’)
Sunday 1st April, 2:30 pm at Magic Park

It was the second week running Broadmeadow have hosted one of the league’s heavyweights, and the second week running that the sides on display have produced a magnificent spectacle.

Edgeworth had question marks over their heads following a poor Heritage Cup and defeat in the first round, but did more than enough to silence the critics and show the competition they’re still a force to be reckoned with.

They started the stronger of the two sides, controlling possession and field position and it didn’t take long for them to capitalise.

Dylan Holz received the ball on the left-hand side and took a while to dig it out from underneath himself. Once he did though, it was cut back across the box – Daniel McBreen miscued it, but it fell nicely for Tyson Jackson who scored his first goal in Edgeworth colours.

They continued to control the match, but Magic would pinch one back just before half-time through a fairly simple yet effective piece of play. Matt Hoole threaded a nice ball through the line to Justin Broadley, who squared it up for John Majurovski. He made no mistake from right in front to score his first goal for Magic in the league since 2007.

Broadmeadow could have gone ahead shortly after the break, with James Virgili having two chances from close range which went either side of each post. Adam Cawley also had a good chance early but would make the most of another shortly after.

Crawley received the ball from the backline in the 57th minute and found himself free of Luke Virgili in the Magic defence. Cawley put his boot through it and finished high into the net beyond Paul Bitz to make it 2-1.

The game fired up a little, as old foes and rivalries began to show themselves as the match wore on. The introduction of Aaron Oppedisano fired things up, as he came out ready to niggle Magic.

The nature of the match led to some brilliant end-to-end action, which slowly turned Magic’s way as they searched for a goal and injected some pace in the form of Jacob Dowse.

It was Virgili who’d find the breakthrough though – in the afters of a Hoole free kick, who had two shots. The first would find McBreen, but the second was a coolly placed finish into the corner of the net which levelled up the scores in the 85th minute, and it looked like we were headed towards a sharing of the points.

Disaster struck for Magic just minutes from full-time, though. Edgeworth, who looked somewhere between ready to go for it and reluctant to potentially concede their lead late like they did against Lambton, made inroads forward down the left-hand side.

It came out nicely to substitute Will Bower, who drilled a ball in from the left to a six-yard box devoid of Edgeworth attackers. Paul Ifield dove in to attempt to clear the danger, but couldn’t do anything but steer his clearance high into his own net to make it 3-2.

Edgeworth stole the three points in the end after dominating much of the match, and it’ll be a result that they and coach Damien Zane will be delighted with.


Maitland Magpies 9 (M. Thompson PEN 3’, PEN 31’, Comerford 5’, 6’, J. Thompson 49’, 51’, Dutton-Black 62’, Clarke 82’, Fayers 90+2’) def. Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Duncan 23’)
Friday 30th March, 2:30 pm at Cooks Square Park

It was a very Good Friday for Maitland, who put Adamstown to the sword and equalled the largest winning margin since the formation of the NPL NNSW back in 2014.

It was an explosive start which got the Magpies on their way, but their ability to maintain the rage in coach Michael Bolch’s first game in the dugout helped them to the huge win.

A penalty in the second minute of play got the goals underway after Matt Thompson was brought down inside the area by Oliver Davies. Thompson dispatched the spot kick to put the home side ahead.

The second came just two minutes later and earned goalkeeper Matt Trott a rare assist. He played the free kick from deep inside his own half in the direction of winger Matt Comerford, who let the ball bounce and then hit a Tim Cahill-esque volley over the arms of Adamstown keeper Isaac Terry to make it two.

Just a minute later, Comerford would push the advantage out to three. He was the recipient of a ball over from the right courtesy of Ryan Clarke and finished with his left foot for his second of the day.

Judd Duncan would pull one back and give Adamstown a sniff just prior to the drinks break, with a stunning strike from outside the area in the 23rd minute.

Matt Thompson would get his second from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark. Rosebud captain Ben Higgins brought down Ryan Clarke inside the area, and the score was 4-1 shortly after.

It was nearly five just a couple of minutes after half-time, but Isaac Terry produced a ripper save from a close-range Clarke shot. Maitland wouldn’t be held out for long though – Clarke raced down the right-hand side and gave James Thompson the easiest of finishes at the back post.

Thompson got his second to put the nail in the Adamstown coffin just two minutes later as he received a ball from an onrushing Matt Thompson and finished across Terry.

Josh Dutton-Black got in on the act in the 62nd minute to make it 7-1, and Ryan Clarke snuck in a goal of his own in the 82nd minute to make it eight.

Substitute Chris Fayers managed to score a goal of his own after being set up nicely by Alex Read and made it nine in injury time, putting the icing on the cake for Maitland.


Lake Macquarie City 0 def. by Charlestown City Blues 1 (Milicevic 48’)
Friday 30th March, 2:30 pm at Macquarie Field

Charlestown maintained their lead at the top of the ladder thanks to a lone Ljubo Milicevic lob which condemned Lakes to their third loss of the season.

It was centre-back Milicevic’s first goal for over a year, his last came in a 5-1 win for Dandenong City against Nunawading City back in March last year.

Both sides were disrupted by injury in the first half, with Kane Goodchild heading off early due to a hamstring complaint. He was replaced by former Cooks Hill man Cal Lewis.

Just before half-time, Harry Lane went down after appearing to jolt his knee while chasing a Blues attacker. Anthony Carter came on in his place.

On the other side of half-time, Charlestown made the breakthrough via Milicevic. He received the ball just outside the area in the afters of a corner, and a ball which looked to be sent back into the mixer somehow found it’s way in and put the Blues ahead.

Lakes looked much better going forward this weekend than they have in the two previous but were unable to find a way through a strong Charlestown defence and the Blues won their third on the trot.


Lambton Jaffas 4 (R. Griffiths 15’, 40’, J. Griffiths 52’, 72’) def. Weston Bears 1 (Hurley 54’)
Saturday 31st March, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval

It was a different type of challenge for Jaffas this weekend after facing two of the league’s heavyweights in the past fortnight.

They stepped up to the plate though, with the class of the Griffiths boys, in particular, playing a big part in slicing open Weston and securing Lambton’s second win of the season.

Ryan Griffiths opened the scoring just fifteen minutes in, playing off the shoulder of Jordan Jackson he received the ball from brother Joel and made no mistake in giving his side an early lead.

They’d strike again just before half-time, and again it was Joel assisting Ryan. This time the ball came in from the right-hand side courtesy of Joel, who was played in nicely by Marcus Duncan. The cut-back from Joel found Ryan, and he scored his second.

Just seven minutes into the second half, and the Jaffas were in again. Marcus Duncan played a big role in the second goal, but even more so in this one as his ball into the middle deflected high off a Weston player. Joel Griffiths was on hand, uncontested to turn in the afters and make it three.

Weston did pinch one back soon after though, through a nice bit of interplay between Chris Hurley and Max Foster. The former played a 1-2 with Foster and played a nice little chip over Brad Swancott to make it 3-1.

Ryan Griffiths would turn provider in the 72nd minute, sending a floating ball over from the left-hand side. Joel Griffiths found himself on the end of it, heading in to make it 4-1 and ensure the three points were Lambton’s.

Newcastle Jets Youth had the bye